Monday, 30 June 2008


I am going to be leaving my job in a week! No I did not punch the owner in the face; it is actually sort of my decision to go. I do genuinely enjoy the job, crazy shit happens to keep it fresh, and despite it being minimum wage tips help to boost that up a little bit. I just can't get enough hours at the moment to make it viable to work there alone, which leaves me with two choices:

  1. Get a second job
  2. Get a new job
I opted for option 2, which I'm coupling with the regression of moving back in with my parents for a couple of months before I move in with my girlfriend (we don't get our place 'til September). So, I'm gonna get some shitty job back in the shire, and the plus side is that I'm not paying rent, while the downside is that I'm moving back in with my parents, something I said I was not going to do. Sure, it's only a couple months, but still, I kind of feel like I've let myself down a bit.

Whatever, I'll get to see a few of my old college mates (the ones that are poor like me, anyway).

Sorry this isn't a funny post: there will be more funny posts to come, I have a backlog of stories and there's always my last week, in which I am sure a bunch of retarded shit will happen. And if it doesn't, I'll kickstart it. What the fuck do I care about repercussions? I'm leaving!

But yeah, I just thought I'd put this here as: a) a chance to whine a little bit, and b) a kind of pre-emptive "this blog will end in a month" thing. I'll probably start a new, more generic, blog after this one receives the kiss of death, if the thought of living without my writing has already become a terrifying concept to you.

Either that, or I'll go work for another pizza place.


I saw Y-Fronts the other day. He wasn't actually doing anything particularly mental, unless you count pushing an empty Sainsbury's trolley (incidentally the nearest Sainsbury's is a good 10 minute car journey away) down the road, into incoming traffic.

He only did it for about a minute, though, and then he got bored and ambled off up an alley. As far as I know the alley he entered was a dead end, but I kept an eye on it for the next twenty minutes and he didn't come out. Maybe that's where he keeps his stash of pilfered electronics, and he was busy working out which order to destroy them in.

Friday, 27 June 2008


This happened a few months back, and is a series of unfortunate events (and, as the title suggests, gross incompetence) that left one customer very, very happy and one customer very, very angry.

It all starts not long after I get in: in fact, it all starts with my first drop of the day. Actually, rewind a bit on that, because it actually starts with someone else's drop. Brian's, actually, and in true Brian style he cocks it up. Only - GASP - it's not his fault. Well, not entirely his fault, anyway. It's still at least partially his fault, for two reasons:

  1. It was a mistake he could have corrected if he'd bothered to look at the ticket.
  2. If something goes wrong it is in some way Brian's fault.
Because, you see, when the order got bagged up our manager (not Becky) put the wrong ticket in the bag. In what would later make things more complicated than they had any right to be, it just so happens that the ticket sends Brian to the right street, only the wrong house number. So Brian had the order for 23 Briar Crescent and the ticket for 27 Briar Crescent. I'm not 100% on the exact house numbers, but rest assured they were that close. One house between them (I don't know how house numbering works elsewhere, but in the UK it's fairly standard for even numbers to go on one side of the street and odd on the other). One single house.

So Brian delivers the order to 27 Briar Crescent, and by the time he gets back to the store the phone call's come in. The people from #27 were apparently pleasantly surprised at how early their delivery was, but weren't quite so happy that the order was completely fucking wrong. Especially as one of them's a Muslim and he just got a Pepperoni Supreme.

No worries, says our manager! It was a simple mishap, no problem! Someone will be coming with the right order in a second! And that someone can just pick up the first order and drop it off two doors down the road. Wham, bam, thank you mam.

But... but what's happened? Where's the other order? Where the fuck is number 27's order?

It's a good question, and it just so happens that it's one I have the answer to. Only problem is, I'm not around to hear the question, as I'm in my car, driving towards Briar Crescent. Number 27's order is in the bag on the seat next to me, and number 23's ticket is in the front pocket.

See, I bagged up the order and took it out myself approximately thirty seconds before the irate phone call came in. The manager was off doing something not particularly productive, and I was bored, so I took things into my own hands and showed a little initiative. With my classic sense of timing things as badly as possible, it just so happened that the pizza I tried to use initiative on was one with the wrong ticket attached.

Yeah, I could have checked the ticket too. Don't fucking judge me.

I trundle over to number 23 and deposit number 27's pizza. They accept quite happily and I receive a generous tip. It's not really a tip, though, more a loose collection of notes that are bundled into my hand. It's at about this point that I notice how the guy at the door is totally fucking wasted. I mean, redshot eyes, thousand yard stare, moistness around the lips, but whatever; he just gave me close to 7 pound tip on a 23 pound order, who am I to judge a man who's arseholed by 6:30?

I get back into my car and drive back. I'd like to take a second here to stress that, while in the grand scheme of things the journey from the shop to Briar Crescent is at most 1.5 miles, in reality it's one of the most time-consuming parts of the city to drive through. 30 mph limit most of the way, 20 mph limit at the end, and traffic lights every fucking half a metre. There are worse places to drive to - one time I'll tell you about this farm that is literally in the middle of the fucking wilderness - but Briar Crescent isn't exactly on our door step.

It is for this reason that I'm not overly thrilled with the news I receive upon returning to the store.

"You're fucking joking," I say, with characteristic charm.

"I'm not fucking joking," my manager responds with feminine grace. "What do you want me to do? Ring them both up and ask them to meet out the front of number 25 for a pizza swap? Off you go."

Personally, I think her idea is a good one. Why can't they meet outside number 2 and exchange orders? Oh, sure, they paid for delivery, boo hoo. In this world, sometimes things go wrong, and if you can't handle that, maybe you shouldn't be ordering pizza, baby. Or if you do, order it from somewhere that has standards when it comes to hiring.

My first stop is number 27, because I parked closer to it. In retrospect, this was a mistake. I get the pizzas off the starving Muslim and assure him I'll be back in a minute with something a little less offensive, then I head over to 23. I didn't think it was really possible, but the dude's got even more wasted since about twenty minutes ago. Still, he's coherent enough to grasp what's going on, and we make our exchange with little fuss.

On the walk back to number 27 I open the box to do a quick check.

About a quarter of the pizza is missing.

I laugh, and it sounds like a desperate man struggling to draw his last breath. What do you really expect, after all, if you leave a pizza with a man as fabulously ratted as the guy at number 23? In that situation I'd have eaten the whole fucking thing and then tried my damnedest to pretend it had never been there. At least the guy was (semi) honest about it.

I explain the situation to the man at number 27, and he's actually surprisingly okay with it. He kind of rolls his eyes at the mention of number 23, as if he'd suspected that house and its residents were somehow behind this latest mishap in his life. Poor guy; I dread to think what else his neighbours get up to.

I promise him his pizza will be with him in 30 minutes, tops, and I assure him it'll come with a bunch of freebie vouchers. This seems to quell whatever annoyance the man had been experiencing, and I head back to the store, happy that the situation is finally close to being sorted.

It ended up being Brian who was responsible for delivering the second pizza, and, in a startling deviation from form, he managed to get everything correct. Only, unfortunately for him, Maciej hadn't really been paying attention, and the poor bloke's spicy vegetarian had ham on it.

If you recall, the reason he wasn't chuffed with his initial pizza was that it had pepperoni on. Pepperoni, as in, Muslims don't eat it. As in, they don't eat ham either.

That was probably the first time in Brian's life that he got yelled at for something that wasn't his fault. I mean, he gets yelled at literally all the time... but, you know, there's good reason (see above, point number two).

It is at this point that the boss loses it and announces that, due to the base incompetence of all of us (she neglects to mention that it was her who handed Brian the wrong ticket in the first place), there WILL BE NO STAFF MEALS TODAY.

Oh no! My employee rights!

Me and Ben steal a Vienetta and go eat it in the storage shed.

Beats the shit out of free pizza.

