Hula Hoops

A dialogue-only piece set after Tundra


Characters: ,


Genre: ,



Length: words

Notes: I wrote this in college the other day, during one of my free periods, but for some reason everything came out in the form of a script. I’m pretty sure that I’ve got the characters down ok. Takes place at the end of Tundra, which was a rather abrupt ending. Yes, I realise this is yet another Tundra fic, but blame the writers, not me. I only ‘ad one banana!

Hula Hoops by cailenbraern

“Did you get me those hula hoops?”

“No, I forgot. Look, listen to this…”

“Can I have the money? I’ll get ‘em meself”

“I haven’t got the money, alright? I invested it”

“You invested it?”

“Vince, we’ve just got back from the Tundra, yeah? You remember that?”

“Big deal”

“Big…we’ve been though a lot, Vince, ok? Fought against the odds. Hula hoops are the least of my worries.”

“What odds? A friendly bear and midgets in anoraks!”

“Black Frost. Yeah? He was a vicious, dangerous foe and he could have frozen us both dead in a second, but luckily for the both of us I kept cool, and I…”

“Are you mental? The Polar bear saved us. My mate!”

“He was your mate, was he?”


“What was his name?”




“That is ridiculous, little man.”

“That’s his name!”

“What? Polo? The minty fresh bear?”

“He’s refreshingly cool.”

“Look, it’s not his name, ok? You just made it up.”


“If it’s about the bear, I’m not interested.”

“It’s not.”


“It’s about my Hula hoops.”

“Will you stop going on about the hula hoops, alright? You’re like a small child. You’re like little Jimmy! Watch yourself, or I might pick you up. Yeah? Throw you away like an empty crisp packet.”

“As if you’d do that”

“Wouldn’t I?”

“No way!”

“You seem pretty sure of yourself”

“I am pretty sure!”

“Why’s that?”

“Because you love me.”

“…Stop it.”


“Just stop that, ok?”

“What am I doing?”

“You’re always joking, aren’t you?”

“I’m not -”

“Everything’s a joke to you. Look, I’ll get the hula hoops, alright? I’m going now.”


“Bovril flavour, yeah?”

“Howard, forget the crisps.”

“No, I’m getting them, alright? Like I said. With a bit of luck, you’ll shut up while you’re eating them.”

“I don’t want the crisps.”

“You don’t want them? Why not?”

“I’m not hungry.”

“You’re no…Look, I’m going now. I’ll see you later.”

“Howard! Howard!”



“How’s it going?”

“Well, not great, Vince, you know?”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know where I am with you. You ask me to do something, I say I’ll do it and then you tell me you don’t want it anymore.”

“This is about the Hula hoops, isn’t it?”

“It’s not about-”

“I asked you for those weeks ago!”

“Yeah, and I was going to get them, wasn’t I? Anyway, it’s not about the crisps.”

“What is it about then?”

“It’s about you! You know? One minute, you’re all over me, laughing, having a proper conversation, yeah? And the next you’re making digs at me. I just don’t know where I am.”

“You’re in the zoo.”

“Yes, I know that. I meant us, where are we?”


“Yeah, you know, are we friends, not friends?”

“You think we’re not friends?”

“Well my idea of a friend was someone I could talk to, be there for me when I’m feeling a little bit down or whatever, yeah? Talk about jazz, or philosophy. No insults or mean remarks to the other.”

“That’s just the way we are!”

“The way we are?”

“Yeah! Aren’t you happy with our friendship?”

“Well, no. I’m not.”

“What are you on about? I heard you in the arctic. You said you loved me.”

“I do…did!”

“I thought you meant it.”

“I did…do!”

“Then what is your problem?”

Howard sighs.

“…When I said I loved you, what I meant was…I love you.”

Vince stares blankly.

“Do you understand what I’m saying, Vince?”

“You love me?”

“Yeah, that’s it.”

“I don’t know what you’re getting so worked up about. No one can really blame you. When you think about it, right, everyone in this zoo loves me. Bollo, Fossil, Mrs. Gideon…”

“That is the most annoying and frustrating thing about you.”


“You’re so flippant! Nothing ever fazes you, does it? I tell you I’m in love with you and you treat it like a game.”


“You see a pair of socks, it’s a game. A hat, it’s a shiny, new toy-”

Vince moves closer to Howard, standing centimetres away.

“What did you say?”

“You see a pair of so-”

“No, before that.”

