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Story by Emmjay

O’Hoo had been recuperating in a Swiss clinic for months on end.  There had been problems with the liver transplant.  It was a curious turn of events. Apparently the liver had rejected O’Hoo and had gone back to the hospital after first stopping off at its lawyer to start litigation against the surgeon.

It was a mismatch made in surgery.

The clear mountain air and the abundance of full cream milk chocolate, discreet banking arrangements, a propensity to break into yodelling and precision watch shops agreed with O’Hoo, who agreed with his lawyer that a settlement of a cool million was fair compensation for the lawyer and a tepid half a mill plus recuperative expenses for O’Hoo was sufficient to remove the ordure from his old liver.  O’Hoo and his old liver had agreed to give it another try and O’Hoo was slowly metabolising the formaldehyde, enjoying the occasional trip as he did.  It was a welcome change from the Pink Drinks.

Although O’Hoo was still enjoying perving on the buxom gingham-clad maidens with the blue eyes, blonde plaits, aprons, long socks and sensible shoes, he was missing the cut and thrust of crime fighting and the challenge of a second bowl of grannie’s wedges.  Congratulations to all readers who successfully parsed the last sentence – all 61 words, he thought.  It was an heroic effort in the time of the interweb tubes.  He was almost moved to LOL.  The fact that O’Hoo’s maidens were, in the main going out with merchant bankers didn’t seem to faze him, although he was an accomplished fazee and by all accounts he should have been well fazed.

O’Hoo sat up in his sun lounge, put down his shiny aluminium sun reflector, his tired arms winning the argument with his half-done tan and he was about to rest his eyes for a moment when a stout wards man with a flushed face bore down on him at a fair clip.  He was waving a telephone. O’Hoo had a hunch this was good news.  His lederhosen futures had bottomed out and had started riding up.  He slapped himself on the knee and was about to do a Frank Ifield when a familiar voice on the line brought him back to reality.  She said she was going to dispense with the pleasantries but O’Hoo missed the “with” and quickly prepared his recovering ego for a damned good stroking.

“Listen, I’m in a spot of trouble, mate.  I could use somewhere to go doggo for a while” she said.

“What did you have in mind ? An intimate holiday for two in a Swiss clinic ?”

“Jesus H, O’Hoo, you’re not on that crap again, are you ?  You’ve mistaken the Red Cross narc rehab Hostel for Switzerland again.  For fuck’s sake, O’Hoo, Switzerland has a white cross on a red background.  How many times  is that now ?”

O’Hoo thought the correct answer was four, but something told him that it was a rhetorical question,  so he let that one go through to the keeper.

Just when he needed an Aspro badly the wardsman had disappeared and left him holding not a lovely Bakelite handset but something remarkably like a pawnshop mobile phone with an empty prepaid SIM card.

“Is that you, Mum ?” he said.

Three simultaneous rabbits started running in Vinh Rouge’s head.  First a deep sympathy for Mrs O’Hoo senior.  Second, serious doubt about the wisdom of calling O’Hoo, who was renown as a barnacle on the ship of progress and the last man you would want to help out in a crisis, and third, the realisation that he actually was her last option.

“Listen carefully, O’Hoo”.

“I am listening”

“I said ‘carefully'”

“OK, carefully!”  he said.  He knew it was serious.  They had started talking in italics.

“I have a contract out on me”

“You’re a contractor now.  Good for you !”

“Somebody is fucking trying to kill me, FFS.  I have no doubt that it’s Nopper.”

“Why not ?”

“Why not ?”

“Why not what ?” She said.

“Have a doubt !” said O’Hoo, ” That way you’d have two chances of surviving – yours and Buckley’s”.