Dear pauly: A letter from your father

A few weeks after one of Banjo’s poos had gone up my sleeve because it was windy and then come out because I was paying for beer I was sitting in the car park in Waitrose. I was in a car, not on the floor, and I did a trump, a pretty big one. It even startled me and I did it. I’d needed a trump for my whole shopping trip but I’m not an animal, so I waited until I was back in my car so as to not offend anybody. What could go wrong? A knock on the window could go wrong. It could be the girl from the off-license who I would somehow later marry could go wrong. That’s what could go wrong. And that’s what happened. I just stared at her for a while unable to process what was happening to me or why it was happening to me. She was saying hello. I mouthed back hello. I don’t know why I didn’t say it, the window wasn’t soundproof or anything.

“I couldn’t get a lift, could I?” She was asking. Oh my God.

Except of course I couldn’t give her a lift, I couldn’t even wind down the window a crack, for fear of my trumps escaping and melting her face off like a spirit long trapped in the Ark of the Covenant. I had to think and think fast, I thought. And then I thought about how long that thought had taken. And that one, and soon I’d been sitting there for maybe a whole minute just thinking about how long my thinking was taking. She’d tried to attract my attention a couple of times during this minute but I had my thinking face on.

“No.” I told her shaking my head. I then, for reasons not even I can explain, waved at her just like the queen waves. with my hand nearly turned over. I then drove off. I think she was relieved.

I drove down the road hating my life and I saw a hitch-hiker, he looked at me, saw I wasn’t slowing for him and I could see the contempt on his face, so I flicked him the Vs and mouthed, ‘fuck off.’

I mouth things in cars.

I drove a bit further and while sitting at a traffic lights I thumped and pulled at the steering wheel as vigorously as I dared without detonating the air-bag. Looking in the rear view mirror I saw the hitch hiker approaching at about 5min/mile pace. I trumped again, ensured the doors were locked and closed my eyes tight. I could hear him thumping on my window and trying the door handle. He was telling me to get out. I counted to 20 and then opened my eyes and drove away. Luckily the lights had changed.

I was feeling pretty wretched about myself and I broke the speed limit. I admit it. That’s shit of me particularly as I hate bad drivers more than anything else in the world. To drive like a dick is the worst thing you can do, in my humble opinion. I’ve been run over three times which I guess might cloud my judgement but my hatred doesn’t really stem from selfish reasons of self preservation. When I see a dangerous driver I’m more concerned that they might have an accident which will cause people to go through what I have had to.

Getting run over even once is no picnic.

I calmed down and slowed. The hitch hiker was miles behind and I felt safe when I stopped at the next set of lights. I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw somebody a bit too close to me. I shook my head but didn’t explode as I was exhausted. I didn’t need any more aggro. We were stopped at the lights and getting too close when stopped isn’t too bad, it might have been an accident. Sure, if it happened at the next lights I would have had to take action but we never got to that stage as when I pulled away I checked the mirror and the fucker was still right behind me.

I’m talking inches.

I started to explode. I was wearing a hat and this was making my head very hot. I’ve also been running too much which also makes me hot all the time, you might say I was hot and bothered! I was really fucking bothered. Okay, so fuckhead is right behind me, what do I do? I drive slowly of course. They’re in that much of a hurry they’ll realize being so close to me isn’t the smartest thing to do, right? Then they’ll drop back.

Wrong.

I slow and they’re still right behind me and I’m losing it. I do a wanker gesture as I’m feeling brave now. I’m pretty brave inside a car because I know if the worst comes to the worst I can go flat out into a tree. So I slow.

No reaction.

I mouth, ‘fuck off, cretin,’ into the rear view mirror.

Still there.

I couldn’t believe it. It was time for brake testing. I don’t give a fig if somebody crashes into me as I’m insured and the driver who gets hit from behind is always in the right. So I drive along for a bit, check the mirror, they’re still there and so I hit the brakes hard, my head snaps forward and wait for the impact. There isn’t one. I try it again, and again.

