Yesterday was a good day. A couple of pals from way back when paid me a surprise visit at the lodge. Now normally these things freak me out because, in spite of what you girls think, blokes do have some personal pride and inviting visitors in to a place that looks like it’s just been burgled always puts me on edge. Fortunately though, when the visitors are ex-flat mates, this doesn’t apply as ex-flatmates are never concerned about anything other than how their mate is and how much beer he has in. ‘Place is looking good’ was about the only comment passed, that from Higgy as he crouched in front of the fridge to inspect his options. We never left the kitchen, save for the obvious reason, and as the lodge is small that didn’t have to mean leaving the conversation. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t too long before the topic of that conversation came around to Recycling Jimmy. Crabber’s came across a copy in the bathroom. Neither of them had seen it nor read it and, whilst both knew that it had been published, I guess it hadn’t really meant anything until they actually held and flicked through the pages. After the initial round of piss taking (mainly targeted at the dust jacket picture which does make me look a bit like a Dale Winton impersonator) came the obvious question, asked by Crabbers but on behalf of them both.
‘So am I in it then?’
‘Nah, it’s a story mate. Pure fiction about suicide for profit. Not really our bag that was it?’
‘Well this sounds familiar Tilley. It’s my scooter isn’t it?’
Higgy read out the brief description of Kev’s scooter from the book and I had to agree; it was his scooter, something that really pissed Crabbers off. He snatched the novel, told Higgy to get more beer and began flicking through the pages. It didn’t take him too long to find a riposte.
‘Page 158. I did that. Ran off with your trousers that time in the night club.’
It was true, and Crabbers’ account of what had happened in the Tropicana that drunken, devastatingly embarrassing night opened the flood gates to another round of piss taking and, as we ploughed through our past experiences as Manchester student’s, on more than one occasion I found myself thinking, ‘hmmm, that’s in the book too.’
So here’s me thinking that I’ve consciously written a piece of dark, fictional comedy when it turns out that, in reality, a large amount of it appears to be based on flashbacks from nights best forgotten! But believe me, I am almost certain that we never dressed someone up as a rabbit and dropped them off a cliff.