“Straight down the pub after work huh John; something up with your new gaff, or what?”
“Hi Alf, well you could say that, you know I’ve rented that ground floor flat off Josie while she has gone to make her fame and fortune in Brighton, said to me that she couldn’t have pets at the place where she is so she asked if I could look after the cats for a while…..oh a pint of my usual please Sandy…..”
“Oh yeah, so what’s up, don’t like cats?”
“Oh, I don’t mind cats, I thought she meant a couple of cats like, I don’t mind that, but when I open the door I see three at the door, another two of ‘em in the front garden and inside I start counting a further five!”
“She got nine cats John?”
“No, three add two add another five makes ten Alf, she got ten of the little fuckers!”
“Oh indeed, and do you know what? They shit everywhere, all over the house. I ain’t got time after work to clean all that up so here’s what happened, you ain’t gonna believe it mate…….”
Alf took a sip of his pint and listened to John’s story.
So the other day right, I get in, cat shit all over the house again, they’ve got one litter tray between the lot of them but you’d think that they could just do it outside but you know what Josie is like, she treats them like they were her babies; probably don’t train ‘em properly. So anyway I see this ad in the paper, it says: Need Help Tiding up Your Pet’s Mess? Call the Pet Shit Boys for all your hygienic pet problems! So I think right, that sounds good and I get them to come around for a quote.
So they knock on the door right, hours after they said they would get here and the tall one is overdressed for the job, in a tuxedo of all things, and this, like, long coat and sunglasses. The other smaller bloke has a stripy black t-shirt on, jeans and a hat that says “boy,” on it; I guess he was looking for some reassurance that he was one as he did look, well a bit y’know.
I said to them, “Oh hi, you’re really late.”
The tall bloke said to me, “I am sorry but we were lost in the High Street, where the dogs run and my mum had her hairdo to be done.”
I thought it was a strange answer, familiar even, but I ignore it for now and invite them inside. I showed them the problem and said, “well, you can see the problem is quite big, I don’t know how much you have on at the moment so errr…”
The tall guy talks again, he says, “oh well, there’s lots of things I should have said or done, I never took the time.”
Now I’m getting a bit freaked out like, I mean the tall one does all the talking but just stands there rigid as a post, the small guy says nothing but wanders around looking at the cat shit and rubbing his chin. I inform them, “I know it seems like quite a lot of ermm, cat poo but you see well…..there is this girl that…..”
“Don’t worry,” the tall one interrupted, “Sooner or later this happens to everyone, everyone.” He turns towards me and continues, “You can live a life of luxury, if that’s what you want, taste forbidden pleasures, whatever you want, you can fly away to the end of the world but where does it get you to? Cause just when you least expect it, just what you least expect, love comes quickly, you know.”
“Oh,” I say, “it’s not like that, I’m not in love with her, just lodging here in her….”
“Yes, I understand,” he said, “you phone her up in the evening, buy her caviar, take her to restaurants off Broadway, you tell her who you are, you never ever argue, never calculate the currency you’ve spent, she loves you, you’re paying her rent.”
“Well, maybe,” he could be right I suppose, “I never asked her how she feels about me,” I say like but I want to try and change the subject, “so, anyway, what about this job, can you do it?”
“It’s better than nothing I suppose,” He said, “Some doors have opened, others have closed, but I couldn’t see you exposed to the horrors behind some of those.”
I wish the guy would make sense, I mean he talks in riddles but everything he says I get that strange deja-vu feeling, you know, like I’ve heard them before, like I know them from somewhere. Perhaps by asking them more about their jobs I can tell what is going on here, I mean are they phoneys or what? So I say to the tall one, “So, how did you get started in this, err, game?”
“Oh, well I had enough of scheming, messing around with jerks,” he said, “my car is parked outside but I’m afraid it doesn’t work, so I went looking for a partner, one who gets things done, someone who gets things fixed, and I asked him this question, do you want to be rich?”
“Oh, right,” I look over to the other guy, still examining the poo, “and what did he say?”
“He said that he had the brains, I had the looks, let’s make lots of money.”
I was curious now, “And do you make lots of money, I mean is there a lot of interest in this line of work?”
“It wasn’t easy,” he said, “I mean sometimes it feels like you’re better off dead, there’s a gun in your hand pointing at your head, you think you’re mad, too unstable, kicking in chairs and knocking down tables, in a restaurant, in a west end town, call the police there’s a mad man around!”
“Right,” I say backing off. This confirms it; I have heard enough of this, I have to get these nutters out of my house. I may well have to call the police. So I ask them outright, “look, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
“NO!” he shouted, “Look I’ll buy you flowers, I’ll read your books and talk to you for hours, everyday; buy the drinks, such pretty flowers, so tell me, what have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this?”
Now they really are getting to me, they are acting so weird right it’s spinning my head, I get angry, start to push the tall guy to the door. The other one follows us. “GET OUT!” I shout.
“You sir are living a law short of delusion, when we fall in love there’s confusion, This must be the place I’ve waited years to leave….and how, how long?”
“Now!!!” I scream at the top of my voice, I’m going to slap him in a minute. Then, suddenly I recall where I remember them from; I know now where I have heard this crap. But it can’t be can it? Can illegal downloading effect the music business so bad that….that they have to resort to…….?
The tall man is out of the door, he looks upset. The little guy finally says something, he asks, “But you don’t understand, where can we go?”
Now, I’m really pissed off, I shout “Where can you go huh? Where can you go? I’ll tell you where you can go shall I? Somewhere where it is peaceful, somewhere in the open air, somewhere where the skies are blue, I’ll tell you what you’re going to do….” And I booted him up the backside, pushing him firmly out of the door, “…..GO FUCKING WEST!”
“Ha-ha-ha-ha!” laughed Alf and took another sip of his pint.
A not so far off future, in a galaxy so close that it is in actual fact this one………