Monday 21 January 2008
He looks like a lizard. The skin around his neck is all slack and wrinkly like on one of them iguanas or whatever they are called - them things that sit around on rocks all day swivelling their eyeballs looking for smaller lizards to eat.
The funny thing was there was no sign of Baldie. I mean, whenever I went up there before, he was always there. But this time there was just Frankie Fischer and a maid called Maria who is Italian, I think, or maybe Spanish.
“Put the tea there, Maria,” he said, “Milk and sugar?” he said.
“Milk,” I said, “No sugar.”
“Really?” he said, raising an eyebrow which, if you want my opinion, was dyed black to match his wig, “No wonder you are so exceptionally slim.”
Maria poured the tea and left us alone. And that’s when we got down to business.
To tell you the truth, I hadn’t given any thought to Frankie Fischer for ages. Tell you the truth, I thought he’d lost interest in me. Him and Baldie. And then, last Friday, I got a phone call. From Frankie Fischer himself this time. Said he wanted to see me. I asked him what about but he was vague - “There are one or two things we need to talk about,” he said. He said he’d send a taxi around to pick me up and I thought, what the hell, maybe I’ll finally get to find out why Baldie keeps phoning me, why he keeps following me, why he’s having me watched and stuff.
I asked Frankie about that. He said, “Watched? My dear boy, what on earth makes you think I’m having you watched?”
I told him about the man who stands in the street, watching my window. I told him abut the phone calls, about the people who roughed me up that time, about the laughing man, I told him everything.
He didn’t say much for a while. Just sat there, stirring sugar into his tea. Then he said, “Are you familiar with a man named MacMillan?”
“Name doesn’t ring a bell, I said.”
“Ah. You see, I thought you met him at the...”
“The party? Might have. What’s he look like?”
He smiled a lizardy smile and made a movement with one hand like as if he was dusting some fluff off his trouser leg.
“You’ve heard of Mr King, I suppose?” he said.
“I’ve heard of Mr King,” I said. In the line of business I’m in - or that I used
to be in - everyone had heard of Mr King. But it was just a name. Like a sort of code word or something. I don’t think anyone believed he was a real person.
“Well, let’s say that Mike MacMillan is one of Mr King’s employees,” he said, “Not somebody you would really want to get on the wrong side of.”
“I never heard of him,” I said.
“Unfortunately,” said Frankie Fischer, “He seems to have heard of you. Do help yourself to a biscuit. They’re very good. Fortnums.”
“Well I never heard of him,” I said.
The room we were in was all white: white walls, white ceilings, white carpets, white sofa and arm chairs. I thought, “This is to show how rich he is. You’d have to be rich to have everything white and
afford to keep it clean all the time.” He was wearing all white too - white jacket, white shirt open at his lizardy neck, white trousers and white shoes. “To show he’s one of the good guys,” I thought.
“Your friend not here today?” I said by way of making conversation.
“My friend?” he said as though he had no idea who I could be talking about, “Ah, no,” he said, “He’s had to go away.”
Maria came in then and Frankie told her to take the tray away, which she did.
“The thing is,” Frankie said when she’d gone, “We had a bit of a problem.”
“Yeah?” I said.
“You remember my party?”
I remembered it and I told him so.
“There was a certain young man... I’m not sure if you... I mean, I think he mentioned that you and he knew... one another.”
“Willy, you mean?” I said, “Welsh Willy. Yeah well, I mean, I knew him. I wouldn’t say we were friends or anything but, yeah, I knew him.”
“Welsh Willy?” Fischer smiled, “Was that his nickname?”
“Nickname, trade name, whatever - it’s what everyone called him.”
“You may have noticed that we had a bit of a disagreement. At the party, I mean.”
Of course I bloody noticed. Welsh Willy fuckin’ gate-crashed the place some time around midnight, spewed all over the place, all over Frankie Fischer’s nice white furnishings and all over his nice white bedroom and then, later on there was some almighty argument - in his bedroom, I think - everybody could hear them but some pretended not to. Frankie was calling Welsh Willy a fucking whore and Welsh Wily was calling Frankie a fucking pervert and there was all kinds of a commotion and Willy screaming like a stuck fucking pig and the n the next thing you know Frankie’s back at the party arm in arm with Shirley who is his so-called ‘glamorous assistant’ on the telly and who, according to popular and amazingly unbelievable legend is also his red-hot passionate fuckpig. Oh well, if people believe that, they’ll believe anything.
