So, last year my good friend Simon Dallimore turned forty.
I really didn’t know what to give him as a present so I decided to write a short story and print it off on Lulu.com
Lulu.com are a self publishing firm who specialise in the one-off-Birthday-present type publications. Cheap it is not but for a pressy for my mate it was perfect.
So here it is, the story in its entirety.
Be advised, there are a lot of rude words in this story so please do not read it if you’re easily shocked or offended.
There are also a lot of jokes that only a select band of people will understand so if you don’t laugh once throughout the story, it isn’t my fault you’re not in our clique…
Warning: This publication contains strong sexual swear words, so any reader who doesn’t like the words, Fuck, Shit, Bastard, Twat and Knob would be well advised to stop reading now.
Simon Dallimore and the Fountain of Youth
By Reggie Bloody Jones.
If there was one thing Simon hated, it was good for nothing, bone idle layabouts. So it was with barely contained fury that Simon chased off the couple lounging on the bench next to his allotment.
“Fuck off out of it yer pair of lazy bastards and go get a job or something!” he screamed at them as they scampered off as quickly as their geriatric legs would carry them.
“Bloody pensioners…” he chuntered to himself as one of the pair tripped over his walking aid. “Serves you fucking right, parasite!”
“That was a bit harsh Si.” Melanie sighed. “Why do you always have to be so impatient? They weren’t doing any harm.”
Simon looked at his wife as if tentacles had suddenly shot out of her nostrils.
“What! You saw what they were doing! They were staring at us, we were working and they were staring at us, for hours and hours on end!”
“They’re old people Simon, sitting on a bench enjoying the sun and fresh air.”
“They were lazy bloody spongers who’ve got nothing to do but bug other people by staring at them while they work, you saw what they were doing.”
Melanie knew where this was all going so she shrugged and turned back to the gardening; however Simon was just priming his spark plugs.
“I don’t mind doing the garden, I really don’t, it wasn’t my idea but I’ll play along with it. But I don’t need people staring at me while I’m busting my guts out on an allotment I didn’t even want to have in the first place…”
“Yes dear” Melanie muttered as she pushed the tines of the fork into the earth. “Whatever…”
The allotment had been a bone of contention ever since the Himlers, the elderly neighbours below had offered it to them for practically nothing. However, it was more of an ossuary of contention since Dally had found out that the neighbours would also, now and then, like to use it as well.
“It’ll be like our own garden Simon and all we have to do is keep it clean.”
“Yeah, we do all the work; they get to use it when they want.” Simon had fretted.
Melanie smiled, “Think of the barbeques we can have there, the parties in summer! We’ll be lounging in the sun in a garden that’s been practically given to us; it’ll be great when we get the lawn down.”
“My back’s hurting just thinking about it, what do we want a garden for anyway? We’ve got the balcony, it’s huge.”
“Sophie will love it.” and with those words Dally knew that the battle was lost before he’d even packed his doss bag.
Though he’d been pleasantly surprised by how orderly it was on their first visit, he knew there was still a lot of work to do before they could change the vegetable plot to a lawn. So he donned his best “Welsh Sheep-Tackler” (Registered Trademark) Wellingtons and Percy Thrower gardening jumper and dug to his heart’s discontent.
“Bloody women, always have great ideas but it’s always the men who have to do the work, God I hate digging, God I hate gardens, God I hate dirt, God I hate earthworms…” he chanted to himself like a traumatised Himalayan Monk.
“Are you hungry yet Si?” Melanie asked after what seemed to Simon like hours but was in reality twenty minutes.
“What, yeah food, great” he stuttered as he surfaced from his disgruntled reverie.
“I’ll pop around the corner and buy a bratty and chips for us then, shall I?”
“Yeah great, no sauce though.” He smiled, cognisant and jealous of the fact that his wife had thought of an idea on how to leave the toil, while he was left to carry on working.
“I know” she laughed as she walked away.
Dally looked down at the ground and decided he’d have a rest as well. Why not? He’d worked just as hard and he was sure he’d read that somewhere that it didn’t do to work hard and then suddenly eat; bad for the indigestion or something he recalled as he threw the spade to the ground.
The cutting edge of the blade hit the ground and broke the earth, releasing a sudden jet of water that spurted out , hitting him square in the face.
“What the fuck…” He coughed and stood back.
He wiped his face to see a fountain of water shooting up and to his horror realised that he must have hit a water pipe. He quickly dismissed his initial reaction of legging it after he remembered that Melanie knew where he was, so he frantically started to search for a tap or some other device to turn the stream off with. However, there was nothing to be seen and just as Simon began to seriously contemplate the initial idea of legging it he noticed a man looking at him.
“It wasn’t me” neatly tripped off his tongue like a well practised dance step and the man smiled and nodded slowly, as if to say, “Of course it wasn’t”.
“No, really, I just” Simon started to qualify his lie but decided sub-consciously against it. “Do you know if there’s a tap?”
The man, who had literally appeared out of nowhere smiled once more but this time he shook his head. As if some distant part of his mind had long decided that denial of the situation was better than dealing with it, it subtly dawned on Dally that the man was dressed as a genie.
“Err, who the fuck are you?” he asked, his panic at the burst pipe now morphing into indignation that a foreigner should be enjoying the sight of him struggling with an emergency.
