corned beef sandwich

friendly kid: poppy

friendly kid: rude

friendly kid: horror

friendly kid: mark

how to be successful with the ladies



One of the greatest novels ever written (about beef based sandwich products)

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For some reason I've chosen to upload a section from Chapter Five - it's like one of those Google "look-inside-this-book" things, except we've chosen a page at random... Here's your update: the narrator (Sib) has done some things, some other stuff has happened and then next thing you know something else happens!! It's hilarious, and yet thrilling and quite good. Anyway, returning to our novel: already in motion:

Chapter Five (the first bit of...)

Harry and the gunman are working together.

My hand shaking, I jerk the ill-fitting new key in the lock till it opens, push open the front door and 2356 the alarm then pootle my way upstairs, grumbling to myself all the while. Then I'm in my room and the fish think it's food time again. 'Sorry kids, got other things to worry about.' 

Kurt looks at me, he doesn't have to speak, he knows a black-eyed look can say more than a thousand words. I scrabble under the quilt and bundle all the money up again. Shove it into a Tesco carrier bag that's just hanging around in one or other of the piles of mess; get the brown canvas moneybag and squidge that in. The Bulgarian coins, the Monopoly money. Then I'm out, and puffing and panting, and down into the cellar. My white elephant pile of bricabrac, weirdly shaped plastic items and asphyxiated cuddly toys. I stash the Tesco carrier bag under the lot. Eventually I'll have to pick the stitching out of Paddington Bear and stuff him full of used notes, but right now I haven't got the time.

I check my complexion in the hall mirror and get out of there. I'll have to gather myself and be cooler than an ice pop if I'm going to get through this. I don't even particularly want the money but I am now officially a criminal. There is no going back. If I have to apply for a passport any time soon that'll be what it says under occupation: criminal.

Criminal. Criminal. Criminal.

And that plays on my mind to the extent that I'm probably going to spend much of the evening in the bathroom, washing my hands due to some compulsive-obsessive guilt complex.

I hoof my way back up the road to the jeep; get greeted with predictable looks and words of disdain and non-amusement from Sheena and Axel. Harry keeps himself to himself; sitting in the back of the jeep looking about as relaxed and unworried as a snowman on a beach in Hawaii.

We arrive with a motherfuckin screech of music and brakepads.

'So ya managed to get yeh self invited into that room at the top o the house then?' Sheena says to Harry in what can only be an attempt at making conversation. She's had fifteen minutes to come up with this one, I'm frankly not impressed.
Harry and me are trying to climb out of the back of the jeep. It doesn't have anything as sophisticated as doors. Meanwhile I'm roasting like a pig in my fox fur coat and Harry's eyebrows need a good combing after getting blown about in all that wind. He nods but is more concerned about touching pavement. He's not really used to travelling at those sorts of speeds. He doesn't have many friends that drive open-top jeeps.

'Oh it's nice up there it is. Lovely fish there are, in this big tank, they really caught my eye. Can tell there's a lot of care and affection gone into looking after them. Then there's little pictures on the wall, a big bed, everything you could need. Lovely it is. Wardrobe.'

'Cuddly toy.'

We start walking. The bar's over the other side of the canal, sitting on the end of a row of railway arches, all carved out and rebuilt with perspex and steel, then coloured in with all the colours of a Smarties packet to make them appealing to the infant-minded.
I'm more a black hole of Calcutta sort of person, it goes without saying.

Sheena's babbling on, 'Has more visitors comin and goin in an outta that room than they do the Tower of London. Think they'd come ta see tha crown jewels. I say, what I say is, who was that then, just a bit curious. And this one always goes - ooh, it was just a visitor. An we all know what that means, don't we?'

'You're so funny, Sheena.'

Ha ha raucous laugh, embarrassed half-mirth from Harry. Axel says nothing, juggles his keys.

'Oooonly windin you up. Don't go gettin all misery pants with me. Nice to see you have a pal round once in a while, that's all I'm sayin.'

I say nothing more, because, you see, Sheena, I'm trying to act normal and relaxed. And because, She, you can push it and you can push it, but like that Greek bloke who pushes the rock all the way up the mountain, eventually it's gonna come crashing back down and land on your head with a thump. And in this case I'm the rock that's gonna blah de blah de blah thump rock blah your head.

'What's everyone drinkin then?' asks Harry as we glide past the bouncers into our mirror-ball infected paradise. Sheena goes for a Cheeky Chocolate Monkey cocktail, Axel's on juice. 'How about you, Sunshine?'

'Beer.' No imagination that's my problem. Afraid to take risks. Never do anything out of the ordinary.

Harry wants Guinness, but he'll be fuckin lucky.

Theo sits in the corner pumping a message into his phone, surrounded by a football team's worth of little cocktail glasses. And by the look of him he's had more than is strictly healthy. He recognises me when I sit next to him but for a moment it seems like his mind is somewhere else, somewhere much slower and sadder than this happy drinking hole.

Meanwhile I'm feeling as hot as a Shetland pony in my fur coat. You have to wonder whose idea it was to be so alternative that I just plain do the opposite of everyone else.
'Thank God you're here.' He hugs me like my brother never does. 'I'm havin a crisis.'
'Hey we're here for you, dude.' Axel slaps his hand and asks Theo what he's drinking. Theo tells him he's had about eleven Multiple Orgasms tonight already. Axel shouts over to Sheena and Harry at the bar, tells them to get my little brother a soda. Sheena nods, busy showing Harry her new phone, Harry looking impressed, typing in numbers and talking to someone while Sheena chats up the barman. She laughs and switches round, saying something to the barman as she affectionately rubs her hand over Harry's scalp. Like he's some bizarre but cute breed of bald dog that she just can't resist touching. Leaving me to wonder if she actually does like him after all. And as she can't possibly, I have to admire her. I could never reach that level of false friendliness without chemical intervention.

Theo says, 'I don't know what's happened to me. I'm a mess,' his voice wobbling. 'I don't know what's going on, can't think straight.' He's actually crying, big grown-up man tears.

Sheena comes over, passing out drinks, then goes back to Harry and the barman to collect the rest and chat some more. Axel crunches an ice cube,
'What you do? She find out?'

Theo nods.


'Ahh, it's not even worth talkin about.' Theo sniffs, then blows a big wet one into his mushed up hanky.

(end of extract - but something else happens next, believe me, it's not all just driving about in cars and getting drunk****)

{****However, if you're looking for a novel that is basically people just driving around in cars and getting drunk - this is the one for you!!! There's loads of cars in this book, one of those big red ones and one of those slightly smaller blue ones. All sorts!}


Note: if you would prefer to do it the right way round - i.e. start at the beginning - simply download the PDF below or even, shocking as it is to suggest, buy the blasted thing. It's only a suggestion though,  I wouldn't want to get pushy. Check the library or nick it, either way, I'm not bothered. Though buying it would be nice. I'm starving in my garrett here, I've not eaten for a week... oh well, ya cannae fault me for tryin...


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c 2010 Mark Sullivan