“Yeah,” I said, “I sort of gathered that you and Willy weren’t getting along too well.”
“How much did he tell you?”
“About you and him? Not a lot,” I said, “But it’s common knowledge ain’t it?”
“That you and him was an item. Used to be anyway.”
“An item?” - this was obviously a word that was new to Frankie Fischer so I explained what I meant in words that I knew he’d understand.
His face went so white he nearly vanished against the decor. He seemed to be labouring under the delusion that no-one even suspected his ‘proclivities’. Anyway, we had a bit of to-ing and fro-ing over that one and he seemed reassured when I told him that my granny still thought he and Shirley was going to get married one day. And he offered me a whisky, which I declined, so he poured himself a decent glassful of some pretty good stuff and then he said - “Nobody knows where he is. That’s the problem, you see.”
“Where who is?” I said but, of course, I knew who he meant. Willy. He hadn’t been seen since that night at the party. I knew there’d been trouble. But I didn’t know how much trouble. I’d heard some of the boys down the Black Cap saying that Frankie must have done away with Welsh Willy but that was just gossip - nobody took it serious. See, Willy was always in trouble. The fact that nobody’d seen him didn’t surprise anyone. We thought he’d probably just nicked some cash from one of his rich punters and then scarpered off back to Cardiff or Swansea or wherever it is he comes from.
The Frankie looks at me then and he says, “How much do you really know?”
And I say, “Know about what?”
And Frankie says, “Are you being honest with me? Are you saying you don’t know anything about him? You really don’t know what happened to him?”
“Why should I fucking know?” I say.
And he gives me this beady-eyed lizardy look. And I’m thinking to myself, ‘This guy’s nuts. Thus guy’s fucking dangerous’. And I notice his CD player - big fucker - all chrome and silver with big fucking speakers mounted on the wall - and suddenly I get to thinking about the laughing man and I get to wondering who he is and I look at Frankie Fischer and I start to put two and two together, but not really sure if 4 is the right answer if you get my drift...
And he says, “They think you know more. And as long as they think that, they think you are dangerous. And when they think that, it’s bad for both of us. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
And I say, “No, not really.”
And he says, “Then you’d better start giving it some more thought.”
And on the way out he says, “I’d like you to work for me.”
And I say, sorry, I’m busy.
And he says, “You haven’t heard what I’m offering yet. You work for me, that could be the perfect solution.”
Solution, I’m thinking. To what?
He’s a real fucking weirdo, that Frankie Fischer. To tell you the truth, I’m not I know any more now than when I went up there. Apart from the fact that Frankie Fischer is clinically fucking insane. Well, I guess that’s something worth knowing, anyway...
Wednesday 05 December 2007
Saw Irish Jim down the boozer last night. He’s started working for some geezer up Archway, he tells me. Dodgy goods, fell of the back of a lorry stuff. I tell him he wants to watch out for himself. The Archway mob’s known to be on the heavy side. They can get it into their heads that they don’t like your face and the next day you won’t have a face left to like. He says I shouldn’t believe everything people tell me. Says I think everything north of Kentish Town is like the Cursed Earth or something. He’s probably right. North of Kentish Town and South of the River is like a black hole as far as I’m concerned.
Anyway, I mentioned the song to Jim being as he is musically inclined. He says it’s because he’s Irish but as far as I can tell the nearest he’s been to Ireland is Liverpool. He plays the piano and I don’t mean the Chas and Dave stuff. Classical stuff. Chopin. Liberace. All the proper gear. So I tell him about the phone call and the song playing in the background and he says “whistle it,” so I do, but he can’t make head or tail of what I’m whistling. “Could be anything,” he says, “Could be the Birdy Song for all I can tell.”
"It’s not the fucking Birdy Song,” I tell him, “It’s classical, right.”
