I soaked a conker in vinegar all night but when I went to challenge Enrique for a rematch he made me sit down. I thought he was going to apologize for hitting my hand but instead he told me he was going for the for the job of area manager. Hairier manager, I thought he said and laughed. To replace Stan, who’s leaving because he made an app for a telephone. He’ll never get it, not in a million years. The reason are numerous and undeniable.

  1. He’s an idiot

  2. He’s a drug addict

  3. He can’t even speak English

There’s probably much more. It took all of my strength not to laugh in his face when he told me and I did anyway. “No fucking chance,” I told him, pulling the plaster off quickly, if you will. “You’re delusional.”

“Chu get my job,” he said ignoring that I was laughing, pointing at his face and telling him he had no chance.

“Wowee!” I told him, clasping my hands to my cheeks. “The manager of a shop!”

“I say…”

“Yeah, it’s okay mate, thanks.”

“But I thin-”

“You’re not going to get the job anyway. You’re dreamin’.”


“You don’t even want to get it, you’d have to live in town.” I told him. Town’s horrible. “Town’s horrible.”

“Dey give me an apartamente.”

“You can’t anyway, I’d need a mo… six weeks notice.”

“I give chu now,” said Enrique.


“I move. Beginning November.”

“Eight we-“

“A month.”

“You won’t even get the job, you fool.” I told him.

“I get it.”

“You really won’t.”

“Si. I get it.”

“You got it?”



“Jus now.”

“Oh, don’t bother telling me then, eh?” What a fucking bastard. “I was going to get a big paddly pool for next year. The… the driving lessons!”

“We still…”

“Nah, fuck that,” I stood to leave. “You blew it, big time!”

“Chu have my job? I tell dem?”

“You serious?”


“Stick it up your fucking arse.”


“You really leaving? Really?


Fucking hell, I said to myself as I left the office. I tightly held the conker that was in my pocket and ran my fingers over its surface.

“Do you know he’s leaving?” I asked Paula, just cocking my thumb at his door as he’d disgusted me so much I couldn’t say his name. I wanted to spoil his surprise.


“The fuck?”

“It’s good, loads-a-money!”

“He can’t fucking speak English!” Were people being deliberately obtuse?

“I know,” She chuckled. “Are you going to go for his job?”

“Go for it? I wouldn’t have to go for it. It’s mine if I wanted it, he just said. I don’t want it.”

“Because of…”

“What?” I wanted to hear her talk about me winning that sitcom competition and being paid to sit in a room drinking coffee. Hearing somebody say it would make it real, although there was a small risk it would jinx it. I was going to check my spam folder tonight.

“The nervous breakdown that you had the three days you were in charge.”

“The what?

“When you ran away to France?”

“Oh yeah,” I’d forgotten about that. I pondered it for a minute. “Nah, it’s not that. You can have it. I’m probably going to leave too. It’ll just be you here and some new dicks.”

“I’m leaving,” she said, “I’ve handed in my notice.” I stared at her. She wasn’t joking.

“You’ve done what?

“End of the month.”

“What are you…”

“Me and Wellington are moving back to England.”



“England’s horrible,” I said.


“Oh right,” I said. “Don’t tell me though, eh? Just keep it all secret, you and Enrique.” I did something with my hands when I said that, not exactly sure what but I think it conveyed the fact I thought they were rodent witches, plotting, and then I stood behind my counter and stared out of the window. I felt very anxious. After not very long I went outside. I needed to see Marcel. To check he wasn’t leaving but as usual he was nowhere to be found.

“Where is he?” I asked Paula.


“Erm, let me think. Tiger Woods.”

“Where’s Tiger Woods?”

“No, Marcel, where is he?”

“He left about 8 months ago,” she replied. She stared at me and there was concern in her eyes, I didn’t like that. I shook my head but only part of a shake, it went over to one side and stayed there. I went back to my counter and continued to feel anxious. Very anxious.