Beating down bubble boy. A tale from back of house.

‘Ahhhh Charlotte. Wow! Now there was a real beauty. She had been the first proper crush and I fell for her instantly. My was belly continually going through the wringer, doing cartwheels, backflips, call it what you will. Hell my appetite was destroyed by deep pangs of besotted adoration. It cut through my gut like like a blade every time I thought of her…Which turned out to be most of the waking hours. Particularly during my insomnia ruined sleep patterns.’
-Marv

Marv sat welded to the bean bag in the corner of the room. It had been a while since he had dabbled in extra curricular drug taking. Paralysed and mute he was now paying the price and remembered why he gave it all up in the first place. He had grown tired of the recurring ritual and hated the loneliness of an empty comedown. One of the youngsters at the party had given Marv a toke on his joint. Marv usually an independently headstrong guy oddly felt like he needed to save face by being cool. He took a few heavy drags of the large roll up and it spangled him instantaneously. Marv figured it may have been laced with something stronger or possibly his tolerance level had just become severely weakened. Initially the paranoid panic and tornado like head spins pushed him towards the brink of freaking out. The blood running hot and cold through his veins pushed itself to the forefront of consciousness. He could feel the pores in his face opening up to try cool the situation down. He had to take a seat before the sweat turned into a proper drencher. Or even worse a projectile spew over the rest of the revellers. Marv spotted the large expanse of retro seating in the corner and “flumped” into it. He managed to settle down and buckle in for the ride. The daemons that came to get him were swiftly fought of and boxed. Marv found it hard to keep himself from being a whimpering mess within this bubble prison but maintained focus, chewing on his lip for comfort. It was a blessing that Marv was incapacitated as an array of African artistic paraphernalia hung upon the walls in the room. Some of it sharp and vicious looking. He could inflict maximum damage to that bastard Nathan. He had caused him much grief during many pressure ridden services. How great would it be to cave the pricks face in with one of these macabre creations. “Look at him the smarmy cunt.”thought Marv. “He’s fucking looking at me the twat. Spreading his bullshit fakery. Ohhh man I’d love to fuck you up good and proper you arrogant dick.” The lid however remained firmly shut on actioning that thought and he turned his attention to Kiki. This beautiful goddess was well into her party piece now. The Dub reggae rattled inside his head as he watched her naked figure move to the echoing beat . Most of Kiki’s body was covered in tattoos and a fine suit of goosebumps, her stiffened nipples beautiful in the shadows. An ornate bejewelled vagasil twinkled in the low light thrown upon it hypnotising an already tripping Marv.

It had been twenty odd years since Marv had made the move to Edinburgh from a small town in South Africa. His outlook on life had changed drastically since then. He had been married but was alone now and had been so for a while. He tried to make a go of it with a few women but the energy always fizzled out. Marv’s work life had damaged all of his close relationships. The friends he did have outside work were too busy creating families and looking after their own to be wrapped up in his antisocial schedule. On occasions when Marv felt particularly lonely he would go to staff parties and try to fit in with the young guns. Marv’s open minded, easy going attitude helped in these situations. The world had changed. Young people grew up with a greater intensity now so he kept a lot of his judgemental opinions to himself, but would hand out advice when required.

Deeply incarcerated by his brain Marv pondered his first job in the new city. It tied in with the annual festivals happening within Edinburgh. An exciting and different experience as an influx of culture seeking tourists flocked to partake in weeks of madness. Marv had never been exposed to so many different cultures and lifestyle choices all at once . He understood what it meant to be different and the importance in having freedom of options. Marv came from a fully English speaking background. He had longer hair and dressed a little kooky so would pick up flak from time to time. Mainly from narrow minded Afrikaners who would call him out for being an individual.
One night during an impromptu drinking session after work Marv sat with his head buzzing on poppers listening to Simon’s antics. Simon fancied Marv and gave it a good crack at getting him involved in some man love as he called it.
‘Leave it out Si.’ said Anne an older chaperone type woman. She happened to be the landlady of the flat they now sat in. ‘ He’s definitely not one of you guys.’
‘Annie you can be such a cutting bitch at times.’ retorted Simon. ‘A boys got to try his luck sometime you know. If you heat a metal bar long enough it will eventually bend darling…You never know he might even like it.’ added Simon now looking at Marv and lovingly touching his face softly and stroking his hair. ‘ See he’s not scared…Do you like my touch Marv?’ said Simon as he placed his head directly in front of Marv’s line of sight. Marv said nothing and stared blankly into Simon’s googling eyes. His wide crevasse of a mouth full of large teeth made him look like a vintage ventriloquist dummy. A touch of the Marty Feldman about the protruding eyes as well.
‘Yea… Sorry Si.’ said Marv eventually. ‘I errr…I kind of had my sights set on someone else actually.’ Marv hadn’t realised how wasted he was until he tried to utter the words of rejection.
‘ Oh well your fucking loss you brute. You are all a bunch of cruel bastards.’ said Simon trying to look offended. ‘ I’ll just have to find myself a piece of ass later then. Fuck you very much.’ he continued as he got up to pour another drink. Marv had tuned in on Charlotte. A very attractive Colombian girl who had been brought up in Mexico. Her open smile and cute, flattened, guttural accent made her extremely endearing. Her dress sense a nod towards the hippyish. With her slightly olive skin tone she wore full patterned colour with conviction which suited her bubbly personality. Her thick mousy brown hair fell over shoulders and at times when she leaned forward she looked like she was peering from behind a velvet curtain. Anne had taken charge of Charlotte’s well being during her visit. They had been family friends for years and Anne had seen her grow up from a very young girl. Marv felt Anne was a little over protective but understood her concern. Anne had, had a few rough relationships with men in the past and the battle scars were still visible when she got pissed and dropped her guard. Anne had built up trust in Marv over a surprisingly short time span. She could see he was different and respectful. Anne knew Charlotte’s feelings for Marv were mutual so allowed them to get a little closer. Anne’s flat was small but she was hospitable so as the party faded she invited Marv to stay over.
‘ I’ve rented my room out for the month.’ said Anne. ‘ So we all need to bunk down here in the living room…There are cushions and blankets in that cupboard over there.’ she explained. ‘ I will take the couch.’ The three of them began sorting out sleeping arrangements.
‘Ummmm there is only enough bedding to make two beds.’ said Marv awkwardly. ‘ Maybe I should just head off.’
‘ Don’t be silly. It is very late.’ said Charlotte. ‘You can share with me. I don’t bite.’ she added before cackling away at the look on Marv’s face.
‘Well if you don’t mind… I’d be glad to stay.’ Marv said with relief. The thought of walking home at this time of the morning depressed him.
As Marv and Charlotte lay spooning in the makeshift bed he continually felt the presence of Anne sleeping within touching distance of them. Marv was a little inexperienced with the ways of wooing a female and was not great at reading signals. The language and cultural differences between him and Charlotte made Marv feel slightly awkward. Charlotte clearly liked Marv and enjoyed his touch and affection, but never indicated at any point that she wanted to take it further. Marv didn’t want to push it so they just slept. The arrangement became a common one and Charlotte curled up with Marv nearly every night under the supervision of Anne. His mind racing with the image of Charlotte seconds before the light went out. The loose crop top showing off her cute little belly. As she leaned forward to kiss him good night he could see a glimpse of her breasts soft and inviting. Her thin pants showing off what looked like perfectly formed private parts. Charlotte’s well shaped rear felt warm against his body. So close but yet so far Marv would lie with his erection nestled in her butt crack. It took massive restraint not to spoil this situation by trying to push the boundaries. “She doesn’t seem to mind feeling me.” he thought. “But she needs to make the first proper move.” Weeks went by and the two of them spent so much together after work. To Marv they felt like a proper couple in love but the relationship never went to the sexual level. They never really had alone time as Anne was always there in the background watching. Charlotte’s trip ended and she returned home leaving Marv broken hearted. It was a time before mobiles and the internet so over a short time Marv lost contact with the whole gang after that summer. He never spoke to Anne or Charlotte again.