The genie didn’t say a word but, like a Crack-crazed street performer, he mimed the water spurting from the ground and then pointed to himself.
“Oh fuck off you drugged up Arab!” Simon yelled, picking up the fork that Melanie had left and advancing on the supposed pantomime garmented druggie.
“Simon, who are you talking to?”
It was Melanie, carrying two parcels of hot food.
“I said who are you talking to? Yourself again? Here’s your food.” She handed him the package.
Dally, stunned by his wife’s inability to see the genie, found himself for the second time in his life, speechless, (the first time being as a young soldier in 1988 when he woke up in a cell after a bottle-of-vodka induced sleep.)
After looking from Melanie to the genie like a manic tennis fan for a full ten seconds, Dally realised that his wife actually could not see him.
“That’s right Simon, she can’t see me.” The genie answered his suspicions.
“What?” Simon whispered in utter disbelief.
“What?” Melanie asked through a mouthful of chips.
“Melanie, can you see the genie?” he whispered.
“Have you been drinking while I was away?” His wife laughed. “What are you on about?”
The genie spoke again, his tone solemn and mysterious. “I am the genie that guards the Fountain of Youth. He who drinks from the fountain will be granted eternal juvenescence so long as they partake in the follies of their past.”
“What?” Simon whispered again.
“Eat your food Si, before it gets cold.” Melanie said as she walked away. “I’m going to get something to drink from the flat.”
Dally watched Melanie walk towards their block and then mutely turned back to the genie.
“What did you say before?”
“I am the genie that guards the Fountain of Youth. He who drinks from the fountain will be granted eternal juvenescence so long as they partake in the follies of their past.”
“Are you on fucking drugs?” he asked, recognising the fact that the only one he should really be asking about hallucinogenic substances was himself.
“No Simon, “the genie smiled once more. “I am the genie that guards the Fountain of…”
Yes, yes, I know that yer stupid Arab, but what does it mean?”
The genie’s smile finally faltered and fell away to impatience.
“Look mate” he started in a broad Cockney accent. “It means that if you drink the fackin’ water you’ll be able to do all the stuff you did when you were having it large with your mates when you were fackin’ twenty.”
Dally eyed the genie in his golden baggy trousers, curled up shoes and extremely dodgy, fancy dress turban with what had to be a fake ruby slapped onto it. He took in the shaved head, the wicked tan and his bulging pot belly and, putting away any thoughts of “Game for a Laugh” scenarios, he decided to believe.
“So you’re saying I’ll be able to drink and shag like I used to in, say, 1989?”
“Probably better mate” the genie smiled. “You’ll still look like the sad sack that you are but you’ll be able to out-drink your mates, outplay anyone on your bass and I ain’t even gonna go there with what you’ll be doing with yer missus.”
“’kin brilliant, give it here!”
Elaborately the genie stepped back and as if presenting Dally the fountain for the first time.
“There yer go mate, fill yer boots.”
Dally moved forward but was stopped in his tracks as the genie spoke again.
“There is but one rule for the Fountain of Youth.” He said in the mysterious voice he’d used when he’d first appeared. “The Fountain bestows powers but the price is high and to watch that you mind the rules, I will be nigh.”
“Are you taking the piss, why are you talking like that? You were alright before, bloody Arabs” Dally chuntered.
“Oh, sorry mate, I thought you people liked that sort of thing.” He answered back in Cockney. “Now listen mate, the thing is there’s a catch.”
“There always bloody is.”
“Well, you’ll have these powers right, out-drinking yer mates, outplaying the lads in your band and the ‘How’s yer father’ bit as well; but to keep these powers you have to use them.”
Dally shrugged, “Yeah, alright, whatever.”
“No mate, it’s serious” the genie shook his head. “If someone gets a round in you have to drink the facker, if the band want you to play for them you have to and if yer missus wants a bit more, well you’ll have to, if you get my meaning.”
Dally pondered briefly on the deal. Out-drinking his mates would be great; he could hardly wait to quaff them under the table and then draw all over their faces when they flaked. Blasting away the lads in the band with a bass solo would be brilliant too, the look on their faces would be a treat and the last bit…
“…’Kin brilliant, give it here!”
“Fuckin’ ‘ell Dally, where you been? You’re always so fucking late” Paul cursed as Dally unpacked his bass.
“I told you, we were in the garden we’ve been given by those old fogies beneath us.”
“Oh yeah, how d’it go?”
Dally stopped unpacking his bass to look at Paul. Should he tell him about the Genie and the Fountain? They’d been friends for a long time and their partnership in the band had magnified their mutual respect and formed a close bond between their families. If anyone had a right to know it was Paul. Perhaps he could take him to the fountain and let him drink too; he’d probably do the same for Simon…
“Nah, fuck him.” Thought Dally and smiled as he said, “Yeah mate, it went alright”.
“Great, now get a move on, David fucking Bellamy!”
Dally pulled out his bass and quickly tuned up. Plugging it in he decided to give it a quick going over to warm his fingers up, and of course subconsciously test out what the genie had said. He tentatively twanged the plectrum and let his hand do what it wanted to.
Suddenly he was away, careening down the guitar neck on a bass line that could have been used to face the Germans on the Somme.
His left hand hurtled up and down the strings like a mad tarantula while the other hand plucked away at the other end with breath taking precision and dexterity..
