Tag Archives: FUNNY

AN ODE TO CURRY

24 May

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“It is a truth universally acknowledged that an Englishman in possession of a couple of quid and a belly full of beer must be in want of a curry…”

Jane Austen; Pride and Prejudice.

 

“Oh, sweet elixir of life, the meaning of reason, and the object of my desire. What it is to be bereft of thy company, only to rekindle joyous acquaintance in my unhappy hour of want? Words cannot quantify nor does allusion describe the bitter sweet of fond empty-plated remembrance. Clothed in plastic-bagged-fantastic and foiled in silver, thou art a joy to behold; a breath of fresh, pungent air, a tangible tingle to the nostrils, a veritable mistress of saucy delight. A jewel to the eye, a sear to the soul and a burning rush of requited love. Solitary confined moments shared and savored where one can reflect and revisit the intimacy of oral delight. Never was there a less selfish lover – never were the clinging moments more cherished – never was one left so bereaved by flushed adieu. Until we ‘eat again, I bid thee a flatulent farewell!”

*

“Last orders ladies and gentleman, please!” screams the potbellied publican from behind faux teak and poor dentistry. Standing amidst an island of factory-produced nostalgia he checks his watch and rings the bell one last time. “Come on now move your arses! Ain’t you got homes to go to?”

I finish the suds in my glass, choking back the stagnant liquid that just moments before browsed golden as it bubbled and foamed, and place it on the counter top with the other dead soldiers. Pint and shot glasses stand together in blissful union, unaware their usefulness has passed and that closing time has robbed them of employment. I look around at my fellow imbibers and through alcohol-addled eyes, spy the lonely and the loved as they file through the exit and into to the icy embrace of life. Their moments of communal pain-dulling congenial inebriation now forgotten as they check wallets, grab jackets and fondle newly-found soul mates. The weekend is over and the morning brings another day at the foundry, office or other unworthy place of forced employment. Wage slaved to the boss, the credit card, and the mortgage they scuttle to grab precious hours of sleep before the onslaught of fresh corporate demands engulf them.

I consider making a move on the last female at the bar however realize before I engage in optimistic social intercourse that either from want or neglect there’s probably a reason she’s still there. I rethink my strategy, drag myself from my wooden throne, and trudge into the night.

It’s cold outside and I spy my reflection in the puddles of monsoon-ravaged Middle England. Despite the chill there’s prospective inner warmth, the knowledge that only mere yards away lays a harbor of tranquility – a safe haven in an otherwise harsh, unforgiving world. I smell it before I see it; my feet splashing through water, my heels clicking on the pavement as unseen, aromatic hands grab me by the shirt collar, slap me about the face and drag me towards their irresistible event horizon. The choice isn’t my own. It’s a necessity, survival instinct; an innate sense of following one’s nose and complying with one’s inner hunter-gatherer. I stand before the plate glass window, the light from the restaurant transfixing me with its hypnotic tractor beam. There’s no escape, no use running – the dinner bell has sounded, and like a Pavlovian puppy I salivate into my jacket.

 The House of Bombay; it might as well be the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the final resting place of the Holy Grail, or the gates of Valhalla. I grin moronically, my eyes wide with anticipation, my tongue thickening in my mouth at the prospect of what I am about to receive. I am truly grateful and I push open the door and enter paradise on earth. It isn’t a religious revelation however the Buddhists and Taoists would recognize the spiritual transformation I am experiencing. Truly one of the converted, my faith unshakeable, I accept the dogma completely and throw myself before my altar of expectation.

The restaurant is full of excited voices and exotic smells, its tables occupied by like-minded individuals who’ve escaped the pub and stopped for a bite on their way home; a perfect ending to a perfect night. Ten pints of lager, a bag of crisps, a game of grab ass on the dance floor, all washed down with lashings of the hot and spicy.

*

“…These are the things. These are the things. The things that dreams are made of…”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The Human League

*

What to choose, what to choose? The delicacies of the great Indian sub-continent are catalogued before me in a cornucopia of delectation and gastronomic delight. A temptation to the weak, a fix to the addicted but a delight to the enlightened. The crash of pots and pans and the mantra of cursed Urdu transport me to a place far from windswept, rain-soaked, Yorkshire. No longer the last man at the bar but a willing supplicant at the place of pilgrimage. An acolyte shoves a much fingered menu into my hands and demands to know what I’m drinking. Being the connoisseur that I am, I choose an Indian beer that claims to have been brewed on the banks of the river Ganges. National Geographic images waft through my mind as I briefly swim through the corpses and crocodiles to the sari-ed beauty that holds a bottle outstretched in her henna-ed  hand.

 I grasp, I sip, I swallow.

 Reacting to the broken English of the waiter, I flick through the curled pages of the stained menu and peruse the delights of the Punjab, the Kashmir, the snowcapped peaks of the Himalayas, and the golden sands of the Southern Keralan coast line.

 Lamb or beef, chicken or shrimp, veggies or not?

The aromas are intense, the Bollywood music blaring, the Indian chatter emanating from the kitchen incessant. Having made my choice I shut the menu. Poised with pen in hand, the sauce-splattered waiter prepares to notate my desire.

“Vindaloo, so bloody hot that it’ll burn my arse. Don’t forget the Nan or the poppadums, and jump to it Gupta! I’m bloody starving.”

The waiter smiles, he’s heard it all before, the well-meant racial slurs roll off his back like a rice-paddied buffalo flicking flies. He beams his gold-toothed smile and moves quickly behind the counter and disappears through the hanging colored beads into the kitchen, The bastard will make me pay for my flippant comments and no doubt there will be more than just chili powder in my tinfoil take-away box – a huge dose of scotch bonnet pepper, a little liquid napalm perhaps. It will be Gupta’s name that I scream in abject agony the morning after the night before.

Cold hard cash clinks from my sweaty palm and the mutually beneficial exchange is made. A silver container, already oozing brown joy, exchanged for  a couple of dirty notes – the pleasure is all mine, although judging by the grin on my newfound friend’s face the pleasure is all his. I walk to the door and make my exit.

