Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Sex Gods from the Planet Metal - Chapter Ten


I don’t think there is anything more satisfying than waking up in the morning and looking at a pretty girl that you have shagged the night before wandering around the room in tiny knickers and a bra. It’s not exactly scoring the winner at the world cup or bringing about world peace, but by god it feels fucking great, especially if it’s for the first ever time.

I watched Kaz sleepily as she found her jeans and started struggling into them, whilst my brain demanded to give me some information immediately. Whilst it battered its way to my conscious mind through the dozy and ecstatic thoughts that barred its way, Kaz found her t-shirt and slipped it on as well. Finally my brain got through the fog and made me aware of a very important fact.
“You’re leaving?” I asked, going for by Boy Scouts ‘Stating the Bleeding Obvious’ badge.
She looked at me, not quite as lovingly as she had the night before it must be said. “Well, I hardly want to be here when the sleeping dragon makes an appearance do I?”
I sat up on my elbows. “I suppose not. Weren’t you even going to wake me?”
“Course I was,” she said, coming over and giving me a peck on the lips. “I just didn’t want you watching me get dressed. I get a bit body conscious sometimes.”
“Don’t see why,” I said with a small leer. “It’s a lovely body.”
“Aren’t you the predictable one,” she said, punching me on the arm. “Look, I’d better be off, but I’ll meet you here again at seven if you like.”
“Yeah. Great,” I replied with notable enthusiasm. What time is it now?”
“Six! I’m going back to sleep for thirteen hours, then I can see you again when I wake up.”
“Aren’t you the lazy romantic. I’ll see you later Dave.”
With that, she got off the bed and went to the door. As she opened it she looked over at me and winked, then looked confused when she noticed the look of sheer horror that crossed my face. She wasn’t confused for long, however, as she then noticed Mum standing in front of her, obviously just about to knock on the door, or (from the look on her face) just kick it down. To her credit, Kaz didn’t step back, or even look remotely scared. It was the classic standoff of an irresistible force and an immovable object, with me in the corner trying not to wet myself.
Mum looked over at me. “Who is this girl, David.”
“Uh, this is Kaz,” I said in a small voice after a pause.
“And what is she doing in your room?” she asked.
“Well I was leaving,” interrupted Kaz. “Is there a problem with that?”
“I’ll deal with you in a minute,” Mum said to her fiercely. “Actually, no. Why don’t you go and sit on the bed so we can get to the bottom of this.”
“Get to the bottom of what?” said Kaz. “If you don’t know what’s been going on you’re bloody stupid. Now get out of my way, I’ve got to go.”
“Don’t you take that tone with me, young lady,” Mum hissed.
“Or what?” said Kaz defiantly. “You’re nothing to do with me. You don’t know where I live, anything about me. You can threaten all you like, but you can’t do fuck all, can you?”
I had never heard anyone speak to my mother like that, and was taken aback. I didn’t really know who I should be supporting.
“Aren’t you a bit young to be a slut?” said Mum with venom.
Kaz clenched her fists, wisely keeping them at her side. “I’m eighteen, actually.”
“Eighteen?” said me and Mum together. She didn’t look eighteen. She looked, well, my age.
“Do you know how old he is?” shrieked Mum, raising the decibel level substantially. “He’s fifteen, for Christ’s’ sake!”
Kaz shrugged. “So?”
“What you have done is illegal! Just leave, or I will report you to the police and have you up on charges of corrupting a minor.”
“Fine,” said Kaz. “See you Dave.” And with that, she left me alone with Mum. Thanks Kaz.

It’s difficult to describe what was going on inside me at that point. The word ‘Maelstrom’ should really be in there somewhere, as should the word ‘conflicting’. Firstly, someone had faced down my Mother, something which had never before occurred. She was the rock upon which the rest of the family banged its head, knowing she would never crack. Secondly, I had performed the sexual act on an eighteen year old girl. This was, without a doubt, huge. Getting some was a superb achievement as far as I was concerned, but with an older woman? I was indeed the high priest of shagging, but at that point it would have been rather unwise to sashay around the room celebrating the fact. As well as all this, I had been left alone in an enclosed space with a Mother who was likely to spit lava at me any minute, judging by the Vesuvius like pulsing of the veins in her neck. What was I to do? I was, as you may have gathered, scared of my Mum. She was the one who had handed down bollockings for fifteen years, the one who had tried her best to instil some sort of moral code into me. Most of what I was I owed to her, and because of that I owed her the chance to give me a right scolding and ground me for a year. But the thing is, I didn’t want to give her what she definitely thought she was owed, because I was finally tired of paying my dues.

