The next day Jimmy was sat in the canteen at work drinking tea and trying to avoid dripping ketchup from his bacon roll down his shirt when a scruffy postman sat on the table next to his roll, farted and said, “Give us a bite!”
“You can have it all now you dirty bastard!”
“That was the plan. Thanks Jimbo!” He said as he took a huge bite and simultaneously plonked himself in the chair next to Jimmy. “Long time no see.”
“I was thinking the exact same thing about you.” Jimmy said with a sigh, “Where you been hiding Clive?”
“I’ll tell you later I’m on a mission at the moment. You up for any overtime today?”
“Might be what is it?”
“Piece of piss, they are panicking downstairs as they can’t get it covered. They’ll pay us three hours overtime each for an hours work. You in?”
“Meet me here at midday then, and, oh yeah we’ll need a van.”
“I see, you didn’t really need me you needed someone to drive you! You still banned?” Jimmy said with a grin.
“Maybe, don’t be late and you can thank me later.”
Jimmy was there at ten to twelve, Clive as usual was late. When he turned up at quarter past Jimmy said, “Where the fuck have you been?”
“Waiting for you downstairs!”
“Come on Jimbo,” Shouted Clive as he started walking out the door “We haven’t got all day to hang around here!”
“Give me strength!” Jimmy said through clenched teeth as he got up to follow him.
After they loaded a couple of bags of mail into the back of the van and he drove out of the yard Jimmy said, “So, where the hell have you been?”
“I was off sick with a bad back and then I was on holiday.”
“But I haven’t seen you for ages, not since we went out for a beer.”
“Ah,” Clive said “That would be when I got my bad back. You remember Ginger?”
“How could I forget? I’m still having nightmares!” Jimmy said with a shiver “Please don’t tell me that’s how you got your bad back!”
Clive grinned, “You’d be amazed what someone could do with two bottles of baby oil, a pair of rubber gloves, a pot of whipping cream and twelve foot of nylon rope.”
“Don’t you dare tell me! My brain started shutting down when you got to the baby oil and if I think about the rest I might throw up!” Jimmy said pretending to vomit.
“But I haven’t even mentioned the donkey and the vat of baked beans!”
“Fuck off and tell me about you holiday.”
“Ok, I had a great time!”
“We are talking about your holiday now, right?” Jimmy said fearing the worst.
“Yeah, the holiday. It was wicked!”
“Where did you go?”
“I went to the good old U S of A” Clive said smiling as he thought back, “San Francisco to be precise.”
Strange choice, Jimmy thought then asked, “You got family out there?”
“Nope, just booked a last minute cheap flight and went.”
“On your own?” Jimmy asked incredulously.
“Where did you stay?”
“In a hostel.”
“So you got up one morning thought I’d like to go to San Francisco bought a ticket and went?”
“That’s about it.”
“Kudos to you man, there is no way I could do that! You have a good time?”
“The best, the gay pride march was on when I was over there. That was awesome!”
“No, but you don’t have to be to have a good time.” Clive said with a wink and Jimmy wasn’t sure what to think. “The worst thing was on the bus ride to the airport I fell asleep and my bag was stolen. I lost my passport, phone, camera and all the contacts I made when I was over there. I was gutted!”
Jimmy stopped for Clive to get out and as he pulled his bag from the back of the van Clive said, “You never told me if you gave the dating agency a go. When you pick me up we can go down to the seafront for an ice cream and you can tell me all about it.” Then he slammed the door and was off.
Jimmy shook his head in disbelief of his friend then drove off to deliver his bag. He was surprised thirty minutes later when he went back to pick him up Clive was sat on the curb waiting for him. He even started pointing at his non existent watch as if he had been waiting for hours. They drove to the seafront, parked up and walked to the only shop open selling ice creams. It was mid October but quite mild and a nice day for a cornet. Clive walked up to the counter.
“Two of your largest ice creams and both with flakes please darling.” He said to the young girl serving then he stood back as she handed them over, pulling his pockets inside out to show he had no money, leaving Jimmy to pay.
“Unbelievable! Un-fucking believable!” Said Jimmy when they got out of earshot of the young girl. “You’ve got some fucking front!” He said but had to smile. They sat in the van eating the cones while Jimmy told Clive about his online dating experiences.
“So let me get this straight, you’ve been on three dates which didn’t go to well and now you’re giving up to chat to foreign birds you’re never going to meet? You’re fucking mad!”
“That’s rich coming from you!”
“I’m not mad just misunderstood.” Clive said, then just to prove or maybe disprove his point he smiled at an old couple walking past the van, lifted his hat, squashed what was left of the ice cream on his bald head then replaced the hat. The old couple looked disgusted and rushed off, Jimmy and Clive burst into laughter.
“Going back to the dates.” Jimmy said when he stopped laughing. “The first one had me mixed up with someone else. The second one was a psycho and the third one was worse than me! I really don’t need the hassle so will give the foreign bird route a go.”
“Whatever you think is best.” Clive said with his cap in his lap scrapping the ice cream into it. “You ever want to come out with me just give me a shout.” Then as he started eating the ice cream from his hat said, “Come on let’s get out of here before the old couple call the cops and get us sectioned!”
They laughed all the way back to the office.
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