FANCY A BIT MORE?
Bryans was a stickler. He had studied
economics at A Level and knew the importance of efficiency.
"You see," he explained to his fiance,
"it's all a question of scarcity. Unlimited wants versus limited resources.
That's where the economist comes in."
"I wish the
economist would bugger off to the bar and get me another drink." Self-satisfied
little smile he has almost permanent. Thinks so much of himself. Such a fart. Is
it in the nature of things for farts to think too much of themselves? Is that
tonic," she held aloft like an extinguished torch her empty glass.
"Can't you do
with a lager ? Gin and tonic's expensive in here."
the economist. You know how to make money don't you?"
"Not like you
know how to spend it. We're supposed to be saving up to get married."
it a double."
turned to her and she smiled, his self-satisfied expression gave way to a
passing look of puzzlement. She raised her brows.
"Go on then.
weight he's put on recently. All those puddings of his mother's. Rice pudding.
Treacle pudding. Queen of puddings. Apple tart. Raspberry tart. Pavlova.
Cheesecake. Baba au rum. Sticky toffee pudding. Pear belle Helene. Gooseberry
crumble. Blackcurrant crumble. Rhubarb crumble. Black Forest gateau. Eve's
pudding. Adam's pudding. God's pudding. The Devil's pudding. The Archbishop of
bloody Canterbury's pudding. Suet pudding. Soot pudding. Shit pudding. Snot
pudding. Kitten's head and bloody custard. Ugh! And his fat bum and hanging
belly, his jowls look fatter in a collar and tie. Can't he take it off, unloosen
it like some of those men I see after work, haggard look, office-sickness and
ready for it, hard in seconds and nice and wet for a man who wanted it, yes,
work over thank god get your knickers off and give me a good time. Deputy Depot
Manager at N.S.U. (No Stone Unturned) Ltd so full of it and his mother with her
get on in the world crap all well and good a man who can make money but get on
me that's what I want that bloody depot's his passion oh, and not yet thirty so
full of it. Last hour I get that job's his mirror preens himself is that what
we're made for work bloody work not what I'm made for get a man between my legs
who loves me more's the thing.
ten for a G and T!"
above the national average?"
"Eh ?" and as
he sank his heaviness into studded leather she shifted imperceptibly away.
The swig of
beer that he took, filling his mouth, making his gullet twitch as it descended
left over the upper lip of his small, prim mouth a line of white, bubbly froth.
yawn she tried to suppress prised open her jaw and brought water to her green
complemented me on the monthly statistical returns today!"
"Did you get
an erection ?" She sipped.
look of puzzlement again.
that took the level of the yellow liquid in his pint pot to below halfway.
"Know what he
said to me?" he asked, slobbering.
bum's too fat."
taking the piss?"
her glass she made coy, suggestive, desperate, mocking eyes.
towards her confidentially, a simulacrum of intimacy.
"He said, "We
get good value out of you." What about that?" She put down her glass in dismay.
that did you ?"
what it means? He likes me."
"Do you think
he wants to get you in bed ?"
matter with you tonight ?"
snappiness that is his mother's walking on eggshells talking to that woman.
know, I must be pining for something".
He leaned close as if it was her of whom he was thinking.
something more exciting than that,"
"Are you all
really flattered that someone talks to you as though you're a machine?"
mean ?" he asked, truly bewildered.
"We get good
value out of you? If someone said that to me I'd kick them in the balls."
"But It means
that the company thinks highly of me!"
"How can a
manner of speaking. But that's how the economy works, you see. Now, the beauty
of the free market..."
looked at the eyes into which had stolen a look of harsh seriousness.
said with a faint stirring of foreboding.
you're going to finish work at five, pick me up at seven, take me out for a
meal, buy me champagne, take me home and cover me in whipped cream, eat it
slowly, make love to me at least three times and spend the night in my bed, get
up and make me breakfast and be late for work for the only time in your life, or
the engagement's off."
"I can't do
that !" he declared, drawing back from her.
"Which bit in
taking in ladies underwear tomorrow!"