“Whatever you’re going to say, Mum – Don’t.” I said levelly, almost managing not to tremble.
“What did you say to me?” she gasped. As far as her game plan went, my job was at that point to tremble in fear as she laid into me and taught me the error of my ways.
“Please. Just come over here and sit down. If you start screaming and shouting I swear I will walk out. I just want to talk to you. Please?” The last was accompanied by my best pleading look as I patted a space on the bed.
She looked confused for a second, then incredibly she seemed to deflate, letting the anger flow out a bit, as if she realised that this was not the time for wrath of God type smiting. Although she was still obviously mad, she calmly walked over and sat on the bed.
“Go on then,” she said. “What do you want to say.”
“How old are you?” I asked, knowing the answer.
“You know how old I am.” She replied. “Forty five – thirty years older than you. Why?”
“And how old is Dad?” I pressed, knowing this one as well, as my Dad was, and still is, four years younger than Mum.
“It’s not the same, David,” she said. “We were in our twenties when we met. A three year gap doesn’t really matter then.”
“It doesn’t matter now,” I insisted. “Okay, so I didn’t know she was eighteen, but it wouldn’t have changed anything. I like her! She likes me! What’s so wrong with that?”
“You won’t be saying that in nine months time when you find out you’re a sixteen year old father,” she said.
“I won’t be,” I mumbled, embarrassed.
“What makes you so sure?”
“We did it safe. I’m not totally stupid. I did listen to your sex lectures, you know.” This was not a conversation I ever wanted to have.
“How safe?” she asked, and I knew I had to tell her or she would worry herself sick.
I sighed. “She’s on the pill and I wore a condom.”
“Well that’s something, I suppose.” Then a thought struck her. “What on earth were you doing with a condom?”
“I didn’t have one!” I spluttered. “She had one in her bag.”
“So,” said Mum, regaining the moral high ground. “You had sex with a girl behind my back, an eighteen year old girl no less, and she is the sort of girl who is not only on the pill but carries her own condoms. Have I missed anything out?”
This wasn’t the sort of question I was supposed to reply to, so I kept my gob shut and twiddled my thumbs.
“David, I’m not so much angry as disappointed,” she said. This was an old line often used. It just meant that she was angry but had decided not to shout, just to give me a guilt complex. It always worked, but for some reason I didn’t want to bow down to her mind games this time.
“I’m not sorry, Mum,” I said in a small voice. It took a lot to drag those words out of me.
“Pardon?” she said, not quite believing what she’d just heard.
“I’m not sorry,” I repeated, louder and more confident. “I met a girl, went out with her, got on well and had the safest sex possible. This is nothing to be ashamed of. All right, so I’m only fifteen, but it’s only a month ‘til I’m sixteen. There’s boys at school who did it ages ago!”
She thought on this for a few seconds. “You know what, David? I don’t want you to be one of those boys. I want you to be a moral upstanding young man who doesn’t play with other people’s emotions, doesn’t jump into bed at the first opportunity. I don’t doubt that it was mostly her doing,” – a glance at my suddenly downcast eyes confirmed the truth of this – “but I hoped that I’d brought you up a bit better than this. I know there’s nothing wrong with sex, but you have to see that this isn’t the way to go about it.”
I suddenly felt defeated as the weight of her very true words sank into me. I’d heard all the lectures over the years, and had had the whole sex and love thing thoroughly explained to me despite my total embarrassment at having a parent go into such gory detail. The key was respect – That was one of the main messages. If you jump into bed with someone it shows a lack of respect, and is never a good way to start a relationship.
“Okay,” I conceded. “I’m still not sorry for what I did, but you’re right. I shouldn’t have done it, but at the same time I’m glad I did. Do you understand that?”
“Of course I do,” she said, smiling a little. “I was young once, you know. Shall we call this one a draw?”
She smiled down at me, and I smiled back, leaning forward so she could give me one of the hugs I was too old for. Her little boy was growing up, but at least she was able to accept it, and for that I was grateful.