Monday, 23 June 2008



*NOTE: Brian is not the dude's real name. I use some real names, but seeing as I'm basically slating Brian non-stop I figured "give the man an alibi", right? Only I keep fucking typing his real name (which isn't Brian) and then having to go back and edit it. This is some complex shit, dogs.

This, along with the SHORT TALES OF CHAOS bit, will probably become a semi-regular feature until I run out of stories on the respective topic. Seeing as every single time I see Brian he does something either pathetic or stupid, this is basically guaranteed to be a feature that runs forever.

We'll kick things off with a brief description of Brian:
  • 38 years old
  • Works as a pizza delivery guy
  • Doesn't own his own car, so has to drive the store's moped
  • Has been working in the store for 7 years but consistently fucks up simple drops
  • Maybe the worst poet/author in the world
  • Self-publishes his own "work" and tries to sell it to his colleagues
  • Only EVER talks about himself, or his latest project, or his favourite things; seriously he is the worst conversationalist in the world
  • Borderline homophobic, in the sense that he thought gays were gross when he was 8 years old and hasn't matured since then
  • Borderline racist, in the sense that he lives in the Southwest and has never bothered to step outside it
  • Goes to the gym three times a week (and constantly talks to you about it - see bullet point number six) but remains just as fat as ever
On the whole Brian is a pretty sad individual, but it's hard to feel any degree of pity for him because he's SO. FUCKING. ANNOYING.

You know how normal conversations go? Where you see someone you know, and you say "hey! how are you?" That person then responds with "yeah i'm okay, just got back from the a check-up at the dentist, how about you?" Then you respond with a comment on your day thus far, and continue your line of enquiry into the check-up at the dentist. Okay, that's a pretty fucking systematic approach to a conversation, but it's pretty standard nonetheless.

Brian's approach is to tell you how he is, and then comment on his latest book of totally shit poetry for a while. Then he does basically the standard thing for conversational bores who only really want to hear the sound of their own voice: he asks you a question about something you're likely to know nothing about.

It's the most annoying, and fucking obvious, tactic in the world. He wants to keep talking and impress you with his limitless knowledge on his latest topic of interest (which he basically researched on wikipedia - seriously his latest "book" was this "history" of Bonnie and Clyde which basically read like it had been lifted straight from wikipedia, and it had), so he casually enquires as to what you know about basic nutrition or Rosa Parks or the motherfucking beat generation.

If you just say "yeah I know about that" he presses you for information, and keeps pressing until he hits a question you can't immediately answer. Then - oh boy, then - he launches into his spiel, and doesn't stop until you just walk away. Sometimes, and I'm being totally serious here, even walking in the opposite direction isn't enough to stop him. He just turns and inflicts himself on the next nearest person.

The most common topics of conversation are his numerous published works. This is how he refers to them: published works. I suppose, technically, they are, but the fact they're self-published - and self-published by a company that churns out things that look like leaflets advertising a really poor cult - makes his insistence on calling them "published works" a little, well, pathetic. What makes it about a hundred thousand times worse is that he memorises them word for fucking word.

I'm not fucking kidding.

The other night I'm minding my own business, putting together some pizza boxes while waiting for the next drop to come out the oven, when Brian comes back from his drop. There are no other drivers around, so this is not good news. Just me and him, and you bet your fucking ass he's gonna have something he wants to tell me about.

Sure enough, he makes a beeline for me, and before I even have a chance to say "hello" he's launched into the interrogation.

"Do you know much about the Dust Bowl?" he asks.

The Dust Bowl? The fucking Dust Bowl? I'm a Theology student who works in a pizza place, mate. I've also only ever set foot in America when on holiday at the ripe old age of 10. So no, I don't know much about the Dust Bowl... but fuck off am I going to admit it without a fight.

It becomes like a game: try and convince Brian that you are more educated on a topic than him, even when his wikipedia knowledge clearly surpasses your own made up bullshit. When you win, though... it's a feeling that can't be beat.

"Yeah, sure," I announce confidently, deftly folding a box in the time it took the two syllables to leave my mouth. This is something else terrible about Brian; how he doesn't even give a miniscule shit about the job. Fair enough, mate, you're 38 and you're a pizza boy, something's clearly gone horribly wrong, but you could try making a box or at least fucking try and look busy while we're standing around. Even when me and the other studenty staff are trying to build a box fort out the back of the restaurant we manage to look like we're doing more work than Brian.

"Yeah, sure," I repeat, "I know about the Dust Bowl. That was when there was a storm and loads of shit died, right?"

Describe something bad happening as vaguely as possible... check.

But it's not enough for Brian. It's never fucking enough for Brian.

"It was a period of very severe storms that caused serious agricultural damage," he says, neatly paraphrasing wikipedia. "Do you know when it happened?"

No, Brian, I don't know when it happened. I don't know because I don't need to know, because regular everyday conversation isn't a fucking pissing contest where we compete to show each other who knows more about stuff that you can read about on the internet.

Of course, I don't say that.

"Yeah, sure, I know when it happened," I say, flashing him a winning grin as I work my way through another box. How vague will he let me get away with? Can I say it happened in the 20th century? I'm pretty damn sure it happened then. Maybe the 1920s? Or the 1950s? Or some time in between? Or before. Probably not after, though.

"Yeah, it was in the... early... 1920s?"

The look on Brian's face is one of primal triumph, and I hear the "wrong answer" buzzer from Family Fortunes in my head.

"Early to mid 1930s, actually," he says smugly, and just about vomit from regret. So close, but so fucking far... the 1930s, man, it's totally bloody obvious. But I didn't get it; I stumbled at the second fucking hurdle. Not a good showing at all. To get Brian off the scent you've got to get at least five or six correct answers, and you've got to do so with an attitude that clearly indicates that you hold a doctorate in the particular topic of conversation.

"Yes, it was caused by severe drought coupled with decades of extensive farming without crop rotation or other techniques to prevent erosion. During the drought of the 1930s, with the grasses destroyed, the soil dried, turned to dust, and blew away eastwards and southwards..."

Of course, if you fail at dissuading Brian from unleashing a "conversation" on you, there's always Plan B. As his literally encyclopedic description of the Dust Bowl - and seriously, is there not a more interesting topic to spend your lonely evenings reading up on? (no offence geologists, you do some important work and I respect you for it) - continues, I turn and walk back through the store to the front desk.

The sound of Brian's monologue follows me for a moment, but then it begins to grow fainter. It's still continuing, though, and as I reach the front of the store and turn around I see why. It looks like it's Maciej's turn to wish he was dead (I alternate this with wishing Brian was dead, just to keep things balanced).

I let out a brief burst of laughter: I just can't help it, it's the best feeling in the world when you know you've escaped and someone else has to pretend they give two fucks. Maciej hears me - for some reason he doesn't seem to have been listening to Brian too closely - and turns my way. I grin, give him two thumbs up, take my drop, and leave.

It's a slow day, and when I get back 20 minutes later the scene is completely unchanged. Maciej's gamely trying to make some pizzas, and Brian's being Brian, probably viciously pressing the poor man to admit he knows NOTHING about tectonic plate formation.

A new drop comes out of the oven and gets bagged up. Maciej turns and actually acknowledges Brian's presence at his elbow for the first time.

"Isn't that yours?" he asks, waggling a finger in the direction of the pizza.

Brian looks crestfallen. He was this close to impressing Maciej with his knowledge of totally bullshit things! Heroically, I leap into the fray.

"I'll take it if you want, mate," I say, clapping Brain heartily on the shoulder. "You're going soon, anyway, right?"

"Yeah," he replies, smiling. "Thanks, mate!"

"No problem, mate!"

I pick up the drop and head out the door. In the doorway I pause and turn back. Brian's best effort at conversation continues, and Maciej looks like a man who just found his own severed penis in his box of Sugar Puffs.

I give the poor lad the double thumbs up again, this time matching it with the biggest, jolliest grin I can muster. Hell, he needed something to cheer him up.

Apparently that didn't work, though, because all I get in response is a covert middle finger. He really didn't need to hide it, though; Brian's so engrossed in firmly nailing the fundamentals of wind erosion that the rest of the world has paled into insignificance.

