The office is silent except for the staccato plastic tapping of keyboards and the occasional shuddering sigh from whoever happens to be hungover at this particular time.
I say the office is silent, but of course, it isn’t.
It isn’t because Batley is working.
I say working, but of course, she isn’t.
Batley works, at most, a fifth of the time she is actually at work.
The rest of the time she is either talking, or conducting her own business whilst talking.
Batley is always talking.
She’s got a right gob on her.
She treats the office like, well, an office, only she doesn’t do the office’s work, she does her own work.
Her work is dog work.
She’s into dogs, big time.
I don’t like boxer dogs. I was once viciously attacked by a boxer dog that was dancing with a naked girl I’d just fucked. It’s a long and confusing story, but suffice to say it left me with a bloody wound and a deep dislike for that particular hyperactive moron of the canine world.
Batley always wanted kids, you see, but a magic combination of there being ‘somethin’ wrong wi’ mi’ tubes’ and her being about twelve stone overweight has sadly left her unable to spawn a squirming litter of small fat Batleys to suckle contentedly at her swollen teats.
I think she considered adoption, but her and her husband weigh in at a combined weight of around fifty stone and the chances of the morbidly obese getting a child are pretty slim – possibly out of fear that they might eat it – so they chose another route.
They bought a shitting machine.
Pearl the Boxer Dog.
Then they got another, a male called Dean, then another female, Roxy.
And now that’s all she talks about.
“Last night our Roxy were sat there starin’ at us sayin’ ‘mam, let us out cos I need a shite!’ but I were all settled on t’sofa wi’ a big Dairy Milk an’ a bottle o’ Blossom ‘ill an’ there were no way I were off out onto t’astro-turf to pick up a big shite in mi’ PJ’s givin’ t’neighbours a bloody eyeful so I says, ‘Barry! Barry! Barry! Barry! but our Barry were busy wi’ ‘is Carling and bettin’ on t’football in t’kitchen diner so I decided it were no good an’ I were gonna ‘ave to go out mi sen but then our Roxy looked at us wi’ ‘er ears flat an’ she’d gone an’ shat on mi’ slippers but I couldn’t get mad at ‘er, bless ‘er, so I just opened t’patio doors, flicked the shit out an’ finished watchin’ Love Island.”
This charming monologue is delivered at a Brian Blessed volume, punctuated with a chattering, braying laugh.
Batley had worked for half her life as a barmaid in her father’s pub.
Hefty barmaids are used to talking to anyone, talking to everyone. She’s chatted cheerfully to horrible old men who are taking a suspicious length of time ferreting in their filthy trousers in search of coppers to pay for their half of mild, she’s held sparkling conversations with massive racists who could easily explode into incredible violence at the very sight of a person who’s complexion isn’t gammon pink.
Office conversation comes easy to her, even though she still delivers it in a tone designed to be heard over a Leeds United goal in a packed pub at four o’clock on a Saturday afternoon.
As such, her business is everyone’s business.
“So I says to her, I says, I says, ‘Mam,’ I says, ‘Mam, I got enough on wi’ t’dogs without ‘avin’ to go chasin’ round after me grandma ‘cos she forgot where she lives again an’ she’s walked three mile over to ‘Unslet tryin’ to find the terrace ‘ouse she lived in wi’ me grandad, God Rest ‘is Soul, back in nineteen seventy two but which were torn down twenty year past to make way for a fuckin’ mosque!’ Me mam lives over at Brid now, y’see, since me dad retired, so they rely on muggins ‘ere to drop everythin’ every time me gran ‘as a funny turn, an’ that’s just not on!”
Whilst she’s talking, Batley types feverishly on her Facebook page.
She is part of a vast community of Boxer dog enthusiasts from across the world who spend an unsettling amount of time online talking about, well, dogs.
I don’t think it’s healthy, personally.
Dogs are fine – great even – but you have to know when to draw the line.
For example, recently, Pearl fell ill.
It had fits, seizures. Horrible to see, by all accounts.
But that’s what happens with years of concentrated inbreeding to create pedigree dogs.
Their legs pack in, they get tumours, they can’t breathe properly, their brains turn to putty.
