Thursday, 26 February 2015

May The Flip Flop Force Be With You

When I was a small child I was sick all over my dad’s new girlfriend on a coach trip to Hastings, I tell you this because I was shocked, even at a tender age, that this did not turn the poor women off him, in fact if anything it seemed to improve his allure. Well this week a similar incident worked to cement the most unlikely of friendships.
The house at number 9 has been empty for a couple of months while Ken has been procrastinating and delaying decorating it. In the end he paid a mate of Baz to do it for him, so finally on Monday the new lodger moved in. He was a tall chap, with a beard and a beany hat. Every time I saw him carrying stuff into the house he was wearing a scarf, hefty jacket, jeans and flip flops, yes, that is correct, flip flops. So bemused was I by this event that I did something that is quite rare even for me, I got my binoculars, for some reason I had the most overwhelming need to get a closer view of his feet. The toenails were long, unkempt and dirty, but the soles of his feet looked (from where I was stationed) like they were shiny and soft, I was astonished and not a little impressed.
I was up early on Tuesday to check if the foot covering had been a one off, perhaps he had inadvertently packed away all his shoes and boots, but no, there they were again, the majority of his body dressed as if to face a Siberian winter and on his feet flip flops.
He had left the house and was heading towards the Spar when at the same time Mrs Misery (who we now know to be called Suzy) was heading back from the very same place, pushing the pram as if she had a tonne of bricks in it rather than a six month old baby. Suzy tends to walk with her head down, avoiding all potential social engagement but our flip flop wearer was having none of it.

He started with a cheery hello and followed it up with a question about the opening times of the Spar, I couldn’t hear everything they said but he was certainly some charmer because he had her smiling in no time; then it happened. He’d made some comment about the baby and how wrapped up she was that you could hardly see her little face, why anyone would take their life in their hands and move towards a swaddled infant is beyond me but he did indeed move closer to the pram. His coochy coo was answered by a moist belch from the baby and followed with the most dramatic yellow vomit I had ever seen, it was almost
textbook perfect.  The flip flop wearer stood up to reveal flecks of yellow sick stuck to his beard and looked into Suzy’s mortified face, she was clearly about to burst into tears. The most incredible thing of all then happened, the flip flop wearer flung back his head and laughed, actually laughed. I was so shocked I had to sit down, who was this bare footed idiot that had moved into the street?

Suzy and Mr flip flop continued to talk for a good while longer, his laid back attitude to the facial adornment of baby sick having clearly calmed her nerves. The next day they bumped into each other again at a similar time and continued their chat, I was almost getting to the stage where I thought there may be some scandal in the street but it would appear that Suzy’s intention was to introduce this man to Mand; she was single again after it had fallen through with Anton who, with the support of his wife, had turned his back on his Mormon ways.

The next time I saw Suzy she was telling Mand about the new resident in the street and how she would be delighted to introduce them, this new matchmaking role was clearly bringing some enjoyment to the young mum.

After Suzy had gone into the house Mand went straight round to Ken’s to check on the facts she had been given.  ‘Your new man is an interesting person, Suzy tells me he is a Jedi, how unusual, and to work in public protection too, I think he like, sounds amazing.’

Ken looked at her with a wry smile, ‘I’m not sure I’d count sexing chickens as public protection, but no worries, I suppose he also told her his name was Luke Skywalker?’

Mand giggled, ‘Oh Ken, don’t be silly, it’s Garth Fader, and anyway he told Suzy that the light sabre is just a story, although he did say he gets power surges through his feet, that’s why he wears flip flops, they are like, rubber. I can’t wait to meet him, it’ll make a change having an honest man in my life.’

I could still hear Ken’s laughter for a good forty minutes later. 

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