I spent a bit of time with my best mate Blue today. How can someone be a best mate when you’ve known them for such a short period of time? That’s how it is out here: bonds are formed quickly and rarely get broken. Friendships that would take years to build on the other side are forged within minutes. It’s all about mutual trust: earning it from and entrusting your own to others.
Blue trusts me; I trust him, with my life in fact. If ever that trust were misplaced, the drums of the jungle beat loud on the road but that won’t happen. I feel safe with him (he is after all a former cage fighter with an undefeated record of 42 (42!) fights.) He says he feels safe with me too.
Then there’s Jazz, the dog (the Staffie / Victorian British Bulldog cross): four years old and as soppy as a very soppy soppy thing; unless she perceives a threat to Blue, or me for that matter. I’m Uncle Steve. Blue entrusts his love to me and Jazz loves me. To mess with me or blue is to lose your face.
We had an absolute crack up today, when Blue was given a promotional Jack Daniels hat by our friendly local off licence manager. Neither of us would stoop to begging, no matter what but we decided to have a laugh and so placed the hat on the ground in front of the bench we were sitting on to see what happened. Blue was on business in town and I was between working over morning coffee in ‘spoons and the library; we had time to kill and we make our own entertainment.
The weather was blustery, so we weighted the hat down with a tin of Jazz’s food. Then we had a wager on who could get the first “donation” into the hat, with bonus points awarded for creativity. I got to go first:
“Excuse me sir? We’ve got this dog, see and a tin of dog food. We’re trying to raise funds for a can opener: can you help?”
The gentleman examined the can of dog food and observed that it had a ring-pull, to which I replied that the dog prefers the stuff at the bottom of the tin. Amused, bemused; whatever: the guy put a pound in the hat. One up to Steve, his front / charm / cheek.
Now it was Blue’s turn but he needed the loo, so off he went and Jazz stayed with Uncle Steve. Result! I’ve got the dog and I can steal a march.
Blue hadn’t been gone long when a lady approached: my chance to go two up:
“Excuse me madam…”
“It’s okay dear. I’ve just seen your friend and he’s told me you’re disabled and that you need money for your assistance dog.”
Another pound. Blue: you cunt!
Target approaches; Blue’s got the dog.
“Blue! Pretend you’re blind!”
Blue then starts moving his head around in the style of Stevie Wonder but without the benefit of dark glasses (Stevie Wonder isn’t really blind; he’s reading the lyrics to his songs from the back of his glasses). I’m struggling to maintain my pose. But:
“Excuse me madam. My friend is mentally ill and thinks he’s blind. He’s not but me and the dog have to lead him around. I’m trying to raise funds for a tin opener, so that I can open this tin of dog food for the dog, which my friend doesn’t think he can see. I know it has a ring pull but he doesn’t think he can see it.”
Amused, bemused, confused: another pound.
Then we decided we’d fleeced the public enough and couldn’t stop giggling like a couple of school boys, so we headed off. No-one was robbed; no-one was harmed; we’re pretty sure most of our marks saw right through us. They were all game. We made our own entertainment, filled some down time and we’re sure we provided entertainment and amusement to others. Chancers? Charmers? Best mates having fun.
Blue and I are due to go house-hunting soon. We have a pact: whoever gets housed first will put the other one up (or put up with the other one). Blue doesn’t like me being at Gilbert Arse. Although I barricade the doors and sleep at the rear of the building, there’s no escape route at the back should I receive vistors. My old housemate is a big lump, wouldn’t take kindly to being locked out should he return and would probably overcome the barriers quite easily. Despite my self-defence training (courtesy of Blue), if I’m caught napping, it’ll take longer to exercise what I’ve been taught or get hold of Blue than it would to have my head stamped on.
So we have our pact, we’re going to live together and despite being charitable to others and giving up my space in the past, I’m in Shelter on Monday anyway. Free dinner too. I’ll be safe; Jazz will look after Blue and if ever we have to swap, she will me too.
(I was told by the plastic police that giving up my place previously was “idiotic”: I gave it up to someone more needy. The counterfeit coppers would obviously rather a lone female be on the street.)
As well as house-hunting, more self-defence training is planned for tomorrow (no weapons; just hand-to-hand stuff). Plenty to do then on what is normally the most boring day of the week (no CRI; no library), just me, my brother and the dog.
Then it’s Monday again. Usually the cycle just repeats, week-on-week but next week sees forward movement we hope.
Blue Sunday; happy Monday (and it’s Day 42).