The other four band members looked on in stunned, goggle-eyed silence as they watched Dally’s fingers spring into apoplectic Chernobyl meltdown speed. Each hand took a life of its own as Dally, himself slack jawed in amazement, stared at his hands in wonder.
After what seemed to Dally like an hour, but were in fact only a couple of minutes he finally wrestled the control of his hands back to himself and stopped playing.
Quiet, like the aftermath of an H Bomb attack, saturated the practise room.
“What the fuck was that?” Paul broke the silence.
Andi, Gerry and Franz, the other band members were still speechless as Dally shrugged and said,
“Nothing, just warming up”.
“Fucking warm up?” Paul almost shrieked. “I could have cooked my breakfast with that!”
Dally shook his head to dispel the moment and smiled, “Look guys, let’s play. I’m feeling good today and I’ve got a lot of work on so let’s get the practise over and fuck off, alright?”
“No fucking way Dallimore” Andi the guitarist laughed, “I wanna see that shit again.”
No sooner were the words out of his mouth than Dally’s hands were speeding around the bass strings again like a pair of naked pygmy spider monkeys on speed. The notes pounded out like artillery barrage and the band gathered around to watch him play.
Helpless, a prisoner to his own paws, Dally submitted his phalanges to caressing the strings and mesmerising his band.
“Cool Dally, that kicks ass!”
“Fucking go for it dude!”
Their praise and challenges spurred him on until he was interrupted by a knocking on the practise room door. Dally’s hands stopped playing as Paul shouted, “Come in!”
A bereted head with a pair of spectacles and the straggliest goatee beard Dally had ever seen popped his head around the door.
“Hey Daddyo, that was out of sight, man. I’ve heard some kooky Jazz bass being played in my time but that was the limit man! Who are you, Jazz Bass Dude?”
The man stepped out from behind the door and minced up to where they stood. Dressed entirely in black and looking like a plate of chicken and chips would double his weight, the “man” looked straight out of the 1960’s Beatnik scene.
“Oh dude, you are one cool cat, baby. I want to hear that bass…”
The words hadn’t even reached his molars before Dally’s hands once again exploded onto the fret board. The beatnik’s fingers snapped in time as the grooviest bass line Dally had ever played streamed out of his fingers. The five spectators gawped in awe as the melody crescendoed to an almost orgasmic climax that left the room panting and feeling used. Once again the silence was deafening and their black clad guest visibly excited.
After adjusting his skin tight black trousers, the visitor solemnly presented Dally his card.
“Felix Le Groovster”, Dally read the card. “Artist, Poet, Musician, Capricorn and Millionaire Rentboy Tycoon.”
“That’s right Daddyo and I want you for my band.”
Dally’s initial shock quickly slipped into horror and then the ubiquitous Dallimore anger.
“No fucking way…” he began, more or less at the exact moment his band mates also started to shout, and then froze as the Genie appeared before him.
The protestations of his fellow band members fell away to a muffled background muzac as the genie reminded him of his deal.
“Come on Geezer, play the facking white man, I told you the facking form so leave it aht willya. Join the ponce’s band and get over it.”
“You’re fucking pissed,” Dally shouted at him. “I’m not gonna join a Jazz band and definitely not this homo’s jizz band and that’s final!”
“You will mate” the Genie answered, though now his face no longer seemed like the cheerful, cockney character Dally had come to identify him with. It now betrayed a shadow of malice that Simon couldn’t help but identify with a London gangster.
“Or what?” Dally belligerently persisted, “What you gonna do then?”
“Well me old mucker, it’s like this, you either play in his band and abide by the facking rules or you won’t get everything you thought you were gonna get, innit? So you won’t be playing like Yehudi Menuhin on a bass cos you’ll be struck down with arthritis. You won’t be quaffing like a school of thirsty tuna cos I’ll give you a dose of facking cirrhosis and you won’t be shagging like a Red Rum on Viagra cos…”
“Don’t say it, I get the picture.” Dally stopped him and then turned to the still bickering band, “Alright, I’ll fucking play bass in your band.”
All stopped shouting at once.
“You what?” Paul asked for them all.
“I said I’ll play in his jizz, I mean Jazz band.”
The bereted beatnik clapped his hands in effeminate “golf-clap” applause, “Far out Daddyo, I’ll be in touch.”
Then he bent forward and before Simon could react he planted a kiss on his cheek and skipped off and out of the room.
“Did you just see that?” Andi asked nobody in particular. “He just kissed you Simon.”
“I fucking know, I just don’t believe it, that’s all” he answered.
Paul turned to Dally and started counting off points on his fingers.
“One, he’s a ponce and wants to shag you.”
“Mmmmm” Dally answered.
“Two, you hate Jazz.”
“Yep,” Dally concurred.
“Three, you’re our fucking bass player and mate but if you go to his band you won’t be anymore. You know the rules mate and rule number one, no fucking homos.”
“So Simon, think about this now, are you going to play in his band because if you do you’re out of here. Are you going to give up a band of mates who play the music you love for a homo who wants to shag you and make you play Jazz?”
Gerry the second guitarist subtly added to the question, “It’s down to this Simon, do you want to use man goo as mouthwash or are you going to tell him to fuck off?”
Dally swallowed hard before answering. “I have to…” He started.
“You’re damn right you have to,” Paul finished for him. “No wait, I’ll do it. Where’s my fucking phone, I’ll tell him to fuck …” However, Paul was stopped in his tracks as Simon completed the sentence.