As I trudge through the rain I reflect on the wisdom of ignoring the femme-fatale at the bar. The last girl in the world, at least on this particular Friday night, shunned for the illicit pleasure of liquid love –I hate to share and besides Gupta only gave me one plastic fork.

C’est la vie baby, maybe next time.

*

“…Club Tropicana’s drinks are free. Fun and sunshine – there’s enough for everyone…”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Wham

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FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE – RAPE 101

17 Mar

 

Picking up his jacket, the man reached out to her. “Thanks gorgeous, that was amazing.”

Anna smiled the smile she saved for her clients, kissed him on the cheek and gently coaxed him out of the apartment. What was it with these blokes? They were paying for sex, not love. Didn’t they know her time was valuable? Jesus! If she lingered and whispered sweet-nothings to every swinging dick that came through her door she’d never make any money. Did they really think she thought they were special, that they were the only ones? On a good day she’d see six of them, all of them the same -married, single, with jobs, careers, professions, titles and university accreditation. All of them looking for non-committal, illicit sex, but always yearning for something more – a heartfelt conversation, an emotional connection, the feeling they were wanted for more than just screwing shelves to mortgaged homes, weeding gardens, forty hours a week plus over time. Lawyers, bricklayers, school teachers and mechanics, even the occasional woman. Apparently there were females out there, who despite having the physical accoutrement to score in an convent, preferred the seclusion and security that went along with the services she provided. It made no difference. To Anna money was money; her moment of rehearsed ecstasy was brief but lucrative. As her clients lay gasping on her bed from their exertions, pinning her under their matted chests and heaving bellies, it wasn’t exactly l’amour she was contemplating.

The luxury apartment she’d acquired overlooked the river Ouse; an old bonded-warehouse that’d been turned into yuppie condos back in the eighties. It’d cost a packet and the brand new German automobile parked in the subterranean garage, purchased to accessorize her new found affluence, hadn’t just materialized out of thin air. When people talked about working-girls they didn’t know the half of it! Between escorting and scamming she’d done pretty well for herself. Not bad for a girl who’d left school with three o-levels and a set of double-dees.

As a lass she’d enjoyed plenty of male attention, never having to put her hand in her pocket. Realization quickly dawned upon Anna that her path, thanks to her looks, was paved in gold. Single pot culinary masterpieces in dingy shared accommodation had been exchanged for the fine dining and silk sheets. Sure she’d dated in her teens, but the gooey-eyed, sentimental love songs sung by her boyish lovers where nothing when compared to the overtures of the mature wealthy men prepared to treat her like a princess and pay for the privilege Escorting hadn’t been her first choice. She’d tried to fulfill parental expectation and do the college-thing however, the lure of easy cash in the clubs and bars around the city soon made her reconsider her profession of choice. Weekends stuck in bedsits with mountains of homework were not for her and the quotidian indecent proposals she received offered her the escape from the working class purgatory she so desired.

Anna kept up the pretense of college for a couple of years before committing to apprentice in the oldest profession. She’d told her parents she’d found a job as an air stewardess, allowing her to account for her time away and the money she was earning. She hadn’t found it hard, the life style she led more than made up for the sweaty half-hours she had to endure. Beautiful clothes, perfect make up, fun friends and wild destinations became the norm. It was from this pedestal of feminine invincibility that she’d ventured into black mail; an easy enough transition. Having stepped over one line it was simple enough to leap over another.

Her first mark had been a man who’d approached her in Betty’s Tea-Rooms on the High Street. Not an unusual occurrence- the sexuality she oozed attracted men like lemmings to cliffs. Nice enough fella and judging by the shoes and clothes he was wearing a man of substance. It was the little things she noticed, the expensive watch, the silk tie, the oversized wedding ring. They’d talked, he’d asked her out for drinks and she’d said yes.

Child’s play she’d thought to herself; they made themselves targets. For some reason men who cheat love to talk about their home, their kids, their jobs, and their wives. It was a wonder they cheated in the first place given the conversations that were always so up beat – how lucky, fortunate ,happy, (pick the adjective) they were, and yet here they were trying to get into her knickers as though she kept the crown jewels down there! They’d arranged a rendezvous, set up a time and place to do the deed. It had been easy enough. She’d left him asleep on the bed, rifled his pockets, taken his watch and pocketed the wedding band he’d judiciously laid on the night stand. With his credit card in hand and his driver’s license there was no fear of repercussion. He’d be stupid to call the police, especially with the photograph of his doting family nestled in her handbag.

*

Frank had been one of the first people she’d really got to know when she arrived in the city, always seemed to be working the doors of the hottest night spots in town. Nice guy, big as a brick-shithouse but always smartly dressed – handsome in a rugged, aggressive kind of way. He’d ushered her past red-ropes, jumped her through crowds and set her on the arms of several different wealthy men. Not being slow on the uptake he’d managed to coerce her into a little business proposition. Didn’t want to muscle in on the escort side of things, wasn’t looking to pimp her out, but there was something they could do together that could make them both a lot of money. Shed accepted an invite for coffee and it was then he’d discussed his plans.

Wiping the cappuccino foam from his top lip Frank leant across the table.“Married fellas, out-of-towners and race-go-ers with money, are always asking me for girls. Not just any girls but something a bit special like you. Offering big money as well. Fellas like that have a reputation to keep and nine times out of ten a family as well. The last thing they need is publicity of the wrong sort.”

The plan was to entice punters into hotels, get them naked and then photograph them in compromising positions. No sex required just a couple of snaps of the punter in his Jockies, Anna in her bra-and-panties and the job was a good-‘un – the money theirs. They’d never know what hit them and they’d pay up every time.  A couple of thousand quid was cheap compared to a divorce and their faces splashed all over the local papers. It almost sounded too good to be true!

