Monday, 3 November 2008


Too long, in fact. But now, freshly installed in my new house and having quit one job (which shall remain nameless) after an unhappy month, I'm happy to report that I'm back doing what God intended me to do: killing hookers delivering pizzas.

That's right, motherfuckers. I'm back. Tonight was my first night on my third pizza delivery job in a year. And if you're new to reading this - as I'm doubtless picking up new fans by the day with my regular updates and seductive prose - I'd like to point out that I didn't get fired from the previous two. Circumstances, and all that shit.

Holy shit I just looked at my reflection in the window and I seriously need a haircut. Oh, and sharamik, yes I'm doing a postgraduate now, in Religious Conflict no less; my experience of Arabs getting pissed off with the ham on their meat feast pizzas has led me down this strange alley.

But back on topic: I now work for another pizza chain, and although the uniform is pretty fucking hot, there's no free pizza on the table. Heavily discounted, sure, but fuck that shit. Am I right? I'm right. Fuck that shit. I'm going to have to work something out. I'm not in this business for the girls or drugs. I'm in this shit for the thin crust, stuffed base, olives, pineapple and jalapenos with a barbacue (how the FUCK do you spell barbacue) sauce base.

And you'd better fucking believe it.

The people seem nice so far, I've got to say: no Ryans or Dominicos in the pack tonight, anyway (although Dominico wasn't exactly not nice, just Italian; and incidentally, I've got at least one more story about each of them to tell, now that my passion for this lifestyle has been rejuvenated (rejuvinated? no, rejuvenated), so you'd best be watching out for that).

And I only did a few drops tonight - after spending TWO HOURS accompanying another driver, whose name currently escapes me, on his drops, to "learn the ropes" - but one of them's worth a mention, although perhaps not up to the standards of Y-Fronts. I'm glossing it - this in no way touches the standards of Y-Fronts, but that's the shitty thing about this blog, my pizza career, and my life in general: it peaked all too early with a nearly-naked men beating the shit out of a pile of speakers on an Exeter backstreet.

But, nevertheless, it scared the balls out of me (literally OUT of me) at the time, so it's worth a mention, I'd say.

So I'm doing this delivery, like my third in the area, but it's no big deal, I know the main roads well enough from visiting my girlfriend in the city over the years so I'm handling it okay so far, and I turn off the main road onto the street I'm aiming for, expecting, you know, a residential street. And I guess technically it is a residential street, only you can't see the fucking residences from the road. You can see the gigantic wrought iron gates, sure, and you can see driveways stretching into the infinite void of the night (that's poetry right there, motherfuckers), but you can't see no residences.

Still, there's house numbers on the gates, so that suffices. I drive along for what seems like, and is, a minute, until I reach the right gate. 608. And what do you get if you add those numbers together and take away 1?

That's right.


Unperturbed by this sudden turn for the sinister, I press on the intercom.


I wait a minute.

Still nothing.

I press again.


The way I wrote it makes it look like a snake talking, but that's inaccurate: the written word cannot do justice to how gay and also Latino the voice sounds. Seriously. It's a combination I personally haven't heard before, and it's one that would light the fires of righteous anger in many a Confederate trucker's rotund belly.

But we're not in the American South. We're in Nottingham. And we're delivering some fucking pizza.

I tell him my business.

"Okay!" he exclaims (squeals), and the gargantuan gate (alliteration, too; this is a literary banquet today) creaks open. Ominous, perhaps, but undeniably impressive. I drive up the driveway, for such is the very purpose of a driveway, to the front door of the house.

Mansion. Whatever.

Standing at the door, leaning casually against it, is what I can only assume is my man. Not my man in, you know, the civil partnership sense. More the guy I'm delivering pizza to.

Did I mention he's dressed almost exactly like Tony Montana?

I say almost because he doesn't have a gigantic gun. Or maybe he does, but... whatever. I'm not going there.

As I walk up to him, pizza in my nubile young hand, I notice another figure standing behind Tony Montana. He isn't dressed like Tony Montana, but he is dressed like the kind of Columbian drug lord you'd expect to see in a GTA clone (or GTA itself, come to that: despite it's new gritty real world atmosphere it clings to stereotypes as desperately as a blind dairy farmer clings to his cow's udders as the raft the two of them are piloting across dangerous waters is capsized by vicious sharks).

Result of GIS for "Columbian drug lord". He wasn't dressed like this. Whatever.

As I take the pizza up to Tony Montana, he gestures to the drug lord behind him. Do I... do I take the pizza to him? I guess so, because Tony isn't making any move to take it off me. As I step forward to lean past him and give the pizza to Columbia, Tony Montana takes a few steps forward so he's now standing behind me.

Now, I'm not a rampant homophobe who equates "gay" with "rapist", but I'll be honest with you: at that point, I was putting two and two together and the answer was looking like a bumming. I pretty much chuck the pizza in the drug lord's face and whirl around to face my phallic assailant, my mind desperately running over which of the many kung-fu techniques I don't know I should use to get out of this situation.

Tony's lighting a cigarette and checking out a rose bush at the edge of his expansive garden. And that's not an elaborate metaphor: he looks miles away. Must be all the coke.

