One of my eyes squeak when I rub it. The right one.
I was rubbing my eyes and one was squeaking. The right one. I did that for a bit and then I blinked it out, like I was shaking my arms after a particularly gruelling bout of boxing and looked around. I took a deep breath and started rubbing my eye again. The squeaking made me think of Spongebob Squarepants rubbing two pickles together. Little did I know I was about to learn not one but two valuable lessons. The first was how to season a chilli-con-carne, the second was that domestic violence is never funny.
“Chu wanna put de papers out?” Asked Enrique.
“Yeah, I’d love that.”
“…” As Enrique was saying these dots that indicate he didn’t say anything he looked at the pile of newspapers and also to me. I was just rubbing my eye. “…” added Enrique.
Squeak, squeak, squeak. My eye wasn’t even itchy.
“Paula paper!” Said Enrique with a clap of his hands.
“Picked and peck of pickled pepper,” I said. I’d finished rubbing my eye. I was bored of it.
Enrique smiled at me, he didn’t understand. “Paula, you do paper please.”
“Picked a peck of pickled pepper,” I said again but it wasn’t as good as the first time. Enrique looked at me as if I were his Rubik’s Cube. “Better hurry up, Paula!” I said. “Before he stabs you. He’s got that look in his eyes!”
Enrique had been weirdly nice to me since he tried to stab me. He obviously felt like a dick about it. And so he should. When I mentioned stabbing Paula, Enrique had done a Fonzy or sorts. Like the double thumbs up but instead of saying ‘Hey!’ Enrique’s body was more, ‘hey.’ I think the only difference was Enrique’s head was tilted the other way. And his eyebrows were going down in the middle instead of up.
The papers are bound with plastic straps. You may have seen them on TV. There’s an advert on TV where a hapless woman gets her legs tangled in them, goes sprawling and sues her employers for negligence. They’re those straps. Unless you work with those straps day in and day out you’re probably not aware that they come apart very easily by simply finding the end and peeling it apart. You don’t need any tools. Without tools most people would try and pull them apart, you can’t do that, it’s a bit like velcro in that respect. I’m so fucking pro at those straps.
Paula is the opposite. Every time Paula does the papers pickled pepper she cuts the straps with scissors. Numbskull. I tell her every time not to do it like that but she insists. It’s frustrating watching her although her method is faster. Just not nearly as cool. It’s frustrating in another sense because when she’s hunkered over the papers I often think about coming up behind her and showing her how I open those straps. Like the famous pottery scene from that film I haven’t seen. I don’t because she has scissors.
“Why can’t he do it?” Asked Paula.
“Well, he’s the boss,” I said.
“I meant you,” She said. I knew that.
“Just do the papers, Paula. Don’t make me Saatchi you.” I held my hands out like I was holding a massive invisible goblet and pulled a determined squirrel face.
“That’s so funny!”
Enrique sighed again.
“No, domestic violence is hilarious,” said Paula. Jesus. I’d touched a woman-nerve.
“He was only fucking around,” I said. I hope Charles Saatchi buys my Banksy.
“Looked like it.”
“let me show you.”
The newspaper sat there in their bundles. That night Gordon Ramsay was telling me my con-carne tasted of shit. I’d watched him taste it. He’d grimaced and spat it out into a napkin.
“That’s the worst wankerish fucking chilli-con-cunting-carne I’ve ever twatting-well tasted!” The massive wrinkle was telling me.
“Call yourself a chef?” He was asking. He was all up in my grill whilst also near my grill. I leant back on tip-toes.
“No!” I said, bravely.
“Well you’re not!”
“You cook like a cu-“
I snapped. “Alright, mate.” I said. I took off my apron and threw down my tea-towel and turned around.
“Just going to run away like a tit?” Gordon was asking.
“Yep,” and then I saw the prison guard blocking the door. That’s right, I was in prison, I remembered. It all came tumbling back to me. What had started off as me demonstrating to Paula that it was perfectly possible to playfully hold somebody around the neck had ended abruptly when she died. I looked at the guard who was tapping his truncheon on his hand. My shoulders slumped and I turned back and found my apron and tea towel. I went and stood before Gordon Ramsay who was waiting smugly with his arms crossed.
This isn’t fair, I thought.
“I’m glad you came back,” Said Ramsay. I cocked and thumb over my shoulder at the prison guard and sort of waved my hands. “It shows commitment.”
I was released just before midnight. Turns out Paula wasn’t really dead (I fucking knew it!) and had instead been teaching me a lesson so there had been no need for me to run from the shop and, after holding up in Cineworld for two hours and drinking half a bottle of wine, turning myself in at the Cop Shop.
Gonna fucking kill Paula tomorrow. For real this time.