“I have to play in his band lads. I’m sorry, you’ll never understand but I have to.”
For about the tenth time that day, a stunned silence hovered over the scene like an eggy fart until Franz the drummer broke the silence.
“Right, pack your bags and get out and don’t come back again you knob.” he said in a low voice before turning to the others, “Right lads, we need a new bass player, preferably one who doesn’t suck cock!”
Dally looked towards the malicious “Bow-bells-born-and-bred” Genie and shook his head sadly.
“Satisfied now you dick?”.
“Good laaaahd” the Genie smiled.
In the Pub.
Later on that evening Dally consoled himself with a couple of jars at his favourite pub, Limericks. The place was quiet which suited him down to the ground, it meant he could slide away to the Jägermeister “snug” and calmly discuss the situation with the Genie.
“You fucking twat, a fucking Jazz band? I can’t believe you, do you know what you’ve done? Everybody thinks I’m a shirt lifter now you dick, you didn’t say anything about any diseases this morning! Typical fucking Arab, always a fucking catch.”
The Genie looked back at him reprovingly and Dally caught the look.
“Alright then Cockney fucking Arab. Happy now, cockboy?”
“Yes mate,” he smiled. “A lot happier.”
Dally sank his pint in one and then secretly congratulated himself for such a manly drinking action.
“Look at you, downing that pint in one; you never used to be able to do that, did you?” said the Genie.
Despite himself, Dally smiled. “I used to be able to, a long time ago. Used to do a lot of drinking then; lost the touch now though. I drink about five and I start feeling it.”
“Are you ‘avin’ a laugh or what mate? You still can, I facking told you didn’I? Phone your mates up, get ‘em dahn the pub and drink ‘em under the facking table. That’ll cheer you up mate, eh? Eh?”
Visions of his mates pleading with him not to get the round in because they were knackered swam before him and the sweet milk of quaffing triumph made a small stain in his underwear.
“Yeah, why not?” he laughed in his best mad professor laugh. The Genie joined in until Gareth the owner of the pub popped his head around the corner.
“Are you alright there Simon? You’re sounding a bit pissed up, so you are.”
“Fucking great Gar, well on for a pint. Get us one in and I’ll phone the lads up and get ‘em down here for a sesh.”
“Get your own fucking pint, it isn’t fucking waitress service in here yer lazy twat! I’ll see you at the bar for a Capn’ as well.”
At the bar, Simon could hardly contain his glee as he phoned Adam, his oldest mate from around the Paderborn area.”
“Yeah mate, let’s have a sesh, like the old days.”
Ads, shocked at Simon’s spontaneity, agreed automatically.
“Fucking great idea! Reg, H and Holger are here and The Chief is coming down later, let’s get faced!”
“Yeah, let’s.” Simon smiled.
Four hours later and Gareth was pouring pints like a barman at the Death Valley Drinking Club on “free beer day”. The ale was flowing and there was talk of a round of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum, which would hail the start of the proceedings.
Dally stood by the bar with the gladiator eye of a combatant, measuring the competition.
Ads, his mate from way back before the army had a bit of a reputation with the Gin and Rum. He could hold his own on the beer as well and Si knew he’d be no pushover, a bit of an all rounder. A sprinter and a marathon drinker as the situation dictated, just not good at both.
Reg was a dyed in the wool marathon drinker. His forte was the stamina game and had been known to drink for three days and then do an early shift at work.
H was the sprinter of the gang. He could knock the gin back like a blue whale siphoning for krill but would slacken off into oblivion after the initial onslaught.
Chee was the unknown quantity. Sometimes he could quaff for Germany and other times he just couldn’t hack it due to the tiredness incurred from working 28 hours a day.
And then there was Holger.
A man who poured Bacardi on his corn flakes, who brushed his teeth with whiskey, who snorted Gin and injected Meths! His seemingly bottomless pit of a stomach for alcohol had seen him banned by the German Temperance Society from ever setting foot in Thuringia, Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea and the Czech Republic.
Holger was the man to beat.
The first round of “Capn’s” came and went and the frenzy started.
H shot off to a ridiculous sprint, ordering the shots and drinking them as they came.
Dally kept up easily and the other four surreptitiously exchanged glances at Dally’s easy progress.
“Come on Wankers,” H slurred. “Get ‘em down yer necks!”
Reg briefly pulled a face at the drinks lined up in front of him and Si knew he was in trouble. Ads looked over knowingly at Dally and nodded towards their red headed buddy.
“Alright Reg, feeling the pace a bit are we?”
Out of spite Reg necked the three remaining shots in one but all could see he was floundering.
H burped and looked puky, “I need a piss.” He mumbled and stalked off to the toilets.
“My round is it?” Asked Dally. “Let’s make ‘em doubles, shall we?”
Holger laughed, Chee smiled, Ads nodded solemnly, Reg groaned and H puked up so loudly they could hear him from the bar.
And so the evening progressed, with no quarter given and none taken. One by one they fell by the wayside.
First H, then Reg, then Chee and Ads together until it was only Holger left to take on The Dallion!
“Will you be having another gents?” Gareth asked.
“Jawohl!” shouted Holger, slamming his fist down on the bar.
“Yes please Gar and if you don’t mind, make ‘em pints of Capn’s and cola please.”
The bar stopped as one and silence reigned.