I take payment from the Columbian, who looks bewildered but not particularly put out by my pizza thrusting, and turn to leave. Raping or no raping, the whole situation was weirding me out.


I turn around, expecting the last thing I see before losing my innocence to be the leering face of camp Tony Montana.

I do see his face, but it's not leering. It's a little bemused, and a little amused. He's holding my baseball cap out to me.

"Your hat?" he asks.

"Yeah," I reply, taking it back and placing it upon my hairy head with the infinite poise of a Zen mystic. "My hat."

I'm back, baby. And I'm creating socially awkward situations like never before.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008


Firstly, yet another apology about the sparse updates these days. I have moved house again (the first relocation was from where I went to university to my parents' house, this relocation is from my parents' place to the new place where I am going to a new university) and have been dealing with all the council tax dodging and job hunting that comes with such an endeavour. Now that most of that is out of the way - although I'm still not registered at the uni and don't have a regular rota for work yet - this seems a good time to tell the tale of Dominico and the irate customer.

Thing is, the irate customer was nothing to do with Dominico. Only he decided to make it to do with him, for reasons perhaps only knowable in his mysterious, ancient mind.

Anyway I'm working the phones because - at this point in the evening - it's a slow night and there's nothing to deliver. Now, when someone rings up, if it's a number that's placed a delivery order with us before, the customer's address comes up on the screen, we confirm that's the address, and get on with the order. Easy. If one telephone number has ordered to multiple addresses in the past - if, say, it's a mobile phone and the dude has ordered pizza at his, his mum's, and his girlfriend's house - all the addresses will be displayed, we ask which one it is, click on it, and get on with the order. Still easy. Even if you click on the wrong address, it's displayed in the corner of the screen the whole time you're entering the order, so you can easily go back and change it.

Thing is, I was barely paying attention when the dude ordered - in fact, I was reading a Batman comic - and so by the time I clicked on the wrong address I'd already forgotten what he'd said the right address was. So there wasn't much hope of me noticing my mistake. And so, about fifteen minutes later, Dominico took a pizza to the wrong side of town.

Now, Dominico's not really the quickest or most efficient driver, and it's generally accepted that he takes about 50% as long to do anything as anyone else. Because he's old, and old people are a drain on society. (Kidding! But not really) In the time it took him to drive out to the wrong address, find no one there, ring the customer's phone number - which, get this, was now turned off! - and drive back, the customer had turned up at the shop demanding to know where his pizza was.

I ask him where he ordered it for.

He gives me his address.

I check the computer.

We don't have any orders for that address, I tell him.

He fucking placed a fucking order forty fucking minutes ago, he informs me.

I ask him what he ordered.

A pepperoni feast, large fries, coleslaw, and a big bottle of coke, for fuck's sake, he tells me.

I check the computer.

We have a driver out with the order, only he's gone to a different address, I tell him.

Why the fuck is that, he asks.

Must have been a mistake with the computer, I inform him, my face a beacon of innocence.

He asks where the fucking driver is now.

Should be back any minute, I answer, and didn't he ring your number, I ask?

He tells me his phone's off.

I tell him he's supposed to give us a working phone number.

It does work, he says. It's just off.

I go to point out that that's fucking retarded.

He looks like he's going to punch me.

I keep my big mouth shut.

Just then, Dominico gets back, carrying a full bag and looking a little more irate than usual.

"No one there!" he exclaims, frustrated, and sets the bag down on the counter.

"This the guy?" the customer asks. He's a pretty big guy, and, by the smell of him, more than a little drunk. This combination of facts led to me not pushing my luck with him earlier, but if Dominico notices any of it he doesn't give a shit.

"The guy? The guy? What guy?" he asks, throwing his hands up as if astounded. "I am a guy!" he proclaims, as if the fact were being disputed.

"That my order?" the big man asks Dominico. Dominico's pretty short, and stooped over in that inimitable old man fashion, and I reckon the customer has about two feet and eighty pounds on him, but for some reason that only seems to fire the elderly Italian up more.

"If it's your order," he counters, jabbing one gnarled finger in the air, "why weren't you at your house?"

"Because I don't live there!" the drunk customer shouts, leaning down a little bit as if Dominico wouldn't be able to hear his beer-flecked proclamation from higher up.

"What do you want me to do?" Dominico asks, inexplicably angry that a customer is dissatisfied with admittedly shitty service."The ticket says there, I go there. What do you want me to do?"

"Well, who put the wrong address in?"

It's at this point that I start idling backwards, heading towards the prep kitchen before Dominico turns to say yeah, Goat, who did put the wrong address in? Up until that point the furious customer had been adequately distracted by Dominico and his old man's rage, but the tables were very much starting to rotate...

"Who cares?" Dominico asks, gesticulating wildly again. "Here's your food now, so you can go eat it! Go eat your food!"

He yanks the bag open and drags the order out. The pizza is still probably hot due to the heated bag, but I doubt it'll be particularly fresh tasting, and the paper bag the fries were in is completely translucent with absorbed grease. Not the kind of grub you see on Masterchef. Not, in short, what the big man wanted to see.