As Kiki gyrated in front of him Marv conjured up the image of Charlotte within his mind. A conversation they had about food came to him. Charlotte spoke about her love of eating meat that had been cooked on an open fire. A favourite being ox hearts. She vividly described the taste of the flesh and how the succulent juice would run down her chin. At the time he had been slightly disgusted at the thought but never let on. Now that he was a full blown chef he could appreciate the anecdote rationally. Charlotte stood fully formed in front of him now. She wore a loose fitting white skirt that swirled around as she moved, sweeping the floor and occasionally showing off her bare feet. She was not wearing a top which allowed her pert breasts to bob freely. Her tuft of pubic hair visible through the thin material of the garment. Charlotte straddled him seductively as she looked directly into his eyes. Wow she was beautiful and the smile melted him once again. She opened his shirt and rubbed his chest seductively before plunging her hand right through the rib cage . Ripping out his beating heart she looked deep into his soul. Marv felt no pain and was not afraid as he stared at her beautiful face. In a flash his charred heart was now skewered on an ornate dagger. He watched with awe as she bit into the cooked muscle and watched the juices running down her face, dripping onto her chest, trickling down onto her nipples. Marv pushed his head forward and began to lick. The texture and taste of fragrant female skin mixed in with the metallic flavour of blood blew his mind as he succumbed to the darkness.

Marv awoke with the early morning sun blazing through the window toasting his cheek.His position in the bean bag had not altered much throughout the night. His head was now slumped back and he stared directly up at the ceiling. Marv’s mouth extremely dry, and his neck sore and stiff as he tried to move. His temples pounded to the beating of his heart. Suddenly this prompted the recollection of the vision.
“Wow I glad I made it through that one. ” Marv thought to himself as a wash of relief brushed over him. He smiled at the thought of the amazing experience. Marv summoned enough energy to eventually lift his head completely and look around. He was alone in the room full of party carnage. Looking down he was astonished to find his shirt had been ripped open and he discovered his blood stained chest.
‘What the fuck!’ exclaimed Marv as he inspected the deep scratches running over the left hand side his chest. The pain now sinking in and beginning to burn and throb. He heard some movements from a pile of blankets spread over the couch. A blood stained hand holding one of the sharp African tools appeared from under the blankets. Marv’s heart began to race but his stiff body was not ready to move yet.

‘Kiki?’ he asked nervously.

Yowzer!

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Zuzu and the mysterious muncher

It is rather miserable outdoors. The sunny summer day that had been promised sadly did not arrive. Zuzu sits perched up on the back of the settee next to the large window. Zuzu is a nosey dog and hates missing out on anything. He quietly looks out of the window at the trees. All of a sudden he barks like mad. Standing up making his small frame as big as it can be.
‘What is it?’ Quizzes Cara as the noise disturbs her dot to dot extravaganza. ‘Be quiet!’ she exclaims. ‘I am trying to concentrate.’
Zuzu continues and takes no notice. He is now barring his teeth and snarling. Cara puts her pen and puzzle pad down and goes to the window to investigate. She thinks it might be the Postman. Zuzu doesn’t care much for the Postman or anybody else outside the house for that matter. It is a shame really because Mister Dickson is a very friendly man. He wishes Cara a happy birthday every year. She always wonders how he knows it is her special day as he hands her a stack of cards. There is nobody to be seen. Cara studies the trees outside. She looks really hard. Trying not to squint her eyes. In the biggest tree right in the middle Cara makes out a mysterious shape. She looks closer and an image of a hunched up goblin appears. It looks like he is chomping on his lunch . His ragged hair lies over his collar. The goblin has a squinty nose, big flappy ears and little piggy eyes. His pointy mouth and green tongue work away rapidly as his crooked teeth chew without stopping. The wind is too wild for the birds. Apart from a few bigger ones high in the sky they all seem to be in hiding. Cara imagines the goblin would be annoyed with the birds. The more they land on the branches and peck at his head the grumpier he would become. The wind blasts in gusts so his shape comes and goes . Eventually Cara takes her eye off the exact spot to see what Zuzu is up to. The dog got bored and is lying flat out in the middle of the rug.
‘ You lazy pooch.’ Cara says when she sees Zuzu fully stretched out licking his lips. Cara checks the tree again but the goblin disappears for good in a flourish of leaves and branches.
‘I wonder if he is a good goblin?’ Cara questions . ‘ He certainly didn’t look friendly but seemed happy enough . Or was he just in love with what lay before him on the plate?’ Cara Jumps down onto the floor and looks at Zuzu.
‘ Do you think he noticed me watching?’ Cara asks Zuzu as he manages to raise his head off the floor to look at her unamused. ‘I am sure if he had seen me and was unhappy. He would have turned round and scolded me with a viscous toothy glare.’ Zuzu is still uninterested and goes back to his snooze.
‘I would like to think he is a friendly soul.’ Cara continues. ‘ One that unfortunately looks rather scary but deep down is good and helpful.’ She states as curiosity get the better of her and she wants to investigate. But the rain is still coming down in cats and dogs.