So he says maybe if I can remember the words. I tell him I can’t hear the words because the song is really quiet and anyway it’s in foreign. He says “If you know it’s in foreign you must have heard the words.” I tell him I haven’t heard the words but I can tell it’s foreign because even when you can’t hear the words you can tell if something’s English or not - and this is not. But he doesn’t seem convinced. He says, “Try humming it.” So I hum it. But I can’t hum as fast as the song really goes and I can’t hum all the notes as high as they really are either. But even so Jim says, “It’s OK, I know what it is,” and I say, “Well then?” and he says “It’s the Queen of Night’s Aria,” I say “What’s the Queen of Night’s Aria,” and he says “It’s from The Magic Flute. It’s an opera.” I tell him, “I know The Magic Flute’s a fucking opera!” What does he think I am, a fucking moron? And he says, “Well, I was only trying to help.”
I ask him what The Magic Flute is all about and he says it’s about a flute that’s magical and I say “Ha-fucking-ha!” and he says, “Well, you did ask.”
So then I ask him what the Queen of Night’s Aria is and he says it’s about some old biddy who wants her daughter to go and kill a priest. And I laugh and I say, “Sounds more like a bleedin’ Hammer Horror film than an opera.” And he says, “Shows how much you know about opera then! They’re all like that!”
On my way back home I saw the man by the lamppost again. But he must have seen me coming. By the time I got to my front door there was no sign of him.
Monday 03 December 2007
When he called this time I answered it. I said what’s the big deal with getting his heavies on me. He says, ‘What heavies?’ I say the heavies who followed me, the heavies who pushed me up against a wall and slapped me around, those fuckin’ heavies. He says he don’t know nothing about no fuckin’ heavies. I said so why are you phoning all the fuckin’ time, then, what the fuck are you following me for all the time, then? He says he’s worried about me. He says he and ‘his friend’ are concerned that I might be getting myself into some big fuckin’ shit. I say, what’s it got to do with him? He says that’s what we got to talk about.
Fuck the bastard! Why should I trust him?
That song’s been getting on my tits. The song that’s playing in the background on the cassette on the answer machine with the Laughing Man. I’ve played it back so many time I know it by heart now. There’s something about it that gets under your skin, somehow. I wish I knew what it meant. It’s driving me up the fucking wall.
Friday 23 November 2007
Someone’s watching me. I see him across the street. He stands there, leaning against a lamppost like he’s waiting for someone. But why’d he wait for someone there? It’s a dead end. Just a wall and a lamppost. He’s watching me. I’m damn’ sure of it. My flat’s on the first floor so I can see him easy. Just turn my lights down and peek behind the curtains and I can get a good look at him without him knowing I’m even there. I can’t see him much though. He wears a hat with a brim. And the wall where he stands is half way down the street.
The phone rang earlier on. I let the answer machine pick it up. I listened but there was nothing but the sound of the cassette tape going round. I’m used to that by now. But then I realised it wasn’t nothing. There was some music playing, very quiet, in the background. Or anyway it would have been in the background if there had been anything in the foreground, which there wasn’t. It was classical music of some sort - opera, I think. And then I heard a man laughing. Not right up against the phone, but somewhere in the same room. After that, everything went quiet for a bit, except for the music which was still playing. And then someone put the phone down. And that was that.
I went to look out the window to see if the man was standing by the lamppost. But he wasn’t. The street was dead.
Tuesday 20 November 2007
So this afternoon, I go down the shop to see Mick and as I swish in through the bead curtain I greet him in my customary manner by smiling and saying “How’s tricks?” To which Mick’s usual answer is something along the lines of a cough followed, if he’s in a good mood, by a suck on his fag and a grotch on the floor.
But not today. Today Mick looks at me and he says, “What the fuck you doing here?”
And I say, “What you mean, what the fuck am I doing here. I work here don’t I? Least, last I heard I did.”
“I thought you was due in tomorrow,” he says, “I wasn’t expecting you today.”
“Two till eight. That’s what we arranged. Two till eight today. Ten till four tomorrow.”
The shop was empty but just then the bead curtains gave a rattle and in walked this middle-aged fat bloke. I don’t know why it is but Mick’s shop attracts middle-aged fat blokes like a turd attracts flies. If a middle-aged fat bloke is what you are looking for, Mick’s shop is a good place to start. If your tastes veer more towards the young and hunky end of the market, on the other hand, it’s a non starter. Except in the magazines. The magazines are stuffed full of hunks of all sizes, colours and degrees of hairiness. Middle aged fat blokes, on the other hand, are distinctly under-represented in their pages.
