Monday, 30 March 2015


For audio click here.

‘It’s so unfair,’ Orry said looking glum, ‘I’ve been at the Hard Rock Café now for 18 months and I’ve never once won Employee of the Month. Martha’s won it twice, Linda was only there six weeks and she won it, Dave won it and he’s a lazy arse, but me? I’ve never won it.’
‘Why not? What are you doing wrong?’ Adam said.
‘Nothing,’ Orry said defensively, ‘I work hard, I smile, I’ve even perfected my American accent. But my boss hates me, I think it’s cos Madeline likes me not him and he’s jealous. She’s won it three times.’
‘Why do you want to be Employee of the Month anyway?’ Adam said.
‘Well it’s nice isn’t it? You know recognition?’
‘Isn’t it just something everyone wins?’
‘Well yes, but that makes it even more odd that I haven’t.’
Adam nodded, he was thinking. ‘Okay,’ he said, ‘I’ve got it. When are you working next?’
‘Tomorrow night, why?’
“You’ll see, I‘ll come in with Gina, make sure you are serving us, but make like you don’t know us, okay?’
‘Don’t get me sacked,’ Orry looked worried.
‘Trust me Orry,’ Adam said with a wink. Orry had a bad feeling about this.

‘Was everything okay?’ Orry said to his very smart looking customers. He’d never seen Adam in a suit before and Gina looked more delicious than the burgers.
‘Yes, but could we have a word with the manager, please?’ Orry’s mouth dropped open, but Adam gave him a slight nod of encouragement. Orry went into the back and found his boss.
‘Freddie, one of my customers wants to see you.’ He said nervously.
Freddie looked Orry up and down in a what have you done this time kind of way.

‘Can I help you?’ Freddie said to the smart looking couple.
‘Yes, my colleague and I are over from head office,’ Adam said, his face as straight as an arrow. Orry watched his boss straighten up a little but couldn’t hear what his friend was saying.
‘From London?’ Freddie said.
‘No out of Orlando,’ Adam said, he’d done his homework. He watched Orry’s boss’s face change. ‘Anyway my colleague and I were very impressed with the work of our waiter this evening, one of the best we’ve come across.’
‘Yes he’s one of our best.’ Freddie said.
‘He must own the Employee of the Month award,’ Adam said, still maintaining a straight face.
‘Um,’ Freddie was wrong footed. ‘I don’t think he’s won it for a while.’
‘Well, I’ll be checking in to see if he’s won it this month.’ Adam said, calm authority in his voice.
‘Well … yes.’ Freddie said cursing the little runt Orry.

‘I’ll get these’ Orry said to Adam, ‘Employee of the month bonus. What did you say to him?’

‘Probably best you never find out.’ Adam smiled taking a swig of beer that this friend had bought him.

This story has a part two which got messed up by blogger. So here it is. 
For audio click here
Adam was lollygagging around the mall waiting for Gina to finish shopping. She was deciding between two dresses and Adam had left her to it; there was only so much indecisiveness he could take. He loved Gina dearly, but if he could change one thing about her, it would be her inability to buy a new dress without having a near nervous breakdown. 
He smiled at the thought of her in her underwear in the changing rooms, holding up the two dresses, biting her bottom lip. Nah come to think of it, he wouldn’t change her for the world. 
‘Back in Europe again?’ Adam was shaken from his thought by a voice and a figure standing in front of him. He looked at the stranger blankly.
‘I think you’ve got the wrong bloke, mate. I’m always in Europe.’
‘I thought you were based in Orlando?’ the stranger said.
‘Orlando? What are you talking about?’ 
‘Um, head office? Hard Rock Café?’
Adam suddenly remembered who this person was. It was Orry’s boss? Adam decided to brazen it out.
‘No idea what you’re talking about mate, think you must have me mixed up with someone else.’
The stranger looked confused. ‘Wow you look just like someone who works in my head office.’
‘Really?’ Adam said with a look that said I really don’t care. Freddie was looking confused but Adam got the impression he was buying the story. 
Adam looked around and saw Gina coming towards him, a big bag in her hand that suggest that she’d bought both the dresses. Adam could immediately see the problem. Freddie might be daft enough to buy one doppelganger but not two. What were the odds of two people hanging round together in Orlando being the spitting images of two people who hung around together here? Adam was madly trying to tell Gina to fuck off with his eyes, but she was having none of it. 
‘Hi, bought them both.’ Then she looked at the stranger, ‘Hi’ she said in a voice that said I don’t know you, but I’ve seen you somewhere and you are talking to Adam so, you must be one of his friends so I’ll be friendly.
Freddie looked at Gina, then looked back to Adam. Adam could see his brain working. Then Freddie turned on his heel and left without saying another word. 