The first one she met at the Ebor hotel, told her she was the most beautiful women he’d ever seen. Of course she played the virgin, fluttered her baby-blues and blushed in all the right places. Anna embelished the occasion with the panache of Garbot; with long lingering looks, furtive glances and brushed fingertips. The small felt box he’d slid across the dinner table with the necklace had been his first inducement. He’d later dropped her off, at what he though was her apartment, had his advances rebuked, and his cheek kissed.

Gorgeous in the console light of the parked car she’d taken his hand, “Never on a first date darling. I want you to respect me. I want this to be special.” Worked every time, the idiot would go home and fuck his wife like they were newlyweds in anticipation of their next meeting. The second meeting was always at a hotel, something posh and very public; somewhere there would be no fear of retaliation.

In the room he’d open the wine, while she’d make the excuse to slip into something more comfortable. The sound of a shower running softly and the soft silky inducement for him to take his clothes off would always get the punter down to his y-fronts and socks. Anna would walk in smelling delicious wearing a little something from Victoria’s Secret – classically beautiful but expensively slutty, and then join him on the bed. His arms would barely be around her before the intruder burst from the closet. Frank dressed all in black, with a balaclava on his head and waving a baseball bat was enough to scare the shit out of anybody

“Get off the fucking bed,” screamed Frank. “Now! Off the bed you fucking nonce!”  Standing at the foot of the bed with the club in his hand he was a hard man to refuse. “You too, you fucking slut. Both of you stand over there.” Screamed Frank, pointing his weapon towards the cowering couple. The camera would flash and the john would look for all the world like a naughty school boy caught peeking at dirty pictures rather than the captain of industry or doting husband that he supposedly was.

Despite protestations the camera flashed again. “Shut up and listen you twat! In a few days you’ll receive a call with an amount and a drop-off. Don’t fuck me around or these photos will go around the world. Don’t try and screw me ‘cos I’ve already given instructions to release these should something happen to me. Understand, comprende, capiche?”

The john nodded.

“It’s simple see. You pay the money, shut the fuck up, and these go away.” Frank brandished the camera stared down the client, who would invariably cower behind Anna, and then leave. Left with the client to clean up the pieces Anna would quickly get dressed, promise she’d never see ,or mention him to anybody, and urge him to pay the money.

The money was invariably delivered. The photos and negatives would end up with the John and Anna and Frank would share the rewards. Not a bad line of business, and something they were able to pull off fairly regularly.

Anna looked at the clock on the wall – it was a quarter to ten. She had to get a wiggle on as she was supposed to interview with their latest target, a man called John who was the owner-operator of the Slug and Cabbage, one of the most popular venues in York. According to Frank the man was minted and needed to be relieved of some of his ill-gotten wealth. An easy target; married with a couple of kids he couldn’t keep his dick in his pants. Anna would interview for the position of barmaid, something she’d done in the past, and within a couple of weeks worm her way into John’s good graces –although according to Frank it probably wouldn’t take that long. Then using their perfected modus operandi they’d take him down. Frank reckoned he was good for a thousand or five, not the sort of money you could earn on your back or for selling muscle for money on a nightclub door.

She needed to jump in the shower and wash the client of her. She could stillfeel his breath on her neck and his sticky cum was still in her hair. God he was disgusting! It wasn’t as though she was doing it for the money. The man who liked to be tied up, spanked and occasionally pissed on was none other than Inspector Pinkney of the East Yorkshire Constabulary .

She’d first met Pinkney a couple of years ago when he’d busted her on a prostitution scam. She’d been expecting some well-heeled client but instead when she’d answered the door Pinkney had been there. He knew everything and had threatened to take her down the station and bust her. A couple of years in Leeds wasn’t exactly what she’d had planned. Given the crackdown on vice that was going on in the city, especially the clean up around the railway station and Lendel Bridge, there was little chance of leniency. Anna was afraid she’d end up in jail cell with a couple of dykes that would fuck her to within an inch of her life and so the invitation to suck Pinkney’s dick and to make the matter go away seemed preferable.. Of course she’d got on her knees but the inspector hadn’t disappeared and she’d been forced to endure his increasing list of perversions on a regular basis. Pinkney, good to his promise, kept her out of Jail, and on a couple of occasions had managed to get her out of scrapes. Although a literal pain in the arse, he was a good card to have up her sleeve.  If the shit really hit the fan she could always rely on the inspector.

 Anna walked towards the bathroom, picked up her clothes as she went and tossed them on the destroyed bed. Handcuffs and a strap on dildo still lay were she’d left them. She’d tidy up later, she had to get in the shower and get out of there.

*

Smelling clean and expensive she looked herself up and down in the mirror. The black skirt over sheer stockings and high heels would take his breath away; her bosom threatened to explode through the laced shirt she wore, a hint of pink bra peeked from beneath pristine white. Anna was a vision. John the man she was going to interview with didn’t know it yet, but was already dead meat. He’d be putty in her hands, and in in a couple of weeks she’d be counting his cash. Grabbing her bag and keys she walked toward the door.

The telephone started to ring. Anna was late, she had to get going, she had to be there at twelve and the Slug and Cabbage was on the other side of town. She closed the door to her apartment. The answering machine would pick up, shed get it later, probably just a booking.

The answering machine kicked in. The honey chocolate tones of the gorgeous Helen, Anna’s working name filled the void. “Hi sorry you missed me. Not here right now but if you leave a name and number I’ll get back to you just as soon as I can.”

“Beep.”

“Hey Anna, Anna, it’s me Dmitry – pick up the bloody phone!” The sound of a man with an eastern European accent echoed through the room

“Anna it’s Dmitry. I’ll be in town tonight, maybe we can get together baby. Dmitry’s going to make you rich baby. Call me back, I missed you so bad.”

The machine clicked off. The red light on the answering machine pulsed.

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WANNABE

11 Mar

 

“Life has a funny way of messing with you and putting you in your place. Doesn’t matter what college you did or didn’t go to, the length of your resume or even the veracity of your pedigree; once fate gets her gnashers into you there’s no point in struggling. There’s a plan, you see, however, it’s one that we just aren’t aware of. It ain’t God, it’s not the aliens and it’s certainly not the fairies at the bottom of the garden, and as much as I want to believe in Leprechauns, it ain’t them either…

  Funny little Irish blokes with their pots of gold, rainbows, big buckles and large hats.