Mick gave me a sideways nod, meaning that he wanted me to come around the other side of the counter where he could whisper at me with some semblance of privacy.
“You better take the afternoon off,” he says.
“Sorry, can’t do that,” says I, “You booked me in. Here I am. If I wasn’t working here I’d be working somewhere else. Loss of earnings, if you see what I mean.”
“Here,” he says, and he opens up the till and starts getting some dosh out.
“What’s that for?” I say.
“I’ll pay you,” he says, “For the afternoon.”
“If you pay me for the afternoon, I’ll work the afternoon,” I say.
“I don’t need you,” he says, “Look around. How many customers do you see?”
“It’s early,” I say, “A couple of hours from now the place’ll be heaving.”
By now, I’m starting to wonder what’s Mick’s game. Why does he want to get rid of me all of a sudden? He knows he’s going to need a hand later on. And anyway, I’ve never heard of him paying anyone for not working before.
“C’mon, Mick,” I say, “Don’t talk to me like an idiot. What’s up? The plod been around?”
“Shhhhh...” he says, and I notice him glancing at the customer. But by now, the customer, who is starting to look a bit red in the face and who is also starting to sound dangerously breathless for someone of his age and weight, has only one thing on his mind and that thing is in the magazine he’s flicking through - so I say to Mick, “Just tell me, ok.”
Fact of the matter is, Mick’s been having a lot of trouble with the plod lately. Not sure why. Maybe they got some bright new thing in the Dirty Squad, someone who wants to make a name for himself and doesn’t understand the rules of the game. That happens every once in a while. It don’t last long. Just until the new guy gets to know the ropes and then everything gets back to business as usual. Still, whenever they start having crackdowns and stuff, it’s a real pain in the arse for people who are in the business Mick is in.
“No, not the plod,” he says, “Worse.”
“What’s worse than the plod, I say?”
“You should know,” says Mick, “It was you they was asking about.”
Anyway, I did the afternoon job as per usual and, just as I thought it would, the place filled up later on. By 6 o’clock it was jam packed - with fat middle-aged men. I asked Mick who’d been looking for me but he wouldn’t say. He just said, “You want to watch yourself, boy. They are not people you want to get on the wrong side of.”
He can be very cryptic at times, can Mick.
Sunday 18 November 2007
This is really doing my fucking head in. I was on my way back from the Black Cap last night, about half past eleven, say, and suddenly I feel someone grab the collar of my jacket and he shoves me down into this little alleyway and he slams me up against a wall. I’m shitting myself. I’m thinking it’s a mugger or something and any second now there’s going to be a knife blade between my ribs. But there isn’t a knife. He just holds me there, with my face up against that fucking wall and one arm held flat against my side and the other arm pulled behind my back, up somewhere between my shoulder blades, and he tells me not to turn around which, given the position I’m in, is really not an option. And he whispers at me, keeps calling me “pretty boy” or “you pretty fucker”. And I say, what d’you want, I ain’t got much money, but what I got you can take but he says he don’t want my fucking money, so I say, well, what is it you want then...?
“We just want to have a friendly word with you is all,” he says - and I’m thinking “There’s that ‘we’ again” - it’s all ‘we’ and ‘us’ these days, never just ‘me’ and ‘I’.
“OK,” I tell him, “OK, I’m listening. What’s up? Just tell me.”
He says, “We been watching you. We know exactly what you’re up to, pretty boy.”
And I’m thinking, who the fuck is ‘we’, and I’m also thinking I bet it’s that bastard Baldie again, he’s got one of his fucking heavies on me, though God knows what for, ‘cos I fucking don’t.
And he says, “If you say anything, anything you didn’t ought to say to anyone you didn’t ought to be saying it to, we’ll know. And we’ll make sure it’s the last time you get to try on anything like that. You understand what I’m saying?”
And I’m thinking, “No, I don’t bloody understand, I don’t understand what you think I’m going to say or who you think I’m going to say it to.” But what I say is, “Yeah, yeah, ok, I understand.”
“’Cos I wouldn’t like that. And Mr King wouldn’t like that. You understand?”
“Yeah, yeah, I understand,” I say.
“You better fucking understand, pretty boy. We don’t want to spoil your good looks now, do we?”