Howard swallows nervously.

“I…can’t remember.”

“You’re in love with me?”

Howard laughs forcibly, and lightly punches Vince on the arm.

“Did you like that? You fell for that one, little man.”

“Now who’s playing games?”

“I was worked up…said some things that shouldn’t have been said, let’s just move on, start again.”

“Start again? What and wait another ten years for you to work yourself up enough to finally tell me you’re in love with me?”


“You took me out of school, Howard. Gave me a job here; taught me everything you knew. If you didn’t hire me I don’t know what I’d be doing. Going from one job to the next, stuck in a dead-end life. It’s been great here, you know. I can talk to animals, I can talk to you, I can listen to music, go on adventures, and I can paint! This is the best job in the World.”

“That’s really great, Vince, but could you go back to the waiting part.”

“If I didn’t like you, if I thought you were boring, or past it, or a useless spanner, or a jazz freak-”

“Get on with it!”

“ I wouldn’t have stuck around. I’d have been out of here like whippet! So what if I poke fun of you? I call you names? That’s only because the things I tease you about are the things I find adorable about you.”

“Adorable? What, like a puppy?”

“Like a little puppy.”

“Thanks, Vince…I think.”

“You know, I always thought I might be in love with you. But you know I didn’t really have much experience in love. I mean, I’ve been out with loads of girls, and some pretty guys as well, but I never came close to love. Then Mrs. Gideon came along, and I didn’t see the point in thinking about it anymore. But you’d keep going on about her, driving me mad. It got obvious that she liked me, and I milked that for all it was worth, seeing how you’d react. It made you jealous, but for the wrong reason.”

“Vince…I’m sorry. I’m such an idiot.”

“That’s Ok.”


“That’s why I love you.”

“You love me because I’m an idiot?”

“Well…that’s one of the reasons.”

“Thanks. Thanks a lot!”

“No problem.”

“Hang on a minute, you almost had me fooled.”


“Well, in the arctic, yeah? I told you I loved you. You laughed like a chimp.”

“Howard, you really are an idiot.”

“How dare you!”

“Haven’t you been listening to a word I’ve been saying? I’ve been in love with you for years. I tried to ignore it, cos there’s no way you’d feel the same. You know, we were facing death, miles from home, and then out of the blue, you say you love me. You caught me off-guard. Then the relief kicked in and then the frustration of having to hear that right before I snuff it. There was nothing else I could do. I just laughed.”

“You’re serious?”


“You’re not messing with me.”

“I’m not.”

“‘Cos if you are Vince, I’ll come at you, like an oil tanker.”

“I swear on Jagger, Bowie and Numan combined, I love you, Howard.”

“Wow. The holy trinity?”


“That’s pretty special.”

Vince laughs.


“So what do we do now?”

“Well, you could kiss me. See where we go from there.”

“What, now?”

“No, Howard, next Tuesday. Yes, now!”

“Like, right this second?”

“When was the last time you kissed someone?”

Howard is silent while he tries to remember.

“Wow. That long, huh?”

“I’m a complicated man, Vince. Not a lot of people really get me.”

“I’ve got you now.”

Vince smiles as he leans in close to Howard. Howard tilts his head down towards Vince and their lips meet in a soft embrace. Parting his lips slightly, Vince runs his tongue along Howard’s bottom lip, who opens his own lips to welcome it. The intercom crackles into life.

“Howard Moon! Get your fat, weaselly ass down to my office! Asap, monkey man!”

“That man sees everything!”

“You better get a move on. He probably wants to make you dance.”

“Why does he always make me dance? I thought you were the one he likes.”

“He does, but he doesn’t want to humiliate me,”

“What have I ever done to him?”

“He knows how stunningly attractive you are. You’re competition.”

“Yeah? Stunningly attractive you say?”


Vince leans in close again, and the intercom crackles again.


“Right then. I’ll see you later?”

“Well we’ve gotta finish this.”

“That’s if Fossil doesn’t kill me and leave me in the ocelot pit.”

“He wouldn’t do that.”

“Yeah? How’d you work that one out?”

“‘Cos he knows that if he lays a finger on you, he’ll have Vince Noir to deal with.”

“He’s quaking in his boots.”

“Go on!”

“Yeah, I’m going! See you later!”

“See you later, small eyes!”

Howard smiles as he leaves the Zookeeper’s Hut, prepared to deal with anything Fossil throws at him.

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