“Two pints of Capn’s and cola coming right up.” Gareth answered, unfazed and indifferent.
Holger and The Dallion stared at each other and the pub took on an uncomfortable ambience. They were gunfighters, knights about to joust or contestants in a bratwurst eating contest to the Death and if the spectators could have run they would have! This was it, do or die and the stand off stretched out until Gareth came with the drinks.
Without taking his eyes off Holger, Dally paid for the round and they both necked their drinks down in one.
“Another!” Holger shouted, breathing heavily and wiping his not inconsiderable beard.
“You too Simon?” Gareth asked quietly.
Dally nodded coolly, he had Holger’s measure now and he knew he wasn’t doing very well at all.
“Make ‘em pints of rum, hold the cola.” He added in his best Gunny Highway voice.
The collective gasp that went around the bar was only outdone by H farting loudly in his sleep.
For the first time in his life Gareth paused and Simon noticed his hesitation. Was that too much? Was Gareth worried about having a death on his hands? A fatality in the bar would be bad for business and Limms was Gar’s livelihood after all. Dally was about to change the order to half pints when Gareth leaned over, “Will you be wantin’ clean glasses then boys?”
“No mate,” Dally smiled. “No new glass, just the rum mate, just the rum.”
It was the calm before the storm, no one moved or spoke, all eyes were directed towards the bar, at Simon and Holger.
Suddenly the door crashed open and like a shaved grizzly bear that’s just raided an off licence, Freddy, Gareth’s bar manager tumbled in. Drunker than ten Irish weddings on Saint Paddy’s day, he span around and shouted for Rum, for women, for curry and anything else he could think of.
Gareth walked steadily over and placed three pints of neat rum on the counter, one for Holger, one for Dally and one for Freddy.
“There you go lads, get it down yer necks. Freddy, yer rum’s here mate.” Gareth smiled like a favoured Aunt and Freddy, like a tamed Frankenstein’s monster in leg braces, stumbled over and supped his glass down in one.
Holger followed suit and then promptly rolled his eyes and fell to the floor, out cold.
Dally swallowed his and laughed delightedly, the others were all out for the count and he felt fine, it was brilliant!
The bar erupted into spontaneous applause and Dally, like a victorious prize fighter, held his fist aloft in triumph. “Life is good” whispered Simon to himself.
A light vibration in his pocket told him his phone was ringing and he pulled it out to answer. He looked at the name and saw Melanie, and then he looked at the time. Six O’clock in the morning, not good, they were meant to be going shopping today and Melanie was probably wondering where he was. Well, it was no bother, he felt great; he’d get a taxi home, have some breakfast and then they could go. Easy.
“Simon? Where are you, I’ve been worried sick!”
She sounded panicky and Simon felt a slight twinge of guilt, he should have told her he’d be so long.
“Yeah babes, I’m at Limms, it’s OK, I’ll be home soon.”
“We’re going shopping today and I’m meeting up with my new boss, he wants to meet you so get here quick so I can clean you up; I want to make a good impression and ask for a pay rise.”
Dally smiled fondly at the thought of Melanie being worried about his appearance.
“Melanie, I’m fine, I’ll be home soon I promise it.”
“OK, love you” she laughed down the phone, elated he wasn’t dead drunk in a gutter being shagged rotten by some randy old, AIDS-upped heroin junky.
“I love you too babe, see you later.” He smiled and closed the phone.
Looking up he caught Gareth and Freddy’s look.
“What?” he asked.
“You’re not going anywhere, we’re having a drink.” Freddy said in his usual, dead pan I’ll-break-your-legs-if-you-argue way.
Gareth pushed a pint of rum across, “Stringer, Ian, Ross and Joey are coming round for a breakfast session so you might as well stay here.” He smiled that twinkle-eyed Irish smile he used when charming the customers.
Dally, recognising the challenge, froze in fear and the words weren’t even a foetus in his cerebrum when the Genie appeared behind Gar and Freddy.
“I never said a fucking word you Arab twat!” He shouted at him.
Freddy and Gareth looked at each other in confusion.
“What?” said Freddy.
“What?” said Gareth.
“I never said you fackin’ did my san; but you was gonna.” The Genie replied like an irritated Michael Caine. “Now sit back down, pick up yer pint and drink like a fackin’ man.”
After looking pointedly at the Genie for a couple of seconds Dally turned to Gareth and Freddy.
“How long are we looking at? Melanie wants to go shopping later on.”
The pair of them looked thoughtfully at each other before Gareth answered.
“Well, it could be an all dayer and an all nighter or it could be a bit longer. It depends on the boys, you know the crack Si.”
Dally feverishly turned every stone in his mind to find an argument so that he didn’t have to stay and drink.
“It’s a bit unfair though, isn’t it? I mean I’ve been drinking all night; I drank the usual bunch here under the table! And now you want me to drink some more? I mean, come on!”
Freddy stopped him in his tracks with a casual, “Well I’ve been on the piss for the last three days solid Simon.”
Dally looked to Gareth who silently nodded his concurrence and his spirits nosedived. He caught the genie nodding and grinning behind them, “Fackin’magic mate, you’ll have a fackin’ ball!”.
He decided on the honest approach. “Guys, Melanie will kill me if I don’t turn up sober and very soon. She’s meeting her boss in the town and she wants to put on a good impression so as to get a pay rise.”
