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Come On In My Kitchen (part three)

February 1, 2011

Delroy was a self-composed man of functional size and weight. A prominent vein on his forehead suggested mental activity. He had a retreating tuft of hair in the middle of his head and a long stripy tail which he wore untucked. Acquaintances tended to politely underestimate the significance – both cosmetic and practical – of Delroy’s tail, but you just keep it in your mind; the tail is really a significant detail in this particular episode.

It happened something like this: Delroy had boarded the evening train from Dewsbury to Scrap’s kitchen, self-made ham sandwich in one hand and a two-hundred-and-thirty-page novel in the other. Delroy was one of those characters who was never reading, but was frequently having a read, if you appreciate the distinction. Well, fiction-fisted on the right side and ham-handed on the left, Delroy had no remaining appendage with which to carefully fold his tail out of harm’s way as he plopped his arse onto the seat. One tends to neglect the practical things in life when one’s hands are full with art and fine cuisine – which is to say nothing of the amazing demonic shriekings that Delroy’s mind was typically stuffed to the ear-holes with.

The average commissioner of train seats, though prolific at puking up patterns in purple and green, tends not to keep the needs of be-tailed passengers at the forefront of her mind, or at the top of her list of annual targets, or at the centre of her flow-chart of challenges awaiting solutions. As he was stuffing sections of the sandwich into his head through the grinning tooth-trimmed hole at the bottom of his face, Delroy’s tail became fastened in the unfortunate crevice between his seat and that of his neighbouring passenger, a young university student named Retail Paterson.

Delroy was none the wiser, but Retail was very wise to the fact of his fixture to the furniture.

The trouble is, she’d never seen a chap with such a stripy tail before, and it didn’t seem right to draw attention to it – though she did send a text message to her friend on the subject twenty minutes later, when Delroy had disposed of his ham sandwich, shut his book with exasperation, and risen into an airy sleep to dream of murdering both his uncles.

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