Later in the day the weather quietens down and the rain stops. Cara puts on her favourite unicorn wellies and takes Zuzu for a walk in the garden. She nervously creeps up to the tree where she had seen the goblin earlier. Disappointed he is not visible from here she listens carefully instead. The calm wind rustles in the leaves and tells her a story. She is right.
‘YAY! He is a good goblin.’ Cara shouts out overjoyed. ‘ But he is terribly lonely.’ Zuzu lifts his ears up to hear and turns his head to one side.
‘We will sit here and have my lunch under the shade of this tree every day. ‘ Cara says to Zuzu. ‘ I hope the goblin might even come down and join us. Secretly I think he is here right now but is just to shy to show himself.’ Cara is excited and cannot wait for tomorrow. The two friends head back towards the house.
‘What would grown ups say if they saw a young child and a dog having lunch with a goblin?’ Cara asks Zuzu as he looks at her questioningly. ‘ I think they are too stuck in their ways to understand.’
Zuzu barks in agreement.

Yowzer!IMG_1871

Camp fires Burning (tales from back of house)

IMG_2383Most of the people at the party moved indoors. The torrential rain shower forced them to abandon the garden for the protection of a solid roof and walls. This left three of the hardcore outside to battle the elements. At the majority of staff get togethers the chefs tend to gravitate towards one another. So this was the kitchen gospel playing its self out as preordained. Besides a little rain was not going to stop these boys from enjoying the freedom of fresh air.
‘ I spend too much fuckin time cooped up in a sweat box to let a little shower get in the way.’ shouted Steve looking straight up into the sky. Instantly being blinded by heavy drops of precipitation smashing into his face. ‘I expose my balls to the god of thunder and sacrifice my scrotum on the alter of chef’s arse.’ he continued as he tried to unbuckle his belt and unbutton his shorts with wet fingers.
‘Jesus Christ keep your fuckin kegs on.’ pleaded young Pete. ‘No one wants to see your shrivelled up little cock again.’ Steve needed very little persuasion to disrobe. It was his natural instinct once he nailed a few drinks. Hardly an Adonis he flew in the face of male beauty proud of his portly stature.
‘I’ll have you know this shrivelled up little cock has pleased many a lady. ‘ Steve retorted. ‘Experience my friend…Experience! There’s been phone calls I’ll tell you. At fucked up hours of the night for a piece of this action.’ Steve had now dropped his pants and stood proudly pointing at his manhood with double open palms. Nodding and smiling at an unimpressed Pete.
‘Fuck sake Steve save the bollocks for later!’ interrupted Marv.’We need a plan to keep this fucking fire going.’
Being an innovative and stubborn bunch the three men move the BBQ and a Gazebo under some trees and go on the hunt for more wood. Luckily the logs have been stored in a little cabin near by, keeping it safe from the flood pouring out of the sky. Marv the Head chef plonks himself down on a folding chair as the two younger ones bustle around him arranging the bucket of beers with in arms length.
‘Good lads.’ praises Marv. ‘ I ain’t leaving this spot unless the roof collapses or the whole shithole goes up in flames…Or if I get struck by lightning or need to take a piss.’
Steve chops some thin bits of kindling to arrange onto the remaining embers of the BBQ. He gently blows onto the coals looking for any sign of flame. For all Steve’s harsh demeanour he does have a soft touch which he now displays with his nurturing of the fire. He has a keen artistic eye for cooking and presenting food which comes as a surprise to most folks. His thick sausage fingers are deceptively dexterous. Little puffs of smoke swirl around before the fire poofs into action and the three of them cheer. Steve waits a few seconds for the flames to take hold and then begins to load on some bigger bits of wood followed by chunky logs. Thicker smoke now billows around them but is quickly dispersed by the gusty blasts of wind. Soon the flames begin to perform their dance. Moving to the crackling soundtrack of burning. Intermediate snaps ring out as the dry logs begin to char and split. Steve keeps loading on more fuel cackling away to himself and chanting like a tripping Sangoma.
‘ Fuckin hell Steve watch what your doing man!’ exclaims Marv. ‘ Don’t set the Mother fucking gazebo alight. I am sure Jesse’s Oldman would be totally fucked off if you trashed it and not to mention the trees.
‘Ha haaaa no danger!’ exclaims Steve. ‘ I am a bonafide expert at this game. The fires of Mordor burn once more. Sauron will rise from the embers like a Phoenix.’ chants Steve as he raises both his arms skyward and stares into the heart of the fire like a man possessed by otherworldliness. They all gaze into the beauty before them watching the multiple tongues of flame lick out , gasping for breath. Deep inside the heart of the burning logs the intense hypnotic light coaxes up a myriad of thoughts in the mind of Marv. He contemplates his past and what his future might bring in the relative silence of suburban nature. The meditation is not to last for long as Steve returns from his own trance and mumbles in made up Elvish.
‘Fucking hell Steve.’ protests Pete the young man fresh faced and not long to the bizarre world of commercial cooking. ‘ Give it a rest man… Do you ever stop spurting out shite?’
‘Ahhhh my young apprentice.’ answers Steve.’ I forgive you because you are naive. That’s not your fault. You have led a sheltered existence in the pocket of Mum and Dad. It is however time to move into a new realm. One of open minded abandon which will strengthen your damp wings into tools of power. So you can fly and soar like the bird you are meant to be.’
‘What are you talking about? I’m not a fucking bird!’ argues Pete.
‘We are all birds my little friend.’ explains Steve. ‘ How the fuck you think we got here hey!.. Some kind of weird evolution?.. Fuckin Darwin hey?..Or was it God?.. Pffffft!’
‘Well.’ said Pete as he tries to interrupt the rant. Marv sits quietly and watches as he had seen it all before.
‘ Hush my young boy. Ssshhhhh shh shh shh!’ continues Steve. ‘ The bird lives inside us all. Yes the physical wings have been clipped and taken from us by a masterful wizard. He steals them before birth. They are then locked in a castle high in the unknown mountains of Antarctica. Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to get there? You can’t just get on a boat or a plane and head down there. Ohhh no you need special permission from the authorities no less. Why the fuck is that hey? Its not the fucking cold or penguin shit. I’ll tell you that for nothing… Its the secrets my little man. Secrets of mighty rulers hidden from us in an alien landscape. Playing games with our mortal humanity.’ Steve continues. Now he is on a roll there would be no stopping him so the two men sit back to watch the spectacle. ‘ But you my friend can still soar high above and search different plains in your minds eye. You just need to dig a little deeper in your soul. They don’t teach you this kind of shit at school. The powers that be want you dumbed down and content. Nothing more than a pig in a pen being fed garbage and stomping round in your own shite. Those cunts don’t want us up there soaring about in their space. The greedy mother fuckers want it all to themselves. I say fuckem the bunch of cunts. I’ll Fuckin fly where I want you fuckin twats! Do you hear me!’ Steve now staring upwards giving it large with his red face and clenched fists. Spittle flying left, right and centre. ‘I am not afraid of all your bullshit. ONE RING TO RULE THEM ALL!’ His gaze now firmly planted into the centre of the flames. He rips down his pants and bares his arse to the fire before letting rip with an almighty fart. Problem is that with all the exertion it tails off into a squelcher and he runs off like a dog with a tail between its legs.
