Mr Bloggs and the terrible Friday – an unsavoury story.
The moment that Mr Bloggs opened his eyes that he knew it wasn’t going to be a good day, in fact it was going to be a Bad Day, a thoroughly terrible day. How did Mr Bloggs know this? Well I’ll tell you – it was Friday.
So what’s wrong with Friday, it’s the end of the week with all the delights of the weekend beckoning. Mr Bloggs was up there with the best of them when it came to delights; a trip round Asda with Mrs Bloggs, a gentle walk though the park (Barnsley had a big park) and, with any luck a bit of a swim across the ornamental lake. He liked it when he could get to do that even though he was chased off by park keepers carrying large rakes. Mrs Bloggs pretended that she did not know him on these occasions.
No, contemplating his weekend did not diminish the bad feeling that had been with him ever since he had opened his eyes. He shivered with horror at what awaited him.
By the time he reached the depot where the mighty chariot awaited him and his fellow Environmental Recycling Combination Systems – this was the latst name that the clever people up at the Borough Council had thought up for him and his mates; very important sounding but it was inevitable that it had became shortened to ERCS. Mr Bloggs did not like that name even though his pal, Tubby Scruton thought that it was a bit Post-Modern sounding.
“I think you’ll find that Derrida would have something to say about it.” Mr Bloggs did not have a clue as to what Tubby was going on about. (Neither do I.)
The aforementioned Tubby was already ensconced (Derrida might have something to say about that, too) when Mr Bloggs arrived. He looked up from the hefty tome that he was reading (Kant -again!). “You look a bit down in the mouth, Alfred old chap.”
“Aren’t you too. It’s Friday.” and he let out a little moan that would have stirred the hardest of hearts.
But not Tubby. “Buck up old cheese. It can’t be that bad.”
“You don’t realise, do you, Tubby. It’s Friday.”
Now you probably need to know that Tubby, apart from being a devotee of all things philosophical, was devoid of a sense of smell. Totally, he couldn’t smell a thing which is probably an advantage in his calling in life. That was why he had no fear of Friday because Friday, for the housewives (and house husbands for all I know) was Fish Day. Yes the day when fish in all it’s concoctions was served up for the hard working people of Barnsley by their nearest and dearest. There were fish pies, fish cakes, fried fish, grilled fish, boiled fish even raw fish (that was the Japanese family who lived down the road from the Bloggs mansion.)
Now, as you know, you can’t eat all of a fish, not unless it’s very small like sardines or whitebait. No you have to fillet out the bones, scrape off the skin and chop off the head and the tail, So what happens to all that skin, bones, tail and head? You got it, into the wheelie bin and outside with it before it stinks the house down. Out in the wheelie bin (under the benevolent gaze of the sun – you’d be surprised how much the sun shines in Barnsley) the odour becomes incredible. Tubby Scruton cannot detect it so goes about his day’s work with a stupid grin on his face. Not so Mr Bloggs, right from the first wheelie bin of the day he is assaulted with the most disgusting smell that he had ever experienced (at least, ever since last Friday). He had tried clothes pegs on his nose, plastering himself with After-Shave lotion all to no avail. As the day wore on the smell became worse. He was not a happy ERCS, not at all.
And as if to add insult to injury when he loaded the last wheelie bin on to the mighty chariot that is the dustcart the mechanism that tips the content into the now stinking vehicle failed and, horror of horrors, instead of emptying it into the bowels of the dustcart all the contents of the wheelie bin came down on Mr Bloggs’s head. He tried to scream but was speechless. The rotting fish skin slithered down his neck, down into the inside of his shirt, fish skeletons formed a strange looking necklace and a large cod’s head stuck itself on the top of his head.
Tubby Scruton had not seen the mishap so when he came out of the cab he could not believe his eyes. Mr Bloggs looked so ridiculous that Tubby could not stop himself from laughing, guffawing, bellowing with mirth. “Good heavens, Alfred, you look like something out of a carnival, a fish parade.”
Mr Bloggs did not appreciate his friend’s ribald reaction. “There’s nothing to laugh at, Tubby. I’m going home” and he turned on his heel and set off down the street. He was so upset that he did not notice that half the cats of Barnsley were following him, mewing in excitable anticipation. When he reached his house he went around the back and undressed in his shed. Then, wearing only his Superman underpants he let himself into the house (Mrs Bloggs was out) and ran a deep bath filled with the sweetest smelling bath foam that he could find, Tarmac and Banana. That’ll do he thought, better than fish.
He wallowed there for quite a time, wondering how he could get out of work on Fridays in the future. His musings were interrupted by the sound of the front door. It was Mrs Bloggs.
“Coo-ee Alfred. You’re home early. I’ve got a special treat for your tea.”
“That sounds good. What is it?”
She could hear the gurgling as Mr Bloggs sank his head under the water.