 I just can’t force myself to do it! Given society’s p.c. climate, the pot of the gold at the end of the rainbow may just be a homosexual reference for something else? Have to be careful these days, can’t just believe in any old rubbish!

 The way I see it there is more to this world than meets the naked eye. Blind as we are at the best of times, without our rose-colored spectacles, the world occasionally offers us a glimpse, a peek behind the curtain – a glitch in the matrix as Neo called it. People see all manner of strange things from spectral entities and dead relatives to whole roman legions marching through the center of town. I mean if you’re going to make something up at least have the courtesy of making it believable. One roman yes, but thirty, dirty, battle-weary Italians? It’s a bit of a stretch, especially the bit about the Italians being battle weary! We’ve all heard the joke bout the Italian tank with thirty six gears; one for forward and thirty five for reverse? But I digress, the Italians aren’t a bad lot – I mean there’s Pizza and other stuff that we can thank them for. Right?

Thing is see, I think we live in different dimensions, different levels of consciousness that we just can’t access. Sure we have the mediums and the Russell Grants of the world who can tell us exactly what’s in our future – but can they really? At the end of the day we see seven colors in a spectrum of infinite color and our hearing range falls within the Mutton-Geoff. No wonder we have such a problem understanding what’s going on around us, we can barely see and hear each other. You’ve probably noticed in most job listings they ask for good communication skills? Given that mankind is tapping a white stick and popping new batteries into its hearing device it’s a wonder the human race made it out of the starter-gate at all!

Fate got a hold of me at an early age. Wasn’t much good at school, but the one thing I could do was color between the lines and cut out correctly – an eye for detail is what the infant-school teachers said. As I progressed through my comprehensive education I discovered that I was also a bit handy with a pencil and a paint brush, to the point that my work was hung all over the school and was winning competitions in the local district. An acclaimed artist, a boy with a future – which was  all very well and gave me a goal but what I really wanted to do was discover buried treasure.

 I grew up with Treasure Island and Burt Lancaster leaping from ship to ship in old Pirate flicks, black-and-white swashbucklers featured at Saturday morning matinees. We’d draw treasure maps and mark all the pertinent points in black felt-tip pen.

…Twenty steps north to the shed, turn east and walk thirty steps to the bird table, another fifteen steeps to the barbeque island and  then, “ YO HO HO ! There you have it me hearties – dig you blaggards dig…”

With plastic-spade enthusiasm we’d blunt our implements on the iron-hard ground as we attempted to unearth treasure, or reach Australia – whichever came first. Happy days when a pair of underpants pulled down over your head was an eye patch and a bamboo stick a cutlass that would run any passing poor- unfortunate through. Sailing for the horizon o’er the Spanish Maine until your mum called you in because it was getting dark and your fish fingers were going cold.

I used to spend hours curled up in front of the portable television in the spare room watching grainy images of Jacque Cousteau as he discovered the never before seen world under the waves. The occasional ship wreck and acres of fish – the stuff of Boy’s Own stories books and Christmas annuals, but with a French accent.

 Sun beating of the Calypso’s deck, the drip of Mediterranean water as you emerged from the deep, instead of cold rain beating off a Yorkshire window. I even had a red wooly hat, which to the initiated signified something special; however, the ignorant just thought I was a Liverpool supporter. I’ve been called many things but Liverpool? York city was my team – at least they were on Saturday afternoons when we were waiting for the pubs to reopen.

Well, life passed me by and I never did get to wear the scuba gear, ambitions of frogmen and sunken galleons were put into cardboard boxes and stored in the attic with the other relics of childhood. Exams were taken and failed and the only school that would have me was the city arts college. Always a place for a loser at the arts college, in fact I have the feeling the bigger the loser the bigger the welcome. Diversity is what they called it then although looking back it was a little weird.

 Tomatoes or ‘TOW-MAY-TOES’,  it’s all one!

So I spent my three years scribbling and drawing, growing beards and shaving beards, dating lads, because that was the new-romantic thing to do, then going back to lasses because they were less stubbly.

Which brings me to the present  and finds me here in my own tattoo studio. Not a bad life and it’s a nice little outlet for my creativity. All manner of people walk through the door and there’s never a dull moment. That’s a lie actually because, if I have to ink another star on another backside, I may just have to end it all right there and then.

There’s the door bell!  Got to go, that’s my three o’clock – a lady that wants a bull’s-eye on her lower back. Asked her why, and she told me her husband was a dart player! Don’t get it myself. Bit strange if you ask me, but business is business!”

DAY AT THE RACES – RAPE 101

10 Mar

The latest installment for RAPE 101.

The tea was weak and the sandwich stale, so much for her Majesty’s fabled hospitality. Frank sat on a plastic chair sweating under the glare of bare neon bulbs in the interview room of the East Yorkshire Constabulary on Coney Street. Wanted posters and public information bulletins pinned to a cork board were the only other decoration in what had possibly once been a cloak room – rows of coat hooks still lined the wall. 

* 

            His day had been planned – a quick visit to Izzy to collect the gear, on to the pub to pick up wages he was owed, and then to the bookies. The Saint Ledger was running at Doncaster that weekend and he’d had a tip for a horse in the second. Emerald Warrior was a thoroughbred out of one of the local stables and a sure thing according to one of his regulars, an Irish Jockey, little fella, who’d sworn that she went like a bloody rocket. He’d planned to put a monkey on the nose to win and take his winnings off to some sun-splashed Spanish beach to enjoy some of the local brew and possibly a senorita or two. With autumn setting in it was starting to get cold and despite the thick jacket and leather gloves he wore on the door, the damp was starting to play havoc with his knee. An old war wound he’d acquired playing rugby back in the day that had been caused by an over-enthusiastic center half. He sat in silence, sipped his tea and rubbed his knee. 