"I'm not eating that!" he shouts, momentarily thrown off balance by the very suggestion.

"Well then," Dominico says, "I guess that's done. We're done. No food, no money, everyone done." He dusts his hands as if satisfied that some ancient mystery has been solved, and goes to walk out the back.

"I paid by card!" the drunk guy says, and it sounds like his anger is starting to wear off into something I can identify with a lot more readily when it comes to Dominico: frustrated desperation. "I paid by card. Just give me a fresh order and leave it at that."

"Give a fresh order? Give a fresh order, he wants!" Dominico says, eyes frantic for a moment, pointing at me and the man alternately as if conducting an orchestra of appalling customer service. "I ring you, I ring you on your phone, and nothing! You keep your phone on like you're meant to and you could have had this-" on this he jabs furiously at the pizza box on the counter, "twenty minutes ago!"

The man opens his mouth to protest, then abruptly shuts it, and turns to me. "Can you," he begins, then pauses, and I struggle to keep my astonishment off my face. He is like a broken man; he doesn't know what to ask for, whether he deserves any of it, whether or not he should just crumple and take the lukewarm food scattered across the counter. Now, I hate bad customer service as much as anyone, and 95% of the time - unless I'm in a really bad mood - I'll be trying my hardest to make everything run as smoothly as possible. But the guy had been a bit of a dick, he'd had his phone off, he'd been aggressive - and let's please ignore for a moment the fact that it was my fault he had to come into the shop in the first place - and it was genuinely amazing to see how Dominico had, well, crushed his spirit. And all in the space of five minutes of insane finger jabbing.

"Can you just give me a refund?" he manages to get out on the second attempt, and I grasp the proffered straw with all my strength.

"I'll go ask my manager," I say, and go to move out the back of the restaurant.

Dominico opens his mouth to me, presumably to point out that our "manager" - as close as we have to one, anyway - isn't in tonight, but I just hold up a hand for silence and keep on walking. You've got to firm with Dominico or he'll walk right over you... as the hapless drunken chav of this sorry tale has adequately demonstrated.

So yeah, there was no manager out the back. But you know what there was? An order, ready to go, and an open back door. The last thing I heard before I stepped out into the refreshing night air was Dominico's voice, angrily enquiring as to what was wrong the stale pizza resting on the counter top.

I'm happy to say that my delivery went without a hitch.

Friday, 29 August 2008


So, the country town where I ply my pizza trade is kind of in the midst of a period of regeneration, one that in fact has been going on in varying areas for the past half a decade or so. One part of this regeneration is the building of new housing estates, which seem to pop up here or there about once a year or so. Of course, being as we're just a country town, no one is in a massive hurry to map these areas, or update their map software, or their sat nav database, which means there are more than a few "ghost estates" that are a total pain in the cunt to find.

Usually Chris - who is basically self-appointed manager on the days Ali is not in - gives good directions, no matter how new or obscure the road in question, because he's been working in the same place for the past fifteen years and been living in the same village for more than double that. But one day - one tempetuous maelstrom of a day - Chris wasn't in work. Possibly because it was his day off. But fuck that. You hear me, Chris? Fuck that.


So I take the order over the phone and just put the address - let's say it's 11 Cambridge Avenue, although it probably isn't - into the computer without thinking about it. There's good for cause for my lack of attention, in that there are four drivers and so only a 1 in 4 chance that I'll have to deal with the consequences of any potential fuck-ups I might make in the course of taking an order (such as the time I basically got Dominico into a fight).

As it turns out, the wheel of fate didn't favour me, and so about a half hour later I look at the ticket, brow furrowed in a way that suggests intense concentration without actually marring my natural good looks, mentally running a finger through the encyclopedic corridors of my freakish brain and coming up empty.

"Where's Cambridge Avenue?" I ask Phil.

Phil looks at the receipt, and a frown of his own creases his ample brow. "Dunno," he says, and shrugs. "There's a note that says it's on Uley Road."

I look a little closer. Indeed there is. Only it doesn't just say on Uley Road; it says on or off Uley Road, which broadens things quite a bit. Uley Road is about four miles long, and at a barely-educated guess I'd say there are about twenty roads coming off it, all of which have their own forks and shoots. And that's an area of town I'm fairly familiar with, and I sure as fuck don't remember a Cambridge Avenue.

"Thanks. That's... that's helpful."

Phil tips me a salute, but he's not even listening. He's reading this page on the bbc sports website and he's an Arsenal fan, so in fairness he's got a good excuse for being a little distracted. I, on the other hand, am quite secure in supporting the most underachieving team in the country, so I grab the order and head out. No sense in wasting time: I'm a fucking man of fucking action and I've got a fucking pizza to fucking deliver.

Besides, I've got the customer's mobile number on the receipt, so if it all goes pear-shaped - which it wouldn't - I can just ring him up and get a spot of advice.

First up, when I get down to that end of town, I drive right out to the end of Uley Road and check out a newish estate which has a few obscure roads on it that don't always turn up on our maps. I give it a good going over twice, but no cigar. Not even a limp hand-rolled, come to that. I head back up Uley Road, going slow enough to cause three cars to honk loudly and overtake dangerously, and check every turning.