‘ Jeezuz! What a psycho!’ exclaims Pete as the two remaining guys look at each other and laugh histericly. Once they calm down they sit in silence with their own thoughts for a while.
‘Do you believe any of that shit Steve comes out with?’ Pete asks Marv after a period of contemplation.
‘ Well it sure is entertaining. I’ll give him that.’ replies Marv before pausing and milling a full answer over in his head. ‘ Sure it sounds a bit far fetched. But he’s passionate about it so whose to say he’s completely wrong…I spent a lot of my years following what I believed to be the truth but it turned out I was actually blinded. I became awakened… More aware of my surroundings and where I fit into the picture if you like. At first I was angry and really frustrated. It is difficult to deal with when you realise how screwed up our world really is. I took to drink and drugs to feed the gaping hole in my head.Trying to block it all out…It made everything worse and compacted all my neuroses into destructive mind bombs that exploded in negative ways. Its a long story but thankfully I made it out the other side…Now I look after my own circle of influence. Waiting for the revolution that may or may not happen.’ Marv looks over at the lad feeling he might have lost him. But the young fellow still seems engaged ready for more ten a penny wisdom. ‘ The sooner you accept that we live in a world where we are all subordinates the easier it gets. There’s no such think as freedom really… There’s an illusion of freedom for sure. We live by rules and theories set out and guided by the minds of other human beings who are mostly born into privilege . We buy into a system created by some one who made them self superior. Whose to say the theories we are taught are correct. Are they lies? Has the real truth been hidden from us for their own personal gain? Greed is an all encompassing part in the nature of our species. Having knowledge to lord over someone is a powerful tool. Believe me I have used it in the kitchen in the past.’ Marv looks straight into the hole in his beer can for a second or two.’ Anyway why are you out here listening to my bullshit?..Its a wrap party man. You’ve worked hard over the festival period. Go get stuck into one of those waitresses. You may never see them again.’
‘Hmm.I’m not too sure.’ replies Pete. ‘I think I might have burned my bridges with a few of them. Besides Nathan snaked me with Suzy.’ explains Pete.
‘Nathan’s a fucking prick.’ consoles Marv. ‘But I’ll tell you one thing. He did you a favour man. That Suzy is on another level. She’s all over the shop and mentally unstable. She’s far too needy for a guy like you. She works to a different agenda.’
‘How do you mean?’ asks Pete.
‘ Just look at her Facebook posts to work that one out. Man I have never seen so many attention seeking self deprecating selfies from such a pretty girl. Plus the amount of open invitations to drunken house parties at mad hours of the day or night worries me. One day some poor sod will wake up in bed after a heavy session with her screaming rape.’ explains Marv. ‘ You dodged a bullet on that one. There’s plenty of nice girls in there. Like Lisa perhaps.’
‘ I don’t know she makes me nervous.’ says Pete.’ I feel all funny inside when I try talk to her. My brain wants to say something but my tongue won’t sound the words out properly.’ he continues as he looks nervously down at the ground. ‘I think she might think I am dumb. Maybe I need to try understand the way a woman’s mind works before I make a move.’ Pete says as Marv bursts out laughing and the confused young man looks at him questioningly.
‘Sorry.’ apologises Marv I didn’t mean to laugh. ‘ It just sounds so funny when you put it like that.’ he explains sensing the boy needs a little confidence boost.
‘Dude you’re fighting a loosing battle on that front.’ says Marv reaching for another beer. ‘We will never fully understand the mind of a woman… Men are simple creatures and ultimately try to lead less complicated lives. Females on the other hand are far more complex than we can imagine. The problem is there is no book. Even if there was one it would be a vast tome that would take a lifetime to read. If you did eventually happen to get to grips with the teachings within the book it would be useless anyway. You would be to late because the content would have changed. Pages detailing important sections and full of valuable knowledge would have been ripped out…Replaced by new reformed chapters which again would be subject to change. Basically you’re fucked and the sooner that revelation sinks in the better. You need to hang back a bit. Observe the situation and coast along a bit. The less you outwardly care the more attractive you are . Become a project. Jesus girls love an emotional fuck up. But don’t over egg it as it comes over as being weak. Girls want someone not to far gone that they can mould and change. But I must warn you this tactic is fraught with danger. Always bear in mind they probably know what you’re up to. Man those fuckers sense everything. Just hop on and enjoy the ride as long as the going is good.’ he continues with the words flowing as if this speech had been rehearsed many times for this occasion. It sounds endearing and from the heart. Pete is hooked in and listens intently as if Marv is some kind of wise old Seer.
‘ I met a girl once.’ adds Marv. ‘A real beauty… I couldn’t believe my luck. I really felt I was punching well above my weight so I worked hard to maintain status…We even married…In the end she turned out to be style over substance. I thought I was in love but it was more about infatuation. She new it as well and toyed with my deepest desires, trying to break me. She was a prolific knitter… Of anything really…Seldom was there ever a down time that didn’t involve yarns of wool and the clacking of needles. I would lie in bed young and dumb. Feeling the need to sow my oats if you get my drift. I would get fobbed off for the knitting. Christ I could go to sleep at night only to wake up in the morning with a fully knitted jumper lying in wait for me…What the fuck is that about? She must have measured me in my sleep. I still have those jumpers. I keep them all as a personal diary of the sexual roads less travelled…Ohhh and I also have a collection of intricately knitted quilts. Admittedly they do come in handy at certain times of the year.’ Marv can see that Pete is unsure of the appropriate reaction and bursts out laughing. Pete joins in not certain if the story is made up bullshit or not.

