174. Desert Island Dicks

“There’s an awful lot of shite on the telly these days, Luci. An awful lot of shite.”
Fucking Amazing Dave carefully hauls the tea-sodden chocolate Digestive from his mug and skillfully flops it into his mouth. His eyes roll in his head. He says “Mmmm”.
I say, “You’re not wrong, Dave. There’s an awful lot of shite. We watch that Netflix a lot now.”
“Yeah, that Netflix is alright. You can’t find fuck all on it though. It’s all there, but you can’t find it.”
I say, “There’s a find thing on there, you know. You can find stuff with that find thing.”
“Yeah. Search.”
Fucking Amazing Dave sips tea. “That Search on Netflix is all very well and good, but have you tried typing owt on there? It takes forever, using the remote, like, an’ then you spell the fucker wrong. I were trying to find Jaws on there the other week an’ I spelled it wrong. All it came up with were World at War, Woody Allen films and that Schindler’s List.”
I say, “Yeah, there’s a danger of that. They need to improve that search thing, do Netflix.”
Fucking Amazing Dave says, “Maybe summat voice activated. You could just, like, shout at the telly an’ it brings up what you shout at it, y’know?”
I say, “Yeah, perhaps, but all you’d end up watching is porn. You’re always shouting ‘Fuck’ and ‘Cunt’ at the telly. That’s all you’d see.”
Fucking Amazing Dave shrugs, says, “I like porn.”
“Don’t we all, but I don’t want to watch someone getting a pokey bum wank while I’m eating my tea. That’s what The One Show is for. Bland crap to watch while you’re eating your tea.”
“You have your tea late, Luci. I’ve had my tea by the time The One Show comes on.”
“That’s your choice, Dave, you can have your tea when you like, but even after you’ve had your tea you won’t want to be watching some chancer getting a pokey bum wank on telly. You want to give your tea time to settle before you get onto that kind of material.”
“True, Luci. Bit early for all that. What did you watch last night?”
“I can’t remember. It wasn’t a pokey bum wank, that’s for sure. I’d remember that. That’s another thing about telly these days. I can’t remember what I’ve watched. I spend a couple of hours gaping at the box and then next day I can’t remember fuck all what I watched.”
Fucking Amazing Dave says, “That might be the wine, to be fair.”
I sigh. “Yeah. It might be the wine. What did you watch, Dave?”
He frowns. “Wotsit called. That posh bloke.”
“Stephen Fry?”
“Not him. The other one. Daft name.”
“Erm… Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall?”
“Not that one either. His name’s… his name’s like a big dog. And a type of oven.”
I say, “What?”
“His name’s like a kind of big dog and an oven, a cooker thing. A type of cooker.”
I’m a bit lost. I think for a bit. I have a guess. “Labrador Smeg?”
Fucking Amazing Dave looks at me, appalled. “What the fuck, Luci? What are you saying? Where did that shit come from?”
I say, “Well, a labrador is a big dog, and Smeg make cookers. Fridges as well. To be fair they make fridges mostly but they do make cookers too.”
Fucking Amazing Dave says, “Fuck off. Really? There’s a company called ‘Smeg’ that make stuff where you keep your food and cook your food? I don’t know about you, Luci, but I don’t want my Findus Crispy Pancakes anywhere near owt called Smeg.”
I say, “My mate’s got one of them Smeg fridges. It’s mostly filled with that Italian fizz.”
“Get him. Very Lah-Dee-Dah.”
“It’s a nice fridge.”
“I’ll take your word.”
“What fridge you got, Dave?”
“Dunno. Candy, I think. Freezes up at the back all the time. There’s a Babybel cheese that’s three years old entombed in the ice back there. Always makes me think of Han Solo.”
We sip our tea.
I say, “So who’s this bloke on telly then, with the posh name that’s like a big dog and a cooker?”
Fucking Amazing Dave says, “You’ll know him. Always going on adventures and nearly dying. Drinks his own piss.”
I say, “What, Bear Grylls??”
“That’s him!”
“Dave, a bear isn’t a type of big dog.”
“Isn’t it? You sure?”
Fucking Amazing Dave shakes his head. “That’s fucking amazing, that is. Well… if a bear isn’t a type of dog, what is it then?”
“A bear. A bear is a bear. It’s what it is.”
