Gordon and The Bish Go On Holiday: Part Two
“Zarks and Constantine,” the Bish says. “It’s Algernon.”
“More than that. It’s Emm and Big M and Mark. It’s… Shoe and Viv and Yvonne and Helvi. Nev and Manne, Merv. I can see Gregor, Ricardo, Gez, Rosemary… Our mates. On an excursion. Didn’t ask us.”
Gordon O’Donnell feels indignity as rough as a pineapple. The tequila is fuel to a fire lit by a surround of carousing patrons du porc. “How did you get here,” Gordon demands to know.
“I came straight off the Flyer,” says Algernon as cheerful as a bird singing in a tree top.
“I caught the bus home. The Zephyr’s in for mechanicin’.”. It’s Foodge.
Others’ voices add ‘walked’, caught the bus’, ‘the other half dropped me off’, ‘me too’ and such like.
“Granny’s latest batch of Trotters,” whispers the Bish to Gordon. Words are a hurdle. “Don’t say anything about Space World, Gordy.”
“No fear,” Gordon whispers back. He is in the same quadrant on their dial. “Don’t mention the toad, Bish, I think.”
“What if he wakes up?” the Bish whispers, nervous, glances at the Pig’s Arms Sports Bar pedal bin.
“Goose!” Gordon answers in a snapped whisper at the Bish, “He won’t wake up. He can’t. He’s not real. Deny we know him anyway. We’ve done it once. We can do it again.”
“Why?” the Bish whispers back.
“Frogs are popular. Toads bring … opprobrium. They’re … a menace. We’ll get the blame. Anyway, if the toad is in the bin he’ll expire in Trotters’ slops.”
“Leave sleeping toads lie,” the Bish whispers as a cant.
“Good scheme. Say he’s a liar if he wakes up, escapes and says anything,” Gordon commands.
“Don’t mention the toad in the room,” the Bish cants.
“Someone’s got to get you blokes tucked up in your cots,” Merv announces. He slides a tray of freshly washed and polished new knives and forks the length of the new stainless steel serving bench and walks to its other end.
“Foodge?” He beckons. “Can you walk these blokes home?”
“Uncle Merv,” says Foodge, “Don’t want to. They should … should be made to pay their slate getting the way they are.”
“We spent all the coin we too… ” Gordon applies a hurtful kick to the Bish’s dangling shins. “Nexsht week, we promise,” the pair says half in unison as they slide unsteadily onto their feet off the new bar stools covered in shining new clear plastic.
“See, Uncle Merv. They’re all good for that.” Foodge is his ever trusting sheltered self and he relents. “We’re scootin’. Gettin’ on the frog and toad now.” Foodge nudges Gordon whose face has gone from pale to deathly white. “Come on, Gordon O’Donnell. Fresh air do you some good” he says, playful. “Come on, Bish. Uncle Merv, I’ll empty the pedal bin on our way out.”
“Good work. Place smells like a dead toad,” Big M gives a thumbs up. Merv feels a glow of Uncle pride to see Foodge recognised for domestic initiative after all these years.
The patrons du porc cheer.
“Be careful with that pedal bin,” Viv warns as Foodge grasps it, nonchalant, naïve of the skill it takes to empty a pedal bin holus bolus without liquid content dribbling at best off the rim of the bucket and around the lid hinge down his arm.
Gordon and the Bish stagger back and veer towards the door in a half run between them as Foodge throws the bin onto one shoulder. The patrons du porc gasp. The weight of the sliding bucket jams the lid of the pedal bin open. Rotting Trotters’ slops propel an arc in the air of liquid silage dotted with discernible strands of coleslaw and mayo.
“Surreal,” Nev says. Nev writes restaurant reviews and scores the pub with a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is the best.
“I think that’s him,” whines the Bish to Gordon and points to a crumpled black mass of oozing slime on the plastic cover of a table near the door.
“Don’t point!” orders Gordon from somewhere on high, “It’s Schticky Date Pudding.”
The Bish doubles over puking a splendid Inner Cyberian chunder on a new hessian and rag coiled rug at the door. “Lesh get out of here.”
“Where’zh our luggage, Gord,” the Bish asks as they step into night. The air is freezing. They walk along the pavement arm-in-arm to steady themselves
and for warmth. They have on Hawaiian shirts that smell bad and knee length shorts with plastic sandals.
“Dunno, I dunno,” says Gordon in reflection apparently on their luggage. His pondering might be on cold.
“Gord, I’m f’r shewer not shewer how much of our shtory’s true this time.” Gordon can see by a glimmer of a lone roadside lamp the Bish looks deep in thought.
“Bish, the toad’s closhest to trew truth.”
“That no-hoper, Gord. Couldn’t walk a straight line if he tried.”
To be continued…
Written by Christina Binning Wilson 2017