The rain stops and some of the party come back out into the open. One of the first to join them by the fire is Lisa.
‘Hey Pete.’ She says in her soft soothing voice. ‘ I hope this twisted man is not warping your young mind with bollocks. A nice guy like you must not loose his boyish charm. These bitter, cynical bastards can be difficult to love.’
‘Errrr…Aahh no were just watching the fire. Keeping warm.’ answers Pete awkwardly. ‘ We lost Steve with pooping problems.’ he says and immediately regrets it.
‘ Aaahh yes…The less we say about a grown man shitting himself the better.’ says Lisa as she begins to giggle. Pete’s heart is pumping hard and he can feel his face becoming redder. ‘ Here make space for me. I need some of your body heat.’ Lisa adds as she curls up in Pete’s lap. ‘Hold me like you mean it.’ she says as she closes her eyes and snuggles into Pete’s chest.

Pete can not believe his luck and puts his arms awkwardly around the girl. He looks over at Marv trying to be cool and not grin too enthusiastically. Marv acknowledges the boy by raising his can of beer. He winks and mouths the words. ‘Happy hunting.’

Yowzer!

Milestones

Its the miles stones man the ones that make me.
Its the mile stones man the ones that break me.
Its the mile stones man the ones that hang there heavy round my neck.

Its the mile stones man the ones that feel lighter.
Its the mile stones man that sometimes shine brighter.
Its the mile stones man that I leave in my wake and the ones I still need to get out and make.

Its the mile stones man holding me back.
Its the mile stones man keeping me on track.
Its the mile stones man forcing progression which ones are worthy to mark with distinction?

Its the mile stones man they creep up so fast.
Its the mile stones man that lay out my past.
Its the mile stones man the ones that shape me and the others that emotionally rape me.

Its the mile stones man standing ready for collection.
Its the mile stones man that guide my chosen direction.
Its the milestones man only I can change them asking the questions should I rearrange them?

Yowzer!

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Hello Dolly (tales from back of house)

Service was over and the clean down almost complete. Apart from the low continuous hum of the extraction fan, intermittent rattle of cutlery from the still room and the final high pitched spins of the dish wash rinse cycle the kitchen was silent. This made the ear piercing cry even more eerie.
‘Eeeeeeeeeiiiiaaaahhhh! She’s Fuckin’ here…She’s come tae get me!’
Most of the chefs were out in the refuse yard perched on waste bins or sitting on piles of bread crates. The ritual cooling down after a hot gruelling slog on the stoves. Some smoked, others just guzzled bottles of beer. No one spoke. All of them in mind numbing contemplation whether to get shitfaced or not. Sam and Will jumped up and dashed in to investigate the commotion. It was ‘Phsyco Phil’ lying in the fetal position at the entrance to the walk in chiller. Just inside the door on the floor lay an up ended container of Rocket. The strewn leaves slightly concealing an old porcelain doll. At closer inspection the doll looked in really bad shape. At some point the head had been cracked, possibly on multiple occasions and glued back together. Bits of the face were missing and clumps of hair had been hacked off. A lock of the hair was tied into a ribbon that now hung round the neck. Other strands of blonde hair had been glued to the dolls hands. The eyes half closed and squint with the damage. The clothing disheveled and torn had been splattered with ink, paint and brown streaks which looked and smelt like shit. A number of ornate Victorian hat pins driven through the dolls chest held a sanitary towel in place with the words SHAME written in what could be blood.
Phil an old school junior sous chef had become a casualty of the trade. Because of his nature he would never really climb much higher up the ranks. Tales of his knack for violence were renowned. On one occasion he had thrown a steel bucket at a gobby junior chef , splitting the back of the guys head open. Twenty stitches later and all bandaged up they were back on service together, running the Veg section as if nothing had happened. One Saturday night Phil scored some Ecstasy and forced the whole kitchen team to take it. Everyone including the head chef was wired for service. How he still maintained a job was beyond comprehension of most. Rumour had it that the head chef was indebted to him for life. Phil helped him out of a sticky situation in the past. To be fair Phil had calmed down a lot and no one in the present team had witnessed any major antics. Although Stacey remained tucked away behind the blue roll dispenser as a reminder. Stacey is an old carving knife that has been sharpened down both edges. Now and again Phil would reminisce about the good old days.
‘ I’ll tell you what. You cunts are soft theses days.’ Phil would threaten in a jocular way. ‘Don’t make me reach for Stacey! You’ll never be the same again after I shove her up your shiter. Ken whit Ah’ mean. Haaahaaa’
No one had the balls to test Phil’s word. His favourite was a tale of when a gang of junkies came to the kitchen door looking for a payment. A drug debt Phil refused to shell out for.
‘The pills were fuckin’ duds onnieway. Fuckin’ shite mixed in some cunts bathtub. Aye rite. Fuck off am naw gonnie pay for any o that shite.’ he would justify.
‘Stacey was on point that day I’ll tell ye. ‘ Phil boasted ‘Ah was like a Samurai warrior. Ah only needed to gash wan boy across the napper before they all ran like fuck. She got him real good ken. Slashed right from the fuckin’ boys lug, doon his cheek tae the chin man. I cood see his fuckin’ teeth throo the gap in his cheek man. Bloody poetry in motion. Hhhaaa ha. Fuckin’ junkie bastards comin tae fuck wi me…Dinnae think sae.’
Phil had a couple of hand jammers tattooed above his knuckles. Created by some scratcher with a tattoo machine at a seedy party. It happened back in the eighties and being wasted he decided it needed to be Samantha Fox’s breasts. One on each hand. For Sam and Will the image of this hard man cowering on the ground sobbing into fist fulls of wonky tits was a little unnerving.
‘Phil…Phil ….You alright man.’ questioned Sam. She was to afraid to crouch down and touch Phil’s jolting body .
‘ It’s her.’ Phil said looking up at them. His eyes glazed over with tears, wild and red. ‘Which one of yooze cunts let her in here?’ He questioned as little bits of white spittle dribbled down his chin. ‘Hey?.. Who was it?’
‘ Jeezuz…Phil what the fuck you talking about?’ retorted Sam ‘ No one saw or did any thing. We were too fuckin busy man. Whose gonna try an sneak a shitty fucked up doll into your prep during service for fuck sake?’ she said now feeling worried that she might have come across a little brazen.
‘ Well it was some cunt roon here.’ Phil was regaining his strength as the fear inside him began to turn to anger. ‘ Who kens onyway?.. Hey? Who the fuck kens aboot the doll?’ Phil’s psychotic glare darted between the two chefs.
‘We all do Phil.’ Answered Sam tentatively looking down at the floor and moving behind a bench fridge. Well out of striking distance. ‘ Everyone knows what happened… But I can assure you man. This was not one of us.’
Gossip in kitchens can be rife. It keeps things ticking over as all the cogs trundle on speeding up and slowing down through prep and service. Everyone has something on the others which means there is a code of conduct. Chefs can talk amongst themselves and dish out banter, but it goes no further. The problem with Phil was that his fucked up story involved everyone. The nattering spread out of control, beyond the confines of the kitchen walls. His only saving grace was his mental bastard reputation . Most of the workers cherished their lives so never talked loosely in Phil’s presence.