It’s a fucking dreadful business, canine eugenics. If you were to suggest that only certain humans should be allowed to breed due to their ‘superior’ physical characteristics and that their children would be awarded a certificate and higher social standing due to this breeding then you’d rightly attribute it to something the Nazis liked to dabble in, and you’d be damn right, but when it comes to other species we’re more than happy to turn a blind eye to some obsessed oddball in a tatty fleece trying to get a mother dog to fuck it’s own son in a shed outside Doncaster in the hope the progeny’s eyes will be even more bulging and swivelled and that it’s nose might look like it’s been kicked in by a coal miner’s boot.
It’s totally fucked up.
So Batley’s precious little angel Pearl started to foam at the mouth and shudder uncontrollably, pissing all over the place as horrible seizures tore through her body.
She couldn’t walk the dog any more, for fear it would have a fit, so she bought a giant pram for it and wheeled it through the streets of Morley.
What a sight.
A very large woman waddling along, pushing a giant pram containing a dog having an epileptic fit.
What a time to be alive.
Batley took her dog to the vets and they prescribed potion after potion, treatment after treatment, and such was Batley’s love for that damaged mutt, she tried them all.
And when they didn’t work she tried a different vet, then another, and another.
Now, none of these vets told her the cold truth.
If the dog is fucked on a genetic level, nothing is going to fix it. All that inbreeding has completely screwed it up. The kindest thing to do is pat it’s head, shed a tear and give it one last injection.
Those cunts, those snake oil salesmen, kept trying increasingly exotic medicines in the hope of curing the incurable and Batley kept paying.
Until finally, it worked.
The seizures halted. The dog was cured.
Then it dropped down dead.
She had spent just short of ten thousand pounds on vets bills, not including what the insurance paid out.
On a dog.
Those vets, those so-called animal lovers, they didn’t see a sick dog, they saw a cash cow.
But, at the same time, Batley was happy to pay.
She now has a carved wooden casket on her window sill containing the dog’s ashes, a casket that cost her several hundred pounds.
So after a horrible experience like that, what do you do?
You go straight out and buy another fucking Boxer dog with an even more distinguished pedigree for an eye watering sum of money and you start all over again.
You’d imagine Batley would be skint after all that, but you’d be wrong.
Because Batley’s business is Dog Business, and even when you are a fucking moron willing to spunk thousands of hard earned pounds on dogs and dog accoutrements, you’ll find there’s always somebody even more moronic than yourself out there, willing to spend even more than you on things even more stupid and pointless.
Her phone rings.
She picks it up.
“Hiya! Yeah, yeah, that’s right. Where to? South Africa? That’s fine. Price? Six ‘undred, wi’ shipping. Air Mail, be there in two days. Send us y’details an’ I’ll get on it. Yeah… ace… bye!”
She puts down the phone and types furiously, her tongue sticking out in concentration.
There is a job on her desk.
It has been there for an hour.
The print press is stood still, waiting for the job.
Her boss, a man called The Belly due to his ridiculously huge gut, glances nervously at Batley, then at the job, then at Batley.
He checks his watch.
Then he sighs, heaves himself from his reinforced chair and lumbers over to Batley’s desk.
He begins to speak but her phone rings.
She holds a hand up.
She grabs the phone.
“Hiya! Yep, yep, no probs. Where to? Los Angeles. Right. That’s Six ‘undred, wi’ shippin’. Be a couple o’ days, so be wi’ y’around Tuesday. Email us y’details an’ I’ll get crackin’. Yeah, cheers!”
Again she slams down the phone and types furiously.
The Belly sighs again, picks up the job from her desk and thumps his way back to his desk to do the job himself, the soft cunt.
I can see Tommy working next to Batley. He’s at the end of his tether. I really don’t know how he does it, sitting next to her all day as she rabbits on incessantly, doing little or no work while he has to take up the slack.
He catches my eye, shoves his chair back and walks over to me.
“Let’s get a cup of fucking tea,” he growls.
We go over to the kitchenette, click on the kettle and he leans against the counter, shaking his head.
“I can’t take much more of this,” he says, rubbing his face with both hands. “It’s driving me fucking mental, dogs dogs fucking dogs, every minute of every fucking day!”
I say, “Have you had a word with your boss?”
He barks a mirthless laugh. “What, The Belly?? Have you seen that soft cunt? He does three quarters of her work for her because he’s frightened of her! He hates any kind of confrontation!”
We hear Batley take another call, another quote for six hundred quid, this time shipping to France.
I say, “She seems to be selling a lot of something for six hundred quid a pop! That’s nearly two grand today, and it’s not even lunchtime yet! What’s she flogging?”