And then he says, Don’t fucking turn around and I tell him I won’t. And then he slams me a good one around the side of the head just to give me something to remember him by and while I’m watching the stars spin around inside my skull, I hear his footsteps clattering off down the alleyway. And even when he’s gone I still stay standing with my face up against the wall because he told me not to turn around so I’m not turning around. But after a while, when I reckon he must be long gone and far away, I decide I’m going to have to turn around some time. So I turn around. And sure enough, there’s no one there but me. So I go home. Just as if nothing had happened.
And then I start thinking, why did he say Mr King wouldn’t like it? I mean, what the Hell has Mr King got to do with anything, anyway? I’ve heard of Mr King before, ‘course I have. In this business - the business I was in before, I mean - they always said that’s where the stuff comes from, the stuff I used to deliver. But I was never sure if he was a real person. I didn’t think he was, really. To tell you the truth, I always thought that when people said, “It’s from Mr King”, it was just another way of saying, “Ask no questions and you’ll get told no lies” or “Where’d it come from? Fell of the back of a lorry, didn’t it?”
Fuck. This is really doing my head in. I don’t know who they think I am or what they think I’m up to. I just hope this is the end of it, that’s all. I just hope they leave me alone...
Saturday 17 November 2007
As soon as I saw the light blinking on my answer machine, I knew who it was. I’ve stopped answering the phone because he keeps calling I really, really
don’t want to talk to him. I leave the machine on all the time but he keeps on calling anyway and he always hangs up without leaving a message. I don’t know it’s him for sure but I can’t think who else it can be. I don’t know what’s up with that guy. When I did the deliveries, he never wanted to talk to me.
Today he did leave a message. Says he wants me to visit. Says he’s got stuff to talk about. Why would I want to talk to him? I’m finished in that business. These days I work down the shop and I do a bit of other business on the side but that’s all. The one thing I’m not is some other fucker’s delivery boy. He says they want me to make ‘a friendly visit’ - “We can make it worth your while,” he says. I noticed there was a lot of “we” and “us” all of a sudden, meaning that I’m supposed to believe that Frankie sodding Fischer wants to get all chummy with me. Not that Frankie himself ever phones, of course.
Sod them! I don’t need their money. I can make money any day of the week. I got contacts. I can make plenty.
Later on Guy phones. He says, “It’s Guy, pick up the fucking phone, you cunt,” which is Guy’s way of saying, “Hello, have a nice day,” so I pick up the phone and he asks me if I’ve heard the latest and I tell him that all depends on what the latest is. And he says there’s a story going round that one of the newspapers is going to run a story about Frankie Fischer, going to spill the beans and that. And I say, I thought all the beans had already been spilled. And Guy says he’s heard there’s a lot more stuff going to come out - and for a minute I start to panic as I’m thinking about the drugs and I’m thinking about all the stuff I used to deliver and I’m worrying that someone’s made the connection to me, which is something I do not want - but Guy says, no, it’s not the drugs angle they’re going for, it’s the sex angle. And I’m thinking maybe they’re going to run a story about Frankie and Baldie and I’m thinking well, serves Baldie’s fucking right, the fat creep. But Guy says, no, it’s not about Baldie, it’s about boys. And I say, which boys? And Guy says, “You
should fucking know, you bastard!” and I say “Why me?” and he says, “You went to his fucking party, didn’t you?” And I say, “So what?” and he says, “Funny thing is, no one’s seen Welsh Willy since. Since that party.” And I say, “So why am I supposed to care?” And he says, “I just think it’s funny, that’s all. I mean, rumour is that Welsh Willy was blackmailing Frankie Fischer. And now he’s gone. Just strikes me as funny, that’s all.”
“Ha-fucking-ha,” I say.
Friday 16 November 2007
Weird stuff happened last night. I went down the Black Cap. Scotch Harry was there. He kept sniffing poppers and giggling, which really got on my tits. There was some black drag-queen on stage miming to Dusty Springfield, which got on my tits even more. I went across to the Mother Redcap for a bit. It was quieter there. Scotch Harry was going on to that club down Mornington Crescent way but I didn’t feel like that and anyway I’m a bit strapped for cash just now, so I walked home alone after chucking out time.
That’s when I saw Baldie.