"And what are
you having for pudding?"
gone and me with my pint to finish and half a g and t that's a pound and five
pence always leaves some in the bottom of the glass same with a meal late for
work does she want me sacked engagement's off choice to make what can I do
finish at five I'll never get on got to keep those clerk's working idle little
bitches is she coming back shit that's two pounds bloody ten.
of his beer he dispatched in one and taking to the bar the g and t asked would
it be possible to put it on one side just in case. Outside there was neither
hide nor hair and the thought that he should ring her or call at her flat was
displaced by the enticement of his senses arising from his imagining the table
in his mother's dining-room, set and laden and she attentive bringing from the
kitchen what would delight his palate and fill his ample gut. Cottage pie,
carrots, French beans, sprouts, bread and butter, captain's pudding, chocolate
cake, biscuits and tea.
even finish her drink ," he remonstrated spooning into his eager mouth the
sweet, sticky, steamed, custard-covered dessert.
Encouraging you to be late for work. She's got no standards."
wants me to leave the office at five!" I'll never get promoted if I do that!"
appreciate you, that's the trouble. Like your father, he didn't appreciate me.
She's trying to make you chose between her and your career, and you know what
that means, don't you ?"
after women won't help you get on in life. Look at your father. Want some more
mum," and into the dish which he handed to her she heaped with satisfaction the
steaming, sickly sponge to be anointed with the thick liquid poured from a pyrex
jug and placed in front of him as reverently as the priest might place the very
flesh of Jesus on the tongue of a communicant.
In the early
hours waking with indigestion his mind was flooded with thoughts of work and the
petty problems which must be solved day by day in a warehousing and retailing
operation with branches in every county and parent companies across the globe in
which a young man or woman of dedication and ambition can make a career both
lucrative and of status and the question of the efficiency of the stock-taking
kept him awake for two hours during which, at the table where he had once
completed his homework, he filled ten A4 sheets with ideas, scribbled in the
quick hand of a man whose brain is working faster than his ability to write,
finishing as the dawn began to break and showering himself with indulgence, the
lather from his shampoo running caressingly over the bulge of his well-stoked
midriff and dripping from the flaccid penis whose presence did not stir any
thought of the rupture of the previous evening, going down at length dressed to
where his mother, always up at five, dismissive of the idleness of those who
lounge till eight, had his breakfast waiting.
"Do you want
two sausages or three?"
"Glad to see
you're up early," and in her eternal gesture she set the full English before
"I've had a
great idea for the stock-taking ." He held aloft his masterpiece.
That's the way you'll get somewhere in the world."
she think Carol laugh I suppose or make some snide comment funny attitude can't
grasp it future ahead of me any girl would be proud Depot Manager Regional
Manager what's that fifty grand Chief Executive who knows she could be sitting
pretty nice house big car holidays abroad turn her beck on that what can you
arrived at the depot he went straight up to the general office where the Office
Manager, the Assistant Office Manager and the Clerk were drinking tea and
"I had to
climb out the bedroom window and shin down the drainpipe," he heard Ben, the
Clerk, say before they realised and quickly pretended to be busy.
"I've had a
great idea, lads" he began, sitting down amongst them. "Improvements to the
at one another. No-one spoke.
"Three in the
morning it came to me."
"Came to me
about that time too," said Ben.
For a tedious
hour he explained to them in his voice of modulating enthusiasms the details of
his new and brilliant method before, his mood shifting a little, he told them
the story of Carol.
"What could I
do lads ?' he pleaded.
should've bought five litres of cream," suggested Ben.
excellence of his new scheme was apparent to Mr Edwards, Depot Manager, not so
much in its convincing detail but in the fact that it had been produced during
the hours normally committed to sleep, a dedication to the company which induced
in the superior at once a sense of his control over the more junior man and a
fear of his eventual supersession. The day, for Bryans, was one of manic
ebullience manifesting itself in an attitude to his staff by turns indulgent and
imperious. At ten p.m. in a mood of confidence so absolute it could be founded
only on the most far-reaching benightedness and profound weakness of character,
he left the depot and drove directly to Carol's flat.
The man who
answered the door, naked from the waist upwards, was not at first sight
"Is Carol in
please ?" as matter-of-factly as he would have ordered a pint in his local.
language Bryan was unable to decide whether his younger, slimmer interlocutor
was French, Spanish, Greek, Russian.
"Is she ill?"
summoned by his counterfeit concern Carol appeared, wrapped in a green and white
bath towel which covered her from the start of her cleavage to barely below her
better. Come on Jeamp, pudding's ready."
closed the door with a click of cataclysmic finality.
"And she was
making pudding for him. She never made pudding for me!"
"Let her go.
Little slut. She'd make puddings for all the riffraff."
She put in
front of him a large shallow dish of golden plum and banana pie sprinkled, as
her pies invariably were, with caster sugar.
please mum. Plenty!"