Breakfast was, as you might expect, a subdued affair. We sat politely, both nibbling toast and avoiding eye contact, like lambs invited to lie down with the lion. Sure, we had agreed a truce, but the spectre of what had happened still hung over us, and would do for a while to come. After we had finished, Mum announced that she would be going for a short lie down and would see me in my room in an hour, where we would decide what to do for the rest of the day. I didn’t ask why she was tired, because I had a feeling she might tell me. I was happy to be left to my own devices for a while, because I had a plan: I was going to contact Caz. I don’t know what all of you, or even any of you think about this whole mess, but I wanted to see her again. I know she had said she would meet me at the pub again, but that was before we had been rudely interrupted. The thing was, I had no idea of where she lived or what her telephone number was. The whole thing had been a bit of a whirlwind romance (more like a hurricane that morning) and the little details hadn’t seemed important. This was before the days of mobile phones, so there was no filthy text messaging between new lovers, just a promise to meet again and some crossed fingers (mine). All I really knew about Kaz was that she was eighteen, she lived somewhere nearby, and most importantly she worked at the very pub I was standing in. This was the good bit, because I could try and get her phone number from the manager or something. Good thinking, eh? Well, so I thought anyway.

“Is there a problem, Sir?” asked the same man who had let my Mum go through his kitchens the day before. His tone made it very clear that, because of my age, the word “Sir” was added out of politeness, not necessarily respect. Perhaps I had given the wrong impression by telling the waitress that I wanted to see the manager, because people rarely do that if they want to lavish compliments on their service and food.
“No!” I assured him in embarrassment. “Everything’s lovely. I just wanted to ask you a favour.”
“And what would that be?” He asked, perhaps a little happier now that he realised that I wasn’t like my Mum.
“Well, you know the girl Kaz who works in your kitchen? Blonde? Pretty?”
“Yes, I know her. What about her?”
“Could you give me her phone number?” I blurted out, deciding not to go round the houses with this.
He thought for a second. “I’m afraid I can’t give out members of staffs’ phone numbers, young man. It could cause all sorts of problems. Can I ask why you want it?”
“Well,” I mumbled, embarrassed again. “We went out last night, and I don’t know how to contact her.” I sensibly stopped myself from mentioning the sex, sensing that this was probably not the time or the place.
“You went out with Kaz?” He said. He seemed confused by this. “Are you sure you’ve got the right girl?”
“I think so. Why?”
“Well, I shouldn’t say this, but the Kaz we have working here lives with her boyfriend a mile or so into town. He works nights at the brewery, which is how I know him. I think I can safely say that he is not the sort of person who would take kindly to anyone taking out his young lady, although I will also say that if you have got the right girl I am not at all surprised.”
“What do you mean?”
“Between you and me, young man, she is not exactly the most chaste girl in town, if you see what I mean.”
“Chaste?” I said, confused. It was not a word I had ever heard used in a sentence which did not involve one thing trying to catch another.
“Look,” he said kindly, sitting down at the table. “It would probably be best if you just forgot all about her, because she’s what you youngsters call a bit of a slapper. Is that more understandable.”
I was gobsmacked. Not only was Kaz a tart, but this fiftysomething year old man had just used the word Slapper. It was like hearing your Gran fart. He gave me a conciliatory smile, then got up and went back to the kitchens or wherever managers go when they’ve just shattered the dreams of young men.

When I got back to my room, after walking like a particularly zombified zombie up the seemingly endless flight of stairs (in reality twelve steps), Mum was waiting for me.
“I thought you were going to sleep for an hour,” I said after checking my watch and noting that only fifteen minutes had passed.
“I’ve had a phone call,” she said. “From Mr Beard.”
“The mechanic from yesterday. That’s his name, David. He says he’s fixed the car. Apparently he found a suitable old part when he got the car back, and he and his son worked through the night just so we could get it today. If we want we can take it today. It’s not perfect, and he suggested that we take it straight home then get another mechanic to fix a new part or it might go again”
I digested this information like a cow chewing the cud, and to Mum must have looked like a particularly dopey dipstick.
“David?” she prompted. “What do you think? Do you want to leave? I’ll understand if you want to stay a bit more.” She really was trying here, and the last remark was tantamount to her saying she didn’t mind if I had some more sex. Under any other circumstances this would have been manna from heaven, but I really didn’t want to spend any longer in that place than I had to, not after what I had just learned.
I shrugged in that way only teenagers can. “Let’s just go.”
“What’s wrong, David? Mum asked. Quite reasonably, considering what she had just offered me.
“Nothing!” I grumped. “Can we just go? Now?”
“Right,” she said, her motherly sixth sense knowing that the best bet was just to go along with me and ferret out what was wrong later on. “Well, pack your things and we’ll be off. Mine are hardly out of the case, so I’ll just go down and settle the bill, and I’ll see you downstairs in ten minutes or so. Okay?”
I grunted agreement to this and she left. Then, I am ashamed to say, I sat on my bed and cried a few very unmanly tears for a bit, then wiped my eyes and got on with the business of packing so I could get away, back to normal life, whatever the fuck that was.

