Friday, February 8, 2013

Telling it like it is

Telling it like it is

What did she look like?  I can't really remember.  Rangy?  Big?  Black hair.  Keen on cardigans.  Not the ragged studenty ones with holes in though.  Colour of eyes?  Don't ask me. 

She was just one of those women that you really wanted to be with, usually because she could think like you and even better, act like you and drink like you and talk like you.  So she knew that even though you usually kept at least a rough count of these things, you'd sometimes forget her "status," as she liked to call it.  Particularly after your fifth pint. 

So it was always wonderful when she took your feelings into account.  And after the said fifth pint, she wouldn't fuck about with pissy, lightweight comments like "It's not the right time of the month for me." 

She would just say, all in one go, "I'm on at the moment kid, but don't worry, because that doesn't mean you won't be getting any."

Martin C

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ripping Off Bobby D Doesn't Go Exactly To Plan

-I'm telling you the place is packed every night. It's gotta be a goldmine.
-Phone 'em up, try book a fucking table then?
-Yeah. You can't it's booked solid. People in this town, they go nuts for a new restaurant, and this one, with De Niro backing it, you know how New Yorkers love Bobby?
-Fucking A, Yeah. Arh fuck you Sal if yous don't want in, I'll get that crew of Micks from over Middle Village  do it with me.
-No, no, no, no , no, no. I never said I wasn't interested alls I'm doing is asking questions. Make sure you've got your shit together. Ain't having no fuckin Micks knock Bobby D over. No fuckin way!

The late model Caddy pulled into the Tribeca side street and parked outside a one time warehouse. Tendy fucking lofts now for rich people who wouldn't have even walked down here 10 years ago. These sidewalks are mobbed with strollers and babies and mommies and nannies by day and at night the beautiful people come out to eat in some fancy restaurants and feel 'edgy' for a few hours.  Edgy, downtown. They wanna feel edgy they should try get some chicken wings in East New York or Brownsville at 3 a.m. Fuck 'em, they'll feel edgy tonight alright.

-You sure this is it then?
- Yeah, look Nobu just like it says in the Zagat.
-Alright alls we do now then is wait.

The two goons slink down in their seats and wait for the restaurant to empty. 2:15 it says in the Zagat.
- Hey Sal, Sal wake up, they're locking the place up.
-Ok  here we go then. you ready?
-Yeah Sal, let's do this.

-Hey buddy! Sal bangs on the window while his partner hides out of sight, his shooter drawn.
-Hey buddy, I left my wallet at my table, can yous let me in, it'll only take a minute?
The porter stops sweeping the floor and unlocks the front door of the restaurant. The two robbers push their way in past him, guns drawn and trained on the hapless porter.
-Alright motherfuckas get the manager out here or this fucking spic gets it!
-Where's the fucking dude with the money? Get him out here.
-Please! Please don't shoot me! Oh God I... Please, I'm just the porter, I clean, I wash put out the garbage, please!

From the kitchen a waiter emerges...
-Oh shit! Fuck...
-You! You motherfucka hand over the money. Get the takings now!
-Oh shit, erm, err
-Now you piece of shit don't fuck about!
- There isn't any
- What? You some kindof fucking clown, yanking my chain? What the fuck? Cash now or the wet back gets it.
- Please no don't hurt me! My family,my...
- Shut the fuck up! Get the fucking money now!
- Please, seriously, oh God don't shoot him, there isn't any money, we don't take money, it's all creditcards. Please.
-What? What the fuck do you mean?
-We, we, we just don't take cash. Nobu's not that kind of place.
-Huh? What the?
- Hey Sal I didn't know I...
- Shut the fuck up and get the fuck out of here now!

The two would be robbers run to the Caddy, jump in and screech away into the night, headed for the Brooklyn Bridge.