At least, I’m pretty damn’ sure it was him. He was on the other side of the road and when he saw me he crossed over, but I broke out into a bit of a trot, being pretty certain he’d never be able to keep up with me, him not being exactly in the peak of physical.
By the time I got to the traffic lights by Prince of Wales Road, I noticed this big black car cruising up behind me. It was one of those America numbers, real slick and flashy, with fins and chrome and stuff. Not the sort of car you see every day of the week. But I’ve seen one just like it once before - parked in Frankie Fischer’s driveway.
So I got off the pavement pretty damn’ sharpish, and I got myself into a dark little doorway, one of these doorways with its own little entranceway thing - a porch or whatever it’s called. The car drove past but didn’t stop. I didn’t get a good look at who was driving it. But I’m pretty damn’ certain it was Baldie. That guy sends shivers up my spine. What the fuck’s he following me for, anyway? I ain’t got no business with him.
Friday 26 October 2007
doesn’t even begin to describe the way I feel! All this time I have been surrounded by a nest of vipers, clasping the asp to my bosom and well and truly led up the garden path by a snake in the bloody grass!
“Fish and chips!” I yelled, “Fish and bloody chips! Thirty pieces of bloody silver, it should be!”
I was sitting in the lockup at the time, having had one filthy rotten day of it. So when Kevin turned up with cod and chips for me and hake and chips for Bert Snide whose lockup it is, I was in no bloody mood for polite bloody banter, I can tell you.
The day started bad enough when Zanya and the gorilla turned up at half past eleven. She’d seen my advert in the Melody Maker and so she phoned up yesterday to make an appointment.
“I feel I have all the talents for which you seek,” she burbled.
“I’m glad to hear it,” I wittily riposted, “All you have to do is wear a see-through bra and go ‘Shoo-bop-be-do’ every once in a while.”
She paused. I got the impression that a thought was struggling into life. Then she said, “Yeah, I can do that. Maybe not straight away. But once I’ve had a chance to rehearse...”
However, when she turned up for the interview, I knew right away that she was not my idea of a Raspberry Nipple. The girls I had in mind were young, creamy of complexion, rosy of cheek, innocent as the day is long... and if they also happened to have a pair of bazoomers that could poke your eyes out, that would be a distinct advantage.
Zanya, to her credit, had the bazoomers but in all other respects she was lacking. How can I put this gallantly? She looked like a trollop. The sort of girl you expect to see leaning in doorways in certain parts of Soho (which, I should hastily add, I do not myself frequent). She must have been thirty-five if she was a day and she had thighs that went up to her waist. Of this I was certain due to the fact that the mini-skirt she was wearing came to an abrupt end about two inches below her hips.
Nevertheless, being a gentleman, I might have been prepared to overlook her age and her gynaecological mode of dress. What I could not overlook was her minder, a man whose nose had been broken so many times it no longer seemed attached to any one part of his face but moved around it, slug-like, whenever he growled in my general direction - which, I have to say, was something he did with alarming frequency.
“Hi,” trilled Zanya, “I’ve come for the job.”
“The lady,” grunted the minder, “Has come for the job.”
“Well, I said, it’s not exactly a job
, you know, not a hard and fast guaranteed job
, I mean. It’s more by way of an audition.”
The complexity of the sentence seemed to defeat the minder. He glowered at me, wobbled his nose menacingly and repeated, “The lady has come for the job.”
Behind me, I heard something move and, turning, was just in time to see a monumental heap of elasticated corsets tumbling gently to the floor as Bert made an adroit exit.
But let me not depress you with the remaining dismal events of my miserable morning. Suffice to say that, somewhat against my natural inclination but with the firm encouragement of her large and hairy friend, I finally agreed to employ Zanya as the leading Raspberry Nipple (‘Posh Nipple’ we’ve decided to call her) at a fixed income of £200 a week with extras due to personal appearances and recording royalties to be negotiated at a later date. It barely needs to be said that I haven’t got £200 a week to spare and, even if I did, Zanya would not be my preferred way of spending it. Fortunately, I was careful to avoid giving her my name. The only phone number and address they have at their disposal is Bert Sneed’s lockup, so that’ll be something for Bert to deal with. He’s got a natural talent with gorillas and women of low morals so it should be a pushover for him.
