Chapter 17-18 (S.S.B.)



Gregory was a very peculiar person, even by his own standards. He didn’t watch the football his friends did; he didn’t smoke the fags, or even drink the same beer. He had a habit of being different, and this seemed to excite him. He enjoyed being different. It was something he was good at. Insults and comments on his eccentricities only seemed to dampen everyone else’s mood.

Mr. Tweedle was perhaps a little too different from the rest of the crowd, and he would occasionally feel a few pangs of loneliness late at night when he lay in bed watching the fan. Although the flip side of some uncomfortable feelings was indeed some equally eccentric friends he could really count on. Peter was one of these people.

Peter worked in a video store about two blocks away. It was a small business venture that he’d begun as a teenager, and didn’t feel the need to stop. It was a corner shop with everything in it. Peter was a video junkie. He enjoyed films and fiction so much that he’d convinced the Manager to keep all the VHS tapes. He reckoned that a classic was worth looking at, even if you couldn’t use it.

Peter enjoyed the old films. They were a bench mark for the modern-day mish mash of computer generated people and special effects. He could list off actors, and his favorite lines. If you took out a video and had made a bad choice, he’d tell you why and sell off something lurking in the Bargain Bin. There was only one problem with Peter at the dirty video shop, around the block. He was Obsessive Compulsive.

Now that Gregory thought about it, this was most probably why the store was dusty and unkempt. He enjoyed him though, in small doses. If ever he drove past the store in the evening, Peter would still be there counting the films, and straightening the signs. He almost felt sorry for the guy. Some things just weren’t worth explaining to some.



It was morning. One of the mornings, that Gregory had to live through. Nothing in England, early in the morning was beautiful. All those stories told to your about “the picturesque morning of another day in the British Empire” was a lie.

No one liked it.

Everyone one was either cleaning, arguing, getting dressed, burning the toast, shouting at the children, swearing at the traffic or abusing a domestic animal to be worried about whether today was as delightful as the previous week. Gregory understood that not everyone was English. You could speak a form of English…but being English was a different paradigm all together.

If there was one piece of advice Gregory could give to the masses (concerning English), it would be to never give it to an American. This was already too late, just like The Twin Towers, Vietnam, Coke, Microsoft, and Rap Music had been too late. At least if you gave it to a cockney he had the advantage. It might use it in pubs, and around suitcases of drug money, although he could still throw in some puns, and casually joke about the way they tortured information out of their terrified victims.

God forbid if you let it anywhere near a Southerner. He would (traditionally speaking) use it to kick stray cats, swear at his wife, and yell to his animal-skin-clad children to “Fetcha annuh-therrr beeee-her, yew use-lair-us care-ids!” (Fetch another beer, you useless kids!) Now this would not be right at all. Anyone could see that the man was using terrible English, and drinking what will most likely end up in burping, fat rolls and obesity.

What brought Gregory to these morbid conclusions, was reading a newspaper, early in the morning…at a Starbucks. Realizing his somewhat apparent abhorrent verbal behavior, was most probably the confession he was now about to avoid. He took another sip of his Double Espresso, and stuffed the paper into his leather brief case.

Reading the newspaper was never good for your mental health. This was because news was a collection of cheaply-bound and easily sold unconfirmed reports. No one really cared though, simply because it would be a useful conversation starter in the form of “Have you heard that…”

Gregory paused, as he was walking out the shop. He had this habit of thinking too much, too early in the morning. He swung around, now more awake from the coffee.

He went to pay the bill.




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