Thursday, 26 August 2010

I found this note on the street on the way into work...


















I find a note in the street on my way into work. It’s written in marker pen on a sheet of A4 paper. It’s the third I’ve found bearing this message in the last six months: ‘Iranian intelligence officers lick English Arse’.

Bob is back at work after a week off. I ask whether he’s had a good time and he tells me his dog ate his Yorkshire pudding in a café in Grassington.

Twice today, I’ve been asked for directions to the Spiritualist church.

At County Foods, I hand my paperwork to the receptionist and she fills in her signature while talking on the phone, “I’ve got this guy on hold, he’s ringing from a café in Batley. He’s on about black puddings...” Suddenly, a large dog jumps up from behind the desk
and starts barking at me, its front paws on the sill of the service hatch. The receptionist puts down the phone and drags the dog back down by its collar.

A tall man in a suit leans in through an adjoining door and gives her a quizzical look. “Don’t ask”, she says. “Is it a guard dog?” says the tall man. “It’s guarding me from the likes of you Alan”, says the receptionist.

The chubby assistant with the heavy foundation and the glittery bits on her face at the newsagent’s tells her colleague about her unfaithful boyfriend. “He said she looked better
from a distance than close to but he still knobbed her, didn’t he? He’s got a picture of it on his phone!”

Friday, 13 August 2010

At the newsagent's, Christine was on the till...



At the newsagent’s, Christine is on the till. She nods at the pile of Examiners on the counter and says “There’s a new murder every day, isn’t there? It’s like a new craze or something”. “A craze?" I say. “Yeh, you know, like a new craze from America. Like skateboarding.” “Yes”, I say. “Do you remember that craze for blokes hanging themselves not so long back?” says Christine. “No?” “Yes, a bit back, about six months, a year back. Between me and my ex-husband, we knew half a dozen blokes who hung themselves in the space of about three months.” “Seriously?” “Two of them were on our paper-rounds” says Christine. “Blimey! I wonder what brought that on?” “I don’t know. Do you remember him who built our steps? He was one, hung himself.” “Really? That’s terrible” I say. “I know, and the thing is everyone’s always going on about them steps; the top one’s too short. People are always tripping over it and then they come in here and say ‘Whoever did them steps wants shooting!’ What am I supposed to say to that now?”

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

5.30am. A man with a baby in a pram was rapping hard on the shutters of the newsagent's...


5.30am. A man with a baby in a pram was rapping hard on the shutters of the newsagent's shop. A hundred yards further down the road I passed a drunk goth eating a bag of Skips.

Later on, I saw a woman with a pot on her leg walking up South Lane. She said she wasn't going to the hairdressers now because they were going to squeeze her in on Tuesday instead. She said she was off up to Julie's because she's got a seat outside.

D-MON K!D, $L!T K!D and EV!L BO¥ have all written their names on the pouch box at Winchester Bank.

A man with two black eyes was walking up Manchester Road.

I found a dead prawn in the footwell of my van.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Vincent, my neighbour, caught me as I was leaving for work...



Vincent, my neighbour, catches me as I leave for work, “Er, Kevin, I’ve got something to show you”. He dashes inside, wiping his hands on his pinny as he goes. When he returns he stands on his step, hiding something behind his back. “Do you cook a lot of chicken?” he asks. “Not really, occasionally”, I say. “Well, I’ve got just the thing”, he says and, with a slight flourish, he produces one of those shallow tin trays that chickens come in when you buy them from a supermarket. “Marks and Spencer”, he says, “It came free with the chicken”. “Thanks”, I say.

The pillar box outside the post office is jammed full of junk mail and takeaway flyers with obscenities scrawled all over them in blue biro. Someone has also tried to set fire to them by feeding matches through the slot. I mention it to the woman who works behind the counter, “I know! I caught her doing it”, she says, “it was Mrs Armitage from Whiteley Street”.

A young man in a tracksuit is cutting his own hair with a pair of blue plastic handled scissors as he walks down Cross Lane. He has no mirror and is feeling the hair at his temples with his left hand as he snips with his right.

On the landing, Irfan says the yardies had been threatening him again so during
a quiet spell he nips over the road to the gun shop to buy a bulletproof vest. He returns without one, “They’re four hundred quid so I didn’t bother”.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

I could see a figure lying face down on the pavement...




06.30am: I can see a figure lying face- down on the pavement up ahead. I get a bit closer and I see his right arm move. He rolls briefly onto his side and back onto his front, where he lies still again. He’s wearing new, clean clothes: plaid shirt, dark blue denim jeans and expensive-looking trainers. As I pass, I ask whether he’s okay. He rolls onto his side again. He’s young, mid-twenties, dark curly hair. “I’m just bored”, he says. “Oh, as long as your okay?” I say. “Have you got a spare cig’?” “No.” “Okay”, and he rolls back onto his front.

I carry on up the road and into the park where a man of about sixty years old—Adidas trainers and shorts—is picking up the dog shit left by his border terrier and putting it into a little plastic bag.