As promised, the very non bearded Mr Beard had fixed the car, and had even driven it to the pub rather than make us go to his garage to collect it. I was thinking how considerate he was, then I remembered he had seen Mum on force ten, and realised that he was probably only doing this to make sure she was far away as soon as possible. To her credit, Mum was unfailingly polite and appropriately grateful to him for his efforts. On his part, he referred to her as Mrs Banner, even going so far as to risk a “Ruth” at one point, which Mum let slide as she did say he could get away with it if he fixed her car, and fair play to him he had done exactly that.

Five minutes after Mr Beard had been paid, we were heading out of town, with Mum letting me put on an Iron Maiden tape (at the lowest volume that was possible for human hearing, naturally.) We hadn’t spoken since leaving, and as far as I was concerned wouldn’t be speaking for the rest of the trip. I wasn’t mad at her, just at life and the general unfairness of it all. I just sat in the passenger seat and moped, looking gloomily through the window at the passing town, which was getting sparser the further we got. Near the outskirts, Mum decided to fill up with petrol, and pulled up at a small local garage, the sort whose pumps look like Martians from cheesy old sci-fi films. She got out and started filling the tank, because the days when I was trilled to do this were long gone. I let my eyes wander, taking in the small shop and the larger workshop, and noticed the sign above the workshop that said “A Beard and son - Auto Repairs”. A part of me filed this away for future reference, as it’s always good to amaze people with unlikely coincidences. As I was quietly musing on the fact, I saw a mechanic through the open door, probably Mr Beard’s son as he was about twenty five. Then, as the pump pinged to let Mum know the tank was full, I saw Mr Beard Jnr take Kaz into his arms and give her a very sloppy, very grown up kiss. I tried doing a double take, then a treble take, but it was no use – she was sticking to his face like a British PM to a U.S Presidents bum. It was a long, sensual snog, and they were still at it as Mum got back into the car and started it up. Then, as we slowly pulled out, they stopped, and in a perfectly synchronised moment, Kaz saw me and Mum, and Mum saw Kaz. Naturally, there were shocked looks all round as we pulled out into the road, narrowly missing a truck. The trucks horn slammed Mum back into the real world and she concentrated on driving without killing us for a few minutes before she spoke.
“Was that…?”
“Kissing that…?”
“And that’s why you…?”
“If you say anything about plenty more fish in the sea I will grab the wheel and kill us both. Okay?”
“How did you…?”
“The pub manager told me. Guess she was free last night because her boyfriend was fixing our car.”
“That’s quite a coincidence.”
“Tell me about it.”
“Well, at least there’s one good thing come out of all this, David.”
“You’ve had sex before Peter.”
My Mum never, ever ceases to amaze me.