They say ignorance is bliss. Brian seems to be having a pretty good time, so I'd say there's some truth in that.

Friday, 20 June 2008



Note: go here if you want to read the tale of the fucking asshole speakers.

Seriously, I saw Y-Fronts, aka the Speaker Guy, last night (note: I actually saw him last night, while the first part of the story came from two or three months ago, although the date I posted that part up on suggests otherwise). The circumstances weren't quite as totally fucking insane as the last time, so I can't promise a tale that's quite up to the standards of the fucking asshole speakers, but hey, it's Y-Fronts. And where there's Y-Fronts, there's some crazy shit about to go down.

I'm just hanging out at the back of the store when I see him go past: no awkward/terrifying alleyway encounters this time. I look up from the cardboard airplane I've been constructing (good way to pass the time during a slow spell is usually to make airplanes out of the pizza boxes, once I managed to make one that flew all the way across the store and out the front door, which was probably my best day of gainful employment ever) to see a figure in an anorak hunched over a shopping trolley.

It's a bit odd that someone is pushing a shopping trolley up the high street, but not that odd. I mean, I've certainly seen odder. Y-Fronts, for example. He was pretty odd, with his incomprehensible hatred of electronics...

The shopping trolley is full of electric cable.

Huh. Could it be? I mean, it could, it's not very far fetched at all, stands to reason he'd live in the area... but really? Is it him? I think before yesterday's second sighting I'd managed to convince myself that Y-Fronts and his speaker rage were some kind of urban legend. Granted, they were an urban legend that I'd seen for myself and been scared out of my pants by, but that's what they were nonetheless.

As it turns out, Y-Fronts is quite real. Although he wasn't wearing Y-Fronts this time. A red anorak with the hood thrown up over his head is the new style, and it's for this reason that I'm not sure the electric cable carrying figure on the other side of the high street is actually him. I mean, it certainly could be, but... there are a lot of nutters walking the high street at night. Sure, not all of them are luddites of the most destructive kind, but who's to say this fellow on the pavement is on his way to destroy that trolley full of cable?

It really is full of cable; I feel I should clarify that at this juncture. It. Is. Full. Of. Cable. Imagine a shopping trolley, one of the big ones that have the little folding out bit near the handle where you can neatly slot your baby in if it starts to piss you off and you can't take any more of its shit (disclaimer: I am not a parent). It's one of those bad boys, a true monster truck of the shopping trolley world... and it's totally fucking crammed full of electric cable. I don't know exactly what kind of electric cable - I don't know what it's meant to plug into - but there's a lot of it, anyway, that's the point I'm trying to get across.

What would one anoraked man want with a whole trolley full of cable? I ask myself, slipping smoothly into detective mode (I have a bunch of modes, and also a kung fu action grip). The answer to the question is not much, I guess. I mean, unless you lived in a house that was basically made out of televisions and computers and speakers...


Is it him? Could it be him?

Regardless, there's not much I can do about it. Anorak is nearly out of my field of vision, and according to the computer I've got a drop due out of the oven any second. I quickly finish up my cardboard airplane and have a brief competition with Ben to see who can get their plane the closest to the supervisor's head.

Ben wins. Ben always wins.

My car is down the alley, and as I climb in I notice something a little way up the road, casually abandoned in the middle of the pavement ten yards or so away from where I am. It's the shopping trolley.

The shopping trolley full of electric cable.

A nervous giggle bursts out of my throat and I drive off, repressed memories flashing behind my eyes. Was it really happening? The return of Y-Fronts... would he get revenge on the electric cables for the way his job on the speakers had been interrupted? Just what the hell did he have against electronics anyway? Was it his job, or something, destroying faulty electrics?

Yes. That's right, his job is to drag expensive electrical equipment down a back alley and destroy it using available materials. That's a pretty common job, after all. I remember how they created a lot of positions in that industry to combat the rampant unemployment our local psychotics were suffering.

When I get back and park up the trolley of cable is unmoved. Unmoved... but not unchanged. A red anorak lies casually strewn atop the trolley, which means one of two things:
  1. Anorak is not actually Y-Fronts at all, but simply an owner of a copious amount of electric cable, who has removed his anorak to cover the trolley in case of a sudden downpour while he goes inside his nearby flat to collect some more cables.
  2. Anorak is actually Y-Fronts, and the disrobing has begun.
Thing is, there's no one around to be seen, so if the disrobing has begun, the only evidence for it thus far is the discarded anorak. As I walk up through the alley and back to the store, I consider that perhaps an absence of evidence is not the worst thing that has ever befallen me.

But it's not something that befalls me for long. It is, in fact, something that is quite remedied when I go out on my next drop about five minutes later.

As I step out of the alley onto the street I hear a familiar noise of frustration and sorrow. Sort of like the roar of a retarded baby dinosaur, I guess.

"These are mine! Can't you leave me alone? These are all mine!"

It's Y-Fronts, and he appears to be in some amount of distress. He also appears to be shirtless and shoeless, which is an interesting deviation from last time's dress code. I'm just happy he's still wearing his trousers. Y-Fronts might be quite a catchy handle, but there's really no need for him to remind me why I gave him that name.

He is also flanked by two policeman, who look just as frustrated as Y-Fronts. One of moves to take him by the arm but he dances out of reach, all the while keeping one hand on his trolley of cables. I guess he has something in store for them; something the local law enforcement are obliged to try and prevent.

I'm impressed by how quickly the police were called this time. The thing with the fucking asshole speakers must have unfolded over something like two hours, and no sign of the po-po throughout. This has been about half an hour, tops. Electronic serial murder is, apparently, is something the county has decided to crack down on.

As I stand, holding a pizza in one hand and dumbly watching, the same officer tries to grab Y-Fronts again. Again our titular mentalist dances out of reach, but this time he does more than that: he fucking legs it.

Well. He does his best, but is somewhat hampered by the fact that he can't bring himself to let go of the trolley. I don't know if you've ever tried escaping the law while pushing a shopping trolley full of electric cable - it's certainly been a while since I have - but from the evidence presented to me last night, I have concluded that it is not something I would recommend.

It takes about ten to fifteen seconds for Y-Fronts to be apprehended, and he's promptly marched in my direction. I take this as my cue to get back to work, and casually complete the journey to my car as if I'd never stopped to rubberneck in the first place. As I open the door and climb in, lamenting the swift downfall of the scariest man I've ever seen in just pants, I catch what I'm sure was just the beginning of a highly fruitful discourse:

Y-FRONTS: Fuck, you can't just leave my cables there like that, someone's gonna fucking steal them!

OFFICER: Right. Only, that's sort of what you did.

Monday, 16 June 2008


As most of working hours are after the sun's gone done, it stands to reason that I encounter a fair amount of drunken shenanigans. The two most common symptoms of other people drinking too much are: pizzas that get ordered and forgotten about by the time they arrive twenty minutes later; and people trying to buy my pizzas off me as I walk them to or from my car.

Yeah, as I walk them to my car. People try to buy pizzas off me in the high street, sometimes more or less directly outside the store itself. Suggest they go in the store itself and order their own pizza, and you will be scoffed at. Drunks are apparently quite willing to offer over the going rate to procure a pizza intended for someone else, but will they pay a more sensible price for a pizza of their own?

Your bet your fucking ass they won't. Because, I guess, nonconformity, or something.

That was a bit of a sidetrack, actually, because today's post is about a less common - but still far from unique - result of the overconsumption of alcohol. This is the apparent belief that every moving vehicle in the vicinity is a prospective taxi, just waiting to ferry you and your equally inebriated friends to wherever you need to go. And pizza guys; well that goes without saying, right? I mean, they're driving around anyway! Of course they won't mind giving you a lift!

Now, most of the time I refuse any and all requests. On occasion this has resulted in some pretty hairy scenarios, but by and large I've gotta say the drunks round here aren't particularly concerned with getting violent. Turn down their request for a lift and they usually respond by mumbling something inaudible and walking away in a random direction, as is their way.