            The car had come out of nowhere – no sirens, no nothing, just a squeal of breaks and a slamming of doors. Two uniforms, a couple of sour faced buggers, had climbed out and invited him in no uncertain terms to come with them. Dirty-deeds-done-recently ran quickly through his mind as he tried to place what they were nabbing him for. He’d been out the car stealing business for some time and although he’d been a bit heavy handed on the door with some of the punters, there was nothing that could be called unjustified; excessive maybe but not without cause. 

“Frank Johnson?” they’d asked.

He’d said nothing.

“Get in the car son. We want a word down the station.”

No point fighting it. The rozzers clearly knew who they were after. 

* 

The door opened. A man in his mid-fifties, dressed in a crumpled civilian suit, walked into the room. Scraping back a chair he sat down opposite Frank and threw a folder down – one of the photographs it contained slid from within and scudded across the table. Frank’s blood went cold. The look on his face betrayed him instantly. The momentary lapse told the copper everything he needed to know. 

“Bollocks,” thought Frank. He was done for. 

“That’s right Frank,” sneered Pinkney,“we’ve got you dead to rights mate. Looks like you’ll be doing a bit of porridge in Leeds.” Leeds was an old dilapidated Victorian prison that looked as though it had been used as the back drop for a medieval vampire epic. One man to a cell was a Victorian value, but Frank had heard the stories, how they crammed four fellas into a cell, twenty two hours a day, with nothing but a bucket and a roll of toilet paper. Bloody barbaric is what it was, especially in this day and age. 

“Who are you then?” Frank asked. 

“I’m Inspector Pinkney. I’m the one who’s going to put you away and throw away the bloody key lad, that’s who. You can call me Inspector.” 

Frank mumbled something under his breath and glanced at his watch. It was three o’clock, he should have been up to his neck in the Racing Post studying form and picking ponies, instead here he was being interviewed by the bloody pigs – a situation that was worsening by the minute. 

“Recognize those mugs in the photographs do you?” Pinkney flipped open the folder and arranged the pictures in front of Frank. By the time he’d finished the table was covered and every one showed Frank in a compromising situation. Frank said nothing – what did they know any way? They didn’t know nowt!

“Who’s that fella with you there?” He said pointing to the picture of a skinny man with a beard. Pinkney knew who it was, he wasn’t stupid, the backroom boys had already done the leg-work. For the last couple of months they’d watched the drugs and their dealers go back and forth. Pills mainly however, they’d recently switched it up and were now pushing coke. Thing was they didn’t know where the local pushers were getting it from, and that’s what the Inspector needed Frank for. 

Frank was sweating bullets. “That’s you, isn’t it lad?” The picture showed Frank carrying boxes into a lock-up. There was another man in the picture; thankfully the hooded sweat shirt hid his face from the camera. “Now we know its drugs Frank and you know how we frown on that type of caper? Do yourself a favor and let us in on the secret. Who’s that with you, and where are they bloody coming from?” 

The Inspector was enjoying himself, loved this part of the job – it was always good when you had the crooks on the wrong foot. A collar was a sure thing however, it wasn’t Frank he wanted, it was the person behind him, and the persons behind them. If they could wrap this mess up before soon, it would go well for his retirement and who knows, may even set him up for a gong. The missus would like that. A train down to London, tea at Buckhouse and a handshake from Lizzy. Pinkney could see himself now splashed across the Daily Mail dressed in top hat and tails with an O.B.E. in one hand and an adoring wife on his arm. He came back to reality, leaving behind his acceptance speech, and once again focused on the business at hand and the miscreant in front of him. Frank was a big bugger, someone he wouldn’t like to meet on a dark night, but in the grand scheme of things he was only a small fry. 

“Tell me what you know Frank and I’ll try to make this go away,” said Pinkney in the most fatherly voice he could muster. “Tell me who’s in charge of peddling this shit and I’ll see that you get off Scot free.” Promises the inspector couldn’t make, but right now in the sea of shit that Frank was drowning in, Pinkney was his only hope. Pinkney sat back in his chair and rubbed his face. He could still smell the dirty bitch on his fingers from this morning’s rendezvous. The extra-curricular that put the spring in his step and the sparkle in his eye. Nothing her-indoors needed to know about, something on the down low, his little secret. 

Frank shifted uncomfortably in his seat. This wasn’t happening to him. They’d been so careful with the distribution; the Poles were sticklers for secrecy! It’d been going on for a year and a half without a whiff of bother. 

Had somebody mouthed off? What the fuck had gone wrong? 

The photographs spoke volumes, there was no denying what was on the table. It’d been smooth sailing – the money had come rolling it. The pills were easy to lay off on the weekend crowd, and the demand for something a little more exotic had been a doddle to come by, all they’d to do was ask. The Eastern Europeans he was dealing with could lay their hands on just about anything, and with the guarantee of steady money were more than happy to cater to York’s party needs. The city had always been a chocolate town; the two major manufacturers of sweet confection, them and the railroads, had made the city what it was. The nose-candy supplied by the Poles had been the icing on the cake. Folk came from miles around to party on the weekend and enjoy the illicit product that was being sold in nearly every pub and club in the city, and it was all thanks to Frank. He’d been careful not to be excessive with his newfound wealth – kept his living costs moderate, no reason to point a searchlight at himself that screamed come and get me. 

Getting caught was one thing but grassing on the comrades was another – hard faced ex-military types with a severe lack of empathy. He’d seen what they’d done to one delinquent dealer who hadn’t taken them seriously. When the bloody, barely breathing, body had been thrown into the river, he was more than convinced he didn’t need to fuck around with this lot. In and out was the key. Make your money and disappear. The Poles were driving delivery vans over from Calais stacked full with tablets and blow. They wouldn’t think twice about putting a couple of bullets into him, the same way they had the other poor bastard who even now was feeding the fish at the bottom of the Ouse. 

“Frank you can tell me, or I’ll put you back out there and say you did. We can work this out one of two ways, either you are fucked or I can make sure that this goes away.” He tapped his fingers on the table. “Protective custody, new identity, different town, all within my power Frank. All you have to do is cough.” 