I say every turning, but I actually lost faith in the mission halfway through and parked up in a bus stop to dial the number on the receipt. I was pretty fucking confident I wasn't going to see Cambridge Avenue on any of the road signs I was passing, and besides, it'd be a lot quicker to just go ahead and phone the bloke anyway, right?



Nothing fancy. Nothing world-shattering. Just straight to answerphone. Great. Fucking great. You ring up to order a pizza, you live on a new road in a town that seems to shit out new roads quicker than television shits out "celebrities", and then you turn your arse-buggering phone off. Come on, now. You're taking the piss, aren't you?

I ring the restaurant (I'd like to point out that I use the term restaurant loosely).

"Allo?" It's Phil.

"Hi, it's Matt. I can't find Cambridge Avenue."

"Hold on a sec."

I hold on a sec. A sec turns out to be about three minutes, but that's fine, because I'm having fun sitting in my car at a bus stop with a pizza that's not getting any warmer.

"I looked on the internet," Phil informs me when he comes back on the line.

"Right, and?"

"It's not there."


"Have you tried phoning the customer?"

"Have I tried...? Yes, I've tried phoning the bloody customer. Can you ring Chris or something?"

Phil sighs. It is a sigh partly of exasperation but also of melancholy. The news of the Fulham result is weighing heavily on his soul, I can tell, but this isn't the time to remonstrate or sympathise. This is a time of action... and anyway, I'd feel a hell of a lot sorrier if I didn't support Derby County.

"I'll see," he says flatly. "You might as well stay there."


About three, maybe four, minutes later my own mobile rings. It's the restaurant.

"You got Chris, then?" I ask by way of greeting.

"I got his answerphone." It's Phil, again. "I left him a message saying to ring you as soon as possible. He might just be on the loo or something-"

"Thanks for that image. Nice. That's nice."

"-so, give it another five minutes, then give up. Their loss."

"And great commitment to customer service. Alright, I'll see you soon."

To be honest I'd have been fine with just giving up there and then, because seriously, if you order a pizza, don't turn your fucking phone off afterwards. That's just retarded. PIZZA ORDERERS OF THE WORLD, LEAVE YOUR FUCKING PHONES ON. IF YOU DO NOT DO THIS VERY SIMPLE AND LOGICAL THING, THE CONSEQUENCES ARE ENTIRELY YOUR OWN FAULT.

But I'm a dependable (not to mention rugged) guy, so I wait it out for another five minutes. But only another five minutes, and then I start up the engine and head back to the restaurant.

I make it about two-thirds of the way when my mobile rings.

"You fucker," I say calmly to my rear view mirror, and pull over to the pavement.

"Chris!" I exclaim, my voice indicating a joy that was nowhere to be found in the confines of my Corsa.

"Alright, you stuck for somewhere?" Businesslike. Good man.

"Yeah, Cambridge Avenue."

"Cambridge Avenue?" There's a pause, and I begin to suspect that such a place didn't even bloody exist. "Oh yeah, I remember it. Yeah, that one's a bit of a bastard. No sign at all."

No sign at all. Brilliant! And the cunt turned his phone off. Brilliant.

"It's actually on Uley Road," Chris continues. "You know the bus stop?"

"The bus stop on Uley Road?" I ask, feeling hysterical laughter bubble up inside me.


"Yes, Chris, I know the bus stop on Uley Road. In fact, I spent probably the last quarter of an hour parked in it."

"You're shitting me?"

"I assure you, Chris, I am not fucking shitting you."

"Hah! Those houses directly outside it? That's Cambridge Avenue."

"Brilliant. Thanks Chris."

"That's pretty funny, isn't it, you sat right outside for fifteen minutes?"

"Thanks Chris."

I put the phone down, turn around, and drive back to Cambridge Avenue. In my eyes, if you'd looked closely, you'd have seen a fire that Satan himself would have feared to touch. A fire that could only be extinguished by justice.

Or a tip roughly equal to 10% of the order's value.

I knock on the door of number eleven Cambridge Avenue, and a portly gentleman answers.

"What were you doing out there?" he asks.

This wasn't the question I'd been expecting. "What took you so long", yes, but not "What were you doing out there". The implications of that question from this man - this fat, fat man with the switched-off mobile phone - troubled my mind greatly.

"Out there?" I ask, a rictus grin affixed to my features.

"Yeah, you were sat out there for like ten minutes! We were watching you out of the window. That isn't the same pizza you had with you the whole time, is it?" His nose wrinkles in apparent disgust at the thought that I hadn't left and returned in order to cook him a fresh pizza.

"It is, actually," I say, quite calmly, the pleasant-but-not-that-pleasant smile clinging desperately to my lips. "And I was sat out there because I didn't know where Cambridge Avenue was, on account of it not having a road sign. I tried to ring you, but your mobile was turned off, and as you ordered from your mobile, that's the only number we have."

"My mobile isn't turned off!" the chubber protests, not willing to give up what he seems to have envisioned as some kind of upper ground.

"I'll try ringing it again, shall I?" I ask, still smiling, though at this point the expression is more reminiscent of a chimp baring its teeth before attacking.