Dally realised his words were falling on deaf ears so he tried again.
Guys listen to me, I have to go, just tell me to go home and I’ll go. Please, say it.”
Gareth, as if talking to a retarded parrot shook his head.
“I can’t say that because we want to go on the piss with you. You drank everyone under the table, so now you can drink with us.” He smiled
We’re talking blood here guys, blood!”
But Dally knew that this line of argument only ever worked with Reg and Joey and he resignedly picked up his pint of rum and drank it in one. Slamming the glass down he looked up at Gareth and Freddy.
There was no mercy to be found there and he knew his cause was lost.
It was either disappoint Melanie or leave the bar and be cast an arthritic, impotent cirrhosis sufferer. It wasn’t fair but he knew now that the Genie wasn’t as benevolent as he first thought and that the age old maxim of, “be careful of what you wish for because you just might get it” was actually quite a clever saying and not just a load of old bollocks, as he’d always thought.
“Alright yer bastards, but if Melanie does come here you guys are to blame.” He mumbled into his glass.
“Good laaaaaaaahd” the Genie beamed from behind the bar.
How’s yer father?
Dally stirred in his sleep as Melanie softly stroked his shoulder.
“Simon, “she whispered seductively. “Simon, time to wake up dear, you’ve got work to do.”
He smiled contentedly, snug in his jacket and work boots…
Jacket and work boots? An inkling of concern tingled nastily at the back of his mind, then Melanie grabbed him roughly by the shoulder.
“Wake up you lazy twat, sleeping on the job’s a sack-able offence!”
Dally opened his eyes and the horrific realisation of his predicament hit him like a World Cup own goal. He was at work, he’d fallen asleep and his boss had caught him.
“We’re going to have words about this Mr. Dallimore and it won’t be with coffee; I could have you up on a charge!”
“Yes Mr.Grimsdale,” he answered, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. “Sorry Mr.Grimsdale, it won’t happen again.”
Grimsdale, an ex Para with about as much brains as a mildly senile ox and possessing roughly about the same muscle mass could barely contain his rage.
“I know it won’t laddy because if it does, you’ll be for the high jump.”
“Yes Mr.Grimsdale.” Dally answered truculently.
When Grimsdale left Alan, Dally’s Scouser workmate came out of his hiding place.
“Fuckin’ ‘ell Si, you’re mad man! You could have got away with that when Bill was here but Grimsdale’s a knob, he still thinks he’s in the Falklands! Why did Bill leave us? Why, why?”
“He’s not gone yet mate, he might stay.”
“Fuck off Dallimore, who’d want to stay here with us? He’ll take that cushy job on Range Control and leave us with the ex-Airborne Sasquatch there and I wouldn’t blame him. Don’t fall asleep again mate, I wouldn’t want to come back from dinner to find him nailing you up as a punishment for sleeping on the job again.”
Dally nodded and sat down behind his desk, “But I’m so fucking tired Al, I need sleep.” He said putting his head back down on the desk.
Within seconds he was snoring like a drunken bear and Alan woke him up.
“Get a grip man, sort yourself out! What’s wrong with yer?”
“I can’t tell yer mate, if I did…”
“You’d have to kill me.” Alan finished for him. “Well Bill Price is gone and with him the good days. So it’s only you, me and Psycho-Para so get it sorted. I’m going to count some bullets, catch you later.”
“Alan?” Dally called to him.
“Wot Sleeping Ugly?”
“Don’t worry about Birdshit Grimsnail, I’ve got something sorted.” Dally smiled knowingly.
“Yeah mate, whatever.” Alan laughed and left him on his own.
Dally sat back and the genie appeared from behind a shelf, “Everything alright Si mate? You look a tad perky mate, not sleeping?” He smiled insidiously.
“You fucking Arab wanker, why don’t you just leave me alone?
“Oh I can’t do that mate, you’re my fackin’ lord and master ain’t yer, so I have to pander to your every whim.”
“Well pander to this and fuck off yer camel fondler.”
The Genie ignored Dally’s out burst and sat on the edge of his desk.
“What’s wrong mate, it all went well last night didn’t it?”
Simon looked up to see the Genie leering down at him like a second hand porn salesman and groaned..
“Why are you doing this to me? What did I ever do to you?”
Shaking his head in mock disappointment, the Genie sighed theatrically and said, “Simon, Simon, Simon, mate, buddy, pal I’m only sortin’ aht what you wanted me to. I told you the deal, I warned ya geezer.”
Dally broke in, “Can’t you go back to that other way of talking? The mysterious voice thing you did? I’m starting to hate fucking Cockneys. Do a Scouse accent like Alan or something.”
“Your wish is my command.” The Genie bowed and said in a Scouse accent so thick that Dally had the urge to check that his car was still there, “Alright lad, wotsa problem like? You had a boss shag so why are yer complainin’?”
Dally looked up again at the Genie, raised his eyebrows in a facial shrug and then crossed his arms on the desk so he could lay his head on them.
“Because I haven’t had any sleep,” he said in a muffled voice. “For three days!”
”Sleep, wot’s fuckin’ sleep to a lad who can shag for eight hours on the go, eh? Eh? Eh? You’re a fuckin’ sex god lad, a beast! You don’t need sleep kid, you need coffee!” He laughed and producing a cup of coffee, he placed it before Simon’s crossed arms.