It was a few years since Kiki had gone off grid for good. She was a bit of a loner and never really fully engaged with her peers. A kooky, snooty rich kid who probably didn’t need to work anyway. A beautiful porcelain skinned goddess who liked to flirt with the common people. She played the silly air head game but had a manipulative streak which proved otherwise. Kiki enjoyed danger and pushed personal boundaries. Her aloof nature pissed most people off however she maintained some mystical air of attraction. Most of the guys and some of the girls desperately wanted to be with her. She would strip off at staff parties and dance teasingly slowly. The low light bouncing of her smooth perfectly formed curves. A few people tried to move in on her. Failing miserably. As soon as they got too close she would clam up until they walked away. Resuming her sensual gyrations once her space returned. Phil ended up getting lucky or so he thought. Kiki gravitated towards his fucked up personality and lavished in the thought that she was truly untouchable under his guard. He never thought he had a chance so didn’t pursue her like the others. He sat back and enjoyed the show. Kiki relished the fact her parents would hate him as he stood out as a beacon against everything she came from. It all started of as a bit of fun for her but Phil was imbedded in from the start. He was loved up and gave Kiki an old porcelain doll that belonged to his Grannie. This gesture was his attempt to try cage her. The free bird spirit that attracted him in the beginning soon became irksome. He hated everyone ogling his lady during her party piece . Kiki’s stubborn attitude grated on Phil yet he was afraid of losing out so got strung along. Eventually in a night of exceptional hedonism Phil lost control. He beat Kiki and locked her in a cupboard for the night. The next day he smoothed things over and normal practice resumed. The beatings became more frequent but Kiki never retaliated. Phil became more powerful in himself and started treating Kiki like a slave. Until the day he saw the doll. After every episode Phil unleashed on her, Kiki defaced part of the doll .
‘ What the fuck have you done to ma Grannies doll you fuckin ingrate?’ Phil screamed ready to lay in another fist.
‘ Don’t you see Phil.’ Kiki questioned. ‘ It’s her Phil… The doll it’s her.. Your Grannie… She sees everything you do… She hates you for it.’
‘Naw… It can’t be.’ Phil became terrified and began to shake with fear. ‘Am sorry… I never meant to be a bad boy.’ he pleaded for forgiveness.
‘ Everything you did to me is imbedded in this doll.’ Kiki explained. ‘ It’s plain as the cracks in her face that you need to look upon.’ she turned and walked out and never returned .
Phil changed after that day. For weeks he tried to rid himself of the doll. But she always returned even after he changed the locks. No matter if he hid it or threw it away this broken talisman would turn up. In the shower, on a shelf, in a cupboard, on the doorstep or on his pillow. He feared the doll greatly but could not bring himself to fully destroy it. He felt she might then attack him in dreams. Sleep became his only escape as the drugs and drink usually made the demons come.

The rest of the brigade had now moved in from outside. They all stood around waiting to see what Phil would do next. Kiki and the doll had been out of Phil’s life for years now. He genuinely thought he had seen the last of it.
‘Ah paid the price already… Damn your condescending shite!’ Phil screamed into the air now oblivious to the audience dotted around him. ‘ Ah paid the dues to ma fucked up life. Repented for what Ah did to you. Can we just naw call it quits?’ he pleaded looking into the dolls eyes. No one dared to move or speak. As long as the doll was Phil’s focus they were all safer.

Phil shuffled away past the crew around him not looking at anyone. He held the limp doll by the hand as he went. His head hanging low as if all his energy had been sapped. Only letting out intermittent whimpers as he left the kitchen a proper broken man.

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Note to selfies’

note to selfies (words inspired by Christopher Baker’s installation ‘Hello world’ at Saatchi gallery)

we talk over each other and it manifests as noise
pointless social ranters desperately trying to be liked
a juggernaut of opinions incessantly poised
we parley with vigour without pause for breath
clogged wax like eardrums wain in an echo
we fail to listen ignorant of the truth
our opinions are comparable
yet we struggle with difference
focused on weakness to pin on a blame
searching for the love and acceptance of peers
a common purpose to feel valued in existence
wrecked from above by the ball of self-centred gain

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  1. IMG_3049#christopherbaker #saatchigallery #pictureyourself #selfie

The agony of choice (a dystopian tale)

There was always talk of the world outside the confines of the bubble wall. A massive transparent protective dome built around the city. The chatter comprised of memories from the old world and whether others had managed to scramble to safety. Most of the citizens were content with the life they had fashioned around the circumstances. Time ticked over slowly since the war but in the calmness of almost total destruction the people learned to cope. The overlords provided for the masses as long as individuals remained useful to them. Everyone with in the confines had been hand picked for their multiple attributes. Covering the basic needs for survival and suitable candidates to rebuild a stable community. Some skill sets had been hard to come by. Modern life had become mechanised and pushed the fundamental physical labour jobs to the back burner. Rendering them surplus to requirement. Luckily some people had maintained a more traditional approach to life keeping lost skills alive. This made them important commodities now.
The majority of the original citizens believed they were lucky to have survived. In the old days everything had gotten chaotic. The world leaders openly began to seemingly lose their minds. Random rich men and woman pushed themselves into positions of power proclaiming themselves rulers. Confusion was the order of the day back then fed unending pot of fake money created by the banks.The people of earth could not tell who was genuine within the media shit storm unfolding before their eyes. Truthfully most preferred not to get involved and happily trod on in rose tinted ignorance. The farce evolved becoming more absurd with many turning a bling eye to the looming danger.
In hind sight the survivors could see it was all preordained. A ludicrously played out sham shielded everyone from what was happening behind the scenes. Feeling enraged and frightened the people decided to try take control by backing political front runners unqualified to be in power. Mere puppets playing their part in the largest mind control experiment ever undertaken. Little did the people know that this had been the masterplan all along and they played into the hands of the overlords. Inevitably causing the start of their own self destruction.
Two generations had now grown up within the confines of the bubble. A few underground rebellions had began to sprout with limited success. These citizens had access to rare texts from the old world. Most of the human history had been wiped out and many survivors hated talking of the past. A new history had begun the day the warheads were fired. Luckily a band of forward thinking educators within the protected zone had foreseen what was coming. They collaborated in a secret mission bringing important tomes from far and wide hiding them in a bunker for safety.

A group of specialists went out on a ground breaking expedition beyond the wall once. State of the art suits protected them from the elements. The atmosphere outside the protective bubble however beautiful with its array of coloured sunsets and rises was said to be highly toxic. Pictures were beamed back to every available screen and there was much rejoicing and wonderment of the spectacle. The possibility that life could exist outside the great bubble was very exciting. Rebel sceptics said the whole expedition had been faked, that it was impossible to pull off. The belief was that it was another power play to keep the masses subdued. The rebels tried to prove there was a massive residual radioactive belt which could not be penetrated with the materials at scientists disposal. They believed that camera equipment and film would not work in the conditions they were meant to be exposed to.They even examined the pictures in fine detail picking out anomalies and irregular shadows to prove the expedition had been staged. The majority of the citizens ridiculed them in favour of staying true to the overlords. After all in their eyes they were the true saviours. Exposing the truth was going to be difficult. Resources were limited which weakened the effort. The strength of the overlords was great with their propaganda machine working at full pelt. A never ending stream of obedient workers keeping the cogs well oiled. To scared to step out of line.