I try ringing it again.

It goes straight to answerphone.

"You see?" I say, feeling my mask of sanity slip a little, and I thrust the phone in his direction. "That's your number, right? The one I just rang? The one that just went straight to answer machine?"

"...Yes," he admits, nose held high, dignity not about to be sullied by the simple fucking fact that the pizza boy was right. "But the pizza must be cold now, don't you give a discount?"

The way his piggy eyes light up at the prospect of cheap pizza threatens to send me completely over the edge but I hold in, digging my claws in and keeping as firm a grip as I can on my flailing psyche.

"We ask that all customers provide us with a working phone number in case of any unforeseen problems," I tell him flatly, starting to unload the lukewarm food now. "You failed to do that."

"My mobile phone works!" the lard mountain protests, but more weakly now. He sees that the evidence is on my side, and, perhaps more importantly, he senses a little bit of how close I am to inflicting serious blunt trauma with a box of chicken wings.

"It might well do, sir," I say, "but it's switched off, isn't it? And if you were watching me out of your window while I used my mobile phone, trying to find out where you lived, you could have rectified that problem by coming outside or even just turning your mobile on. So no, your order does not qualify for a discount."

"I shouldn't have to come out to you!" the Fat Man retorts, jowls flapping in the wind like sails in a tempest as his mind renewed its assault on my reasoned argument.

The smile leaves my face, but I manage to keep a handle on my more primal urges.

"Look," I say, placing the food in his outstretched hands - even in the midst of the argument, his arms had been out, waiting to receive the food he obviously so depserately needed - "you're quite welcome to take it up with the owner, or the manager. Both of them will be in tomorrow. I'll make a note of your order number, your complaint, and the fact that you had your mobile phone switched off. Okay?"

There's a pause which I imagine is more awkward for the big-bellied gent than me. It seems to finally have become clear to him that his plan to harass the delivery boy into giving him money off isn't going to work.

He shakes his head. Flesh flaps everywhere. "Forget it," he tells me, magnaminous in defeat.

Only I didn't forget it, and instead it became a cautionary tale, for those of us who want to order pizza but are too retarded to think more than five minutes into the future. Also a tale about how you shouldn't piss someone off who is only working in a temporary position and could be fired the next day without it having a significant impact on his life.

Friday, 22 August 2008


Get it? It's funny/racist because Dominico is Italian. He's also the craziest colleague at my new place of employment. Don't get any ideas, he is in no way a counterpart to Brian: for a start, he's actually likeable, in his own way, unless he happens to rub you the wrong way when you're just not feeling like being rubbed at all.

Okay, that was a bit homo.

Dominico is:
  • about 60, or something
  • an absolute maniac of a driver. I think he was born before speed limits, common courtesy, or respect for your own life and/or the life of others had been invented, though, so that's sort of an excuse
  • incredibly grumpy about 95% of the time, and an insane jester for the other 5% (it's hard to know which is worse)
  • full of shit
  • the laziest person I've ever worked alongside. Maybe when you get to a certain age you just stop giving a shit, but he's lax in taking the right stuff out, curt over the phone, and just plain ignores customers sometimes. The reason he's still employed - as far as I can tell - is that he and Ali (the owner) go waaaaaaaaaaaaay back, and it's kind of got past the stage where he could ever be fired. Fair play to him, I guess.
So, it's about 5:30 and me and Rosie (Rosie and I? Whatever) are just kind of slouching around at the front desk, when who should come in but everyone's favourite Italian.

"My friend," he says to me, "how are you doing today? Have you the money you owe me?"

"Nope," I say cheerily enough, "and I never will, so, you know, get used to that."

He shrugs, the one sane man in a world gone mad. "The kids today," he imparts to Rosie, "what can you do?"

(Note: I did not owe him penny one)

Rosie giggles and shrugs back at him, and Dominico peers at her a little closer. "Hmmm..." he says, shakes his head, and then looks again. "Have you put on weight?"

(Note: the last time Dominico had seen Rosie was less than 24 hours ago)

"What?" she snaps, giggly no more.

"Eh..." Dominico gesticulates a little, shrugs, then turns and walks out the back. On the way, he gives me a little wink, and I manage to avoid smiling or winking back. It's pretty funny, though. Had Rosie put on weight in less than a day? I cannot say.

Maybe she had.

But that was not important. What was important was Dominico's sharply delivered diss, and Rosie was smarting. For the next forty minutes or so, as the only person in the room with her, I was on the receiving end of a vaguely-aimed tirade which started out being targetted at Dominico, then at me (?), then at some ex-boyfriend, then at basically everything, as far as I could tell.

So I'm staring into the distance, cursing Dominico for setting Rosie off (Rosie is lovely normally, it's just The Kingdom of Grease and Shit will do things to certain people's temperments), and it hits me like a lightning bolt thrown by some kind of genius god (maybe a combination of Zeus and Einstein? Zeusstein? Eineus? this isn't going anywhere).

"Look," I say, pushing myself to my feet like a general rising to survey his troops. "If Dom pissed you off, you've just gotta piss him off."

