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As an immortal it was necessary to fake one’s own death once in a while. It wouldn’t do to live suspiciously long or be the last man at the party. As such his latest manifestation, Raymond Brinegeld, sleazy lawyer and hopeless gambler, had to go.

He left ample clues as to the cause of his demise – bank statements denoting desperation and a pyramid of addiction. The dog bowl filled with vodka was a nice touch.

Far away in a fortress filled with priceless antiquities dating back to the dawn of time he selected a new identity and strode forth, unblemished once more, into the world.

 

Written for: Friday Fictioneers

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Nuts Allergy / Allegory…

The starting point is a pug-dog with two broken back legs. The legs are strapped up behind him like he’s a superhero in flight and his butt languishes in a leather harness that sports two mini-bicycle wheels. Never the less he seems happy enough as I walk by every morning, and well he should, for dangling between his wheels, just shy of the ground, are a set of disproportionately huge, pendulous testicles. I don’t mean to make it weird for his owner (a sweet looking, short woman), but the logistical questions alone are worthy of pondering. How did he keep them off the ground before the wheels? And is this why he broke his legs?

The park in which his owner walks him is by the River Thames. Ducks cross our path ferrying their young into the water. The pug chases and frolics, but never bites or savages them.

Then, one day (yesterday), the dog is there, and the wheels, but the cojones are gone.

It’s not like I make a habit of staring between his legs, but the change is so obvious that if you were presented with a spot-the-difference picture you’d shout ‘FOUND IT,’ within a nanosecond.

Man it caused me consternation, watching him wheeling around in a circle, all  sad and confused. How much womanising (or bitching – he is a dog after all) could he have been doing? (Unless his wheels jack up and down like a low-rider).

Later that day I’m listening to a motivational speaker and thinking about murder when it occurs to me – If someone had the courage (or permission) to lop off this guys balls (or break both his legs and convert him into a wheelbarrow (or both)), I wouldn’t have to think about solutionizing the future. Sure he’d be a little wistful and forever after infused with melancholy, but I wouldn’t have made-up nonsensical words floating around my head. He would have been de-douchified. There would also be fewer kids (Douchina and Douchopher) roaming the earth, spreading their douche ways and gravitating inevitably towards hedge fund management.

I saw the pug again this morning on the way in – Hey little buddy! Nothing – His joy intrinsically linked to his nuts. His owner seemed chipper enough (which is pretty insensitive) prompting images of pet revenge…so now we’re pumping her full of testosterone (that sounds way ruder than was intended) and she wakes up on a gurney with a beard and a receding hairline and wheels for hands, and she’s (or he’s) like ‘WHHHHHHYYYYY?’ and I’m like, ‘Holy shit this got away from me,’ and the dog’s just staring at me like he wasn’t the catalyst for everything, and the man-woman starts with the bargaining: ‘If you let me go I’m never tell,’ and I know she can never keep that promise so I’m forced to abscond into the forest and we all end up in a cave for years and years until we turn feral and I lose my grip on the English language and start talking like a motivational speaker…

Wow, I’m surprisingly angry about the whole thing…

Maybe someone should sneak up behi…

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Damn you gentile upbringing…

I’ve been feeling pretty chipper of late, so thought it was high-time I balanced things out with a healthy dose of crushing literary rejection. With the trusty writers & artists year book in hand I suppressed my flat-vowelled midland vernacular with the received-pronunciation of a BBC newsreader and set about calling agents to enquire as to whether or not they were taking on any new protégés…
‘I’m sorry,’ came the (first) exceedingly plummy response, ‘not for 7 years now.’
Stifling a bemused chuckle I apologised to the woman in question for wasting her time, wished her a good day and rang off. Almost immediately she rang back.
‘I don’t normally do this, but you sounded so forlorn I thought I’d take a punt. What’s the book about?’ Cursory details were exchanged, at which point she added, ‘Don’t send me a synopsis or a covering letter. I’m 65 – Haven’t got time for any of that ole shit – the first 3 chapters should suffice. Don’t expect a response before the end of the week. I’m reviewing Rodriguez’s new book on imperialism. I’m sure you have some appreciation of how tetchy he can get…’ Evidently I was expected to know who she was talking about, so took a stab at empathising ‘…Having said that, his last few offerings have been more than a little slap-dash. If he thinks I won’t fire him he’s living in a dream world…anyway ta-ta.’
A little over a week later she phoned back to say that the first 3 chapters had aroused her interest and that the full manuscript would now be appreciated. I duly obliged. A further week passed whereupon I received another phone call. Without introduction she proceeded thus:
‘No, no, no. Your antagonist arrives far too late, your main character should be Jewish and…’ barking noises halt her assault ‘Roy…ROY! I’m sorry – I have 3 dogs and am married to the politician Roy Hatterley – ROY! Get the dogs out…and I’m going to have to pass I’m afraid…ROY! May I suggest Bogdanivich as a surname…as in the film director…keep up the good work. Thank you good bye.’
Though technically a knock-back I was strangely buoyed by the conversation as it marked the furthest I had yet reached in pursuing a literary career.
The agent’s cryptic comments reminded me of a long-ago work debacle where, in discussion with a Jewish 3rd party contingent, an overenthusiastic colleague had described his three-pronged business strategy as ‘Blitzkrieg.’ Whilst the Nazi’s no doubt considered simultaneous air, land and sea attack to be an impressive feat, the comparison was less than appreciated by the suppliers whom we were destined never to see again.
Later that evening I was still pondering the bizarrely one-sided exchange when there was a knock at the door. As I drew near I heard my elderly neighbour utter the immortal words, ‘I know that @!#$er’s in there. I saw him go in,’ to which her husband replied ‘This is the final straw. I may do something I’ll regret.’
The list of inane and petty matters this harmless but deeply annoying pair have complained about over the years includes rogue ivy, the length of my lawn and not liking the colour of the house (to which my subsequent attempt at humour (calling them racists) had bombed spectacularly). Without even the remotest interest in finding out what tedious crap they’d come to rant about I stood motionlessly until I was sure they’d buggered off…
…None of which explains why my lead character should be Jewish!
In an entirely different vein I’ve added a new page ‘Music’ with links to some of the songs I’ve recently released:
I thank you…

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