29th June 2006
The conversation between Atkins Down The Road and the Flogiteer went like this, or as near to it as makes no difference.
Flogiteer: â€œIâ€™d like to take a closer look at all the pieces of pottery in both your front windows.â€
Atkins: (Very annoyed) â€œAgain? I got them all out for you last week.â€
Flogiteer: â€œWell Iâ€™d like you to get them all out again.â€
Atkins: â€œTheyâ€™re the same bloody things.â€
Flogiteer: â€œNo theyâ€™re not. That blue teapot wasnâ€™t there last week. And donâ€™t swear at me.â€
Atkins: â€œIâ€™ll just get you the blue teapot out then.â€
Flogiteer: â€œNo, there may be other things as well. I want to look at everything.â€
Atkins: â€œFuck me!â€
The Flogiteer having turned down Atkinsâ€™Â request to fuck him, my friend once again went on hands and knees and proceeded to ferry all the items of pottery out of the windows. Due to the hot weather he was wearing shorts (Â£2.50 less ten per cent employeeâ€™s discount, Age Concern bargain bin) because of the hot weather, which was to have a bearing on events. The process upset Atkins even more than it had last week as this time he contrived to catch his knee on a cut glass inkpot, barking the skin quite badly. As he cursed profusely and repaired himself with a band aid the Flogiteer proceeded to give each piece of pottery the once over.
At this point I had a mischievous idea, and sauntered over to the Flogiteer with it.Â â€œLooking for bargains?â€ I asked of him, pleasantly.
He eyed me suspiciously. â€œJust looking generally.â€
â€œOnly if itâ€™s bargains youâ€™re after youâ€™ve just missed one, and by only ten minutes.â€
â€œWhat was that then?â€
â€œWell the man who bought it said it was a bargain. I wouldnâ€™t know myself. Cliff Clarice or something, he said it was. A vase.â€Â
The Flogiteerâ€™s eyebrows almost disappeared into his hairline. â€œClarice Cliff you mean? Was it Clarice Cliff?â€
â€œYes, that was it, Clarice Cliff.â€ I took him into my confidence. â€œActually Iâ€™m quite pleased with myself,â€ I smirked. â€œNow I know that it was a bargain. Because he wanted to knock the price down but I stuck to my guns and demanded the full four pound fifty on the price tag, every last penny.â€
At this his jaw fell open. When he managed to re-engage it he said: â€œYou sold a Clarice Cliff vase for four pounds fifty?â€
â€œWell I didnâ€™t know it was a bargain until after Iâ€™d sold it to him, he didnâ€™t tell me until after heâ€™d got his hands on it.â€
I no more wished to fuck the Flogiteer than the Flogiteer had wished to fuck Atkins, so ignored his invitation and went on: â€œActually, the lady who donated it said sheâ€™d be bringing in some more pieces of Cliff Clarice or whatever itâ€™s called once sheâ€™s had the chance to sort things out. Her late sisterâ€™s effects I believe.â€
The Flogiteer all but licked his lips in anticipation. â€œMore Cliff Câ€¦ Clarice Cliff?â€
â€œWell apparently. When sheâ€™s had the chance to sort things out. Soon.â€
He didnâ€™t bother carrying on his inspection of the rest of the pottery, just went on his way in a sort of daze.
â€œWhat are you up to?â€ said Atkins.
â€œWith any luck Iâ€™m going to get rid of the pest for good,â€ I said. â€œThanks to Helena.â€