“Are you sure you want to refuse that request?”
A charmin’ little story. Is that ending maybe just a tad too obvious?
A little ‘miss-spelt tale’
©2013 Peter M. Emmerson
Robert (I never get up before noon) Black opened one bloodshot eye, he glanced at his mobile phone lying in the middle of the floor, it was at least four feet away. His ring tone blasted out again. He loved that ring tone, recorded it himself he had. It was a seg-way of the two methods of expelling air from the human body.
Robert (I had to drink a whole pint of fizzy E’s to build those two) Black closed his eye; his recorded bodily functions rang again. The VM kicked in, “Wot you want? Leave a message or not, it’s your chuffin’ money”. Robert (not the winner of this year’s cutest VM) Black opened his other eye as a sweet young female voice began to record a message.
“This is a message for Mr Robert Black, we would please like to book your band, Dumponapunk for our final year graduation dance, please call back on Avon 798556 …. Thank you. ….. Oh by the way my name is Mercy.”
There was a short bleep from his mobile as the connection closed.
Robert (I need a fag and a drink) Black, grunted, stretched his foot towards his phone, “Bullocks,” he said, it was out of reach. He withdrew his foot and rolled over burying his head in the stinking, brown, sweat stained pillow. The phone bleeped loudly, letting him know that he had a message that needed his attention. Robert (I’m gonna throw that darn phone in the bog) Black dragged himself from the bed, and stumbled to the loo. He staggered back from the kazi, retrieved the mobile from the floor and peered at the screen; it was 9:15 am.
“Bullocks” he said again.
Last night’s gig had been a whoosie, Billy ‘Rat-bag’ Johnson, the bass player, had puked five pints of ‘rotgut scrumpy’ over the tightly packed crowd of moshers earning himself a good kicking from six burly Goths who objected to having their black leathers covered in the rancid contents of Rat-bag’s stomach. The gig went up or down hill from that moment, depending on your point of view; the moshers were enjoying the new concept of; ‘smash up the band’ as opposed to ‘smash up your neighbour’ as was usually the norm, the band however participants rather than observers.
Robert (my head feels like mush after the kicking it got last night) Black, lead singer and general annoying git, tapped call back.
A sweet voice trilled in his ear, “Mercy here, how may I help you?”
“Black, you phoned?” Growled Robert (gotta make my voice sound real hard and rough) Black.
“Oh, thank you for calling back Mr Black, I’m so pleased to hear your voice, the reason for my call is that I would like to book your band for our graduation dance…”
“You said,” interjected Robert (this is starting to tick me off) Black.
“Oh yes, I did”, she giggled, it was like a high pitched warble, “So I did, anyway it’s on the 31st October, we are having a witches and wizards theme”.
“Lord save us”, Robert (how predictable is that) Black mumbled.
“Anyway please say you are free and can play for us, please, oh pretty please”.
Robert (we are a heavy metal, Barbie eating, Ken sucking group) Black snarled “You know of our stuff?”
“Oh yes, ‘Someone’s gonna get their teeth smashed out tonight,” is one of my bestest favourites. Oh and we’ll pay you a thousand pounds for the night.”
“A grand?” Robert (we’ve never been paid that much for a single gig you silly little moo) Black spluttered.
“Is that not enough? How about two thousand pounds in cash then?”
“Done”, replied Robert (and you have been, you stuck up little beatch) Black.
“Can you start at 11pm? The venue will be in the main hall at St. Mildred’s School for Young Ladies on Wrestwood Road, do you know it?”
“Yep”, Robert (I’ll find a pimple on a camel’s bum for two k) Black replied. He didn’t, but Heigh-Ho, it couldn’t be that hard to find.
“Oh that’s just wonderful, do you want me to confirm it in writing?”
“Nah, your word’s good enough for me,” said Robert (stiff me, and I’ll drag your brains out through your nostrils with a toothpick) Black, he hung up with a muttered “S’later”.