“Fuck off you Arab Scouse twat.” Dally answered him in a very slow, deliberate voice. “And stick that coffee up your arse.”
“Alright, alright, calm down calm down, now denn, what happened?”
“You know what fucking happened,” Simon wailed from the crook of his arms. “It was so good she wanted… wait, why am I discussing this with you, you were watching yer dirty fucking pervert!”
The Genie laughed jovially, “Well, you know, I had to make sure it was all going well, like. But you did me proud lad, proud.”
Simon looked up at him and fixed him with an accusing stare, “But every fucking night? Last night you watched all night, I couldn’t believe it! Who watches a sex show for eight hours in one go? Aren’t you blind by now?”
The genie scuffed his feet in embarrassment, “I didn’t do anyt’ing dough…”
“You lying twat!”
“Well I didn’t want to do anyt’ing, you know, like dat; it just happened like.”
Simon shook his head in disbelief, “You had a wank in my bedroom while I was…”
“Yeah, I know it sounds bad, but I didn’t want to dough,” the Genie shrugged. “It’s all the tame ting, lah; .I didn’t want to but…”
“You did” Simon shut him up. He exhaled heavily, as if coming to a decision and then sat up. “How do I get out of this mess? It can’t go on like this, how do I get out of it all?”
“What? You don’t lad, simple as dat. You’re in it for life.”
“No, Genie, listen to me. I’m not playing anymore, I want out. I’m in a band run by a beatnik homo that plays Jazz. My wife didn’t speak to me for three days because the sesh I had to go on with the lads went on for too long and I turned up pissed to meet her boss; she didn’t get the pay rise by the way. When my wife finally does want to talk to me and we make up, it turns into a whole eight hour shift of, “Making up”! We, “Made up” three days on the trot, I am physically and emotionally drained to the point of contemplating suicide. So I’ll ask you one last time before I get up and knock you out, HOW DO I GET OUT OF THIS?”
Looking abashed and somewhat intimidated, the genie flapped his arms in a shrug and said, “Well, ders no need for dat now, is der? Eh? Eh?”
“How? I want out of it and I want out now.”
“OK, listen lah, I can see dat you’re pissed off. It goes like dis, see, to get out of it you have to lose the garden. Give it to someone else because when the garden goes, the fountain shite goes as well. OK?”
“Fuckin’ right, the garden is history,” Dally said with feeling. “Now to sort out Grimsnail.”
“You talking to yourself again Dallimore?” As if one cue, Para Grimsdale marched into the room, “First sign of madness that is, could have you on a charge for that.”
Dally watched the genie disappear and then meaningfully turned in his seat to face his boss.
“Mr. Grimsdale, could you answer me one question please?”
Looking puzzled, Grimsdale did what he knew best and answered a question with a challenge.
“Don’t know your job then is it Dallimore? I could have you on a charge for that, working here, taking an honest man’s pay and not knowing the job.”
“No Mr. Grimsdale, my question is why don’t you,” Dally said while standing up and walking around the desk. “Go and fuck yourself?”
The question rattled around Grimsdale’s head and as the overtures of rebellion registered in his walnut sized mind, the ex-Para’s eyes flashed in Neanderthal intensity anger. Faster than a Mike Tyson sex partner’s sprint to a lawyer, Grimsdale threw a punch that could have floored a Challenger tank. Dally dodged under it but the lower part of Grimsdale’s granite fist caught him on the temple.
It didn’t hurt but it was part of the plan and Simon fell to the floor, shouting his pain for all and sundry to hear.
Grimsdale stood over him, fists clenched and breathing like a bull that’s just raped ten cows. “Get up you big girl and fight me like a man, like a Para!”
His eyes blazed in blood lust and as he took another pace forward, Dally raised his hands over his head in defence.
“I said get up you Cavalry ponce!” He shouted this time, working himself into a pain inflicting level of frenzy that could equal Torquemada and his Spanish Inquisition on the perverted-insanity scale.
Simon’s shouting now verged on male post-castratal screaming and Grimsdale, incensed by the feminine nature of Dally’s reaction, slowly raised his fist to smash down and make porridge of his head.
When suddenly, he froze.
“Mr. Grimsdale, what on earth do you think you’re doing?” shouted a welcome and very familiar voice.
Grimsdale snapped out of his feeding frenzy and nearly stood to attention on hearing Bill Price’s voice. Simon smiled from his place on the floor and whispered to himself, “That was close Bill.”
“Mr. Price,” Grimsdale stuttered as a brain cell at the back of his mind sparked a bit to tell him he was in trouble before fizzling out. “Err, Bill, I’ve had a slight altercation with Mr. Dallimore here and I…”
But Bill Price, who had listened to Dally’s grievances against Grimsdale with a more than sympathetic ear, knew what had to be done.
“Mr: Grimsdale, I’m afraid you’ll have to come with me to the Major’s office and talk about a different job, let’s say in the cookhouse or on the gate?”
Simon watched them both leave and patted his own back. It had almost gone horribly, fatally wrong, literally, but in the end Bill had timed and played his part to perfection and now Grimsdale was history.
“Good bye fuckwit,” he’d smiled at Grimsdale as he trudged past. “Don’t fuck with the Cavalry if you don’t understand the rules you stupid grunt-shit.”
Grimsdale paused and glowered at Simon, “You’d better have your ID card on you every day when you come to work Dallimore.”
