1. A lead
I am a crime writer.
Seemingly unsuccessful – my books cannot even be found in garden centres.
I need a lead.
Elderly puffins – Ted and Ruthie – timeshared in the ’80s, reduced to muttering in our local, between weeks in Bulgaria.
They tell of a bronzed villain – carved like amber – who stripped them of coin and sung like a magpie.
‘A scrapyard magpie!’
Nightly his victims – aware they ‘share a cubicle in a Tenerife shit-house’ – endured his descanting, counting their diminishing cash.
Now they have an address.
A huge breaker washed this legend away from his Deptford manor, into the worst estate in London – north of the river, north of anywhere (except gun crime).
Even the UN have withdrawn their troops, after an incident with a Swedish peacekeeper and an obese mother of sixteen, in a condemned chicken outlet.
The man was deep fried and served on chutty bread.
His family received a pair of trainers and a flyer for pizza delivery.
Like a Poundland Buddha, I found Terry Palmer on his balcony, singing for the encircling youths:
‘Poppadoms ain’t no good for a fry-up…ghee gets in your eyes…the silver off the streets and a Terry’s chocolate orange sunset…a bunk-up with some black bird…oh Mogadishu’s where me love is…the councillors give planning permission…refugee camps in Victorian gardens…I used a blade…now we got Khan who can’t…too much aftershave at Heathrow…one day these boys will get me bent over a bike rack…a stairwell roistering…we’ll revenge…Olaf the Swede…skin white as Mother’s Pride…that works for a fry-up…oh Kosovo my dinkum…Serbs may carve but I love you…Simon Armitage has my back…he can write about goalies who smoke…northern pies…give me eels and batter…Buckfast for the Sweaties…little girls skipping in the early mist…one village I saw on the Weald…now a lorry-park.’
2. An overrated horror film
None of it usable –
all of it ‘offensive’.
I remember that cult horror film,
fire burning, a man in the middle,
‘singing for his supper.’