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(Lunchtime. The Palinode and The Lotus are separated by their respective cross-town offices. One of them makes the foolish decision to phone the other.)

Lotus: There was a fire at my work today.

Palinode: Are you burned beyond recognition yet?

Lotus: No. (Pause) It was in one of the apartments in the upper floors. Someone was cooking mushy peas.

Palinode: Mushy peas! Why, those are highly flammable.

Lotus: They are.

Palinode: They're highly inflammable, actually.

Lotus: Also true!

Palinode: In-cen-di-ar-y. (Pause, and then with great vigor) IN-CEN-DI-

Lotus: Yes, I get it. They catch fire.

Palinode: Explosively. Mushy peas are dangerous. In fact, the primary reason for the shift from fish-and-chip restaurants to curry houses in Britain can be attributed to a string of mushy pea explosions across the UK.

Lotus: Really?

Palinode: When I ate mushy peas with my fish and chips in Hull, everyone wore protective suits with rebreather apparatuses and I had to sign a waiver. In it I promised not to take out my rage or burnt areas on the Queen in the event of an unstable mushy pea mass going off.

Lotus: You were so brave.

Palinode: I may have won a medal over there. Or an ass-kicking.

Lotus: You certainly deserved one of those.