“Like a koala bear?”
No, Dave. A koala isn’t a bear.”
Fucking Amazing Dave rolls his eyes. “Yes it is, Luci. Koala bear. Koala. Bear. See? The clues in the name!”
“Yeah, but it’s not actually a bear.”
“Don’t be telling me it’s a fucking dog, Luci. I’m not having that.”
“It’s not a dog, Dave, and it’s not a bear. It’s a marsupial.”
“A marsuwhat?? What the fuck is one of them?”
I crunch up a biscuit. Around the crumbs I say, “Animal with a pouch.”
“What, like a kangaroo?”
“Exactly. A kangaroo is a marsupial.”
“And the thing that makes them a marsupial is… a pouch? So there’s a whole different type of animal out there that’s special coz it’s got a fucking pocket? Don’t know about you, Luci, but I’m not that impressed. You got a rhino with a fuck off big horn an’ an elephant with a fuck off big nose, that’s impressive, but along comes Mr Marsupial with somewhere to keep his his keys and loose change? Nah, sounds shit to me.”
We drink some more tea.
Through the partition wall we can hear drilling. Then there’s a shattering noise and a small scream. We can hear boots thumping about and moaning. Someone says ‘fucking hell’.
The boots recede.
We drink some more tea.
I say, “So what was this Bear Grylls thing on telly?”
“Oh yeah. Well, he’s on this island and on one side of the island there’s some lasses and on the other side there’s some lads an’ they all have to survive. It’s bollocks, really, but it were alright.”
“I’ve always wanted to be stuck on a desert island for a bit. I mean, I know it’s not the paradise I imagine it’ll be but I still fancy giving it a go.”
Fucking Amazing Dave says, “Why not enter for a place on that telly show? You could be on that program next year.”
I shake my head. “I fancy being on a desert island alone, not with a dozen shrieking cunts and a camera crew. Definitely not with that Bear Grylls. He gets on my tits. He’s a right show off. He’d be hanging over my shoulder the whole time, sniggering at my clumsy attempts to make fire or kill a pig with a sharp stick.”
“Yeah, he’s like that is Bear Grylls.”
I say, “You reckon you can survive like that, Dave?”
“Reckon? I don’t need to reckon, Luci. I’ve done it. Survived for a couple of months. I won’t lie to you, it weren’t easy, but I’m alive now and that’s what counts.”
I’m stunned. I look at Fucking Amazing Dave. He’s sat quietly on the floor, sipping tea, staring off into nowhere.
I say, “You… you’ve survived like that? You’ve done it?”
He says, “Yeah. A few year back I decided to go travelling. I got this house, see, coz me dad made me get one when I moved out. He were worried I’d just spunk my wage away every month on fuck all, an’ he were right, I suppose, but he made me buy a house so at least I’d have something to show for it. Well, over the years it went up in value, didn’t it? I’d been a bit daft wi’ the credit cards, here and there, and I owed a few thousand out, so I looked at getting some money back off the house. Well, the bank told me what me house were worth an’ I nearly fell through the fucking floor! If I flogged it I’d pay off all me debts an’ be better off to the tune of twenty five grand!”
“Yeah, but you’d also have nowhere to live.”
“Live? Fucking hell, Luci, I weren’t living! I were slogging my guts out in this shit-hole factory just to pay off interest on the money I owed! That ain’t living, man. That’s slowly dying. I were dying, Luci, inch by inch. The world were turning an’ I were missing it. I decided to cash in the bricks ‘n’ mortar an’ travel the world. It were my time.”
“Wow. A brave decision, Dave, but I can’t fault you. Sounds amazing. How did it pan out?”
Fucking Amazing Dave took a sip. “Good. I put me house on the market an’ it were snapped up. Got a bit more than I thought, in the end. I worked out a route where I wanted to go an’ booked it all down the travel agents. Thailand, Australia, India, Vietnam, all around that bit down there, y’know? Then I chucked in my notice here, told Cardboard Supervisor to go fuck himself, walked out a free man! A great feeling, Luci. No ties, no responsibilities. I was gonna walk the earth, free, like Cain in Kung Fu.”
“And Jules in Pulp Fiction.”