Frank was shitting himself, he could feel the flatulence pressing against his sphincter. Why the hell had he done it? What a fucking mess. Either he was screwed or he was royally screwed. His mind scrambled for a way out. He thought back to every episode of The Bill he could remember. How could he spin this thing and walk away? “I want to see a solicitor.” 

The Inspector smiled. “There you go Frank, now you’re thinking. Got one in mind or would you like me to recommend one?” The inspector smiled like a shark, revealing his tobacco-stained teeth. Frank had taken the bait and admitted his guilt before they’d even started. A couple of photographs weren’t going to get him an arrest however a full blown confession with a protective custody advisory would do nicely. Given the photographs no solicitor in their right mind would suggest otherwise. 

Then the inspector played his trump card and reached inside his jacket and produced another photograph, this time of a woman in her late sixties. “Recognize her, do you Frank?” 

Frank felt his tongue turn to sandpaper as he tried to swallow. The dryness in his mouth crept through his entire body. 

“Course you bloody do, seeing as how it’s your old Mum. We’ve had our eye on her too,” sneered Pinkney. 

“You leave her bloody out of this, she ain’t done nothing you rotten bastard!” 

“Temper, temper Frank. I was just making a little conversation, ain’t nothing written in stone just yet. Seems to me though she’s involved whether she knows it or not. Got a couple of my boys ready to go round her house later and have a word, a friendly visit if you will.” 

Frank despaired. Not his mum of all people. 

“That lock-up you’ve been storing your gear in belongs to her, makes her an accessory after the fact. How do you think your old mum will do in Leeds? Lot of women in there would probably take advantage of a sweet lady like her, if you know what I mean Frank?” 

Frank thought hard. The Poles would kill him but he couldn’t see his mum go down for something she hadn’t done. The copper was right, Leeds women’s prison was no place for a frail middle aged woman, besides she’d never done a wrong thing in her life. She’d no idea they were using his dad’s old lock-up for storage. There was nothing for it – he had to come clean. 

The drugs had been easy enough to distribute and with a ready clientele they’d soon made money hand over fist. Everybody was involved, from the bartenders to the security staff, there wasn’t a single one of them that wasn’t making a packet on the side. At first they’d kept it to the Slug and Cabbage but word, as it always did, had travelled and they’d started to supply the other pubs and clubs as well. It’d got to the point where they’d had to take even more merchandise off the Polacks, who for an astronomical price were more than happy to supply. Frank through his contacts at the garage and the network of connections on the doors had been able to get rid of the lot. The amount he was dealing in was mindboggling, overnight and without really trying he’d become a regular Yorkshire drug lord. There was so much coke being snorted in York that the whole bloody city should have turned white, a veritable narcotic Christmas every weekend of the year. He’d been careful, at least he thought he had – those bloody pictures, how had they got a hold of those? What about his mum? There was no way he could let her take a jump for what he’d done, shed never survive in Leeds. 

Pinkney stood up, stuffed the photos back into the folder and made to walk away. “Alright then Frank, if that’s the way you want to play it?” The inspector was the consummate actor; he’d played the role a thousand times before. 

Pinkney was old school bastard, you could smell it on him – Frank could try to slip him a bribe but he didn’t look the type. There wasn’t much for it, either way he was screwed. If the Poles found out they’d execute him and the others without a second’s thought. If he grassed then a shallow grave on the moors or a cold shower in the Ouse was the most he could expect. “What kind of deal?” asked Frank through clenched teeth. 

Pinkney stopped at the door, he had the man by the balls. Loved it when they squealed – nothing better than a perp spilling his guts and giving up his mates. It was the little things that made the job worthwhile, perks like the girl he’d enjoyed that morning. He smiled in delicious remembrance, sniffed his fingers once more, and turned back to the room. 

“Good boy Frank, seems to me like you’re brighter than what I gave you credit for.” The inspector sat down pulled out a note pad and pen, “Alright then lad start at the beginning. Tell me what you know.”

Check out the rest of RAPE 101 at https://writercrjames.wordpress.com/rape-101/

The weather outside is frightful…..

14 Dec

 

Peter regretted the cold dip and the fact that his penis was gone forever….

 

The pounding of nails being hammered into wood is deafening as is the crash of shuttering windows and slamming doors. People run through streets dragging young children and infirm relatives behind them. Tasks of great importance go untended, and public works projects sit idle at the impending news.

¡Los ingleses vienen, los ingleses vienen! (gracias Paul!!)

That’s right the James family is going to San Diego!

Four days of sun, sand, and whatever else they have that begins with the letter S; plus all the other letters in between for that matter. A welcome break from the tropical heat of Phoenix, a sweet release from the burgeoning temperatures of mid-December sun shine. Whilst England struggles through the worst snow storm for decades and people croak shoveling snow in the mid-west, we continue to bask in sub-tropical temperatures. Some would say we have it made although to be honest here in Arizona we have to endure hardships too! The pool for instance is a little frosty and so there’s no swimming until at least the month of May. Who wants to jump into pool water that is less than 80C? To add to this we can no longer sit comfortably outside of an evening and are forced to wear a minimum of two t-shirts and possibly two socks as well. The number is of course arbitrary and dependent upon the fortitude of the individual concerned.

 Roger and Sebastian agreed there was nothing quite like snow-balls

 

Britain is expecting another eight inches of snow, plus sub-zero temperatures for the foreseeable future. Although potentially disastrous, one has to take into account the veracityof the British Meteorological Institute, and so realistically they are probably in for balmy weather with sunny showers! The last time they predicted the weather correctly was when they accidentally called for light rain just before Noah launched his ark. Although not indifferent to the freezing European temperatures, I am more concerned with the strength of the morning sun and adjust my shades accordingly. What is really alarming are the predicted deaths. Thousands of people are expected to perish during the coming cold snap, Siberian winter , ice age; choose your terminology. Britain hasn’t been this cold since the earlier 1960s and to be honest I am struggling to melt the icicles around my own heart so I can feel pity.