-Hey Sal if I knew, I swear. I... I...
- Shut the fuck up and pass me that Zagats you fucking  fuck you..
- Honest Sal, I... Here, here..
-Nobu. Nobu. Nobu. 27/30. Decor 9. Food 9. Service 9...
-See I told you it was a good spot...
- Cost $$$$ Expensive. Credit cards only. You dumb fuck.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Waiting until Jason is in full bullshit mode, regaling their mates with some tired old story, Rosie slides out of her chair and exits. The music and laughter is subdued by the length of the hallway and her need. The glory of the bathroom is revealed. It matches her mood. Fluorescent light, chipped and stained enamel, mouldy grouting, tied together with lime green woodwork. About time they moved out of this shit hole. 

Rosie’s fingers tremble as she teases the foil into a tube. A pen or even a toothbrush would make it easier but the thought is dismissed by the urgency in her veins. She also knows she should first burn the foil because later, inevitably, when she’s desperate enough to smoke the residue that collects in the tube, she won’t be inhaling the foil’s plastic coating. But again those thoughts are shouldered aside by the sour grapefruit zing in her limbs. She tears another square of aluminium, burns it and flattens it ready to receive some of the dirty brown powder. Her shaky fingers are bolstered by a fear of spillage.

The cheap plastic lighter is found and ground into life. The foil square placed over the flame and the powder, teased expertly into smoke, is quickly inhaled via the loosely rolled tube. Angling the foil away she deftly chases the bead of resin, retrieving the released.

Release. Release from the fear of pain.

The first lungful is always metallic and hot. A noise from down the hallway reminds her of her guests. She lies to herself deciding that another strike of metal on flint, the inhalation, another cough or two, not to mention the acrid smell, is all sure to go unnoticed. Sitting back warmth seeps into her limbs replacing the citrus electricity that existed before. The tide is back in washing away all the detritus, the litter of a messy mind spoiling a place of natural beauty. She’d always been environmentally conscious, so it was natural to want the shoreline free from crap.

Another and it was high tide.


Jason looks up as Rosie wafts back in. She looks like she’s underwater. He notices the contracted pupils, tiny beads of black in red-rimmed white. Eyelids lowered in submission. Her lips are teased up in a Mona Lisa smile. 
She sits and avoids his eye - her gaze slipping over him like he’s Teflon. She rubs her nose, twists her hair and touches her neck before repeating the opiate-induced ritual. Fuck. Could she be more obvious?

Chris Williams

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Big Sick Jim Martin, and the £1500 Curry

   Big Sick Jim Martin, and the £1500 Curry.

By Ian Hunter

   From its humble beginnings, The Real Thing album had now become a monster. 18 months ago Faith No More were still relatively unknown in Europe. Original singer, Chuck Mosley, had imploded after impact with a giant crack rock, and even the small band of diehard fans, who had chanced across the band’s debut album, (We Care A Lot) were unsure of his replacement, Mike Patton.

   They need not have worried. Debut single, Out of Nowhere, had launched Patton on the world; Epic had followed it up on a global scale, and 18 months down the line, The Real Thing has sold by the truck load. A year ago Faith No More were sharing a cramped mini bus with their road crew but right now their two giant sleeper buses are pulling in to a service station en-route from London to Birmingham.

   FNM’s guitarist, Big Sick Jim Martin, looks up from his copy of Massive Tits Monthly through a wall of cigar smoke, and inquires as to why they are stopping. The rest of the band shrug with disinterest and continue watching Evil Dead II, before the driver pops his head out of his cab, holding a small walkie-talkie. “Tim just radioed from the other bus and told me to park up.” 

Jim Martin sighed and went back to ogling giant buns. The door on the crews bus sprang back with a pneumatic wheeze and out stepped Tim; a wiry no nonsense northerner. Tim looked like he couldn’t manage a bag of heavy shopping but his reputation for dealing with ‘the shizzle’ was legendary. Earlier on in the tour, the support band had been warned that they were not to go to catering until FNM had sound checked and gone to eat. That’s the etiquette. Tim didn’t give second warnings. When it had happened again, he had simply marched in to catering, up-turned the support bands table, and beat them all about the head with a wooden bread board. At this precise moment he was marching across the pot holed car park toward the bands bus and he looked like he meant business. 

