10th Nov – Old worn-out suits and shoes, I don’t pay no union dues.

Cleaned myself: that’s for others
Monkey see, monkey do: No-no. No, no, no-no.
Tics: tic’d off
Believe in God? only insofar as it helps win elections
YTLH: phasing out

I have no money, job, home, or friend, but for Big Tooth. Like the Mod movement who, alongside their heroes of soul and ska, adopted noisy, tuneless, rock band, The Who as their juju-men, such is the adversarial way of life, that should you end up with the wrong person on your side, they are nevertheless yours, and will stay that way, even if your connection is no more than a similar approach to grooming.

Did you take the Nigerian Pork?

Sport not soigné makes the motto behind which we bond, and the other day, perhaps in an attempt to move towards my end of the spectrum, Big Tooth suggested we construct a zero-sum bet on the ten Premiership games of the weekend @ £10 per match, by first tossing a coin, then the winner of the toss having the right to choose the result of the game – the loser getting the two remaining outcomes. She won nine of the ten coin tosses, and most of the games were easy to predict – Milfchester Petite at home, versus Shiite Albion; Lagerfeld at home, etc, leaving me clutching grimly to the draw and away in most of the fixtures. She chose as I would have done myself, but here’s the thing, she got virtually every one of them wrong. And if I didn’t know before, I do now – not only is gambling ridiculous, but also, and more importantly: no one, anywhere, knows what they’re talking about. Zero sum suggests that we are paired, so it was important that I insisted on payment.

It’s a good job I won, for I have no money, and couldn’t have paid the bet had I lost. Roger has refused to refund the cost of the adverts, calling it a frolic of my own. Now, I know for a fact that he recently sent himself on a course for businessmen, with a full module given over to business law, so it is with some validity that his lexicon has been enhanced. But who’d have thought that he’d have mastered an understanding of the law so swiftly? He faced me down with such unimpeachable authority, it brought to mind the eloquence of those Trump acolytes, under threat of being designated the next executive in charge of golfing-diapers perhaps, denouncing the election result. Maybe that will be an option for him, if say, he’s rendered bankrupt by some mindless thug pouring acid over all his unsold cars.

With my £80, as the new lockdown came into view, I took myself to the pub in the harbour – that to which news does not reach – as much to discover whether they planned to stay open during the dark days coming, as to wallow in my own company for a moment. Hear that? My own company, as if there were ever an alternative; on the way to the harbour, I had passed three men flying kites, and another, playing with a drone, under the pretence of entertaining their families. Grown men. I would have been less ashamed if I’d been spotted poisoning the water supply.

In the pub, a stray latched on to me, and he described this great pair of shoes, my size, not his, that he’d been left with after his mate had let him down over a proposed transaction. They were as good as mine until they came out of the box, ‘I thought you knew they were slip-ons?’ he said, reluctant to release the notes that I held at the other end. But finally, realising that I wasn’t about to let go, he relented, and said, ‘OK then, but you’ve got to take some Nigerian Pork.’ As if I owed him compensation for the failed deal.  ‘It’s better than French,’ he added.

They corner better than a traditional brogue.

So, instead of just saying no, I made a joke out of it, to make the refusal easier, ‘only if you’ve got some apple sauce,’ I said, at which point he reached down into the capacious pockets of his overcoat, then slapped down a piece of meat wrapped in greaseproof paper with a baking apple sat on top of it onto our shared table. Then he grinned, as if to say, ‘get out of that – you owe me something now.’

Suddenly his unsolicited presence made me furious, and I had to stop myself from picking up the apple and throwing it at his face. I paused for a moment, and a calmness came over me which brought with it a sense of authority and control. I channelled Roger, and I said to him, ‘I’m not going to buy any of your things, and you must leave me alone now, but I’ll come here next week and if you can find me some acid, I’ll buy it off you.’

I knew that next week was lockdown, as he didn’t, so it didn’t really matter what I said, but for some reason, I said that.

Thanks to Brian Lundquist for the bottom image.