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Come On In My Kitchen (part two)

January 24, 2011

The first gargoyle to arrive was Brian Business-Park, bold and brainy and brandishing a considerable bottle of wine. He wasn’t embarrassed by his punctuality; they say that the early bird catches the worm, although I always had him down more as a piece of shit. He had a fiercely well-polished nose and every time he opened his gob to tell you something it was true and terrible theatre. Into the corner with you, Business-Park.

Then came Harmony Nosebridge, the councilor’s wife (Councilor Nosebridge himself being engaged in a private matter for that night if not all nights of his tremendously dishonest existence); she had memorable ear-rings and a bargaining smile. Off she goes. More of them turned up all in one go: Harrington the former tennis professional who was inanely pleased with himself for having recently been on holiday – he’d have happily called to the orient, if the century had only allowed – then Emma the neighbour’s daughter, and Emma’s man-friend who was really nobody. They went right over to have a bash at the olives.

The crowd of craps thus completed, Scrap considered that now would be the time to make things interesting with some sausages. It’s always bloody sausages, he might have reflected, as he murdered up some onions to throw in with them and conversations not devised or constructed with his participation in mind ricocheted around him. His kitchen had become a terrific and bullying university and Harrington was having a nibble on Harmony Nosebridge’s ear-rings.

Scrap wilted by the cooker, very interesting to nobody. But things would be bearable, he reminded himself, once Delroy was there. Delroy was great fun, a sound pal. Scrap resolved to stand firm and unsuicidal until Delroy’s arrival.

The telephone went off. If you understand that Scrap is marked out for a good and proper kicking by the world for no particular reason then you will not be surprised to know that the voice on the line reported that Delroy would not be arriving at or even remotely approaching Scrap’s kitchen for quite some time, the reason being that he was stuck on the train.

But consider: you might think that Delroy was sitting patiently on a train that had for any of the usual reasons become temporarily inanimate between stations, its progress arrested by faulty signals or meteorological impoliteness or minor criminal activity amongst the passengers or catering staff. In any of these eventualities, you can see Delroy rustling through a newspaper with tested patience – if you think rather less of this Delroy’s character then you might picture him checking his watch with that feeble martyred expression that delayed business-people on trains muster daily from god knows where.

The explanation for Delroy’s delay, though, is more plainly as the voice on the telephone (not his own, for reasons that will become obvious) told it. Delroy was quite literally stuck on the train.

One Comment leave one →
  1. stephen hawkins permalink
    January 26, 2011 9:32 pm


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