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FICTION

doughboy

corned beef sandwich

friendly kid: poppy

friendly kid: rude

friendly kid: horror

friendly kid: mark

how to be successful with the ladies

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FRIENDLY KID...

Writer at typewriter and skullPoppy

There are lots of reasons people wear fancy dress outfits (FDOs). Usually you wear them in context. If you dress up as a fireman and put distressed protesting young women over your shoulder and pretend that you're rescuing them, it's okay if you're at a fancy dress party. You're a bit of a lad, it's a form of flirtation, it was only an accident. It wasn't really your fault that she swallowed her tongue, lost consciousness and broke her collarbone when you dropped her. These things happen. It'll cost to clean the vomit off your costume, but that's fine, you're prepared to pay.

If you dress up as a fireman and develop a habit of turning up at burning houses, where you help out and sometimes actually do save distressed young females from burning buildings, you're probably more of a serious case. In need of counselling and/or medication. What we call a Day Time Dresser (DTD). But who am I to judge and who the fuck is Batman anyway if he isn't just another run of the mill DTD? Unlike the rest of the world of superheroes and supervillians, Batman has no special powers. He just dresses up. But he doesn't seem to do any harm. And if he gets his kicks from wearing tights and fighting evil, who am I to judge. So long as he brings his costume back nice and clean.

I like dressing up. I'm not afraid to admit it. I'm a Day Time Dresser - but not in any superheroiney kind of way. And I am fully aware of my name, my address and the year on the calender. I don't think I'm Joan of Arc, Marie Antoinette or even a reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe. (These sort of characters used to be known as Histrionic Schitzos but it's not politically correct to confuse people who think they're someone else with your run-of-the-mill, friendly, common or garden schizophrenic. We've had complaints on our website message board. So now we refer to these loony tunes as Banana Splits (BS) - and everyone's a lot happier. Believe me, we had a guy that used to come in that thought he was the Pope. Only he couldn't decide which Pope he was. He'd bring back his Pius IX costume, I'd wipe the snot off the sleeves and hire it back to him 10 minutes later as a Pope John Paul II original. The new Pope John Paul's happy, I'm happy, the webcam crew that log on and watch activities in the shop are splitting their sides at this latest banana. Life is cruel when you're convinced you're a dead man.

Today I'm wearing my Little Red Riding Hood outfit. Well, it's chilly and I've just dyed my hair and was having trouble finding anything in the wardrobe to match it. I'm a big boned and ample of flesh. What is known as a BBW; a big beautiful woman. The beautiful is for someone else to decide, but you can't argue with the big. And please don't argue with the woman. So the cape and hood look is always going to be a good one for me. My hair is fox red normally but after last night's experiment it's more like an explosion in a fake blood factory: lots of stripes, lots of shades, most of them red, some of them this weird bluey-green wrong colour.

This is what happens when you let your younger sister help. Never trust a sibling. Especially if she's only a half. So I'm wearing a hood and checking out the local online wig shop. I'm thinkin blonde bob. I'm thinkin asymetrical quiff. I'm uploading a passport style photo of me and tryin on the different heads of hair. Purple afro is the most stupid so far, whereas dreadlocks is really not looking too bad. But I need to have red hair today. It's kind of the thing to do. My skin is ghost goth white without me even having to try. If I'd wanted to have a tan I'd be disappointed, but I kinda like looking like I need a good night's sleep and a prescription for iron tablets. I'm a vampy kinda gal.

I'm looking for my long lost father and he had a thing about women with red hair. Not that I'm gonna see him today but I do have appointments with two of his sons. My brothers if I'm allowed to call them that. My uncles if that makes any sense. Either way, neither of them have ever met me. Rudyard is expecting me. Mark, I'm not really sure if he knows what day it is. I've seen him about and he has a twitchy look to him. Amphetamine Sulphate or just a Banana Split, I suppose I'll have to wait and find out.

So I'm closing the shop for an extended lunchtime break. In the old days shops used to close on a Wednesday afternoon anyway. You couldn't get money if the banks were closed. You had to find a phone box if you wanted to call someone. There weren't any pubs open between 3pm and 5.30. These are the things that you learn when you talk to people that were alive in the past. These are the sort of dullard statements and memories of a time best forgotten that Greene is often fond of regaling us with during those forced moments of family togetherness that my mother likes us to have every now and again. I shouldn't be eating in my room, she says. I shouldn't sit in the garden eating, she says. I shouldn't buy takeaways every night. I should force myself to sit at the kitchen table with her, my tweeny little half-sister, and little Moany Lisa's father, Greene.

And it's having to sit there and look at little Moany and not very much bigger Greene that first made me think. Think about life, the universe and the chances of my DNA having anything to do with him. I don't know how old I was. I don't know precisely when he turned up. For a while there was just me and mum and a shared bedsit somewhere horrible. But then memory takes a jump and I'm a big boned child and mum's pregnant and there's just me and Greene in the house. And nothing bad's gonna happen that anyone needs to get worried about. All I'm gonna complain about is the fact that I wanted tomato soup or burgers and he wants me to eat cauliflower. But there's something wrong. I'd never realised it before. I'd never thought about where he'd come from or where I'd come from. But I'm aware that I'm different. That's why it's so exciting to have found these two demic uncle/brothers of mine. Rudyard's in prison and Mark's a tramp who pushes his belongings around in a supermarket trolley and sleeps on the third floor of a multistorey car park - but y'know, no one's perfect. Certainly not me.

Horror    Rude    Mark  

 

longer extract available in pdf form->

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go back to where you were

c 2010 Mark Sullivan

 

 

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