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some old bullshit

Sweet Thing, Where Have You Gone?

I got m&ms out the wazoo. In London there is an incredible m&m store. Store doesn’t do it justice, it’s a megastore really. Maybe even a hyperstore. It’s over four floors. You’re thinking they can’t fucking fill four floors with nothing but m&m stuff but they have. Anything m&m you can think of, even using your wildest imagination, they sell. A cuddly m&m in a suit of armour? Check! m&m golf balls? Check! There’s a massive wall of tubes of m&ms. Every colour under the sun in clear plastic tubes and you can fill your own bag with m&ms. Any combination of colours you like – you could even put peanut ones in there. It’s awesome, it really is, and the staff seem to have a real passion for m&ms which is great. It’s infectious. They come up to you and tell you that if you buy a whole load of m&ms you get even more m&ms absolutely free when you pay. I think the free m&ms are ones that fall into the catchment under the tubes when cack-handed people try to fill up a bag from the massive colourful wall of m&ms. There’s like a drain under where you hold the bag. I guess loads must go down the drain every day and I don’t know what happens to those. There could be immigrants of every colour under the sun sorting them out, I guess, separating the mixed up fallen colours and putting them back in the tube but that’s a lot of work though. My first thought was they must just give away all the drain m&ms at the till when you spend £30 on m&ms but then my bags of free m&ms only contained blue and orange m&ms. No other colour. I should have asked the m&m girl with the jolly demeanour who was stood there supervising the massive wall of m&ms what exactly happens to m&ms that fall through the trap at the bottom. I didn’t though, and I left the m&m shop with my rucksack full of m&ms. Walking to Victoria the straps of my rucksack were really digging into my shoulders, that’s how many m&ms I bought!

I’d once attempted to take the tube train in London, when I was younger, but I’d got the wrong ticket. The thing didn’t open when I put my ticket in, the turnstile, it didn’t open, and I had to find a man. I found a man, he was a big black man in a uniform, and I explained my ticket didn’t work and he sighed and let me out. He couldn’t even be bothered explaining how exactly I had erred in the purchasing of my ticket. He just sighed and let me out. I was never going to go through that again. I like walking though. There are squirrels in the park on the way to Victoria. The Gatwick Express is a piece of piss, you can’t fuck up getting on that thing. It had big flashing arrows pointing at it so you don’t get on the wrong train and end up in Brighton.


Put my rucksack through the scanner at the airport and they didn’t even open it even though the X-ray must’ve looked well dodgy. I could have had a rucksack literally full of pills with a street value of god knows what and they wouldn’t have checked. That was a bit annoying.


At home the kids were super excited to see the m&ms and that excitement lasted three days. After three days the kids weren’t at all interested in m&ms and they hadn’t even made a dent in the mountain of m&ms sat sadly on the kitchen counter – unloved. We went to the shop and Jacob wanted a packet of Smarties ffs. I explained we had eight kilos of m&ms at home but he didn’t give a fuck, he wanted Smarties and so I took the m&ms to work. 


“m&ms here, Paula!” I said shaking two big clear bags of m&ms at her. I was glad the bags were transparent as they showed the tricked-out colours I’d got. Colours that weren’t available in regular bags of m&ms like the ones we sell. They weren’t even available in the Special Edition m&ms. We’ve got the Olympic ones in but they are red white and blue – not gold, teal, black and electric blue. You can only get those from the awesome m&m shop in London. “m&ms here,” I said to Enrique he was yawning. The depressed woman came out of his office wearing a bathrobe and nothing on her feet. She grabbed a yoghurt while I watched and went back into the office. “She moved in?” I asked Enrique.


“For bit,” he replied. He was still yawning. It was a big stretchy yawn.


“m&ms,” I said throwing him a bag. Seeing the multicoloured sack arcing towards him startled Enrique out of his yawn and he caught it with one hand but the bag seemed to be alive, like a slinky, and he had to stop it falling from the catching hand with his other had. Marcel came in to get a broom or something. “Hey, Marcel!” I said and then I decided I wasn’t going to give him any m&ms so when he looked at me I shook my head.


I still had loads of m&ms. “Paula, come on, m&ms!” I said.


“I don’t really like sweet things,” she shouted back. Damn, these m&ms weren’t the massive hit I thought they’d be, may as well give some to Marcel. I looked at the m&ms. probably £70’s worth left. “What did you say, Paula?”


“What?” She replied and so I went over. 


“What did you say, why don’t you want m&ms?” I asked standing opposite her.


“I don’t like sweet things really. I haven’t got a sweet tooth,” she said. She didn’t look at me, she was wiping down the counter even though it looked clean enough.


“You haven’t got a sweet tooth?”


“No.”


“…”


“What?” She asked. She could feel my eyes burning into the top of her head.


“You don’t have a sweet tooth?”


“No.” She was wiping slowly in small circles. I grabbed her hand with the yellow cloth in it. She looked up at me, we were close enough to kiss.


“I’ve seen you demolish three Maxibon Cookies in a row, one after the other. Bang, bang bang.”


She held my gaze for a moment then said, “that’s ice-cream.” She was biting her lower lip while I was breathing hard. My breath swaying the fine hairs on her face like a corn field with a helicopter hovering over it.


“Ice-cream doesn’t count, does it?” I said. I added, “not,” because I don’t think that made sense. She tried to pull her hand away but she didn’t try hard. “What about those out of date Marathons? You ate a box of those.”

Paula turned her head away so I was facing her ear. “You’re hurting me,” she said. I loosened my grip on her hand but she didn’t pull it away. Her hand was warm. Nice.

“That banoffee pie. You ate that and didn’t enjoy it? In the toilet that time? You went in with a banoffee pie – you didn’t know I was watching you – and when you came out, no banoffee pie!” I panted into her ear.

“I…” Paula was motionless.


“It’s okay to be, you know, and admit to enjoying sweet things,” I told her and at that she did yank her hand away.

“Okay to be what?” she said.

“You know.”

“Say it.”

No chance, I’m not stupid. “Girls are always on a diet,” I said and Paula slapped me. I shook my head like a cartoon character. “You’re not fooling anybody,” I said as she stomped past and locked herself in the toilet. Enrique was stood by my counter. He was watching, laughing and nodding and then he threw an m&m into the air. He tried to catch it in his mouth but it went in his eye and he flailed and swore.



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