"Piss him off?" Rosie looks doubtful and a little surprised, stopped as she'd been in mid-rant. I honestly have no idea what she was talking about at this point because I'd stopped paying attention like nearly a half hour before (as an aside, it is amazing how you can browse the internet on the electronic tills).

"Yeah, piss him off. Come on, it's Dominico, it's not exactly hard to get him going."

She grins. "Yeah." And we kind of bow our heads and whisper excitedly, in a way that makes it clear we are hatching an ominous and brilliant plot, but at the same time makes it impossible to discern our actual words.

What is the plot?

You just don't know.

About two hours later Dominico get backs from doing a drop, parking - as is his way - across two spaces and heading through the front door.

"Did you just go to 9 The Crescent?" Rosie asks him as he walks around the front desk.

"Eh..." He shrugs. Shrugging is kind of Dominico's thing. It's also because he's never paying attention to anything, so it's not an affectation kind of thing, he just genuinely doesn't know anything. Even where he went like a minute ago (this is perhaps part of the reason why you should never get in a car driven by Dominico).

"I'll check for you." She examines the computer screen. "Yeah, you did. And they just called. Guess what? You forgot the cokes."


"You. Forgot. The. Cokes."

"No! Come on, no. No. No way."

"Come on, man," I chime in, offering him a what-can-you-do-the-world-sucks shrug as I do so. "It's not that far, right?"

"You take them then!" he retorts.

I laugh. "Yeah, not gonna happen. They need me here. I'm an important part of the operation."

"And I'm not?"

"You're like sixty years old!"

Dominico gives one of his trademark grunts and waves me away impatiently, before stomping over to the fridge and lugging out two of the big cokes. He storms out the front doors without so much as a farewell wave; as he does, Rosie flashes me a radiant grin and moves to the doorway.

A few moments later and Dominico's car comes roaring round out of the car park, and Rosie runs out to the roadside, gesturing wildly. I see Dominico clock her presence; I even see the moment of decision in his eyes as he wonders whether or not to ignore her. In the end, something must misfire in his brain, because he actually pays attention and stops the car.

"Did you take regular cokes?" Rosie asks.

"Yeah, coke, you said coke, I take coke!" Dominico is proper steaming now, all waving his hands round in the air like some kind of demented preacher-come-pizza-guy.

"You could have checked the receipt!" Rosie retorts hotly. "It's Diet Coke."

"Can you get them for me?"

"On the phone," she replies after a moments' pause, then runs back inside and starts talking into one of the receivers.

Once Dominico's got his cokes and buggered off, Rosie puts the phone down.

"I'm off now," she says, flashing another lovely grin.

"Okay, see- wait, what? You're fucking off?"

"Yeah, this is my early night," she says, as if that was fucking obvious. It wasn't. It wasn't fucking obvious.

"Right, great. So, uh, so just who d'you think's gonna take the fall for this one, huh?"

Now it's Rosie's turn to shrug. "Hey, it was your idea."

She's got me there. It was my idea. But it wasn't an idea I expected I'd have to deal with the repercussions of. Damn it, the best ideas are ones you never have to face the consequences of. But, as is my way, I was outmanouevred by a female co-worker.

Such is life.

Oh, in case you're crazy or something, there was no missed coke on the order: it's just Dominico never checks the receipts, so he never knows either way. And yeah, someone had to take the fall for that particular incident of playing-pranks-on-60-year-old-men, and yeah, this time it was me. Apparently "he's going to get me" and "he's going to really get me" so, you know, I'll keep on my toes.

He'll never get me.

Old dudes can't run, right?

(NB: This is the second part of today's double update. See below for the first part.)



(a little later than the promised time, but come on, you were totally expecting that)

As I mentioned in my first expose on Brian (second expose here), Brian self publishes his own materials, these materials ranging from history books to novels to books of poetry. Because, of course, unlike your typical published writer who has a speciality, Brian excels at all things and thus publishes in all areas. Please ignore the fact that he pays for the privelige of being published rather than the other way round, and simply accept that Brian is all things to all men.

I also mentioned that he tries to sell these masterpieces of the modern craft of writing to his colleagues, presumably because there are only so many times you can try to sell shitty pamphlets to your mother before she threatens to evict you from your basement residence. Some of the guys and girls, those who suffer from the human emotions known as sympathy and guilt, will occasionally purchase one (recent works include a history of Bonnie and Clyde and, if you can fucking dig it, a story about a struggling writer), but as I am sure you are aware I am not cursed with these petty weaknesses. I eat sympathy and shit guilt, motherfuckers.


So one day I'm making some boxes - I fucking love my new job, where the box-making is left to whoever pussys out first, which is never me - and of course Brian singles me out. Brilliant! I was just thinking I wanted to talk to a self-obssessed loser!

"I published a new book today," he says, an expectant smile on his face. No hello, no how are you, just a strong implication that I should buy something from him.

I debate which route to follow. Should I just ignore him? That was working increasingly well, although there was always the niggling worry of the tubby prat going postal. Should I try and divert his attention to a different topic? Not going to happen. Should I divert his attention to someone else? I didn't really want to inflict Brian on poor Maciej again, and the only other person around was Becky, who'd quite happily send Brian straight back over to me.