‘What was the real purpose behind this show? What is it they have in store for us?’

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United in the ‘Tradgic’

It has been a week since I stayed up into the early hours of the morning to cyber witness the final concert of the Tragically Hip via a live stream. Gord Downie who has inspired a nation with his in depth lyrics and thoughts came out to say good bye in the most profound way. At first I felt the crowd seemed awkwardly subdued possibly a weird feeling of ‘Shit this is it… The end of the end’. Sure the music and legacy of the band will remain cemented in culture for ages but sadly on a less intimate level. I cannot help but admire what Gord did with this part of his time on earth. In true poetic fashion he had something to say and did it with style.
It is difficult to describe how I would react when properly faced with my own mortality. It is an enivitable stage of life that everyone will experience at some point. With some of us it will happen quickly and we will almost have no time to think. In near death experiences they say everything slows down. Possibly giving you time to make peace with yourself before leaving the plain of life as we know it. The more prolonged pre death experience really bothers me. Most often it manifests itself in diseases like cancer where the person is presented with a timeline. I have witnessed plenty of lives plagued by that timeline and figure the most common denominator is the question. Will I be able to die with dignity?

Another factor thrown up by this death march is the need to have everything in order and sometimes to leave some kind of legacy (a tiny foot print in the vastness of time). In human terms I refuse to believe anybody wants to slip out unnoticed. Many sadly do but all of us need to feel everything is worthwhile. Call it a mild form of vanity if you will. From the outside looking in it seems easier for the person whose fate has been sealed by the timeline. Once they come to terms with what is about to happen. A strength presents itself bedding in as they make peace in their minds and begin to move forward. Sure there will be spates of severe melancholy but it is all about setting up for the the inevitable. The ones left behind often struggle to mend the hole left by loss and the hurt may dissipate but it never really goes away.

A friend of mine has been fairly recently diagnosed with cancer. Initially we never really got into the bones of it. In the early days there was probably too much for him to process and the time scale given was short. We chose to briefly ignore the news and continued on as if nothing had happened which was difficult considering the emoting going on in the back of my mind. Thankfully the disease has been controlled better and the timescale has been prolonged by a few years.A few weeks ago we met up for a day out. The further into the day we got the more beers we consumed the closer we moved toward the elephant in the room. It was the small things that he started to notice more. The greenness of the trees, the beauty of his surroundings and the warmth of the sun on his face that became more heightened. As most of us bash through life at an ever increasing rate of knots we often forget the little things that make this world great. I tend to focus on the shit, get bogged down by media, become bitter about what I have not got. Most of all I forget about what I do have. The less materialistic things that are after all the essence of humanity. Lessons are dished out constantly if the time is taken to listen for them.

I have read a few of posts on social media pertaining to ‘The Hip’ gig. How almost a whole nation shut down for a few hours to witness a dying mans legacy being played out before their eyes. Some people calling for the band and particularly Gord Downie to be honoured by the country in someway. Upon reading some of the comments I was flabbergasted by the negativity of some people.
Some suggesting that getting cancer and writing a bunch of songs did not warrant being honoured by the country. I say to theses people ‘ Open your eyes, cut out the cataracts of doubt that cloud your vision. Here is a man with his band who have managed to unite a massive amount of humans together from all over the globe to share something special. If you take the time to listen to the lessons strewn through the songs it may make you a better person. Surely that has to stand for something.’

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#tragicallyhip #gorddownie #openyourmind #poeticmind #everydaysaschoolday #cbccanadaimage

Eyeballing Achilles (Tales from back of house)