“Never mind. So you flogged your house and booked your adventure and jacked in your job. What next?”
“Yeah. So this freedom, it kind of went to me head. I loved not being attached to anything, you know? I loved not having a house anymore, it really freed me up, y’know? So when I got back home after quitting me job I realised I had to get rid of all the shit in me house before I moved out. It were all sort of meaningless now, all that shit. Stuff. It’s just fucking clutter! De-clutter yer house, Luci, de-clutter yer head, yeah? So I had a bit of a bonfire in the back yard. Burned the shit I didn’t need anymore.”
“What sort of stuff?”
“A shitty old coffee table, a kitchen chair wi’ a broken leg…”
“Yeah, can’t beat a good burn.”
“…bookcase, some rugs, stacks of old magazines…”
“Cathartic. Must have felt great.”
“…three piece suite, my bed, wardrobe, all of me clothes…”
“Woah! You what? You burned a fucking couch in your back garden?”
“Yeah, and me telly. You should have seen that fucker go up. It were like The Towering Inferno. Neighbours threatened to call the fire brigade. I told ‘em to fuck off. While it were all burning I went through the house, found all the shit I didn’t need no more. Old bills, payslips, shitty paperwork that just fucking gathers without you noticing, a coat, some shitty shoes I’d wear at funerals an’ at no other time, pictures off the walls, curtains, doormats an’ bathmats an’ fucking place mats! Chucked it all on the fire. I burned the bastard kitchen table! It all went, Luci. The job lot. I kept back some clobber to go travelling in, my rucksack, my sleeping bag, one spoon, one cup, one bowl. That were it.”
“You got rid of everything in your kitchen?? Your plates, glasses, all that?”
“Yeah, I parked the wheelie bin by me back door and twanged the lot in. Smashed it to bits. Felt brilliant! It were all mucky too so I saved on washing up. Double bubble. When I were done I walked round the house. it were empty, almost no sign I’d been there. What’s that saying? Leave only footprints, take only memories. It were like that. I were ready, Luci. I were ready to travel, get by on nowt. It were only me. I’d become meself.”
Fucking Amazing Dave stares into the shadows. I can see it in his eyes, he’s seen things, been places I can’t fathom.
I say, “Where was it that you got stranded, Dave? Was it an island? Did a boat sink or something?”
He shrugs. Nah, mate. I got stranded right there. I’d burned all the paperwork I needed to sell the house, the deeds an’ all that. I’d even accidentally burned me passport so I couldn’t leave the country. The sale o’ the house fell through so I were stuck. I had to go beg me job back but Cardboard Supervisor said he wouldn’t be hiring for two months an’ even then he wouldn’t guarantee owt. I lived in that empty fucking house for two bastard months on almost fuck all. Slept on the floor, wearing clobber that were only fit for the beaches of Koh Sa-fucking-mui. This were October, mind. I were freezing me bastard knackers off. Thought I were gonna die.”
Fucking Amazing Dave turns to me. His eyes are haunted.
He says, “I’ve seen shit, man. Done stuff a dog wouldn’t do to get by. Ate things that’d make a billy goat puke. It were a dark time, Luci a dark time.”
He stands up, dusts off his trousers. “I go me job back coz Cardboard supervisor saw what  a wreck I’d become. He took pity on us.”
I say, “Fucking Hell, Dave, I mean… You must feel like shit after all that. Talk about regrets…”
He shrugs. “Nah, No regrets. I realised travel’s overrated. Why go somewhere else to starve and nearly die when you can do it right here, in the comfort of your own home?”
Fucking Amazing Dave gives me a wave and wanders off to pretend to do some work.
I whisper. “You daft, daft bastard.”
I eat another biscuit.


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One Response to 174. Desert Island Dicks

  1. Terri says:

    Nothing gives me more pleasure than knowing when Friday comes around I’m almost certain to see another brilliant offering from Luci. Today was no exception and, quite honestly, I laughed until I cried.

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