Tommy and Susan found out the  hard way that super-gluing their hands to the car was not as funny as it had first seemed…. 

 

Even now as I misspell, people are laying prostrate on beaches in California complaining that their drinks aren’t cold enough and that the ice is melting to0 quickly in their cocktails. Blazing sunshine is beating down on solar worshippers, blistering their bums and irradiating their flesh. Sounds like heaven to me. If there is a god then he is currently wintering in the south west of the U.S.

Spoke to relatives back home in England the other day that daren’t go out for fear of falling and breaking wind, a hip, or some other appendage. Cars remain locked in garages as snow is something that the islanders have never had to deal with in the past and so the notion of snow tires has never crossed their frost bitten minds. Although Christmas card idyllic, memories of Christmases of long, long ago are coming home to roost; a classic case of being careful for what you wish. The winter bitch-fest decrying the lack of snow at Christmas and the abject detestation of cold grey December days is a distant memory. Well there it is people! Fill thy boots with holly and race naked through the snow. Make hay while the sun doesn’t shine or something to that effect.

Upon emerging Pedro realized that they had dug the drugs tunnel a little too far…

 

I love reading the comments in the Daily Mail (the non-thinking man’s newspaper. www.dailymail.co.uk) from people who survived whichever catastrophe de jour that is being reported. The people who remember walking up hill to and from school in shoes made from barbed wire in total blackness in the middle of the day. True stories if you choose to believe the swarthy veterans who remember when it was colder than a witch’s tit, when the frost was emasculating brass monkeys and water was as hard as made in china steel. Invaluable advise such as wearing socks over your shoes to protect you from the elements , covering your body in whale grease to ward of the cold. I can just see myself headed off to Walgreens for a liter of whale grease and a pound of blubber; but there again maybe not.

The house-wife down hill ironing board olympic event was a huge success…

The BBC recycles useless information on how to survive the Blitz, cold, global warming, influx of Poles. (Check as appropriate.)Nameless faces quote auto queues in the hope of informing their frozen public.

And here is the weather for the next 24 hours…..

Lashings of snow and subzero temperatures are expected throughout the U.K, accompanied by freezing seas and searing Siberian winds. The public are advised to burn supplementary relatives and everything else they hold dear in order to keep warm. Citizens of Britain should be aware of falling frozen birds, and homeless people; who may be considered trip hazards once they freeze inside their plastic blankets. The government advises a stiff upper lip, some good old fashioned Britishness , a round of cheery war time music, and to remain calm when the air raid siren sounds.

We never had it so good.

 Bollocks!

Helsinki suffers this kind of weather every single year and yet the roads remain open, the airports fit for traffic and their public safe; a simple case of investing in what’s necessary. Funnily enough Finland doesn’t have any aircraft carrier groups, a nuclear deterrent or financial malfeasance. What is does have are some of the best schools, medical facilities and social services anywhere in the world.

“Yes but they’re socialists!” I hear you cry. “They’re taxed to high heaven and their government is in charge of everything.”

 Not so much when you consider that we have a situation in England where no matter what we vote for our choices have already been made for us. Another war of Empirical conquest or a system which actually produces satisfied citizens and snow free roads; so hard to choose!

 Svetlana’s  poor command of English had taken the ice-ho in ice-hockey to a different level…

 

I dither over my choice of shorts as no doubt being in San Diego for a couple of days I will have to fit in with the locals. Dark glasses, sombrero hast, Spanish accent and open toe sandals. Not a jar of whale grease in site.

 I am ready. San Diego lock up your bier kellers!

WHY SO SERIOUS….

13 Dec

TheJoker was finding the concept of Texas-hold-em perplexing…

 

The new faces wander into the factory, the glazed look of apprehension obvious behind safety-glassed eyes; expectation, trepidation etched on their foreheads. Some of them have waited for over a year to regain the status of working class, as opposed to the ignominious title of former employee of XYZ Corporation. Fortune has smiled on these lucky souls, who can now put away their bonbons, turn off the day time television and return to the world of work. The economy is down, the outlook is bleak, but at least for the moment they have pay checks. Handed a fresh ladder to climb the dizzying heights of professional success, they are eager to fulfill their contracts and appease their new masters

With the ailing economy many companies  closed their doors, turned off the power and silenced the machines. The profits being made, although listed in the billions of dollars, wasn’t enough to hold them open. The profit margined gluttony, all too thinly crayoned on wafer-thin balance sheets was a disappointment to both investors and corporate officers. The shrill clarions call for, bigger, better, and faster, still echoing in the empty spaces where men used to work.

The boys at the soup kitchen prayed it wouldn’t be chicken again….. 

 

“We need twice as much as yesterday, and half as much again tomorrow, shoulders to the wheel, noses to the grindstone, everybody pulling in the same direction…..”

Corporate greed is the name of the beast that is not only killing America but is strangling the international community and choking the global engine. Jobs which supported families and paid for American dreams shipped abroad, so that strangers in foreign lands, working  for a couple of dollars less, could profit from the new factories growing up in their once pristine back yards.

Globalism at the end of the street; who could have thunk it?

 

The new company car was proving a bitch to handle through the corners… 

 

As the workers of the 21st Century close the door on their new houses, step into their fresh-from-the-garage automobiles, and drink the $5 dollar coffee that used to cost 30 cents, they thank their traditional deities and think no more about it. After all aren’t they deserving, aren’t they blessed, aren’t they the chosen ones? Opening their own doors to a sleaker, sexier, brighter futures they unwittingly slam the door in the faces of what used to be great industrial nations. Lands of milk and honey where everything was possible; where stamped in America, made in England, Detroit Diesel and Sheffield Steel meant something. No longer comrades; the clouds of austerity are upon us.

 Ben had chosen to ignore the shouts of “Get a room!”

 

We see the houses in our streets with for sale signs, overgrown with weeds. Furniture which used to be cherished and dusted on a regular basis standing in deserted driveways. Bright shiny fabrics and gleaming not-made-in-this-country alloys tarnished and fading in the Arizona sun. Whole neighborhoods where nobody lives, where countless homes stand empty; an abandoned city stranded on an island of unemployment and Governmental apathy.

