A Recce

June 5th 2006

“You see not everybody is on the internet,” said Atkins Down he Road. “In fact according to my figures less than half the population are on the internet. And many of those who are on the internet are kids, who don’t enter into the equation as they don’t have cars. And of the few left who are on the internet who aren’t kids, less than a quarter regularly shop on e-Bay.”

“All very interesting,” I said, not bothering to stifle a yawn. “But what has all that got to do with the price of eggs?”

“Nothing. But what it does mean is that our scheme to sell inflatable rubber women as artificial car passengers is not only off the back burner but very firmly onto the front burner again and cooking with gas.”

I was guarded, as I always am with anything to do with Atkins. “Well if your figures are correct….”

“They are,” he enthused. “Come with me.”

Atkins’ car was parked outside. As I followed him down the drive I noticed there was an inflatable rubber woman seated in the passenger seat. He stopped at the car and said: “The plan is while I drive her round the town you see if we get any funny looks.”

“Funny looks is the very least we’ll be getting, riding about the town with an inflatable rubber woman,“ I said tartly, not much caring for the way the situation was developing.

“Not a bit of it,” Atkins assured me. “My theory is that people will only recognise it as some sort of vague womanly figure.”

“Well they’ll certainly recognise that as a womanly figure; look at the tits on her. Couldn’t you get one with smaller tits?”

“They don’t make inflatable rubber women with small tits. Lulu they aren’t. Apparently there’s no demand for them. I tried letting it down a bit to make them smaller but the rest of her went down as well and by the time I’d got her tits down to something like normal proportions she was only about two feet high and had more wrinkles than a prune. Anyway it’s not as though her tits are bare, is it, they’re covered up by that rather tasteful Age Concern Arran sweater. And lots of women have big tits.” He opened the rear door of the car for me. “Get in then.”

Against my better judgement I did as he bade me. All manner of things that might go wrong went through my head. We could be involved in an accident. We could break down and have to send for the AA. We could have a puncture. “What if we have a puncture?” I said.

“Well we’ll have to repair her and blow her up again,” said Atkins, starting the car.

“Not to the rubber woman, to one of the bloody car tyres!”

“We won’t.”

“Well just drive carefully, that’s all. We don’t want any accidents. I don’t want to end up in Casualty having to explain what I was doing in a car with an inflatable rubber woman.”

“I’m not a fool,” said Atkins, checking the inflatable rubber woman’s seat belt and primly pulling her skirt down over her knees.

We set off. Atkins was right. Hardly anyone looked into the car as we drove around and those who did didn’t seem to notice anything untoward. Even when we pulled up at traffic lights and the man who drew up beside us looked directly at the inflatable rubber woman from a distance of a few feet he didn’t register surprise, although it has to be admitted he was wearing very thick glasses and looked a bit dopey.

Atkins drove around for half-an-hour. When we got back he was jubilant. “What did I tell you,” he crowed. “We’re onto a winner here Razza my lad.” 

I was non committal, but we arranged to meet tomorrow to discuss plans for the way ahead. When I got in The Trouble asked where I’d been.

“Oh, just driving round the town with Atkins Down The Road and an inflatable rubber woman,” I said, matter of fact.

“If you don’t want to tell me, just don’t tell me,” she snapped. “There’s no need to make up ridiculous excuses.”

You just can’t win with women, can you.