I know I’m dreaming, but I let myself be carried through the twilight sky on the back of a dragon, pausing only to roast a bunch of peasants because I feel like it. I am lord and master of all I survey, my scaly steed more than able to deal with anyone who dares to suggest that I am not the most studly stud in all of studland. As we circle lazily, eyes peeled for any more peasants that need charcoaling, the dragons left ear begins to play the theme from Doctor Who. As I reach quizzically towards it, my eyes open and I find myself staring at a ceiling rather than a dragon, and sometimes that just sucks. On the table beside the bed, my phone is flashing away, the theme from Doctor Who filling the room, or filling it as well as it can with its’ tinny speaker. I pick it up and gaze blurrily at the display. I am reliably informed that not only is Simon calling me, but he’s calling me at six in the morning, a time I thought only existed in documentaries about supposedly hard lads who wanted to join the army only to end up begging for their Mummys.
I pick it up. “Simon?”
“Oh, thank Christ,” comes his voice, sounding less than his usual confident self. “Are you still at the pub?”
“What? Of course I’m still at the pub. It’s six in the fucking morning, Simon. I’m hardly likely to have decided to go for a stroll around town am I? Where are you?”
“Well, as it happens,” he says. “I’m having a little stroll around town.”
“What?” I say again. I have to stop saying this to Simon, but sometimes he really leaves no option. “Why?”
“It seems that Sid isn’t too keen on people porking his daughter. This point was rammed home to me mid shag half an hour ago when he burst into her room.”
“Jesus! What did he do?”
“Well he bloody well put me right off me vinegar strokes for a start.”
“All right, keep yer skirt on. He went a funny colour, and said that if I was still there in three minutes he was going to shoot me in the balls. That was when he left by the door and I left by the window.”
“Where are you?”
“I haven’t got a bloody clue. I just legged it over some fields and am at this moment skulking behind a bush.”
“Why behind a bush?” I ask, already knowing the answer.
“I haven’t got any trousers. I don’t know where they bloody got to, so I just grabbed me phone from the table and fucked off as fast as I could. So – did you?”
“What?” I say again. “Did I what?”
“With Kate?”
“Where the fuck did that come from? Haven’t you got more pressing matters on your mind?”
“Come on, Dave. You know I’m always willing to put personal jeopardy on hold for a good shagging story. Is she still there then?”
You know, it occurs to me that I haven’t even looked yet, so I glance next to me and am happy to see that Kate is indeed there, and giving me a very confused look based on hearing one side of this very odd call.
“It’s Simon,” I explain, not bothering to attempt to cover the mouthpiece. “He’s got caught shagging and has had to scarper in his undies. What do you think?”
She thinks for a couple of seconds. “Is he cold?”
“Are you cold?” I ask.
“To fookin right I’m cold,” he replies emphatically.
“Yes, he’s cold,” I replay to Kate, who grins and gestures for me to pass her the phone, which I do.
“Simon?” she says. “It’s Kate.” She pauses as he makes a very unsurprising remark. “That’s none of your business. Look, give me one good reason why we should leave what is a nice comfy bed and do anything to help you, you selfish tart.” Another pause. “Thank you for the offer Simon, but I don’t really want to shag you. Try again.”
As Simon pleads for his life and trousers, I watch Kate with very good feelings sloshing about inside of me. I can’t remember when I’ve been this happy, and the best part is I know she isn’t seeing anyone else because I was there when she dumped him! How great is that? She turns away from me and speaks softly into the phone, with the only words I can catch being “What are you wearing?” then turns back.
“Okay Simon,” she continues. “Can you find the pub again? Good. Meet us at the end of the road that goes off to the left if you are facing the pub in twenty minutes. If you’re not there as agreed you won’t get your trousers back and will have to hitch home in your pants. Right – see you then.” She hands the phone back to me, having hung up on Casanova.
“What did he agree to do?” I ask. “And why did you want to know what he’s wearing?”
“That’s between me and him,” she says with a wink. “But don’t go getting all paranoid. It’s nothing rude, and you’ll find out soon enough.”
“So what are we going to do?” I ask, because I already have enough faith in her to let her make any devious plans. I’m crap at devious plans, and am about as successful as Dick Dastardly or Wile E Coyote, although not as funny.
“How about getting dressed first,” she suggests pragmatically, and I nod in agreement.

Luckily, both of us came on the trip with a minimum amount of clothing, and within a few minutes we’ve hurriedly got ourselves dressed and packed and are ready for action. The bedrooms are all on the same floor, and our first stop is the room that was allocated to Simon. Of course, the bed hasn’t been slept in, but we’re happy to find his small case there. The only unpacking in evidence is a pack of condoms, so we zip it up and leave it in the hallway.
“Which one do you think is Lauren’s room?” I ask in a whisper.
“Why do we want her room?” asks Kate.
“Well, to get his jeans,” I say, as if this is obvious.
“I’m sure he can live without them,” she says. “There’s another pair in his bag anyway.”
“His wallet will be in the ones in her room,” I state with confidence. I don’t mind him losing out on a pair of jeans, but I know what a complete pain in the arse it is to lose your wallet. Anyway, I’m planning to make him pay for the train home at the very least.
Whilst Kate is deliberating, the door next to us opens unexpectedly and the girl herself peeks out. She looks a little surprised as she sees us.
“Have you seen Simon?” she asks, not unreasonably.
“He’s buggered off,” I state. “He was under some strange impression that your old man was going to shoot his balls off.”
“Oh,” she says simply. “He’s always threatening that, and he almost always never does it.”
“I don’t think that’s a statement that would entice Simon back,” I say confidently. “Look – we’re going to go and get him. Can you give us his jeans?”
“Hang on,” she says, and disappears back inside. When she reappears she is carrying his jeans, which I gratefully take. A quick grope of them confirms the presence of Simons’ wallet.
“Thanks,” I say, and turn to go.
“David, isn’t it?” she says, grabbing my arm. I nod. “I’ve slipped my number in the pocket – can you make sure he gets it?” I nod again. Then, because I feel like it, I give her Simons’ mobile number, something he himself never does. Okay, so it’s petty, but it might slow him down a bit, especially if she’s a bunny boiler.