Should I... should I buy a book off him?


"Cool," I say, settling for being as noncommital as possible.

"It's retailing for £3," he says. Retailing. I fucking love it. Not 'I'm selling it for £3', which is of course what is happening, but 'retailing', as though it's a real fucking book that real fucking people would pay real fucking money for. Here's a pro tip: if you're selling a book for three fucking quid, odds are you aren't meant to be saying it's 'retailing'.

"That's quite a good deal," I observe, sagely, as if I'm a man who's bought many books at a wide range of prices, which is closer to the truth than you will ever know.

"Could I interest you in a copy?" He pushes on, like a retarded bulldozer.

"Maybe," I say, stalling, the gears in my brain running at triple speed trying to work out some way to avoid dropping 300 pennies on some foetid bullshit. I mean, yeah, it's only three pounds, right? That's so little money it doesn't even matter, right?


1. I'm working in a pizza place, so you can safely assume I'm skint, and £3 could buy 3 double vodka red bulls at the right club on the right night. So in the grand scheme of things, three quid = mad coin.

2. It's the fucking principle of the thing. And you know I'm a man of principle.

"Could I... could I sample it first?" I ask. YES! Genius. I'm so fucking smart. "Only," I continue, hastily remembering Brian's fondness for reciting his own work to people, "only I'd like to see how it looks on the page, you know?"

"Okay." Brian agrees warily, eyeing me in a way that makes me a little uncomfortable. "But what if you read it all in one sitting? Where does that leave me?"




Yeah, I'm going to read the whole book. Sure.

"If I do that," I assure him, flashing my most winning of grins - the grin that has launched a thousand dicks ships - "I'll buy it for sure."

Brian smiles, satisfied, and leaves me the fuck alone. I make some boxes, which after a few minutes of conversation with Brian feels roughly equivalent to fucking Shyla Stylez on a bed of acid infused 50 quid notes.

Later that night, at ten o clock, Brian's heading home. The shirking bastard never stays 'til close, whereas I do pretty much all the time. I don't suffer from sympathy or guilt, but I do have a deer-in-the-headlights to tendency to freeze and go "uhhhh.... no, I'm free tonight" whenever my boss rings me up.

That's right, I'm banging my boss.

"Here's the book!" he announces cheerily, thrusting a crappy green booklet with what looks like a caricature of the crucifixion on the front of it.

I look a little closer.

Yep. That's a caricature alright.

A caricature of the crucifixion.

(As an aside, it totally figures that Brian would carry copies of his book with him everywhere he goes, even on the day of it being published).

By the time I've stopped staring at the drawing on the cover, Brian's gone, like some kind of vampire. An evil, evil vampire. A vampire that's been crossed with a Vogon.

"What the fuck is that?"

It's Hannah, one of the receptionists, and she's frowning quite intensely at the cover.

"I have no fucking idea."

Turns out it's a book of Christian poetry! Brian's not even a Christian, as he's told me more than once in his interminable lectures concerning life, the universe, and BULLSHIT, but he's written a book of Christian poetry, and apparently self-illustrated it with drawings that settle precariously on the border between disrespectful and insane. The "poems" ALWAYS followed a rhyme scheme that went roughly AAAABBBBCCCC, and there was no evidence of rhythm or meter whatsoever. Because of his insistence on continuous rhyming of the same word, he'd end up really stretching on the later lines of the poems.

Man, you have no idea. Unfortunately I can't actually remember any actual excerpts (I am going to get on the phone to Hannah later today and try and see if I can get a copy of it because now I actually kind of wish I had spent the equivalent of three double vodka red bulls on this masterpiece of shit), because I read it for half an hour and work and promptly forgot it existed as soon as I went out on my next drop.

Fast forward a week later and Brian's in work again.

"So, uh, can I have my book back now? It's been longer than we said."

"Oh... oh, yeah, shit, man, I totally forgot! I left it at home. I'll bring it in for you tomorrow, dude. Sorry."

Shit. Where the fuck is it. It's somewhere in the restaurant, but I can't even look until Brian's gone. At ten o clock, same as every night he works, Brian fucks off, and I enlist Hannah to search for the 'book'.

We don't find it. Anywhere. It's not even a big place. What the fuck.

I could just pay £3 for it. As I said, I regret not buying a copy now. But not then. Never then. I'd be damned if I was going to support Brian's lifestyle of producing horrible 'works' and inflicting horrible 'conversations' on 'me'.

And so it continued for the next three or four weeks, my excuses becoming more pathetic and stretched as Brian became increasingly irate with me. Man, I don't even know why, he should have taken it as a compliment that someone was holding onto his book for that one. His fucking bedroom must have been full of them. Thing is, Brian becoming pissed at me had an absolutely magnificent upside: he stopped talking to me. He'd ask for his book, get all pissy when I fobbed him off, and that would be it. Some other poor bastard got the day's topic of discussion (I say discussion, but that implies there was one than one person doing the talking).

My evening surveys of the restaurant looking for the book of Christian poetry became laxer and laxer until, in the last week of the ordeal, they stopped altogether. Call me a dick if you want, but you've never had to work with Brian.