Jen stood in front of the mirror alone. Naked as the day she entered the world. The reflection bouncing back filled her with disgust.
‘Who would want to tap that?’ She asked out loud as she cast a critical eye over every part of a body she hated. The sagging weighty tits. The flabby belly which now hung so low that it obscured her unkempt bush.
‘Is this really me?’ she questioned.’ What happened to that fresh faced girl filled with beautiful promise?’
Surely this was some cruel trick being played out on her. All the negativity in her life had slowly stalked her as prey. Finally pouncing to devour her in fat. Jen never saw it coming and desperately wanted to cut it all out. Suck it up into a magic fat munching contraption. She was convinced that if she squeezed hard enough the dense lard around her midriff would melt and seep out through her pores. Jen looked at her lower arms where the small cuts and burns of kitchen life were now concealed by tattoos. Back in the day these injuries were displayed as badges of honour and she wandered round like some proud self harmer. She grew out of this phase, eventually covering them with a more artistic form of scar tissue. They say that tattoos often tell a story of your life mapped out in ink.
‘Mine is just a story of misery and bollocks.’ she muttered as she surveyed the macabre images adorning her body. The once soft inviting skin of her lithe inner thighs now flabby with the epidermis thick and rough. Surely it would create reverse beard rash on any unsuspecting beau daring to dive headfirst into that nether-region. The most devastating injuries lay behind the eyes. Jen could see the damage of every insult and trick she pulled to push her way to the top. Success had brought loneliness. The personal sacrifices she had made over the years had left her high and dry. The people she turned her back on were gone and all that was left was a band of superficial acquaintances who would never really know her inner soul. In Jen’s minds eye the lives she had trod on to prop herself up there were beginning to rot . As the ropey pedestal began to decay from the bottom up Jen could feel the inertia of the wobble building up slowly as she prepared to crumble with it.
Jen always had an interest in food. She was an adventurous kid and was open to trying new flavours. It seemed like a natural progression for her to move towards a career in the kitchen. Jen did a stint at college but frankly was bored with it. She had learnt a lot more working a few shifts a week in the local pub than she ever did at cooking school. Being headstrong Jen stuck it out. She wanted to be the real deal so persevered through the slow meander of the course and walked away with the qualification.
Jen decided to head for the city to find work. She believed they took food more seriously there and opportunities were plentiful.
‘ I need to cut my teeth in bigger establishments.’ Jen convinced her parents who had always lived rurally. ‘ I have to go somewhere that is offering a faster paced lifestyle. Work with proper chefs who are at the top of their game and can teach me the art to great food.’ she continued.
The catering industry was on the cusp of a food revolution which was becoming more apparent in the media. The rise of the celebrity chef was underway through more column inches in glossy mags and TV air time.
Starting at the bottom Jen was pushed onto the pastry section. The kitchen was dominated by males which she found irritating at first. Chefs appeared in mainstream media romanticising about how they were inspired to cook from a very young age via mothers and grandmothers. “Where were these women were now? How come they raised these boys to be ego driven, chauvinistic wankers.” Jen wondered.
‘Chef can I join the main kitchen.’ Jen asked the Head chef one day. ‘I don’t want to be a pastry chef. I’d rather be over there at the grill.’
‘Look here girl!’ the Chef snapped at her.’ We are not in your fuckin’ Wendy house now! Making mud cakes for your dollies is a thing of the past.’ he continued condescendingly. ‘ You go where I say!..For now that is in pastry. When you prove you have the drive I may give you the chance in another section.’
“What a dick.” Jen thought feeling embarrassed as she burst into tears.
‘That’s why women fail in the kitchen.’ said the chef. ‘You are too emotional. There is no room for tears in my kitchen. Go and sort yourself out. You may return when you are ready to work.’
At the time Jen almost walked out but that prick actually did her a favour. The first layer of armour began to mould itself in. Ironically years later this particular head chef would have an emotional melt down. Eventually loosing face in the media. Even sobbing on the local news after being caught for drug induced house breaking and shop lifting. The adrenaline rush of catering had began to wain on him so he found his fix in drugs and petty crime.
Most chefs tried to bypass the pastry, they were afraid of it. Pastry requires patience and an in depth understanding of precision. It is not for everyone. As luck would have it the head of pastry was a talented guy. A mad cap German who was strict but a real workhorse who led his little sub team from the front.
‘ To be in this industry.’ He addressed Jen in a thick accent.’ You either have to be MAD, STUPID or GAY…Which one are you?’ he questioned before roaring into a loud cackle straight out of the depths of Bedlam. He was clearly one of the mad ones. Turns out he was gay as well but definitely not stupid. At the time Jen felt she was incapable of defining herself on this scale but edged towards the mad side. These beginnings formed a stable grounding for the progression up the ranks for Jen and she began to learn loads about the science behind food production.
As a girl Jen found gaining respect in the industry a hard nut to crack. She felt she had to work much harder than the rest of the boys to be noticed.
Jen was tenacious and energised so went full ball. She had more to prove in this testosterone stew. She pushed harder, drank harder and took more drugs than any of the guys. She had her fair share of sexual fumblings. Her athletic build and attractive looks did not go unnoticed by horny boys in the main kitchen. At the time she felt that dishing out blowjobs, hand-jobs and drunken, drug fuelled bonks was the way in. But it backfired as she discovered the guys were after one thing. Once the conquest was over interest dwindled. Through the hedonistic haze Jen had failed to see she was merely becoming the kitchen bike. That was until one day everything boiled over. A particularly disgusting chef Rodger tried to come onto her in the changing room. His pants were down round his ankles before she could fend him off. This walking stink bomb pushed Jen up against the wall and held his fore arm up against her throat. The hand of his free arm was fumbling around trying to push into her knickers. Jen could feel his hot smelly breath on her face and she wanted to puke. He was taller and stronger than her but she held firm managing to grab a turning knife that was lying on the shelf. His expression changed to one of panic when he realised Jen had the knife jammed up into his scrotum.
‘I’ll cut your fuckin nuts out one by one if you come near me again.’ Jen snarled. ‘If you go telling anyone about what just happened I’ll do you for being a sex pest you slimy cunt.’
‘Please…Don’t…I didn’t mean it.’ said Rodger as he began to sob.’ I just like you that’s all. I just wanted to be with you.’ he continued. ‘ The way you talked to me last night…I thought…’
‘ Listen here you dumb fuck!’ Jen replied still holding the knife in the same spot trying not to think about the now limp penis resting on her hand.
‘ You will never be with me. You are a repulsive piece of shit. When it comes to shit you are lower in the rankings than a fucking dog turd.’ she continued as she felt her hand and legs getting wet with warm liquid as Rodger began to uncontrollably piss himself.
‘ You pathetic sad excuse for a man.’ Jen taunted. ‘ A little girl got the better of you hey. Making you piss in your own pants. Why don’t you run back to mummy and get her to change your nappy you fuckup.’
The chef left with his balls intact but dignity shattered. He disappeared on his split that day and took his knives with him never to return. Rumour had it that he took his own life days later. Jen managed to distance herself from feeling guilty about what she had said to him.
That night Jen got the call from the main kitchen.
‘ That fuckin’ twat Rodger has gone AWOL and I need someone on garnish section tonight.’ said the chef.’ Get yourself in there… Dan talk her through the prep and service.’
She was in.
From that day on things fell into place fairly quickly and movement up the ladder was swift. She had a brain and knew how to use it. The blokes never got to grips with her manipulative ways and she had them eating out of the palm of her hand. When she reached management level she ruled with an iron fist and had bigger balls than a lot of the guys. Timid young boys were broken down and disappeared to the toilet never to return.
‘I might need to phone a plumber soon’ she would jest as another chef disappeared. ‘That shit pipe must be backing up with the amount snivelling twats that have flushed themselves down it.’ she continued as everyone in the brigade jeered. ‘The kitchen is no place for Nancy boys! I’m only interested in the mad fuckers who can deal with suffering. Fit in or Fuck off.’ she would add. Jen had created an inner circle of chefs who formed the backbone to the brigade and the rest were treated like cannon fodder. Poor bastards battling to stay alive in the trenches of service. Once an unsuspecting head popped up out of the protection of a section and the person began to flail around in no mans land they were blasted to hell and gone. At this stage the person had two outcomes either they would heal their wounds quickly and recover or be snagged up in the barbed wire. A sitting duck ready to be obliterated.
Jen’s talent was so sought after that often these beastings would be over looked and swept under the carpet. It was just part of the territory. As long as the punters were filling the restaurant and loving the food who gave a fuck right?
Goose bumps began to form all over her body as Jen stood there reflecting on her past. She found it difficult to picture the future feeling lost with no hint of which way to turn. After years of dishing out abuse Jen had eventually realised that treating people harshly was counter productive. The supply of young talent began to dry up and she was left with a team of bitter and twisted twats that bickered constantly. The world had changed and youngsters where not interested in being treated like dicks. Sadly the straw that finally broke the camels back came out of Jen trying to help. A young man had joined the team as a Kitchen porter. His command of the English language was low but he delved into the work quietly and with out fuss. A few weeks went by and his manner began to change. The boy became more withdrawn and skittish. Jen tried to find out what was wrong and called on a waiter to translate for her. It turned out the boy had run out of the medication he was taking for a mental condition. Jen decided it was best to send him home to his parents for help. There and then Jen booked the flight for him and sent him on his way. The boy thanked her for what she had done and tearfully left. He never made the flight. A flat mate came home to find him lying on the bed in a comatose state. By the time the ambulance arrived it was to late the boy was gone. Jen was just a cook yet in her job she was required to deal with multiple personalities .She tried at best to keep them ticking over together in order to get the job done. Jen wondered if she could have done more?
Jen looked deep into her eyes and was appalled to recollect the souls she had failed.The regret was painfull to handle and she watched herself weep as she felt the demons wrapping around her heart began to squeeze.

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