Tommy’s face lights up. “Oh, you don’t know? You’re gonna like this. Well, she’s got those two male dogs now, yeah? And both those fuckers have got some sort of rosette at Crufts, and they’re kind-of-like dog royalty, so they’re quite a commodity. Now, Batley was all about the lady dogs at first. She’d find some stud to come over and fuck her bitches and they’d all stand around on her fake lawn in the back garden watching these two dogs fuck each others brains out like it were a floor show. Thing is, it takes a lot of time and effort, raising pups. She was living out in her shed with them twenty four seven, making sure they all got fed and didn’t get cold. It must have been fucking exhausting!”
I say, “Wait a sec, you say she slept in a fucking shed?”
Tommy shakes his head. “Not just any shed. This is a big fucker, fitted with electricity, heaters and hot fucking water to boot. She could live in there forever if she wanted. She got a bed in there, the lot. But she’s up every two hours to feed the pups, sort them out, fuck knows what you need to do with dogs, but it sounds like a fuck of a lot of work. The other thing is, those mad cunts who love Boxer dogs, they want a certain look, a certain colour, apparently. So they’ll pay top dollar for a particular dog, but won’t touch another with a barge pole, depending what it looks like. It doesn’t make a bit of sense to me.
“But now she’s using her head, and got these two boy dogs. So what she was doing was getting people to bring their bitches round and they’d all stand around and watch while one of her boys fucks the girl dog, then the owner pays Batley five hundred for the privilege!”
I say, “So basically, she’s a dog pimp. She’s setting up dog fucking sessions for money.”
Tommy laughs. “Yeah, something like that. But anyway, she’s worked out an even easier method. A way of cutting out the middle man, so to speak.”
I frown. “There’s not many things more basic than two dogs fucking in a back garden, mate.”
“Yeah, well, what if one of those dogs that needs fucking is in Mexico? Or Spain? What then? Our Batley’s worked it out. She just gets these special insulated and chilled containers and ships the dog jizz across the world, special delivery! Charges six hundred quid a pop, quite literally!”
I shake my head. “That is fucking clever! Shipping’s the only proper outlay, everything else is free! A fairly unlimited supply too, I suppose, at least for a few years. She’s not as stupid as she looks!”
Tommy is still grinning. “Yeah, but think about it, Luci. Shipping the dog jizz is one thing, but how do you suppose she gets it in the first place?”
I frown. “Well.. I suppose you… I reckon there’s this machine or something… and…”
Tommy is shaking his head. “No, mate. That’s not how they do it.”
I shudder. “But… whenever she talks about the dogs it’s like they’re her kids! When she says they give her a look it’s always ‘mam, I want to go for a walk’ or ‘mam, I want my dinner’! If she’s doing what you say she’s doing, then she’s basically wanking off her kids and selling the spunk to the highest bidder, which is fucked up on so many levels!”
Tommy nods. “Yep. I wonder if there’s a special way of doing it. You know, different to humans. And if there is a special way… I wonder… you know, in the bedroom… I wonder if she’s ever inadvertently wanked off her Barry like she wanks off her dogs…”
“Fucking Hell, mate!” I say. “What a thought! Mind you, you wouldn’t get six hundred quid for a tube of Barry’s spunk. He’s no pedigree.”
Tommy nods. “I agree. But we now know Batley’s price. She’s basically wanking dogs off for cash. She’s gone from dog pimp to dog whore. Her C.V. would be a right read these days.”
I say, “I couldn’t do it. I mean… wank off a dog. Wouldn’t it start looking at you a bit differently? You’ve gone from being the person who takes it for walk and gives it a bowl of Pedigree Chum to basically being it’s sex partner. It’s all wrong.”
We look at Batley.
She’s on the phone again. We hear her quote six hundred quid again.
Tommy says, “That’s at least five dog wanks today alone. She must have strong wrists…”
Tommy walks off with his cuppa.
I sit down at my desk.
It surely can’t be that basic.
There must be a… device, or something.
Secretively, I bring up Google.
I type in, ‘How to collect dog semen…”
I look around.
I don’t realise what’s going on at first but a video pops up.
This bloke is sliding something onto a dogs cock and it suddenly goes mental, fucking his hand for all it’s worth.
I splutter with laughter, half horrified, when I realise someone is behind me.
Soulless Boss glowers.
He hisses, “What… the … fuck… is… that??”
I look back at the screen.
The dog is jizzing.
I say, “It’s a Dogwanker.”
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