Actually don't call me a dick. Fuck you if you call me a dick. That's not on.

So, the joyous days of not talking to Brian were getting in full flow, until one early evening as I come into work what do I see but the leering, poorly drawn face of Our Lord and Saviour leching up at me from his cartoon cross.

It's the book.

It's back to fucking haunt me.

Which meant, unfortunately, that Brian was back to haunt me.

Turns out that the owner had come in the morning after that fateful night when I received the book, and had flicked through it while waiting for Becky to turn up (presumably so he could have a go at her for being too competent and pleasant, whatever, I don't know, dude's a knob). He found it so hilariously awful that he took it home to do readings from it for his family. Fair enough, man, I mean the guy's a total cunt, but I kind of admire any father who gives his children tragically shit Christian poetry for their bedtime reading. Rock on, man. Rock the fuck on.

And yeah, Brian started talking to me again, but I went out that Wednesday and you know what?

I drank a fucking shit ton of double vodka red bull.

Thursday, 21 August 2008


Just wanted to apologise that the promised bumper update has been put back a day. I could have gone back and edited the previous post to make it look like I promised it for FRIDAY, but that's not the kind of guy I am. I believe in pizza, and I believe in the truth.

And above everything, I believe in the Kingdom of Grease and Shit.

Look for update #1 (the story of Brian's book of poetry) around 1200 and update #2 (the story of the enraged Italian) around 1500 GMT. Go on. You know you want to.

And on Monday, service resumes as normal, with a compilation of countryside nutters.

Oh, AND! AND! Check this fucking shit out.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008


Hi there. I understand I haven't updated for a while. But don't worry, because that's cool. Everything is cool. We're all friends here.

Actually today is only a brief update, but it's to sort of herald THURSDAY, when I will be offering up a double update to appease those of you as ravenous for news about pizza delivering as the average man is ravenous for just eating pizza. THURSDAY will see the last of the tales of Brian for a time, and the introduction of the closest equivalent (i.e. craziest colleague) at my new place of employment. We will call him Dominico, because that is his name and he's definitely too old to know how the internet works.

Anyway, the other night I took a phone order (at the new place drivers have to operate the phones too, which sounded shit in principle but it beats the living cunts out of making boxes for two hours straight). The order was for:

2 cheese bacon burgers (fat off the bacon, cooked crispy)
16 cans of Grolsch

Yeah, we sell booze at this place too. It's great! It costs about 1.50 a can - what you'd expect to pay for a lower end pint in a fucking pub - but in the countryside, it's the only place you can get booze past 8pm unless you're willing to drive a 40 minute round trip, so we can afford to gouge a little.

Now, it's quite late in the shift, and although things are pretty quiet now they were fucking hectic as for the past three hours, and Milly - the usually lovely cook - isn't in the best of moods. The regular manager - the one who can actually plan things well and keep the workload, you know, managed - isn't in, so instead we've got the owner's cousin, who is a nice enough guy but not particularly competent as a manager. To give you an (admittedly unrelated to pizza place management) idea, he recently totalled his car by driving it into a bus.

Into a fucking bus.


Anyway, so we've had a mental few hours and Milly is more than a little flustered. I shout the order for the burgers - cheese, bacon fat off extra crispy - and she flips a bitch.

"Like I'm cutting the fat off BURNING HOT BACON!" she exclaims, exclaimingly.

"You... you could cut it off before you cook it?" I suggest.

"You fucking do it then!"

She's got me there. It is a remarkably easy task, when you think about it, but I've got the days football results loaded up and I don't really feel like leaving them alone.

"I can't," I proclaim boldly. "I have to man the desk."

"Man the fucking desk," she mutters, as if none of the words that just escaped my mouth mean a thing to her. "Besides, what the hell is that about anyway? Cutting the fat off? You don't order from a pizza place if you want healthy fucking food!"

"Could be personal taste?" I postulate.

"Personal fucking taste. Bollocks. You come here, you better not expect anything remotely fucking healthy. This is the fucking Kingdom of Grease and Shit!"

(Note: I added the capitalisation to Kingdom of Grease and Shit myself because, come on, seriously. I suppose Milly might have intended it)

Just then, a man stands up from in front of the desk. He'd been sitting on one of the customer seats for the entirety of our conversation. I'd forgotten about him because he'd been there for the past half hour. He'd come in, bought four cans of Foster's, and apparently just sat down to drink them. In the fucking shop. Not really on, but whatever. The point was less about him bringing our noble outlet into disrepute, and more about him overhearing the blatant lack of shit-giving going on in the Kingdom of Grease and Shit.

Our resident drunk fixes Milly with a look that transfixes her at a range of about ten feet. He opens his mouth to speak... then closes it again.

He burps.

Then he opens his mouth, and this time the words come forth.

"That should be your slogan," he intones, gravely. "The Kingdom... of Grease and Shit."

Then he turns, and with the last can of Foster's in hand, he leaves.

Milly was a lot more careful about what she said for the rest of that night, but it didn't last long. In the Kingdom of Grease and Shit, nothing lasts long.

Man, what would our fucking logo look like?