Big Sick Jim Martin glanced up from his boob fest, and slunk down low in his seat.
Tim climbed aboard, scanned the bus lounge, and spotted the mass of black curls atop of a pair of big red sunglasses. He walked over to Big Sick Jim and thrust a fax in front of his big black beard. “What the fuck is this, Jim?” asked Tim, with more than a hint of annoyance. 
Big Sick Jim glanced at it, not really needing to read it to know what it was. “Er, it’s a hotel bill, puss.”

Tim snatched it back. “Yes Jim, it’s a bill for your room, from The Columbia Hotel, for £1600. That’s exactly £1500 more than it should be.” Tim leaned in and snatched Massive Tits Monthly from the hands of its reader. “Would you care to explain?” 
Big Sick Jim Martin sat back with a nonchalant sigh and took the stogie from his mouth. “I spilled my curry.” 
Tim the tour manager looked at him with consternation before looking to the rest of the band to check that he hadn’t just imagined it. “You spilled your curry? How the fuck does spilling your curry cost £1500?”
Big Sick Jim Martin pondered the question and clearly decided that attack was the best form of defence. “Look, Puss, I spilled my fucking Curry, OK?” Tim was having none of it. “OK Jim, explain how spilling your curry has just cost us £1500?” Big Sick Jim blew out his cheeks and raised his arms with incredulity.
“OK OK, after the gig I went and bought a takeaway and brought it back to my room. I’m sitting on the corner of my bed pouring this cup of fuckin’ yellow shit sauce over my food and I spilled some on the fucking duvet.” Jim re-lit his cigar and continued his explanation. 
“Now I’m looking at this stain and thinking Tim’s gonna get a cleaning bill for this, so I wanted to help ya out. I went in my case and took out a can of lighter fuel, cuz I’m thinking this shit will get the stain out, right?” Tim’s jaw is slowly dropping as Big Sick Jim continues to explain. “Thing is Tim, I’m fucking scrubbing so hard to save your sorry English ass, that my fuckin’ cigar fell out my mouth and set fire to the fuckin; duvet! Now I’m thinking to myself, Tim is gonna be real pissed about this so I better help him out.”

Tim raises his palms and stops Jim in his tracks. “OK Jim, you set fire to the duvet but how is that £1500?” Big Sick Jim Martin stared back at his tour manager; his expression that of a man who just couldn’t understand what was not being understood. “OK, so I’m looking at this fire and I’m thinkin’ I need to put this baby out and stop it spreading.” 
It’s at this point that everyone thinks to themselves, what would I do? Everyone else on the bus lands on the same square at the same time. You would grab the duvet and throw it in the bath tub and turn on the shower... Wouldn’t you? 

Jim continued. “So a grabbed the duvet and threw it off the balcony.” Jims face became slightly sheepish. “Anyway, I’m eating my curry and slugging a few drinks when suddenly I can see smoke rising outside. I walked out on to the balcony to take a look and the god damn bushes are on fire.” Jim Martins face is one of; can you believe it? “So I’m thinkin’ Tim’s gonna be in real doo doo here, so I figured 
I could smother it by dropping the mattress on it. That didn’t work so well, so I tried again with the bed.... And then the wardrobe.”

Tim’s jaw was now on the carpet. He finally composed himself enough to say something.  “So let me get this right Jim, you threw the majority of your furniture from a second story hotel room and burned it in the street?”

Big Sick Jim Martin shook his head and blew out his cheeks with frustration. He looked up at Tim one last time. “What don’t you understand here?... I JUST SPILLED MY FUCKING CURRY!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Public Enemy #1

“And lastly, I want you all to keep your eyes peeled for this clown who’s nicking telephones. Usually it’s kids trying to steal the money from phone boxes but this joker, he cuts the cable and steals the phone itself. Fuck knows what he does with them.”
The police officers, fully briefed, emptied out of the meeting room and prepared for their shifts.
“Nice work on catching that mugger last week Johnson.”
“Catching? Catching? The little fucker ran right round the corner and into his arms. Fucking junkie.”
“Ask me if I give a fuck. A collar’s a collar. And we gave him the business in the cells. Little twat, robbing old ‘uns like that.”