On very rare nights, however, my undeniably angelic nature gets the better of me and I consent to ferry a pisshead or two in the general direction they wanted to go. The key word here is general: they go where I go, and they get out at the end of the journey; pretty straightforward, right? I mean, whatever they think, I'm not a fucking taxi, so they're effectively hitching, so...

Most people (I say "most", it's not like I've actually agreed to give someone a lift more than, oh, three or four times) are cool with that. One guy was not, although to be fair to him I don't think genuine belligerence was at play so much as a frankly disturbing quantity of whiskey.

So, I've just done a drop over on the other side of the river and I'm sitting in my car for a moment, sorting my shit out and generally taking a (very) short break before I head back to the store. For no immediately apparent reason, the passenger door opens; I smell the reason before I see him. He stinks, like a brewery that has a sideline in bottling piss, but he's grinning, which means he's probably not going to kill me.

So far, so good.

"alright boss" he says, and promptly falls forward onto the passenger seat. He catches himself by throwing his arms out in front of me, but the look on his face isn't good. I know that look. I've seen that look on my friends' faces, and my own face, on far too many occasions.

He's going to fucking vomit in my fucking car.

"Please don't vomit in my fucking car," I plead with him, not sure if he's advanced beyond the point of being able to reason or not.

Happily, he has, and he manages to kind of push himself out of my car onto the road before he voids the contents of his stomach onto the tarmac. I would like to stress that this is in the middle of the road. Right then, though, I'm not thinking about that, I'm just celebrating the unsullied status of my passenger seat.

A few moments later the drunk's head pops up over the edge of the passenger seat, and he smiles at me. He looks, all things considered, in remarkably good shape. I give him a thumbs up, and lean over to shut the door in his face. Hey, I'm at work. I've got shit to do. Don't judge me, man.

"any chance of a lift" he queries, one eyebrow rising a little up his head to accentuate the significance of the request. My mouth opens instantly, already beginning to form the default answer (no), but then it closes again. He really is quite an amiable fellow for a drunk, and he didn't puke in my car after I asked (begged) him not to...

Fuck it. Let's do this thing!

The drunk climbs awkwardly into my car (it's a Corsa, one of the older ones - space is on the short side for a guy of my height, and this twat was a good couple inches taller than me) and settles down with a noise that sounds to be half sigh, half groan. I debate instructing him to put his seatbelt on. I mean, I know I really should - apparently it's "the law" - but any such request is likely to be more trouble than it's worth when dealing with someone as monumentally fucked as Mr Whiskey in the passenger is.

Fuck it. He'll be fine.

About five minutes later and I'm just heading into the city centre proper. Mr Whiskey hasn't made a sound the whole time; not a goddamn squeak. Which is why it takes me by surprise when he lurches forwards with a strangled cry and grabs hold of my arm.

"What the fuck?" I ask, the very epitome of calm.

He looks at me. His eyes are pools of booze-soaked despair.

"this is the wrong way" he intones solemnly, then sits back and closes his eyes.

"this is the wrong way" he repeeats, for good measure.

I consider debating the point with him. When I agreed to give him a lift I told him where I was going, and made quite clear that that was indeed where I was going. The high street. No detours. No exceptions. Pretty simple; and his response at the time had been "yeah thats cool thats where i need to be", which I'd mistakenly taken to mean that he was okay with my proposed arrangements.

Apparently not. Because this is the wrong way.

For the next couple of minutes, though, there's nothing more from Mr Whiskey. Wrong way or not, he doesn't seem concerned enough to try and alter his situation. He is apparently happy just going with the flow. Perhaps we can all learn a lesson from him: be happy with what you've got, and where you are. If life gives you lemons, slice them and add to gin and tonic.

When he next speaks - and we're pretty closer to the high street by this point - it's with a question I've heard before, and not one that (in my opinion) deserves an answer.

"can i steer"

Um, well, let me think about.


"come on man can i steer"

Oh, okay, that's a pretty persuasive argument.


"man let me steer"

"Dude. I'll stop the car and you can get out."


"I'll stop the car. And you can get out."

"oh okay man cool thanks"

Somewhere along the route our conversation took it seems Mr Whiskey got a bit lost. In the space of about twenty seconds he went from urgently wanting (nay, needing) to steer my car to completely forgetting about that desire. The best bit, for me, was how my threat to throw him out of the car was interpreted as an offer to stop for him. As if the corner of this particular roundabout was where he'd wanted to be taken. As if this wasn't the wrong way after all.

As he steps out he turns back to look at me. I smile, and give a little wave. I'm still actually parked on the corner of the roundabout, so, you know, I could do without staying there all night. The chance of getting rammed in the ass by a bus is pretty damn high, and for that reason I'm hoping Mr Whiskey gets bored of looking at me real soon.

Not that I could blame him if he didn't. Right, ladies?


There's a few more seconds of awkward pause, and then it's as if a light has dawned behind Mr Whiskey's glazed eyes. He thrusts one hand deep into a jeans pocket and produces, after a moment of frantic rustling, a small collection of coins, which he proceeds to thrust at me.

"thats all iv got is that enough"

He thinks I'm actually a taxi. This isn't the usual case of alcohol increasing confidence to the point where it seems a viable proposition to try and blag lifts off strangers in the middle of the night; this is the less common, but still far from rare, case of getting so damn shitfaced you actually think that little blue Corsa is a fucking taxi.

Now I'm really fucking glad I didn't let him steer.

I refuse to take the money, although it takes far longer than I'd have liked to explain why I don't want it. The most obvious explanation - that I am not, in fact, a taxi driver, and my car is not, in fact, a taxi - falls on uncomprehending ears. In fact, I end up spouting almost as much stupid shit as Mr Whiskey himself. I think I resort to telling him "I don't need your money because I'm rich, I've got enough money, thanks though!"

I wonder why I didn't just take his money. I mean, I'd gone out my way for him, and at the time he was really quite annoying; you'd think I deserved a little recompense for my troubles. But something about taking money off a guy too drunk to realise he's giving it to you seemed wrong to me, somehow. On the other occasions I've been in a good enough mood to give some random asshole a lift I've accepted payments in both cash and alcohol form (note: I did not drink the alcohol while driving my car, because that is not only against "the law" but really fucking dumb), but not from Mr Whiskey.

I think the ultimate reason I declined his payment was that I had a feeling he'd need the money soon. Perhaps to get a real taxi. To take him to where he'd wanted to go. In other words, to take him in the exact fucking opposite direction to where I'd driven.

God speed, Mr Whiskey.

God speed.

Friday, 13 June 2008


I think there was something in the water last night. Something that made us all go fucking mental.

Dom (the guy who crashed his scooter into a wall about a month ago, and who recently took off someone's wing mirror) started it all. I'm not sure that all the blame can be genuinely laid at his feet, but if we just accept that and move on it shifts most of the blame away from me, which I'm quite happy with.

So I'm just sitting in a queue at the lights, waiting for them to turn green so I can round the corner and park up. A moped pulls up on my right just as the lights begin to change. I go to shift into first, not paying any attention to the moped, when- OW! What the fuck? He just bloody slapped me!

Yeah, it was Dom on the moped, and yeah, he'd just reached through my car window and slapped me across the face. The lights then turned green, and he was off before I'd had a chance to process the fact that I was a victim of a drive-by slapping. It didn't hurt, what with the clumpy gloves the bike riders wear, but still... a drive-by slapping, right in the middle of my fair city. I wasn't going to stand for this. No way.



I park up and head through the alley to the pizza place. Inside, I hand over the ticket and the cash to Becky and walk out back. There he is: Dom, the face slapper. Dom, whose back is turned to me. Dom, who is moments away from understanding the true meaning of vengeance. As I close the distance between us with what can only be described as righteous haste, it crosses my mind that I don't really know how best to exact my retribution. Do I just walk up and slap him in the face? Seems a bit harsh, seeing as I haven't got gloves on, and the novelty value of the drive-by slapping did serve to reduce the severity of his crime.

