Hello everybody. Sorry I haven't blogged for a while. It's not easy to fit it in when you're trying to respond to so many
Anyway, as a special treat, I am publishing an extract from a story I'm writing. I am not in violation of any kind of contractual arrangement because I can't imagine anyone in their right mind wanting to publish this. It is the stupidest thing I have ever written. Which is probably why I'm enjoying it so much. It's working title is 'El Presidente.'
Freddie sat at the dinner table with his parents and Tadge. They were having chippy tea. Normally, Freddie would be delighted by this, but this time, he hadn’t even touched his jumbo saveloy.
‘Freddie,’ said Mum through a mouthful of doner meat. ‘I wish you wouldn’t keep secrets from us.’
‘What are you talking about?’ said Freddie as casually as he could, fully aware that she could have been talking about one of about three hundred things.
She swallowed and pulled a crumpled piece of paper out of her pocket. Straight away, Freddie knew what it was.
‘Ohhhhhh,’ he dropped his head into his hands.
‘What’s the matter with you? This is something to be proud of!’ she said.
‘What you talking about?’ said Dad, mopping up curry sauce with a slice of bread and butter.
‘How did you find that, anyway?’ said Freddie. ‘I hid it under my bed! What were you doing looking under my bed?’
‘For what?’ said Dad. ‘What is it?’
‘Well, I saw a thing on the telly about these new drugs kids are taking and I wanted to make sure you weren’t stashing any,’ she said.
‘Drugs? What drugs?’
‘Nothing wrong with drugs,’ said Tadge. ‘I did a bit of the herb when I was your age and it didn’t do me any harm.’
Everyone turned and looked at him. He had mushy peas in his beard and his t-shirt said ‘I Shot Mr Burns.’
‘I haven’t got any drugs!’ I said. ‘You wouldn’t even let me have a Vicks inhaler when I had a cold!’
‘Will someone tell me what’s going on?’ said Dad.
‘I am so proud of you, my boy,’ said Mum. ‘Shortlisted to paint a picture of the Prime Minister!’
Tadge threw his scallop down in disgust. ‘No way, my man. Don’t do it. Don’t shill for the Illuminati.’
‘Nonsense,’ said Dad. ‘You’re proud to be British, and you should be proud to paint our nation’s leader.’
‘Yeah, you should paint him,’ said Tadge. ‘With red paint . . . like the . . . blood on his, you know, hands.’
‘Go to your room, Tadge,’ said Mum.
Tadge stomped off upstairs and slammed his bedroom door. He was forty-two.
‘He just needs a moment to calm down,’ said Mum. ‘And when he does, you should talk to him. Tadge is a very talented artist.’
‘I don’t know about that,’ said Dad. ‘It’s that modern art rubbish. I’m not into it. Remember when we visited that snooty place and they kicked me out just for speaking the truth? I said ‘that’s not art, it’s a bed. That’s not art, it’s a wardrobe.’
‘We were in Ikea,’ said Freddie. ‘You were making a scene.’
‘Aaaaah,’ Dad waved him off. ‘I know good art when I see it, and what Tadge does ain’t good art.’
‘Well, what is good art, dear?’ said Mum.
‘You know . . .’ he reached across and speared Freddie’s saveloy with his fork. ‘That painting of the dogs playing cards, the little boy having a wee, Blackpool tower, that kind of thing.’
Freddie wondered how the hell he could have been named as one of the top Art students in his year with the genes he inherited. Trouble was, now his parents knew, there was no escaping it.
He had to think of something.