Not that there is going to be anything to deal with, it now turns out - not in terms of Dolly Pop and The Raspberry Nipples, at any rate. That whole glorious vision of my future career in the glittering world of pop impresarioship has come crumbling down about my knees like an underbaked lemon meringue pie! And all thanks to Kevin!
“Take your bloody fish and chips and shove them where the sun don’t shine!” I hissed magisterially.
“I’ll ‘ave ‘em,” said Bert who, having already devoured a large portion of hake and chips, promptly snatched away the cod and chips intended for me which (I now discovered) came complete with a pot of curry sauce on the side. This, I couldn’t help but feeling, considerably spoilt the dramatic effect for which I was striving.
Now you may be wondering why it was that I was venting my spleen in this manner upon the despicable Kevin. I’ll tell you. It turns out that all this time while I’ve been labouring night and day to recruit an all-girl pop group, Dolly Pop and The Raspberry Nipples
, Kevin has been going behind my back and whipping the rug from under my feet. Or to put it another way, he’s been smooth talking (and not just ‘talking’
, if you want my opinion!) Geoffrey - who you may recall is the A&R man whose record company is, or was
, so damn’ keen on Dolly P and the Raspberry Ns - and this same slippery Kevin has now persuaded the slimy Geoffrey that it’s not an all-girl group but an all-boy group that the record buying public craves. And need I tell you which boy Kevin has in mind as the lead singer?
So the upshot is that Geoffrey has now decided that Dolly Pop and the Raspberry Nipples
is a non-starter, dead in the mud and last year’s thing; and what the screaming hordes of spotty teenagers really want is Reggie Burger and The Crusty Buns
. That, incidentally, is to be the name of the group. Pure plagiarism. I mean, just because I came up with the ice-cream angle - the Raspberry Nipples - they have to come up with a hamburger theme - The Crusty Buns. Well, I tell you this: if Geoffrey knew as much about Kevin as I do, he’d know just how crusty those buns really are! And I don’t mean that in a nice way...
Ah well, let’s look on the bright side. I’m, well off out of it, I reckon. Show business, I mean. Pshaw! I shall return now, refreshed, to my true calling - investigative journalism.
So, let’s see what I’ve got lined up for the coming week. Oh yes, an interview with Jay from Bucks Fizz about her first childhood romance. And one with Limahl about his favourite school meals. All kissing, cuddling and spotty dicks then.
It’s at moments like these that I feel privileged to have been called to the great and noble art of Journalism. By Heaven, if journalism was good enough for Jonathan Swift and George Orwell, it shall be good enough for me!
Monday 22 October 2007
Mick phones this morning. Says the plod brought back all his stock. said there had been a mistake. There was nothing to worry about after all. I asked Mick what kind of stuff they’d seized. “Continental,” he says. By which he means hardcore. I mean, not just hardcore - not just normal stuff if you know what I’m saying. Weird stuff, kinky stuff. I tell you, some of that stuff’d turn your stomach. So I say, “How come they let you have it back?” He says, “Ways and means, my boy, ways and means...”
There’s something very fishy about Mick. He’s obviously had to pull some strings to get away with this one. Wouldn’t surprise me if he’s got something on one of the high-ups in the Vice Squad or the Flying Squad or whatever squad it is that seizes the smut mags. Seems funny how they let him off like that, anyhow.
Mick asked me if I wanted to come down and work in the shop this afternoon. He says he could do with some regular help these days. I didn’t want to go really. It gets on my tits watching all those middle-aged businessmen drooling over wank mags. But I can do with the money. The delivery work’s been drying up lately. Big D reckons the custom isn’t there any more. For neon and that. Says he’s thinking of switching over to softer drugs, dope, XTC, stuff like that. But I think what’s really happening is he’s getting junkies to do all the dirty work. He can get them to deliver for nothing as long as he also supplies them too. So they
end up paying him
. He don’t ask where they get the money and he don’t really care. He knows they are not reliable but if they screw up he screws them up. The end result is that people like me - people who are reliable, people he can trust - get given the big E.
So anyway, I went down the shop and did the afternoon. Pissed me off, but at least I ended up with some cash for tonight. The one thing you can say about Mick is that he isn’t mean. He knew I needed the dosh, so he gave it to me then and there. So, as a result, I’m well set up for tonight.
Think I’ll try the Vauxhall Tavern for a change. A bit queeny but at least I might get some trade.