I know. I'll push him. That'll be fine. Just a friendly shove. Ha ha, Dom, good slapping, have an old-fashioned push in the back in return, and we're even. What could be more civil than that? This is how the noblemen of old solved their disputes: with prearranged violence. I am, in other words, a modern-day nobleman. And Dom has offended my honour.

My panther-like nimbleness deserts me as I draw close, and Dom hears the final steps of my approach. Too late for him to do anything about it, of course, but soon enough that he starts to turn as I begin the time-honoured ritual of the shove in the back. Unfortunately for him, and for my conscience, the result of this is that I catch him horribly off-balance, and he goes flying, face first, into the fridge door.

In retrospect, the sound it made was pretty funny. Kind of like THUDCRACK, which sort of looks like a band name from the genre of Retard Metal. Dom didn't look particularly amused, though; the look was more or less one of pain. Not agony, though, and that's important: I didn't want things to escalate out of control, after all.

"Oh, sorry," I mumble, and walk back to the front of the store with a satisfied smirk plastered across my ruggedly handsome face.

"Where's Dom?" asks Becky.

"Oh, I dunno. I think he's messing around in the back again," I say, with the slightest of weary shrugs, as if to say "you know Dom, I know Dom... what can you do?"

She grunts, and gives me Dom's order to deliver. Take THAT, Dom! Not only did I slam you into a fucking fridge, I went and stole your order afterwards! That's like fucking a man's wife and then stealing your post-coital cigarette from the cuckold's bedside deck of Marlboros.

Actually, put like that, it looks like my vengeance has gone too far. One slap in the face, balanced against a shove into a fridge AND stolen custom? That's no kind of balance at all. But whatever, he started it.

This revenge is a dish served HOT, baby.

On my way out to do Dom's delivery I nearly get run off the road. I'm just driving along, minding my own business, thinking about how hilarious it was when Dom's face hit the fridge, when all of a sudden some twat in a pink Fiesta roars up on my right and cuts right in front of me. Never mind that the right hand lane is FOR TURNING RIGHT, never mind that there was a gap barely big enough to swing his shitty gaymobile into, he's going for it, because he's a MAN OF ACTION.

I slam on the brakes and react in my usual style: vigorous clapping, combined with that thing where you thrust your tongue out under your bottom lip in a gross caricature that basically means "you fucking retard". I followed this up with the obligatory middle finger, and then carried on my way.

There's a set of lights only just up the road - at the edge of this giant bitch of a roundabout - and they're turning red as I approach. Guess who I pull up behind.

Yeah, pink Fiesta. And he doesn't seem to happy at my frantic gesturing. He returns one of his own over his shoulder... and then his door opens. What the fuck? Am I about to become a victim of (admittedly self-induced) road rage in the middle of the city's biggest fucking roundabout? What if he punches me square into the middle of the road? The repercussions for traffic would be catastrophic, although to be honest I'm a bit more worried about the repercussions for my ruggedly handsome face.

He steps out. Pretty big guy, bit of a gut on him, kind of middle-eastern looking, wearing a black t-shirt and a black cap. Hey, he's wearing the same bloody uniform as me! Come to that, he looks more than a little bit like Ali...

He gets a little closer. Yep. It's Ali. I move my hand away from the door lock - which I'd quite bravely been about to engage - and roll down my window fully.

"Hey! Ali!"

He stops, evidently surprised, and hesitates.

"Why so hostile?" he shouts back after a moment.

"Why so shit at driving?" I answer, then point to the lights behind him. "You'd better get back in your car, mate."

He hesitates again, and then smiles and does as I suggest. I don't really like that smile. It suggests that bad things are going to happen. I don't like it when bad things happen. He drives off, and I follow him.

We aren't going very fast. Nope, not so fast at all. In fact, we're going at a little below walking pace, from what I can tell. And I see what's happening: Ali's obviously already done his drop, and has decided to make me as late to mine as he can. As it turns out, he manages to do a pretty good job of it. The other cars behind us begin to overtake at a pretty manic pace, horns blaring, all that shit, and I don't really have much choice to stay behind Ali for the next five minutes. After that, he makes what can only be a lucky guess, and takes the turnoff I need.

Yeah, fuck that. I carry on around the roundabout and take the next turnoff. It takes a little longer than the first route, at least it would have if Ali hadn't been crawling along it, but I do manage to get the pizza delivered on time. More or less. Thanks to some shitty roadworks, though, I make it back to the store in over thirty minutes for the total trip, so Ali had achieved his own little slice of the vengeance pie.

To add to the joys of getting cautioned by the owner for taking over thirty minutes - I practice the ancient technique of staring into the middle distance until you're pretty sure the other person has stopped talking - I return to find that my staff meal has mysteriously disappeared. Seeing as Dom was in the store, where my meal was, when I left on the drop, and added to the twin facts that I shoved him into a fridge and stole his delivery, I reach the correct conclusion pretty quickly.

Dom ate my fucking meal.

"Hey, do you want to go home early?" It's Becky.

"Looking pretty dead?" I ask, casting an eye around the rest of the store. Ali's obviously been and gone, Dom's out somewhere - perhaps even eating my pizza RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT - so perhaps this is a good time to leave. The way things have been escalating, I'd probably have broken Ali's arm only to get stabbed in the thigh by Dom by the end of the evening.

"Yeah, dead. So do you want to go?"

"Yes," I say decisively. As Becky turns to check the computer (to see how many drops I did that shift) I look over at the oven. There's a pizza on top of it.

Well... I am leaving now. So, it's not like anyone's going to be able to exact vengeance on me tonight. And that's all that matters, right? I'll leave the long-term thinking to the scientists and the tacticians. Right now, I want a pizza, and Dom ate mine, so my course of action is pretty fucking self-explanatory.

"Whose is that?" I ask, gesturing at the pizza as Becky hands me my petrol money for the shift.

"Uh... Ali's, I think."

I smile serenely.


Wednesday, 11 June 2008



I was doing a delivery, but not in my car. On foot. Because the person who'd phoned for delivery lived sufficiently close that it was quicker for me to deliver it on foot than in my car. We're talking serious, World of Warcraft-playing, cheeto-munching, basement-dwelling, neckbeard-wearing fatness here. Like, it was on the high street. Like, the place I work is on the high street.

It's really not a long high street.

But whatever, I get petrol money for every drop I do, so basically this delivery is money in the bank. As I casually stroll along the high street (we have to do every delivery in under thirty minutes, so another bonus doing this drop is I get to bunk off for twenty-eight minutes) I debate how to spend the promising riches of my non-petrol money. A pack of gum, perhaps. Or an ice lolly.

My attention is diverted by the sound of shouting up ahead. From what I can see there's a guy wandering in circles in the middle of the pavement, making a lot of noise and occasionally throwing his arms dramatically in the air like some kind of berserker demagogue. Clad in a dashing pink polo shirt, this becapped gentleman is wielding a can of Strongbow in one hand and a fag in the other.

Okay. Typical early evening drunken bullshit. Whatever. I cross to the other side of the road well before I get near him and just try to tune him out. As it turns out, that's a little difficult to do: he's seriously loud. More than that, he's saying some bizarre shit. My personal favourite was addressed to a woman walking past him:

"I'm not lying to you! If I was lying to you, I'd be lying to myself, and then I'd know I was lying. And then I'd have to arrest myself." (pause) "I'm not really a cop!"

Opening a conversation with "I'm not lying to you" is never going to end well.

As he carried on his end of the conversation, she responded by picking up her pace and walking away. Pink Shirt's volume rose proportionally, until the last bit - I'M NOT REALLY A COP - was roared after her hastily retreating figure.

I pass him by on the other side, like some kind of bizarro Samaritan, and carry on my merry way. About ten seconds later, though, a new noise cuts through the onslaught of warped public speaking: it's the sound of a police siren.

