– I can’t believe you didn’t get the job, said Candice. If ever anyone was designed to be a janitor you’re it.
– They gave it to a bloke who turned up for the interview with his own Toilet Duck and brush, said Benjamin. I wish I’d thought of that.
– Never mind. When we get our business off the ground you can be self-employed.
– I’d forgotten all about that. Whatever happened to our Action Plan?
– I’m re-drafting it.
– What does that mean?
– It means that after I spoke to Michael the Milkman, who poured cold milk all over the idea, I tore it up and I’m re-writing it. But I haven’t actually started yet, mainly because I’m waiting for a new idea to arrive.
– When do you think that will be?
– It shouldn’t be long, they come around fairly regular, but look, you have to skedaddle now because I have a friend coming to visit, and if you’re here he won’t come in. In fact he’ll probably run away.
– Alright. It’s Conan’s day off, and I said I’d go round his. We’re gonna play with his Lego.  
– Ideal. Don’t come back for at least an hour.

Fifteen minutes later:

– I’ve missed you, baby, said John, as he removed his hat and raincoat and the rest of his clothing before clambering on to the bed. Here’s the money. Same as last time, right?

– Okay, said Candice.

Twenty minutes later:

– Do you have a cigarette? said Candice. She liked to smoke after physical activity, but rarely bought her own. There was rarely the need.
– Have the pack, baby, said John, as he pulled on his pants. Then he said, I’ll see you next month, on pay day.
With which he left.

A little later the same day:


– Thanks, Candice, said Little Jimmy, I really need this, and it’s brilliant that you’ll do it for me. I was a bit afraid to ask.

– I know you’ve not had much experience with women – or men, for that matter – or people in general – but all you ever had to do is ask.

– I’m really grateful. Of course, I can pay you.

– I don’t come cheap.

– Mummy will chip in if I ask her. It’s just that the paper has to be typed and it’d take me absolutely ages, I’m so ham-fisted.
– What’s it about again? Not that I care.
– It’s called The Emergence Of Heroic Stasis In Broadcast Entertainment, and my supervisor seems to think I’m on to a winner.
– I’m afraid I don’t know what heroic stasis is, but that doesn’t matter. It’ll be good practice for me, because I could do with brushing up my typing, I’m a bit rusty, but once I get back in the swing I can type pretty fast and probably won’t make many mistakes. So, give me the stuff and I’ll get started as soon as I can remember where my typewriter is. I know it’s here somewhere.

– Nice one. Thanks, Candice! You’re a life-saver!

With which he handed her a bulging file of papers and, noticing it was pouring with rain, went out into the yard to strip off and have a scrub down.



Conrad Titmuss






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