As Lauren closes her door, we look at each other and mentally signal that it’s definitely time to go now. Kate gives a little smile and kisses me softly, and I am greeted by the morning stiffy I didn’t have time to get earlier.
“Thanks,” I whisper, and she does it again. We start to creep down the hallway to leave when another door opens up, and this time it’s Morgan sticking his head out to check that the coast is clear.
“Oh,” he says. “What are you two doing?”
“Leaving,” I say. “Simon,” I add, and Morgan nods as if this explains everything, which if you know Simon it does. “What about you?”
“I thought that this might not be the best place to be when the band manage to get out of bed, so I thought I’d bottle it and scarper early.”
“Is being a roadie not quite what you expected?” asks Kate sarcastically.
“To be honest, I was hoping for more sex and less violence,” he says gloomily, like a man who has rented a film called “I Like It Hard” and found it to be a story about a tough street cop who doesn’t have any nookie.
“You mean you didn’t pull last night?” I gasp with impressive mock shock.
“I would’ve done if there hadn’t been a riot,” he says sulkily, as if the locals had gone mental for no other reason than to stop him getting his end away.
Sensing that this is going on a bit too long, Kate steps in. “I suppose you’d better come with us, Morgan. We’re going to get the train home, if there is one.”
“Sounds like a plan to me,” he agrees, and the three of us creep out of the pub like everything was our fault.

Once outside, we breathe the clean crisp air of freedom and follow the road to the left, mindful that there should be a semi naked Simon at the top of the hill. We fill Morgan in on the story, and he laughs a bit and looks jealous a bit, then, as we crest the hill, he nearly pisses himself laughing at the sorry sight that greets us.
Simon is indeed waiting for us, as arranged, and he is resplendent in his black boxers and a plain white t-shirt. Rather, it used to be a plain white shirt but it is now adorned with the legend “I am a womanising tart” in black felt pen. Unsurprisingly, he is getting some car horn honks and a few sarky comments from passing motorists on their way to work. I look at Kate, knowing that this is her doing.
“What?” she says not at all innocently. “I figured we may as well have a bit of fun at his expense, so I told him if he didn’t manage to locate a marker pen and write that on his shirt he wouldn’t get his stuff back.”
“You wouldn’t have held him to that, would you?” I ask, not totally sure.
“I guess we’ll never know,” she says with a mischievous grin, and proceeds to give a grateful Simon his trousers and other stuff. He immediately dons the trousers and gets his jacket and a fresh shirt from his case. Naturally, the bastard doesn’t look like he’s been shagging all night before being cast out into the cold – he looks his usual cocky, perfect self. Oh well, I can’t hold it against him, and we clasp hands in that manly way that men do.
“You’ve got a right one there,” he says approvingly, nodding towards Kate.
“Where the fuck did you get a marker pen?” I ask. This has been bugging me since I saw him.
“There’s a newsagent down the road,” he half explains, gesturing down the hill.
“How did you pay for it?”
“The assistant was a bird,” he says with a shrug, and no more explanation is needed.
“Have you two finished cuddling?” asks Kate.
“Yes Maam,” I say with a salute. “Awaiting further orders, Maam.” Next to me, Simon does a full on Rimmer from Red Dwarf salute and we snigger like the idiots we are.
“Does any of you have any idea where the train station is?” she asks, ignoring our antics.
“It’s about ten minutes that way,” says Simon, pointing. “I asked in the shop.”
“Good boy,” she says, coming over and patting his head. I put on an exaggerated hurt look so she gives me a snog. I am gratified to note that both Simon and Morgan look jealous, so I give them the finger as I do a small victory dance.
“If you ever do that again I will cut your bollocks off,” says Kate matter of factly as I wind the dance down. I look down at my feet as Simon does an impressively realistic whipping sound.
“Do I have to grow up now?” I ask in a small voice.
“It would be nice, dear,” she replies.
Well, there are worse things I could do, I suppose.