I stop, and turn around. The fatass up the road can wait, I've got nearly half an hour to finish my stroll up the high street. I'm about to see some POLICE JUSTICE. Speaking nonsense is a serious crime, man; I'm surprised they didn't show up with a bloody riot van-

Oh. They actually did show up with a bloody riot van.

Okay, that seems a little bit overkill, but whatever, you've got to justify spending all that tax money somehow, right? And if that means six riot police are sent out to handle this particular amusing if misguided street performer, so be it. I'm still hanging around to watch.

The door slides open and three of the cops jump out of the van. They start to walk over towards Pink Shirt, all serious and methodical and that. They haven't got their sticks out, which serves to further highlight how totally redundant a riot van is, but what do I know.

The other three cops just stay in the van. I guess they've got a pretty good handle on what a stupid idea this was, and have decided to kick back and take a few minutes of personal time. Let the eager beavers handle Pink Shirt: it's a nice afternoon, right? Too damn nice to spend it dealing with prats in pink shirts, that's for sure.

Pink Shirt notices the officers before they get halfway across the street. His reaction is a rough parallel to the stages of grief: shock, surprise, anger, acceptance, RUN AWAY.

This guy is like fucking road runner: a brief stunned pause, looking like a deer in the headlights, and then he utters two sage words:

"Oh. Okay."

Then POW! He's running, and he's doing so with surprising balance and speed for someone who'd been acting so monumentally sloshed the minute before. He really wasn't a cop, but he was faster than all of them.

Well... only one of them, really. As soon as Pink Shirt turned tail and fled, discarding the beer but keeping a grim hold of the fag, two of three riot cops who'd been crossing the street abruptly did a 180 and headed back to the van. The third cop hesitated for a moment, only for his shoulders to slump as he realised that, yes, if five of the six cops here weren't gonna chase the guy, he - the sixth - didn't really have much choice in the matter.

Off he jogs, but kitted out in his gear in the heat he never really has a hope of catching the drunken Olympian. Back he goes to the van, looking mildly dejected, and there ensues a brief but animated discussion between all six of the highly casual police officers. I didn't hear them, but I imagine they were debating the possibility of them just driving away and never mentioning the events of the past couple minutes again.

Apparently they reached the conclusion that it was quite possible, and they promptly departed, leaving in their wake nothing but a number of small clusters of people who'd been watching things unfold with a mixture of surprise and amusement.

For my part, I carried on my way and delivered the pizza with a full twenty minutes to spare. I wandered vaguely around the area after, seeing if Pink Shirt had popped up again, but no dice.

And the recipient of the laziest order in the history of orders?

Seriously fucking fat.

Monday, 9 June 2008


Although my city is pretty much a haven for rich brats, we have our fair share of homeless people. They can generally be found, when they aren't selling the Big Issue, in one of three places:
  • Outside the Co-Op, trying to trick freshers into giving them cigarettes
  • In the graveyard, drinking cheap port and sleeping against gravestones (incidentally I think that's a great place to sleep, and if I was dead I would be totally down with a homeless guy sleeping on my gravestone, although I would prefer if it was a hot homeless lady)
  • In the alley I mentioned in the previous post. The alley I walk through about 5 or 6 times an hour.
Actually, put like that, it looks like it bothers me that I have to walk past tramps. It doesn't. Sure, sometimes some of them are sometimes a bit in your face with their requests for change, fags, or pizza, all of them being requests I have to respectfully decline, seeing as the change on me actually belongs to my place of employment, the pizza on me actually belongs to my place of employment, and there are no fags on me (if there were, they would probably belong to my place of employment). But on the whole they just kind of stand around in the alley, being homeless, the usual. Sometimes they even give me a conspiratorial nod, a kind of "we're in this together" kind of thing.

Yeah, except I have a house.

Anyway, around closing time one of a number of homeless guys or gals will show up at the pizza place to see if there's any freebies going. There usually are: prank phone calls, drunk guys who ring for pizza then pass out before it arrives (another story for another time), and dickwads who don't have enough cash to pay but somehow think they can barter with me all result in unbought pizzas which sit on top of the oven, keeping warm, until closing time. When that magical hour of closing time finally arrives, those pizzas are available to whoever wants them. As we all get our own free food, which we get to order ourselves, we generally aren't overly fussed about eating other people's leftovers.

The homeless population, as you might expect, isn't so picky. Thing is, they can only show up and take advantage of delicious, stagnant pizza when one particular manager is working. We'll call her Becky, because her name is Becky. Becky is lovely, really nice to all of us studenty staff members even when we're just hiding at the back and doing stupid shit like seeing how much cardboard it takes to clog up the fan. She has the patience of a saint and the management skills of a really fucking good manager. She is equally lovely to the customers and to the bums who show up at closing time. Hell, she remembers all their names and has a brief conversation with each and every one of them. She's an impressive lady.

The other night managers are basically indifferent: I don't think they actively oppose feeding the homeless, but they don't really want dirty people in the customer section, and I think the tramps pick up those vibes and stay away on those nights. Becky's manager numero uno, though, so 5 nights out of 7 they get to dine for free on shit other people didn't want.

Thing is, the guy who actually owns the place (it's a franchise) is, to be frank, a cunt. He shows up once or twice a week, I think the days he isn't here he's off at one of his other pizza places being a cunt over there. Good riddance to him. The way he speaks to some of the staff members, and even to the managers who run the place better than he ever could, makes my blood boil sometimes. I think I'm a little too low down on the ladder to attract much of his attention, but the day he speaks to me like he speaks to some of my colleagues is the day he gets a black eye and I move across the road and start working for Domino's. Even if they do have a shitty uniform.

In keeping with his general theme of being a massive prick who needs a good kicking, the owner takes personal offence that Becky feeds his pizza to those disgusting tramps in the alley on the other side of the street. I mean, come on, that's his fucking pizza, and he should get to keep it if no one else wants it.

Never mind the fact that all he does with it is throw it in the fucking bin.

I'm serious. On the days he's in the shop, he flat out refuses to let Becky (or any of us) give away the unsold pizzas to the tramps. Instead, we have to throw them in the bin. Sure, I guess the homeless lads and ladies could root through our trash and pick bits of what-the-fuck-ever off the pizzas and eat them then, but why on earth should they have to? Human decency is a phrase that, I believe, would cause the owner to vomit in rage if he actually understood what it meant.

So the other day, I walk into work at 6 and I'm feeling pretty good. I just burned a new CD for my car stereo, full of highly offensive gangster rap, and I'm looking forward to driving around a bunch of genteel estates and offending whole neighbourhoods. It's a good job, this.

Oh shit. The owner's in. My mood drops from upbeat to stormy. I grumble a wordless greeting at Becky and slouch over to the computer to sign in, trying and failing to blot out the sound of the owner having a go at the pizza maker for NOT WORKING FAST ENOUGH even though, according to the computer, there is a grand total of one order waiting at the moment. Yeah, good point, wouldn't want to hold up all those invisible customers, would we?

Fucking dickhead.

Incidentally, I refer to the owner as the owner because I can't remember his name. I think it's some kind of strange animal instinct: I remember asking various people his name at various points, but I forget it almost immediately afterwards. As he never speaks to me, the lowly driver, I don't really have a need to remember it, and I think my brain has decided that if it blocks out his name we can all just pretend he doesn't exist.

I'm down with that.

A few hours later, my mood's a bit better. The owner's still around, but some of the best of my fellow delivery guys have shown up and together we are doing a good job of hating/ignoring him. It's a slow evening; in two hours I think I'd done a total of three drops, there just weren't any pizzas to deliver. As usual, the owner seemed to think this was the receptionist's fault for some reason: the fact that he is too stingy and retarded to pay for advertising (again; I'm serious) might have more to do with it, but whatever.

