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Story by Big M

Merv was out of sorts this morning. He had been to the gym for a fairly unrewarding workout, copping an uppercut to the jaw, which landed him on his backside, all due to him being distracted. He’d jogged home to find Foodge asleep at the rear entrance to the pub. When Foodge awoke he pleaded with Merv for ‘a little bit of brekky, after pulling an all-nighter.’

Foodge’s ‘all-nighter’ was spent playing with his new camera, mucking around with various f-stops and shutter settings for low light surveillance. Now Foodge was sat at the bar downing his second Trotter’s Best, and a plate of eggs. In between mouthfuls he reviewed his photos on his iPad. “Beautiful images for such low light, and doesn’t Justice McGerkinsquirter look fit in his undies?”

Granny flittered by with her long handled Turk’s Head, which she’d bought cheap at Aldo’s. Bits of cobweb fluttered down onto the bar. “Why dyathink they’re called Turk’s ‘eads?” Mumbled Merv to no one in particular.

“Well, Mr Merv, I believe it’s because they look like Turk’s heads” Muttered Foodge as he zoomed in and out on the Justice’s Y-fronts.

“Poor feckin’ Turks, no wonder they’re always at war.” Merv flicked a sizable strand of web from his paper. What was really putting him off side was his major assignment for his WEA literacy course. “Hey, Foodge, you’re a wiz with words, how about you have a look at me assignment?”

Foodge sat up straight.” That I am, editing such a manuscript sounds like hungry, thirsty work.” Merv was already pulling another pint, and signalled to Granny for extra wedges.

Granny was humming away, lost in a world of Turks heads and Spanish romance (yes, the Spanish mechanic is still parking his work boots under Granny’s cot). “What’s that, dear?”

“Wedges for Foodge…he’s doin’ me a favour”

Foodge spent a good deal of time reviewing the manuscript, enough for two bowls of wedges, sans sour cream, and another three pints. “Well…er…Mr Merv, nice work, good spelling, well constructed, liked the introductory paragraph, and the conclusion, but…er.” Foodge was flushed.

Merv leant forward across the bar, absent-mindedly polishing a pint glass with his, ever present, dirty rag. “Yes, what’s the verdict?”

Foodge gulped, dry mouthed, taking some courage from the dregs of his Trotters. “Well, um, it’s just that it’s…err…um…quite boring.”

The bar went silent. After two minutes Merv gulped. “Borin’?”

“Ah, err, um.” Foodge had dismounted the bar stool and was walking backwards, clutching his camera and iPod. “Well, when I say boring, I don’t mean boring, I just mean, uninteresting.”

Merv slowly placed the glass and the rag on the bar. “You mean me life’s work, the history of Merv is uninnerestin’?”

“Well, yes, perhaps.” Foodge was almost to the back door when Merv vaulted the bar.

“Borin’, uninnerestin’?” Merv had crossed the gap between them in a couple of strides. “What do you suggest, how can I make me dull feckin’ life innerestin’?”

Foodge lent back, as if to escape the reach of Merv’s enormous hands, and rope-like forearms. “What about your part in O’Hoo’s and DCI Rouge’s escape from the local pleece, given that no one but you knows of what happened, I mean, you had a hand in their escape, I believe, so why not write it down?”

“Yes, of course.” Merv tore up the document in his hand. “ Me old mate, O’Hoo.” He dashed back to the bar for fresh pencil and paper. “Granny, wedges, man at work, ‘ere.” As he started scribbling like a sick man writing a will.

To be continued