48. Cabbage Patch Kid

The howls, shrieks, chirrups and yips echoed through the night.
Some cowered at the sound, keeping their heads down, flinching if a gibbering scream rattled in their ear.
Above it all came a thundering cry.
This wasn’t the jungle.
This was the factory night shift.
This was the cabbage patch.
It’s called the cabbage patch because all the machines are in rows, and the operators stand in rows.
Like vegetables.
Sasquatch was on the night shift.
With his huge hands he scooped up a stack of envelopes.
“Bacon!” he boomed.
A grey sack was held open and Sasquatch thrust the envelopes inside.
“Boxes!” he bellowed.
Scream gibber yip bacon peep moo howl oink boxes baa oi.
Why do the cabbage patch make these noises?
To be honest, I haven’t got a fucking clue.
I really don’t think they know why they do it.
Hessian liked to whistle at people, then look away, leaving them confused.
He was a ‘whistler’
He thought it made them look a right cunt.
His hunched, narrow shoulders would shake with mirth, and his thin, puckered lips would curl back to reveal rotten, dirty teeth.
“See that knob head looking round with a stupid look on his face!” he would snigger.
Hessian usually had an entourage of goons, who would laugh when he laughed.
“Hurr hurr hurr. Yeah, knob head.”
Hessian was top dog on nights.
He called the shots.
Hessian looked round, his eyes narrowing.
Hessian hissed with irritation.
“That big moron Sasquatch is getting right on my tits tonight. If he does that again, I’m gonna…”
“… sort him out. Listen up lads. Here’s what we’re gonna do…”

“Here, Sasquatch, you’re needed in the warehouse.”
“Huh? Who needs me?”
“Dunno. You’re needed in the warehouse.”
“What do they want?”
“Dunno. You’re needed in the warehouse.”
“Huh. Alright then…”
Sasquatch clumped to the warehouse.
It was empty.
No answer.
“Somebody needed me here?”
No answer.
“Hmm. Bacon…”
Men leapt from the shadows, screaming and gibbering.
Sasquatch was knocked sprawling across the floor, and strong hands tore at his clothes.
“Strip him, lads!”
Sasquatch howled with fear, but a strip of parcel tape silenced him.
He fought back, but a heavy punch to the stomach doubled him over, and soon he lay trussed on the cold concrete floor wearing nothing but his underwear.
“Bag him up, lads…”

3.00pm. Manchester Piccadilly station.
A guard was wandering along the freezing platform, sheltered from the worst of the wind by large steel cages stuffed with grey sacks containing direct mail destined for London and the South.
He paused.
One of the sacks was moving.
It had happened before.
Rats looking for nesting material. They could chew up a bag full of mail in no time.
He slipped his heavy torch from his belt loop and crept towards the cage.
He slowly lifted it high over his head.
“Got yer, yer furry bugger!”
“What the…? Fuckin’ Hell! There’s a fella in this bag! George! George! Get over here! There’s a fell in one of these bags! Give us an ‘and!”

Sasquatch sat shivering by the stove in the small office. He was mounded with grey blankets, but he still couldn’t get warm. An ambulance was on it’s way, as were the police.
The guard called George came in, carrying a mug of tea for him.
“Here you go, big lad. Get that down yer. Listen, Pete says he’s really sorry for giving you that black eye. He really thought you was a rat scuttling about in there!”
Sasquatch was silent. He sipped his tea and shivered, staring straight ahead. It unnerved George.
“Look here. Are you hungry? We’ve got some sarnies on the go. Would you like one?”
Sasquatch looked up. He realised he was starving.
“Y..yes please. What sarnies have you got?”
Sasquatch flinched, and burst into tears.
George shuffled out of the room.
Pete was waiting outside.
“How is he?”
“Crying his poor heart out.”
“Bloody hell! What did you say to him?”
“I offered him a bacon sarnie, and he starts roaring his head off! Can’t figure it!”
“Hmm. Reckon he’s Jewish?”

The lads who bagged him up were fired.
Hessian got away scott free.
Sasquatch was never the same again.
It took him years to start saying Bacon and Boxes again.
I heard him this morning, though.
I wish some fucker would sling him in a sack again.
Just for a bit of peace.

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