Two homeless guys walk past the door. I recognise them, but I don't know their names. Becky does, though, and she sticks her head out the door and shouts hi to them. They turn around, give her a wave and say hi back, and then amble over for a little chat. From what I overheard of the conversation (I could make an excuse about how tramps SPEAK REALLY LOUD, but that might insult your intelligence; I was bored and therefore eavesdropping), neither of the guys even asked if there was any pizza going, but Becky decided - despite the fact that possibly the dumbest restaurant owner in the country was still hanging around, stinking up the joint - they needed something to eat anyway.

She managed to pick the leftover pizzas up and made it halfway back to the door before he spotted her. The tramps were vigorously shooed (you know, as if they were animals), and Becky was rigorously told off. She didn't argue back, or even bother looking at him. She just got on with whatever it was she'd been doing before she spotted her friends and let him wear himself out.

This may seem like I'm making a caricature of the guy, by the way: I swear I'm not.

He's a total fucking douche.

At this point I was pretty tempted to forgo the promise I'd made to myself - that I'd only call the owner every name under the sun and possibly physically assault him if he ever started in on me - and just start shouting at him there and then. He's such a despicable person, and the fact that he's terrible at what he does makes it so much worse, somehow. It's like, if he was a really efficient owner and ran a great chain of restaurants you could forgive him his dickishness, much like Gordon Ramsey, for example. But what if Gordon Ramsey was a shit chef? Would his foulmouthed attitude be quite so popular then?

Obviously not.

I restrain myself, however - for as well as a pizza boy I am also a Zen monk - and it is then that THE PLAN bursts into my head. Like all great PLANS it is quite simple. I simply wait until the owner heads to the back of the restaurant to berate the dishwasher for NOT WASHING THE POTS AND PANS FAST ENOUGH (never mind the fact that she's actually working really fast, just shout at her anyway, it'll make you feel better), then I grab one of the pizza bags, stuff it completely full of leftovers, grab a used order ticket to make it look vaguely like I'm going out on an actual drop, and head out the door.

As the sound of the owner's disciplining gets quieter and I head across the street towards the alley I feel free: and more than that, I feel like a pretty fucking decent guy. I'm Gandhi, liberating the underclass. I'm Mother Theresa, showing mercy to all. I'm motherfucking Jesus Christ, feeding the five thousand.

Please ignore the fact that the only reason I'm doing it is to spite that despicable shit in the restaurant.

Anyway, the dudes in the alley were pretty fucking chuffed with a whole bunch of free pizza (plus some breaded mushrooms, jalapeno doughballs, and half a bag of nachos), and now I get more conspiratorial nods than ever. I still get hassled for change and fags, though. But it's like the old proverb: you can give a homeless man a pizza, but he still needs cash.

Wow, this has been a long post. Cheers if you actually made it to the end. If you got bored and just scrolled down, fuck you, but here's some bullet points anyway because I'm such a nice guy:

  1. The owner of the place I work is a cunt.
  2. I am really, really nice to tramps.

Friday, 6 June 2008


This isn't really anything directly to do with my job except that I saw it while I was at work. So I guess it basically is to do with my job.

Anyway, I park my car on this backstreet between drops, and to get from the backstreet to the main street where the pizza place is you have to walk through this alley. It's quite a narrow alley, and is often full of tramps, but it's all good. Sometimes I give pizza to the tramps (actually that's another story for another day, about how I fought the man by feeding the homeless).

So I'm coming through the alley, heading in the direction of the main street, and this hairy dude is heading the other way, dragging this massive speaker behind him. I mean massive, yeah, like that shit they have at rock concerts. Nothing too bizarre about that though; I just figured he was a roadie or something, and he was dragging it to some club for some gig or whatever.

Only later would I realise he was heading out of the city centre, not into it. No clubs in that direction! The plot thickens...

About twenty minutes later, I park my car up and see the speaker the dude was dragging. It's at the side of the road, just out of the mouth of the alley, and the guy is nowhere to be seen. Bit weird, but none of my business. Hell, it's just a speaker: what do I care? I head up the alley.

The hairy dude is heading down the alley.

He's dragging another speaker.

Same kind of size, by the looks of it I'd guess it was an exact replica of the first speaker (but I'm no expert on speakers so DISCLAIMER don't take my word for it). I give him a nod and a grunt, the universal male signal of greeting/acknowledgement, but I receive nothing in return. In his defence, it looks like a pretty heavy speaker.

I don't see the guy again for about an hour, but over the course of the next few drops I see more speakers. The second speaker was sat next to first. One drop later, a third speaker (same size, shape, etc.) is place on top of the first two. One drop later, a fourth speaker is haphazardly laid to the side of the speaker pyramid. A fifth speaker later appears, balanced precariously on the fourth.

The speaker pile built up over the course of about an hour, and by the end of it I was a little weirded out, but not too much. Maybe they'd just finished a gig, I told myself, and this roadie was lugging the speakers to somewhere out of the way to await the tour van, which was gonna roll up any second now and pack the mountain of speakers away.

Yeah. That made sense.

Too much sense, apparently.

As I walk past the five monstrous speakers and enter the alley, lo and behold I see the hairy guy again. Only this time he has a friend with him, and then friend is a five foot long piece of metal piping.

Okay, yeah, I wouldn't exactly think of myself as a coward, but in my defence, this guy was hairy, pretty large, quite possibly deranged (more on THAT later), and carrying a five foot long piece of metal piping. I just about managed to keep my shit inside my intestines and out of my boxers, and scuttled past him, pressing myself against the wall so hard I picked up a couple bruises on my back. He paid me absolutely no mind whatsoever. All his attention, all his energy, was focused on one thing, one foe, one nemesis.

I wasn't particularly keen to replace that nemesis in his attention (note for those of you who have been skimming: five foot long piece of metal piping), so I carried on my way.

I took the long way round to get back to my car for my next drop, anxious to minimise the possibility of running into Mr Speakers. No such luck: he's there, in the street, probably only a couple metres away from my car.

Happily for me, he isn't looking at my car. Or me. In fact, I doubt he even realises we exist. I doubt he's aware of anything at that moment. Anything, that is, except the speakers, which he is laying into with a ferocity I haven't seen since the schoolyard fights of my formative years.

I mean, he's flailing, he's winding up with this impractically huge length of piping and he's swinging, like BAM... only these speakers aren't going down. He's smashing, he's crashing, he's huffing, he's puffing, but the speakers remain. Maybe it's because the piping's just way too fucking long for him to really get much steam going with it, or maybe it's because they're top notch kit and they're built to last, I don't know, but the fact that they seem impervious to his frantic assault seems to mean little to him. He keeps wailing on these speakers, sweat flying from the lank strands of his mop of hair, and between the grunts of exertion I hear mutterings.

"Come on, you cunt."
"Fuck's sake, you little shit."
"Fucking taking the piss."

And so on and so forth. I get into my car and drive off, unsure as to whether I should be laughing with mirth or crying with relief that I escaped with my life.

When I pull up again twenty minutes later, he's still there. His efforts have apparently started to take their toll on one of the speakers - the casing is gone and he's beating on the insides pretty good - but god DAMN they have taken their toll on him about a hundred times over. He's shirtless, and his whole body is beetroot red with sheer exhaustion, dripping with sweat despite the fact it's now about 9pm (and this is England, so 9pm pretty much means COLD regardless of season). His hair is plastered all over his face.

My God, he looks insane.

He pays me no mind as I drive past him; no mind as I get out of the car and walk directly in front of his line of sight to get to the alley. He's in the zone. Those speakers are not going to live to see morning, unless the dude has a heart attack before then. Looking at him, I'd probably have put money on him croaking before all five of the speakers did.

When I come out and head back to my car, about one minute after I enter the pizza place (pretty busy time of night), he's not shirtless anymore.

Well. He's not just shirtless.

He's also trouserless. And shoeless. And sockless. He's wearing white y-fronts, the archetypal British underwear... and that's all he's wearing, unless you count a thick sheen of sweat as clothing. Around these parts, we don't.

