Outside my squat there’s this weird man that has a stall where he sells loads of random shit. Mainly he sells out of date food but occasionally he has other exciting things, like novelty ties and bleach. His name is Dave and he has a lazy eye. We at Squallyoaks, however, prefer to refer to him solely as “THE MAN,” because when said with dramatic affect, it holds far more comedic value. For example:
“Hey, where’d you get that tasty looking out-of-date Cherry Coke and dented can of sardines?”
“Oh, just THE MAN.”
Another regular of the THE MAN’s stall is his sidekick, The Fat Man. The Fat Man is basically like THE MAN only bigger and balder with even less teeth. Together, the pair of them look like some crazed, medieval nightmare. Every day the two of them sit around making the same bad jokes, staring lustfully at women and brainlessly positioning colorful stickers over the expiration dates of their expired produce. Their lives seem super fun.
About a week ago I paid a visit to THE MAN’s stall to buy a can of diet Coke. (He sells them for half the price of your average store, which is great if you don’t mind picking off the small pieces of mouse poop which normally line the rim). I was wearing a white lace negligee with a black slip underneath to prevent it from being see-through. I wouldn’t consider this outfit to be particularly slutty, but it seemed to get the THE MAN’s attention. This is the conversation that ensued.
THE MAN: Girl, what are you wearing?
Me: Who me? (Remember it’s difficult to tell if he’s looking at you or not because his crazy eye is always wiggling around all over the place.)
THE MAN: Yeah you! You shouldn’t be leavin’ the house lookin’ like that!
Me: It’s just a dress.
The Fat Man: If you call that a dress, I’d like to see what isn’t a dress. (They both laugh hysterically as if this is the funniest thing they’ve ever heard in their pathetic lives.)
Me: What the fuck do you know about fashion you fat bastard?
The Fat Man: Clearly more than you do if you walk around lookin’ like that! (More laughs)
At this point I considered retaliating, but stopped myself after experiencing a moment of clarity in which I realized there’s no point in having an argument about fashion with the 500lb bald ogre who makes a living selling rotten hot-dogs on the side of the road. End scene.
A few days later, after consciously avoiding the stall, I ran into The Fat Man at a nearby bus stop. This time, however, he is out of his element (i.e. not surrounded by garbage) and appeared slightly less confident. This is how the conversation went the second time round.
The Fat Man: (Shyly) So, umm, do you go out much?
Me: Yeah, sometimes.
The Fat Man: Like, to clubs?
The Fat Man: …because I know this really kickin’ club in Croydon.
My brain: Did he just say “kickin’?” My mouth: Oh really?
The Fat Man: Yeah, my friend Roy DJ’s there sometimes. (Fact: Being friends with a DJ is cool.) He plays all the good stuff.
Me: What’s the good stuff?
The Fat Man: (Staring at my boobs) Well, do you know Michael Jackson?
Me: (Staring at his boobs) Yeah I think I’ve head of him.
The Fat Man: So, yeah, Michael Jackson, and… umm… you know Barbara Streisand?
Me: Uh, yeah.
The Fat Man: Yeah, like Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand, Whitney Houston. You know, all the good stuff.
I nod. This is surreal.
The Fat Man: So, what kind of music are you into?
Me: Well, I like some dance music, some indie…
The Fat Man: (Shaking his head in dismay) Nah, nah! See, now I don’t get that. I just don’t think you can truly understand indie music unless you’re from India.
Me: (As there is no response to this statement that could make this conversation any less hellish, I resign to just smiling and nodding continuously. This technique works in nearly every uncomfortable situation.) Uh-huh…
The Fat Man: But I mean, Roy’s got loads of records. He might have something you like. I’ll check it out.
Me: You do that.
We’ve yet to fuck…