“Well if you don’t like it you can write to your representative, your member of parliament, your President or your Prime Minister!” Forlorn words addressed and mailed in tear stained envelopes, paid for with stamps bearing American flags and Queens’s heads; emblems of empire and Postindustrial greatness. The worker may be down but he certainly isn’t out. The pride which used to have us congregating in the street with our flags, standing up when they played the national anthem, clutching our hearts when they raised the flag is still there.

 

 So what to do? Accumulate more guns; buy more ammunition and bigger safes from Costco to store them in? Stock up on food supplies for the day we hope will never come? Sit around in groups and discuss the obvious which appears to be patently unobvious to the oblivious who walk amongst us?

We few, we brave few, we band of brothers?

Like a movement of troops through a First World War trench I see the new faces, shake their hands and forget their names. A fresh infusion of blood, more fodder for the guns. Extra bodies to support capital investment, insuring that this year will be better than the last; our best year ever!  New attendees for weekly meetings for the exposition of ever ascending graphs and the extension of  corporate handshakes; cost, availability, yields and productivity, synonyms for corporate hegemony. 

The new faces take their place among the old, and we idle in our own thoughts. We remember the names of colleagues past and rejoice in their memory. At the same time accepting the changing of the guard, the influx of new recruits; food for powder!

The lights of the I-10 whizz past me as I proceed on my journey home, random thoughts racing through my head after another day in the bowels of the corporate machine. Like stokers aboard the R.M.S TITANIC, shoveling coal from bin to bin, we struggle to insure that the fires of corporate avarice burn ever brighter. Just one more shovelful will be enough comrades, just one more shovel…..

Bill’s final wish of being buried in his favorite train was proving troublesome….

It’s all Greek to me…

12 Dec

 

After White Christmas Bing decided to do the politically correct thing….

 

Back in the car and racing to work its sing-along-a-Bing-time! Christmas songs of Christmases past assault my ears as I concentrate on getting there in one piece. Last night was a fantastic. Good food, good beer and excellent company. Stuffed to the gills with Greek fare I involuntarily gurgle and pop as my stomach sloshes to the after effects of last night’s liquid refreshment. Got to love Bing Crosby, as despite the years he’s still hanging in there. Of course David Bowie helped a little; immortalizing him in The Little Drummer Boy video back in the dark days of the 1980’s, but for a balding, cardigan wearing, pipe smoking, dead guy it’s amazing how popular he still is….although peculiarly only around this time of year.

The Greek restaurant we go to  is always frequented by dead beats. Good for nothing seniors in their 60’s and 70s with their cropped grey hair and their slightly sweaty designer golf clothes. Hanging around on golfing greens and the corners of bars with their work shy cohorts, idling their time away whilst the rest of us slave our arses off trying to scratch a crust. It’s aright for them living out their twilight years in luxury retirement communities playing with their balls all day and chasing septuagenarian tail. What kinds of example are they giving to contemporary youth with their devil may care attitudes and their flippant diversions? One would think at their age they would know a little better. Clearly their slip into recitative delinquency is what is helping to drive the economic malaise.

Bored with naked-scrabble, the coffin dodgers decided to run a train on old Ma Johnson! 

Bing breaks into melodious whistling which I try to emulate unsuccessfully, managing instead to spill my coffee and soak the inside of the wind screen with spittle. Now I can no longer see the road as it’s like driving through a rain storm, and my crotch is on fire from the burning liquid. I never thought that Bing would be able to reach the parts that other crooners have never reached. I glow in all the wrong places and reflect on my growing fondness for the man. I forget the whistling and decide to hum along instead. Seems like a safer bet;  as evidenced by the darkening stain on my trousers, the danger has passed.

 

Clearly the operation to rectify Charlene’s hair-lip had not been a success…

 

Yesterday morning I did a window cleaning Job for another one of society’s malingerers. Some retired guy with nothing better to do than start a relationship with a younger working woman. Of all the nerve; talk about slapping the world in the face with a wet sloth! All of these unemployable previously employed just sitting around at home hooking up over the internet; posting their pics, show casing their best side, carefully cropping out walkers and wheel chairs. With re-trodden mouths, updated hairlines and the addition of Viagra and vitamin supplements some of these Lotharios are twice the men they once were.

Although Dorris looked great with her new dentures in, Dan couldn’t take his eyes off her bazooms….

 

The customer had the audacity to brag about his involvement in a gambling ring. How twice a week he sets up tables at diverse locations to tempt invited guests into enjoying a game of cards or a spin of the wheel; the slippery slope to addiction, only one red or black square away. Clearly there is some kind of unsavory shadow network operating from behind the gates of retirement communities all across Phoenix. Bands of aged delinquents forming companies; hiring themselves out for Casino nights at corporate get- too-gethers. Not satisfied with just sitting at home and enjoying their retirement they have to force themselves on the still slaving masses with their financially profitable scams. Continuing to function as useful members of society whilst supplementing their nest eggs and feathering their fixed incomes.

 

Back in the early days Bing sucked pipe for wooden nickles…..

Finally Bing shuts up, but not without one final plaintive whistle. My crotch is now growing cold and I yearn for the Christmases of yore and a seat near the fire; spilled coffee and soaked blue jeans are not exactly the sticky and sweet I enjoy. Destination reached and car parked, I step out of the vehicle only to have the icy Arizonan wind whip through my nether regions, quickly transforming them into polar regions. I head for the entrance looking like an incontinent zombie, dreaming of the day when I too will be a corrupter of youth; wasting my time playing in the sun and drinking the cellars of the world dry. Jealousy is a terrible thing and I have retirement envy burning through my veins as I reflect on the week ahead. Uninvited, Bing pops back into my head,however I quickly resign the old bastard to the wheelie bin of subconscious. Last thing I need at this time of the morning is some happy-go-lucky senior citizen telling me how good life can be.

And years to go before I sleep……