Dally gave him his best shit eating grin and said “ID card please sir, you loser.”
With a weighty, “Harrumph!” Grimsdale turned and shambled out like a rejected mammoth.
“Right, now let’s get rid of this fucking garden.” He said to himself, steeled with determination to get his life back on track.
Shedding Himler’s curse.
Dally knocked on the door and waited. He knew the neighbours wouldn’t want the garden back but he was adamant that it was going to go. He’d pondered briefly on whether he should tell Melanie everything but decided against it, it would only cause needless discussion and argument and they could have that after the garden was gone.
He heard feet shuffling on the other side of the door and an old man’s voice called to ask, “Who is it?”
“It’s me, your neighbour Mr. Himler, I was just wondering if we could talk about the garden.”
There was a brief pause before he answered, “No, I don’t think so Mr. Dallinord. Not today, I am wery tired.”
Simon closed his eyes and started to count to ten as he’d been taught to in anger management class. He stopped at three.
“Open the door now Himmler you elderly Nazi twat or I’ll shop you to the coppers. And it’s Dalli-M.O.R.E., Dallimore, how often do I have to tell you that?”
Dally heard a sigh from the other side of the door and it slowly opened up. Mr. Himler stood before him in his pyjamas holding a glass of milk and a look of wounded pride on his face.
“Herr Dallinorsk, I have often said to you zat my name is ze only resemblance I have to ze Nazi killer Heinrich Himmler. My name is Heinritch Himler and his name vas Heinrich Himmler, I have no …”
Dally stopped him before he spiralled out of control on one of his stories about his father being in the German resistance during the war.
“Yes yes yes, very interesting you old goose-stepper. Now listen, this garden, I don’t want it anymore and stop taking the piss out of my name.”
A look of puzzled innocence cross Mr. Himler’s face but once again Dally cut him off.
“You know why you old git, that fucking fountain and that fucking Arab are wrecking my life. I have to get rid of the curse but the garden belongs to you, so you’ll have to sell it and give it to someone else.
Himler’s face took on a calculating turn and he stroked his chin thoughtfully, “Ah yes, ze Fountain of Youth. Do you know how long it vas before I asked ze Genie how I could escape ze curse?”
Dally pointed an accusing finger at him and shouted, “I knew it, you palmed it off on me you old goat! I’ve been through hell this last week, absolute hell.”
“One Veek! I had zis scheisse for five years! Look at me, everyone thinks I am at least seventy years old and I’m only fucking forty!!”
Dally jaw dropped, “Fucking Hell!”
“Ja, ja, it takes it toll on ze old health, drinking all night, making love all night, I’m so fucking tired.” The he brightened up, “But I had ze good old time mit ze ladies and my frau vas wery sad vhen I said I must give it up.”
“I bet she was mate, my wife’s gonna be heartbroken too, but I’ve got to get out of this curse, you can understand that, surely?”
Mr. Himler nodded sagely, “Ja ja, I do understand zis but you must ask yourself one qvestion, vhy vould I vant to sell ze garden? I see no profit in zis for me.”
Bunching his hand into a fist, Dally took a step towards him. “The profit will be in the fact that if you do get rid of the garden you won’t have to fork out money to a surgeon to remove your face from the evacuation opening of your lower intestine.”
Eyes wide in alarm, Himler took a step back and put his milk down to placate his apoplectic neighbour.
“OK, OK Mr. Tallinore, I vill try and sell ze garden as you vish.”
“Don’t try Heinrich, do it. Sell the garden, lose this curse and we’ll all be able to see your smile without the use of an X ray machine.”
“Simon, me old mate, on for another three dayer?” Gareth greeted his first guest of the evening. “Freddy’s coming down as well later on and the lads will all be here in the morning.” It was a Saturday and Gar had decided to shock the locals by turning up for work sober.
Dally smiled to himself, “No mate, my drinking days are over, it’s back to eight pints and bed for me.”
Gareth looked shocked but quickly recovered, “You’re a card mate, what’ll it be, pint o’ Capn’s?”
Laughing loudly now, Dally put his hand on the rum bottle that Gareth was about to pour into a large glass. “No mate, really, I haven’t got the money, kidney capacity, liver stamina or brain cells to spare for another three dayer, I’ll just have a pint mate, if that’s alright.”
Gareth puffed his cheeks out in disbelief and put the bottle back under the counter, “Well, alright, if that’s what you want.”
Pouring the pint, Gareth looked over to his only guest, “How’s Melanie mate?”
“Well, a bit sad but she’ll get over it.”
“Sad? Why’s that mate?”
Si sipped on his pint before answering, “Long story mate, leave it.”
He turned around as Ads entered the pub. “Beer Ads?” Gareth called.
“Yeah great, check this out,” he turned to Dally. “Heard about H?”
Gareth put the pint on the bar and leaned forward to listen in.
“No mate, what?” Dally asked for the pair of them.
“It’s weird as fuck, he’s playing guitar in a Jazz band!”
Dally spluttered into his pint and Gareth reached over to pat him on his back.
“He’s what, in a Jazz band, not an Iron Maiden cover band? Has he turned gay?”
Ads shook his head, “That’s what I said but he said to me he’ll be down later to drink us all under the table to prove that he isn’t.”
“Fuckin’ great!” said Gar as Dally coughed into his pint again.