I’m screaming now, not just mouthing but screaming obscenities into the rear view mirror. Twat! Arsehole! Dicksplash! Wankstain! Tits! Mongo! Bellend! Pissyshit! You name it, I screamed it.

After a couple more minutes of that I thought that a person following me so closely must surely have it in for me. This realisation shook me to my core and my bravado turned immediately to panic. I looked around for a tree but there wasn’t one but I saw a side road and turned into it without using my indicators, to foil any pursuit. That done I pulled over. I was shaking like a jelly in a clown’s Suzuki.

I looked in the mirror and cuntchops was still right. fucking. there. I felt true despair for probably the first time in my life. I was dead and I knew it and when I accepted that I was fine with it. I got out of the car, ready to meet my maker. When I was out of the car I realized the person I was shouting at was my grandmother, who was in the back of the car and it all came flooding back like a turned on tap. I’d taken her to Waitrose. That’s why I’d been at Waitrose. Fuck, I thought. She’d always been quiet and now she was silent. I opened the back door and she recoiled from my hand. I was going to pat her. Instead I just said, “there there,” and closed the door. I looked around to get my bearings then got in the front and drove her home, the silence only broken by her sobbing.

After I dumped her I needed some fresh air. I had a headache. I just needed fresh air and so I decided to take Banjo for a walk. First I changed into my work clothes, at the time I was working in a hotel and had to dress smart.

I walk Banjo past the duck pond which isn’t a duck pond as it only sometimes has ducks in it. I think of it as the duck pond. And it isn’t even a pond, it’s more of a swamp but I’m walking around it and there are ducks in it today and an old woman is coming the other way and we exchange pleasantries the way walkers have to. When I have the dog with me I say hello to everybody, I don’t know why. “Cold isn’t it?” I ask. She agrees even though it wasn’t cold at all. I meant to say, ‘dry, isn’t it?’ but I fucked up. She didn’t even correct me, she just agreed. What’s the point? Then she goes, “don’t feed the ducks, it’s not good for them.”

It didn’t sink in straight away and at first I just nodded. Then I stood there and watched her walk off. I watched her go and I screwed up my face. Why did I look like I was carrying bread? I had my fucking suit on! Why didn’t she say, “don’t’ kill me, please!” Surely it was as likely I was a maniac as it was I was some kind of fucking duck feeder. That was it. I was off to the shops, dragging the dog by his lead, his front paws off the ground. I was going to buy so much bread there wouldn’t be a duck left. An old gent was approaching. I lowered Banjo. The old guy’s dog comes running up and sniffs Banjo’s bum-bum.

“Rufus!” He shouts, horrified at his dog’s uncouth behaviour. “Come hither at once!” The dog does as it’s told and I smile and let Banjo off his lead because Banjo can be a dick when he’s on it. At last, a decent person, I’m thinking. He wanders over to us and, you know, because we’re dog walkers we exchange pleasantries, it’s that unwritten rule I wrote about earlier.

I could see he was upper class, like an Earl or something and he says my dog is, ‘absolutely delightful!’ This guy’s alright, I think and I thank him and I compliment his canine companion which seemed to me to be just a standard issue dog. Nothing special. I still bigged it up.

“What is thou dog’s nameth?” The old gent asked.

“Sebastian.” I replied without hesitation and in that split second I knew exactly how Judas Iscariot felt when he betrayed Jesus. I’d betrayed my roots, my upbringing and my parents were no doubt spinning like waltzers in their graves.

“Sebastian? Marvellous!” Screamed the man. And then he insisted I accompany his daughter to her débutante’s ball that very evening.

Banjo ran off and I started shouting, “Sebastian!” And of course Banjo didn’t respond – he wouldn’t have if I’d shouted ‘Banjo’ because Banjo’s a twat, see. I said he was deaf and the old duffer bought it with a big ‘awww’. I should have ended the whole sorry charade there and then. I didn’t though because I don’t like confrontation.

That night his driver collected me. His daughter turned out to be the girl from the off-licence. I married her and now neither her nor her father like me.

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