Meanwhile, across town in a nondescript bedsit, Wayne lay on his bed staring up at the twenty seven telephone receivers hanging from his ceiling a Cramps album playing, a cigarette dangling from his lip and a bottle of tequila in his left hand.
“So what do you reckon Johnno, this tit chopping phone cables?”
“Who the fuck knows, this town’s full of loons.”
The police car crept along the high street, the two officers straining to see the receiver in every phone box they passed.

Wayne threw on his coat and set off out into the night. He checked his flat top haircut in the shop window and gave himself a knowing wink. He felt the cable cutters in his pocket and laughed to himself as he sauntered past a phone box, minus phone, at the end of his street. The Barking Dog pub beckoned and he stopped for a pint, making small talk with the landlord. On his way out, he used the Gents then deftly clipped the phone cable from the pay phone in the hallway.
“Nice.” He put the receiver in an inside pocket of his coat. These old overcoats were great for hiding stuff he thought to himself. He fished out his Walkman, put his headphones on, inserted a Meteors tape and head out once more into the night.

“I mean, seriously, what the fuck can you do with a load of phones like that? Twenty odd they reckon in the last two weeks…”
“How the fuck would should I know? Listen, drive up by the university, there’s a block of half a dozen phones there, what’d you reckon?”
“Jesus Johnno lad, you’re good.”
Wayne gave the phone boxes the once over from his vantage point in the shadows of the university’s front doors. “All clear. Here we go. Too easy.”
“Johnno lad, look, we’ve got the fucker, that’s him for sure.”
“Oi, you yer cunt don’t fucking move!”
Wayne, naturally, took off running. The two police officers gave chase.
“Hey yer fucker, come here now!”
“Johnno, go on Johnno!.”
Johnson threw himself at Wayne’s legs and took him down with a well-timed rugby tackle, Higgins followed through with a deft kick in the ribs.
“Got yer, yer little cunt.”
The two policemen pulled Wayne up off the ground as a small crowd gathered. Johnson gave Higgins a nod as if to alert him to the fact they were been watched. No more rough stuff, do this by the book.

“Now then lad, what have you to say for yourself?”
Wayne wrestled his arm free of Johnson’s grip and reached inside his coat. Higgins moved forward and grabbed at his arm. Wayne grinned pulled out a phone and looked Higgins in the eye.
“Officer, it’s for you.”




The older I get the more I’m like my dad.  It started with the sighing.  That sigh you let out when you’re exasperated with the kids, your life and the abortion you are making of a little piece of DIY.
Mind you he’s the DIY king.
I’ve given up DIY after the experience of trying to fit a cat flap into the wall of our garage so the mangy cats can live outside.  I ended up with a hole the size of a Bengal tiger which led to my own DIY SOS to my dad to come and fix the mess.
Not only do I sigh and now breath like him I’ve started with his obsession with turning off electrical items.  I wander round after the kids braying “Sunlight is free” whilst opening the curtains and turning off TV’s, computers and particularly light switches.  He’s obsessed with switches and now so am I.  Which is ironic when you come to think of it, given where I’m sitting today.
I’m holding his hand in both of mine as he lies in a hospital bed.  He’s attached to things that beep repeatedly, take his blood pressure, do his breathing.  I’m remembering a drunken night we shared as a family back when we’d moved into our new house.
Dad came and cooked and we ate and drank and gossiped.  Over the course of the evening for some reason he got round to talking about mortality and how if he ever ended up incapable of helping himself then we were to make sure that he went with some dignity.  Nobody was listening to him, putting it down to the maudlin effect of brandy.
I promised there and then that I would help him should the time come.  We laughed it off but it felt like a promise, like I’d made a commitment.
So here we are, Me and my dad both obsessed with switching things off.  He can’t tell me that he’s had enough, that he’s knackered and ready to go.  I look round at the family standing and one by one they nod knowing it’s right and glad it’s not them.
I’ve already squared it with the doctors.  Normally family aren’t allowed to do this as it’s more a figure of speech.  But I made a promise, a commitment and they’ve relented.
I free one hand, reach over and switch his life support off.

Brian Tuck