Almost immediately an old tune from the 80’s began buzzing around in his head, ‘Prince Charmin,’ Prince Charmin’ ridicule is nothing to be scared of…’ over and over it went, for the whole of that day and through the next, every time a moment of quiet descended, so the inane words and ridiculous tune started up again.
The only way he could quieten the words in his mind for almost the entire week before the gig, was by sucking on a pint of Jack, the comatose state it induced gave him some respite.
It was a surprisingly warm night for the end of October, ‘Indian Summer’ they were calling it. The band were looking forward to the concert, it would be a blast, playing to a set of rich little tarts was not their usual gig, nor was the payment of two big ones, that equated to four ton each. Enough to blow your nostrils to hell and back, if that was your bag.
They made no changes to their material; kick off with their one and only claim to fame; number 154 in MTV’s all time heavy metal hits; ‘Someone’s gonna get…’ play a few tracks by some other bands, Slipknot, Anthrax, Manson, a couple of gentle one’s from Metallica, then back to a couple of their own, written by Rat-bag in a few rare moments of lucidity. Interspersed with as many pints of falling down liquid, as could be scrounged from the bar without paying.
It promised to be a good night even if Rat-bag repeated his technicolor yawn of the previous gig; they had been paid up front… Stupid load of silly, flipping yahoos, thought Robert (could walk right now if we wanted, who’s gonna stop us) Black. Mind you the boys had been given the glad eye by some of the punters, so they all decided to stay and see how it panned out?
‘Prince Charmin’, Prince Charmin’….’ Damn it, that flipping mind numbing rant was back. Fighting it down and taking another slug of his Jack ‘n’ coke (more Jack than coke) Robert (I’ve gotta take a leak) Black hopped down off the stage and took his time, slowly, and with extreme enjoyment pushed his way through the moshing crowd of witches and wizards. Some of whom had stripped off; naked bodies dripping with sweat were jumping and spinning in time with the grinding, pounding beat.
The band were really enjoying themselves.
Taking a moment to sniff half a line whilst he was in the bog, Robert (wooo wooo wheee, I’m flying now) Black leapt back on the stage and grabbed his mic from its stand.
He became aware of a slim young girl in a yellow dress beckoning to him from the side of the stage. He shuffled sideways the two steps to reach her and bent down: “Wot?” he shouted over the cacophony as drum and bass fought with the screeching lead guitar for supremacy.
“My name is Mercy; can you play ‘Prince Charming’ now please?”
“No bog off you silly tart, we don’t play that poofy new romantics stuff!”
“Please” she pleaded, tears appearing in her eyes.
Robert (I could win that stupid gurning competition in Egremont, dead easy) Black looked fiercely at the girl, pulling what he believed was his most frightening face, “Na hiss off!” He snarled.
She staggered back in tears.
Laughing inwardly, he picked up the timing, then with his hand conducting, changed the beat; when it was right, he gave out with his trademark yell, it was the cue to swing into ‘Someone’s.’
The pounding drum and bass line of the familiar tune pumped out for a few bars;
“The place is jumping and
Everyone’s feeling up tight
At the dance tonight
Sure there’s gonna be a fi……”
The music fizzled out…… his voice did too, it was just midnight.
The lithe young things were no longer lithe nor young.
Standing before him were a couple of hundred of the ugliest old hags he had ever clapped eyes on…… the pert figures and tight buns that he had leered at and groped earlier were gone…… large melons and razor strops were now the order of the day.
Bright, perfect teeth and immaculate hairdo’s had been replaced with sharpened tombstones and wispy strands of straggly hair.
They stood stock still, staring at the band with pure venom shining from their piggy red eyes.
Just a few bars of the song would have given them another year of beauty.
Robert (I think my sphincter is about to give way) Black wished that he had taken time to learn the words of ‘Prince Charming’, and that he could seriously impress upon the other members of ‘Dumponapunk’, just how good it would be to play it, right now!
(With acknowledgements and thanks to Adam Ant and Fleetwood Mac)