“Wellington,” I said when he walked in. Didn’t want to say too much in case he got all offended because it turns out that despite his awesome appearance, Wellington is actually nothing more than a massive baby. He looked good but you couldn’t say that to him. You couldn’t tell him you thought he looked great because he’d probably take it as racism. Fuck Wellington. So when he came in the shop I greeted him with a brusque rendition of his own name and he didn’t even reply with mine. He just nodded and smiled and headed past the magazines. I stared at him as he walked past September’s edition of Horse. The magazines about horses are located towards the far end of the magazine rack. I’ve never even flicked through them. I’ve never been that bored. Enrique sometimes flicks through them and laughs.
Wellington paused and turned. “Anything in store for me today?” He asked and I wasn’t 100% certain what he was on about, because we were in a store, and so I just grimaced. “Any misunderstandings in the pipeline?”
“No,” I said, scratching my chin.
“Jeremy Clarkson’s not going to come in and then there’ll be a contrived situation where the fact I’m black is played out for a laugh at my expense?” Wellington waved his hands around a bit when he said this.
“Don’t think so,” I said, looking down at my counter top.
“That’ll make a nice change,” said Wellington. I nodded and Wellington headed to the back of the shop and to Paula.
I don’t even understand it. To me being black isn’t even a thing. I’d love to be black. It’s like bald people who are worried about being bald. I’d love to be bald. I like it when bald people look up and they get folds of skin at the base of their skull. I love that. Whenever I see that I just wanna grab one of the folds and hold it, you know? Ah, fuck him. It’s his problem, not mine. Wellington is black and bald. Double cool, but I think he shaves his head.
I decided I wasn’t even going to interact with Wellington any further. There was no point risking it. Fuck him. Fuck Wellington. I’ve got enough friends. I gazed out into the car park and saw the Top Gear gang running around. May, Hamster and Clarkson.
I looked up at the ceiling and closed my eyes. Thanks God, I thought. Thanks for once again shitting on my head.
The Top Gear gang were prancing around in the car park. They were so excited they couldn’t even stand still. They were pogoing and running around each other in a loose formation. Sort of like freestyling Red Arrows. It was almost like they were trying to distract anybody watching, but why?
I saw. I saw Clarkson disappear behind Wellington’s awesome Nissan pick-up truck which was parked against the top wall. See that? I didn’t even say what colour his truck was. It doesn’t matter.
The fuck is is that wanker Clarkson doing? I thought to myself when he hadn’t reappeared after 15 seconds. The other two were still dancing around in the middle of the car park and then Clarkson did emerge. He was rubbing a finger under his nose like he was doing an impression of somebody with a moustache. He does that when he’s being bad. I’ve noticed that. The Top Gear team spoke to each other as I squinted at them. I looked over to Wellington who thankfully hadn’t noticed Clarkson and the other two in the car park. He’d blame it on me. Fuck off, Top Gear gang! Was the thought I tried to channel at them. I walked around the counter as quietly as I could, trying to avoid attention from Wellington.
I went out into the car park. “Fuck off!” I hissed at the three morons. James May looked over at me with thunder coming out of his face. I thought he was going to come over and smack me in my face but then the Top Gear team all looked over their shoulders and ran off out of the car park’s exit while giggling and hooting.
I watched them go, puzzled, but my puzzlement was short-lived as the guy who pretends to be the producer and wears a lab-coat entered the car park in a SUV. I flagged him down. “The fuck’s going on?” I asked.
“We’re doing one of those great Top Gear challenges.”
“Oh, yeah?” I responded. I’d seen the one where they were offensive in India. “And why are they here?”
The guy said, “number four,” and handed me a clipboard. I read it.
I returned it to him and he sped off in pursuit of the three buffoons.
So they’ve disabled Wellington’s truck. That’s what Clarkson had been doing. What a cunt. I stuck my head back in the shop and all was well and so I crossed the car park to Wellington’s big truck. I don’t know much about cars. I could diagnose a flat tyre but not much else and the tyres weren’t flat. Clarkson had probably done something to the distributor cap whatever the fuck that was. I went around to the back of the truck and gave it a cursory once over but there was nothing I could… Hello, what’s that protruding from the exhaust pipe? I crouched down for a closer look. A potato had been jammed into Wellington’s exhaust. A Maris Piper, ironically enough, because of the word pipe (piper). Well, I think you ticked that box too soon, Mr Fake Producer, I thought. I tried to pull out the potato but it was jammed right in and I couldn’t get purchase on its rounded end. I needed something to prise it out. There was nothing on the ground. No suitable sticks but my keys might do. I got my keys out and jammed one down the side of the potato and tried to lever it out but a bit of potato broke off. The main body of the potato hadn’t budged. I tried again and broke another bit off. There was no way my front door key was long enough to get it all out. I needed to get back in the shop and get a knife or something. I looked under the vehicle and across the car-park to ensure the coast was clear.
The coast wasn’t clear. Wellington was half way across the car park. I started stabbing at the potato. Breaking little bits off and then the truck rocked as Wellington climbed in. Shit. I hacked a couple more chunks off the potato but it was all too late. Wellington was trying to start the truck. It was turning over, it wasn’t going to start. He’d then come around to the back of his truck and find me. How was I going to-
BANG! The potato shot out of the exhaust in a cloud of thick exhaust smoke thumping me in the chest with tremendous force. I ‘oofed’ with the impact and inhaled a lung’s worth of acrid smoke. I fell back from my crouch onto my buttocks. What remained of the potato was in my lap and burning me, I grabbed it and tossed it away. The truck was…
Am I really going to do this?
Yeah, even though I was incredibly disorientated my survival instinct kicked in. Had Wellington accidently put his truck in reverse I’d be crushed. “Stop!” I screamed. The exhaust gases had burnt my throat and my voice came out as a deeper, croakier sound. “Stap!” It sounded like and then I somehow hoisted myself to my feet by holding onto his tailgate. The engine stopped. I stumbled down the side of his truck. In the rear window of the cab I saw my face, because of the smoke it was… well. And my hair was all up on end. And because I burnt my hands I was waving them about, to cool them. And because I was in shock I was shouting for my mum. “Mammy!” I was shouting. “Mammy!” Because of the burnt throat. I didn’t even look into the driver’s window but I can imagine Wellington’s expression, one hand on the keys in the ignition. I stumbled across the car park and into the shop like that.