Still, it's hot business wreaking revenge on a pile of expensive speakers, so, whatever, I'm not going to judge a guy with a fucking five foot long piece of metal piping. This time, however, it's a lot harder to not just break down into hysterics. I mean, sure, this is a back street, but it's still in the middle of the bloody city: there's a block of flats directly opposite this nearly-naked man. This is just insane.

As I climb into my car and shut the door, I make out another one of Y-Fronts' muttered curses over the sound of metal pipe meeting expensive wooden veneer.

"Fucking asshole speakers."

That does it. A burst of braying laughter escapes my throat and I hit the gas without looking back to see if the dude heard me, crazed giggles pealing out of my throat and showing no signs of stopping.

As I pull back into the street after the drop I'm pretty nervous: what if he heard me? What if I'm next on his list? What if the fucking asshole speakers are no longer Y-Fronts' number one enemy, and the fucking asshole pizza boy is the new top target? As I round the corner I'm reading to shit three bricks.

No one there. The speakers are there, but their persecutor is gone. I step out of my car and survey the damage. One is beyond repair: he got it good. He'd started in on the second, and by the looks of it he wasn't too far from breaking open the casing to get at the delicious electronics held within. The other three were unscathed, and probably sending up prayers to the Speaker God even as I looked at them.

Apparently - according to one of the other pizza guys who saw the end of this sordid tale - the cops finally showed up. Fucking bizarre that it took that long, to be honest: like I said, a block of flats right in front of him, and every person in the place was probably able to see the musical carnage taking place on their street. I suppose, on reflection, I could have rung up the po-po, but in my defence, and despite how terrifying it was at a couple of points, it was really fucking funny.

As the cops dragged him down the street (he didn't go peacefully), one of them carrying Y-Fronts' clothing over his shoulder, he could be heard (quite clearly, apparently) to lament that he wasn't able to finish those fucking asshole speakers.

I debated finishing the job in honour of Y-Fronts, but decide against it. The pipe looked pretty heavy; and besides, I don't really have the physique to go topless.


In continuance of this money-grubbing theme from the last post, I'm going to add WEIRDOS #4 (alternatively WEIRDO #4 and WEIRDO #5). This was a young couple who argued for about two minutes over whether or not to let me keep the change. Two minutes, arguing on the doorstep (and this wasn't on some private cul-de-sac, it was basically in the middle of the city centre), right in front of me, over whether to let me keep the change or not. Now, if the order was worth 5.49 and the girl had just given me a twenty, I could get down with the fact that she was arduously demanding to get the change back. That's cool; that's some serious dosh.

As a matter of fact, she had given me a twenty. But the order was worth 19.79

That's two minutes of arguing, in public, over 21p. This woman's dignity was apparently worth less to her than 21p. Finally, someone with as little dignity and spare cash as me.

Or she was just a bitch. Probably that. The bitch thing.



Holy hell, the weirdos wanted to eat pizza last night.

WEIRDO #1 was the man who smelt a bit like mouldering vegetables and seemed to have some kind of split personality disorder. Now, I don't want to make light of people with that disorder (or similar psychos), but man he freaked me out. He opens the door, stares at me with cold, dead eyes, and says "I don't want that". Then he points at the pizza I am holding. The pizza he ordered.

"Uh... you don't want this?" I ask.
"Oh... okay, well I'll be off then."

I turn to go. Whatever, it's not like people being jerks is particularly uncommon in this job. Some people in particular seem to think I don't get paid if the pizza doesn't get delivered, so they try and use this as leverage to haggle with me over the price. What they don't realise is that if the pizza doesn't get delivered, not only do I still get paid, but I get to eat the pizza. So, yeah, whatever, it's not like I'm crying blood over this guy being a douche.

I make it about two steps down his overgrown garden path before his voice peals out behind me.

"Oh man, that smells delicious! How much do I owe you?"
"Uh... 11.49?"

He hands me a twenty pound note.

"You can keep the change."
"Wow! Thanks!"

I turn to leave, the man's insanity forgiven in an instant. An £8.51 tip? I don't make that in a fucking hour. Hell, I barely make that in two hours. What a hero this man is, I think as I make my way down the garden path for the second time. Also for the second time, his voice brings me to a halt.

"Excuse me?"
"Can I have my change, please?"

WEIRDO #2 was THE MAN FROM THE SHADOWS. I go out to this shitty block of flats, which as usual is pretty poorly lit as you walk up through the stairwells. That's normal; what isn't normal is when the guy opens the door to his flat and it's ABSOLUTELY PITCH BLACK INSIDE. If there were rooms back there with the light on, they must have had doors that were perfectly fitted to the doorframe, because I couldn't see a fucking iota of light in there. And if the doors were that precisely fitted, that'd be the first time I'd seen good craftsmanship in a council flat round these parts.

When I tell him how much it costs, he mutters something, and melds back into the darkness. I hear a door open, but I see nothing. Nothing. All is blackness. When he returned, it was like he apparated or some Harry Potter shit like that. One minute, blackness, the void, oblivion, the sheer nothingness of his flat threatening to suck me in and swallow me whole... the next, a pasty dude in a foetid-looking dressing gown is standing so close to me I can make out the hairs on his chin through the gloom, thrusting a wad of filthy notes in my face with another barely-audible grunt.

On the other hand, this necromancer (or sexual deviant, whatever) told me I could keep the change, and unlike schizo-guy he actually followed through on the offer. All hail the necromancer.


WEIRDO #3 wasn't so much a weirdo as a massive cunt who I swear, one of these days, I will have my revenge on. He was sitting on his fucking sofa as I pulled up, I could see him through the window, but when I ring the bell, he doesn't get up and move. I ring again. Nothing. I knock on the door. Nothing. I knock harder. Nothing. I knock so fucking hard the door almost flies off its hinges.

Nothing. My knuckles are raw and there are going to be bruises in the morning, but apart from that, nothing.

So I walk round to the window and look through at him. He stares at the television. Tentatively, I reach out and rap my knuckles against the glass. Nothing. He continues to stare at the television. I knock a little harder. Nothing.

Is this dude deaf? I ask myself. Yeah, he's probably deaf. What the fuck do I do now? Do I... do I throw the pizza through the window? That's probably not in the employee handbook.

Just then, the door opens and the dude is standing there, grinning from ear to ear.

"Sorry man," he says. "I just love messing with delivery guys."

The smile that appeared on my face was wide and outwardly sincere enough to pass muster, but if you looked closely I'm sure you'd have noticed that it didn't reach my eyes. My eyes, which contained nothing but bottomless hate, endless malice, and the inevitability of gruesome revenge.

"Oh," I say. "Cool."

Maybe he got wind of my murder-vibes , because I got a pretty generous tip off the cunt.

It doesn't matter.

He's still going to pay.


Unfortunately, weirdos 2 and 3 were the only good tips I got all night. Pretty much every fucker who paid by cash gave me the EXACT MONEY, right down to the last bloody penny. Hey, yo, I don't care if you want your change, I always want my change when I'm the one paying, money's tight all over, I get it: but seriously, stop being such a stingy cock and making me wait while you count out penny after grimy penny. Be adventurous; break that twenty. The pizza boy's not gonna run off with your change (unless the change is over five pounds, in which case I probably definitely would).


Psych, I'm not actually rich. But I made about thirty quid on tips and shit last night, which is on top of whatever I get as a wage whenever the next paycheck comes in. Having become practiced in the art of scraping by with absolutely no money because I was too goddamn lazy to get a job, having some disposable income, no matter how small, is pretty amazing.

On the other hand, I'll probably spend most of the money on petrol.

Oh, and I got overtime as well, 'cause one of the other drivers managed to drive his scooter into a wall (not sure how, although the fact he gets through a tenbag of weed each and every shift might have something to do with it). Staying on 'til close is not only awesome but fucking awesome, because you get your pick of all the leftover pizzas and food that didn't get delivered for whatever reason. Hence, I took home one potato wedges, one cookie dough, and one vegetarian pizza with barbacue (how the fuck do you spell that word? barbecue? barbeque?) sauce. It was a feast that would have shamed the ancient romans.