‘Orry!’ Freddie yelled as soon as he arrived back to work. ‘A word!’  

Friday, 27 March 2015

Fairground pt 4

For the audio click here
The Fun House

The classroom was nearly empty, just me, Sally and Rupert Jones, the class swot, who was never going to miss a day of school. There were about 50 kids in the whole school and a whole load of grumpy teachers who had been hoping none of us little buggers would show up, so they could knock off early and get down the pub. Sally and I hadn’t talked about last night but I knew when I knocked her door she, like me, would be in uniform and ready for school and not about to bunk off.
Our headmistress had spelt it out clearly - missing school on Friday would lead to draconian punishments, but that wasn’t why we were there. We like all those who weren’t there knew there was nothing she could do if we all mitched off school. There was safety in numbers, she couldn’t suspend us all. So as we sat glumly in class, the majority were down the Island enjoying the sunshine. 
You see the Radio Fun Roadshow was rumbling into town for a morning of fun and frolics with our favourite Radio Fun DJ, Markie ‘the big man’ Morris. It was a yearly event, each year a different DJ but the difference this year was that it fell on a school day not during the holidays and this year it was Markie the big Man Morris.  Markie ‘the big man’ Morris was a legend, he was the original and best Radio Fun DJ and he’d never been to Barry before, and up until last night there was no way we were going to miss it.
‘Woe betide you if you miss school’ the head had said, well woe was going to have to betide us, or so we thought. So why were Sally and I in school with the swots and the kids with strict parents, while everyone else was enjoying Radio Fun?
Sally and I had wanted more, we didn’t just want to be there we wanted to be part of it, to be on the stage, on National Radio Fun. So we’d headed for the fairground the night before convinced that we would be able to meet the team while they were setting up the trucks. But we were disappointed, the trucks were there but no sign of any Radio Fun staff, and no sign of Markie ‘the big man’ Morris. The fairground seemed quiet, the calm before the storm. There were kids on the dodgems, but the roller coaster was empty and the ghost train deserted. Neon lights and tinny noises attracted customers that didn’t exist. Sally and I had a quick spin on the Waltzers and then headed home disappointed.
As we walked past Barry Hotel we looked into the windows as we always did. We usually pulled faces at the diners eating their fancy meals while we munched our chips outside. But tonight the faces of the diners were familiar, it was only bloody Markie ‘the big man’ Morris, his side kick and their producer. We’d stumbled upon gold.
Sally looked at me, I looked at Sally, and without saying anything we marched in to the hotel restaurant ignoring the advances of the receptionists as we did so. We went straight up to Markie.
‘Hi,’ Sally said. She was always braver than me, ‘can we have your autograph please?’
Markie ‘the big man’ Morris looked at us though his sunglasses, his face looked older up close and his hair thin and wiry, I shivered looking at him. He was like death warmed up.
‘Hey,’ he said in his DJ voice. ‘Why don’t you guys come upstairs with me, I’ve got some signed photos up there.’
‘Great,’ Sally said.
He looked at me, ‘on second thoughts why don’t you stay here,’ he said.
There was something about this guy I didn’t like. ‘I go where Sally goes.’ I said.
‘The more the merrier, come on then.’ as we followed the big man up to his room, I noticed the two other men giving each other a knowing nod.
‘What are you names?’ Markie ‘the big man’ Morris asked us.
‘I’m Sally and he’s Craig.’
‘And how old are you?’ He put his arm around Sally; it seemed huge, sucking her into his body.
‘14 and 15,’ Sally said. We’d reached the room.
He busied himself by the dressing table. It seemed hot in the room; there was a pungent smell of BO and cheap aftershave.
‘Do you know why they call me the big man?’ He asked, and turned around displaying the answer right there in front of our eyes.
‘Now if you want those autographs' he said looking at me 'why doesn’t you let your little girlfriend touch this and if you both touch it, you’ll be on the radio tomorrow.’
Sally looked at me, I looked at Sally, and without saying anything we marched out of the hotel room and down the stairs as quickly as we could. I drank in the cool night air like a man in the desert might take on liquid. 
‘Fucking hell’ Sally said.
‘Fucking hell’ I repeated.
“He touched my tits,’ Sally said quietly. I put my arm around her.
‘What should we do?’ I said.
‘I don’t know, shall we tell the police?’
‘They wouldn’t believe us.’

I walked Sally home, trying to be protective and then headed home myself, knowing I’d be in school tomorrow morning. 
For more Barry inspired stories click here