Amazingly, the train station has a reasonably regular service to it, and we manage to board a train in the right direction within thirty minutes. There will be a couple of changes down the line, but thanks to Simon’s credit card we’re at least on our way, grateful to leave the whole thing behind us. We dump our cases on the rack and flump into our seats with a collective sigh.

An hour later, when normal people are getting out of their beds and leaving their bedrooms by doors not windows, “Seasons In The Sun” starts tinkling away from the direction of Kate’s handbag. Understandably, she flushes a bit and retrieves her mobile phone, all the while mumbling about getting the ringtone changed whilst the three of us laugh cruelly at her discomfort.
“Hello? Wayne?” she says, and our attention is instantly grabbed. “Where are you?”
“Well, on the plus side, he’s not dead,” Simon says to me as Kate listens to Wayne. “But then again, on the negative side – he’s not dead.” I poke him in the ribs and focus on Kate.
“Um, actually we’re on a train home,” she says apologetically. “Sorry to run out on you, but there was a bit of an incident with Simon. Yes, he did. No, he didn’t get shot. Yes, it is a shame.” She says the last whilst giving Simon a sly wink. “Look, are you going to be okay?” There is a lengthy pause whilst Wayne tells her either how brilliant everything is going to be, or possibly that the mob came back and murdered Marlon. Either would be acceptable, to be honest. “Well that’s good, Wayne,” continues Kate. “Call me when you get back, okay, and for what it’s worth I’m sorry. Okay, see you soon, bye.”
With that, she folds away the phone and turns to see us looking at her like the three decidedly unwise monkeys.
“What?” she says in that infuriatingly innocent way she has. “If you want to know, you all have to make gibbon noises.”
Without even thinking (something we do very well) we all start to whoop and grunt in a way that even gibbons would be ashamed of, with Morgan attempting to swing from the luggage rack to the accompaniment of the very un jungle-like sound of tutting from several other passengers.
“You are such pricks,” says Kate, smiling to let us know she’s not going to hold our prickishness against us. “Wayne and the others are fine – stoppit!” she shrieks as we all groan in disappointment at the news. “They’re all okay, apart from the obvious injuries, and Waynes cousin is hiring a truck to get them and the gear home. Surprise surprise the vans weren’t insured, but the landlord is going to flog them to the local scrap merchant and keep the cash for his trouble. So, basically, everything is going to be okay.”
“Do you think I should sue them for mental stress?” asks Morgan.
“You’re permanently mentally stressed,” says Simon. “No case.”
“I didn’t get any either,” bemoans Morgan with an Ancient Mariner like shrug.
“Lokks like you’re the only one,” says Simon, looking very suggestively at me and Kate. We, of course, give him the finger. Whatever we did last night is no ones business but our own.
“How about her?” says Morgan, cheering up at the sight of a rather attractive young lady pushing a snack laden cart up the aisle. “Reckon she’d go for a few rounds of Morgans Organ?”
“I dunno Morgan,” says Simon. “She doesn’t look retarded, so possibly not.”
“Huh! Bet she fancies me to you,” Morgan retorts. “You haven’t even washed or shaved this morning. I, however, and clean and furrymoan fresh.”
“Twenty pints to a tenner?” says Simon wearily.
Morgan doesn’t want to back down. “Done!” he says, and they shake on it as the girl stops by our seats.
“Any drinks or snacks?” she says, not very subtly eyeing up Simon in all his unwashed glory.
“Can I ask you a question?” says Simon disarmingly.
“Have you ever heard of the mile high club?”
“Yeah,” she says with a flirtatious giggle. “What about it?”
“How high off the ground would you say this train is?”
“I dunno. About, um, four and a half feet?”
“So how would you like to join the four and a half feet high club Sophie?” he asks with a huge predatory grin, reading her name from her badge.
Me and Kate have had enough at this point, so we just turn off our ears and relax into a nice, long snogging session. Best start to a day I’ve had for years.

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