“Hey, Bear. Don’t want to worry you, but Flint and Hugs have been at it again in the garage. It’s ducks this time. Right fucking mess.”
Bear was stressed.
The phone had been going all morning, three machines were broken down, nothing was getting printed, and it was his job to get shit running again.
Flint and Hugs were poachers, hunters and badger baiters.
I liked them.
I could never get the badger thing out of my head.
“Why do you do it, Flint? What the fuck have badgers ever done to you?”
“I do it coz it’s a right laugh, Lucifer. Ever gone twatting badgers?”
“Right, well don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.”
Try badger baiting?
I think not.
“As for all this ‘what have badgers ever done to you?’ shit, well them nasty stripy bastards made a right mess of my best dog, Gary.”
“Was Gary doing anything to annoy the badgers?”
“Course he was. He was trying to rip their bastard throats out.”
“Can’t really blame the badgers then…”
“Yes I fucking well can! Stripy bastards…”
I wasn’t going to win.
They’d go hunting really early in the morning.
They’d bring their kill in to work, and gut it in the garages.
Sometimes rabbit, sometimes pheasant, even a deer one time.
Gutting and skinning is messy work.
I’d seen the aftermath one time.
It was grim.
And the smell is just as bad.
Bear had been standing amongst the blood and entrails, purple in the face, swearing continuously.
He didn’t like them doing it.
It didn’t stop them.
This time it was duck.
“Hello, this is Bear. Yes, yes I’ve heard about the garage! As soon as I get a second I’m going to go over there and gut those two fuckers with my bare hands, AFTER I’ve made them clean up their crime scene!”
“Hi, Bear. Have you seen the garage? There’s ducks all over the place. Never seen anything like it! There must be thirty of ‘em and…”
“I. FUCKING. KNOW!!!! I’m going there now..”
“Hello? I know, sir. The presses should be in working order in an hour. That’s right, an hour. Goodbye.”
“Hello, this is Bear. No, the part hasn’t arrived yet, Scorcher. When I get it, you’ll get it. Alright? Good. Now fuck off!”
“Hello, this is Bear. No, I haven’t seen the fucking garage yet!! I know there’s fucking ducks everywhere, I know it’s a right fucking mess, but I haven’t had the bastard time to get down there and kill everybody responsible yet! It’s at the top of my to-fucking-do list!!”
He’s a big bloke, but when he has a mind he can move pretty quick.
He lumbered across the factory, his face purple, shoving machines and staff out of the way with shovel hands.
He was over the edge.
There would be murder.
“Hey, Bear, if you get a minute, check the garage. Ducks…”
The door to the back yard shivered on its hinges.
Bear stomped across the yard to the garage.
He broke the door, he pulled it open so hard.
There were Flint and Hugs, caught in the act.
They sat on either side of a kids paddling pool filled with water.
They each held a fishing rod with a hook on the end.
In the paddling pool, three dozen yellow plastic ducks bobbed merrily around as Flint and Hugs tried to catch them.
All the colour drained from Bear’s face.
He sagged against the wall.
“It’s for the kids Christmas Party at the weekend,” said Flint.
“It’s Hook a Duck,” said Hugs, helpfully.
“Quack quack,” said Flint.
Bear left without a word.
He ambled back to his office, and closed the door.
“Hello, this is Bear. No more calls today.”