* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.


20 December 2001
Dan's been eavesdropping again

I'm sorry. I realise this can't be making much sense. I'll start again from the beginning.

First off, to make it quite clear, he was the interested one. This wasn't my fault, and I certainly didn't bring it on myself. You know the look in their eyes - halfway between hope and hunger, wondering whether just this once they're going to get a free gift.

Silly fuckers. As if anyone would go near them for the fun of it. This one was pretty much standard issue - rumpled, cheap suit just about holding it together against an encroaching gut, thirtyish, faint scent of puke suggesting a depressed, defeated wife and squalling kid left somewhere back along the road. One valued member of a travelling salesforce, on his way to or from one of the last messy little commercial engagements of the year. Looking for a messy little commercial engagement all his own.

I'll never understand why the trade always ends up hanging around arcades. Maybe to give the suggestion of playful, idle youth - who can say. But I'm not going to criticise a functional system. Besides, hanging around next to zit disaster areas trying to kick Chun Wen's bra off on Bastard Fighters 5 tends to make you look a far more worthwhile - and so profitable - proposition.

Anyway. Cigarette? I've been getting through a pack a day lately.

Hmmm. Pretty standard cruiser, then. Except for his eyes, which were pale as they come. Like spit on egg-white. Very big pupils, like an albino or something.

No, I'm getting to it. He came over, and said something, you know, the usual sort of thing. "Do you need money to play?" or "Are you busy" or something like that. Half an invitation, but if you squinted at it from a really, really acute angle it might just be a perfectly innocent inquiry.

I didn't have the time for innocent inquiries. It was already a good hour into the evening and so far nothing. I'm getting too old to make a career out of this. Probably getting on for time to specialise. Tits, whips, shit, something like that. I just asked him if he had a room nearby. Turned out he did. Travel Inn, inevitably.

Sure you won't have a drink? Fair enough. But could you just hang on while I get another gin? Cheers.

I've found that it's best not to ask for the money up front. This kind of punter never turns nasty on you - as long as you don't let them tie you up - and they tend to tip if they feel their dignity is somehow being protected. Yeah, I know. Crazy. But ours not to throw a fit, ours but to suck and spit, you know?

On the other hand, best not to leave the financial aspects entirely unspoken, in case they try to weasel out, pretend they thought you actually wanted them. As if. No, best not left to chance. A simple "you do realise this is business?" usually does it. Paying for goods and services. Everyone can understand that - it's the basis of our entire society, after all. Especially if you spend your days thrashing up and down the M1 in a mid-range company-owned saloon with a boot full of promotional material. So I dropped this on him halfway to the Travel Inn - I can almost count the steps to and from the place - and he stuffed one hand in his pocket and pulled out a bunch of tenners. All new, folded over each other. Should have noticed at the time the way he looked at them, like he'd never seen money before.

Still, it was all pretty much the usual, except he paid double for bareback. He was maybe unusually passive, kind of....diffident, almost, but otherwise nothing special. And then, when it was all over, when I was getting dressed and getting ready to hit him with the bill, he did this funny little gesture with his hand, like he was inviting somebody to overtake, and said in this really bored voice, "Gloria in excelsis deo". He paid up and I left. Checked back next week, after this, and apparently nobody was staying in that room that night.

Well, it's not exactly what you think of at first, is it? But by Thursday I could feel it inside me, and it just keeps fucking growing and growing and I just didn't know what to do. You can see it, can't you? That's a fortnight ago. I swear.

So I figure, fuck it. I'm not going to let the little shit onto the world without a fight. Noone would believe that it wasn't too far gone to kill, but that's not going to stop me. I'm going to fuck this thing up. That's my Christmas present. It's going to be limbless and eyeless if it makes it out at all.

Excuse me, sir, could I steal a fag off you? I've just smoked my last one...


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
30 October 2003. Dan writes: My only goal
9 October 2003. Dan writes: The Knot
18 September 2003. Dan writes: The Engelbart Elephant
28 August 2003. Dan writes: The Amity Index
7 August 2003. Dan writes: This Sporting Life
17 July 2003. Dan writes: Touch
26 June 2003. Dan writes: Metadata
5 June 2003. Dan writes: Street Mate
15 May 2003. Dan writes: Usher's Well
24 April 2003. Dan writes: Medicamenta
3 April 2003. Dan writes: Weapons of Mass Construction
13 March 2003. Dan writes: David Sneddon, Bukake Secret Agent
20 February 2003. Dan writes: Mary Sue
30 January 2003. Dan writes: Bait and Switch
9 January 2003. Dan writes: What Never Happened
19 December 2002. Dan writes: Sermon on the Mount the Face
28 November 2002. Dan writes: Ballroom Blitz
7 November 2002. Dan writes: The Photographer
17 October 2002. Dan writes: Diaphragmatic
26 September 2002. Dan writes: A life in the day
5 September 2002. Dan writes: Different Class
15 August 2002. Dan writes: Story and sequel
25 July 2002. Dan writes: Fellatious
4 July 2002. Dan writes: Skin Mag
10 June 2002. Dan writes: The Ibizan book of the Dead
16 May 2002. Dan writes: The Sissons Situation
22 April 2002. Dan writes: UpsideClown and Out in Hollywood
28 March 2002. Dan writes: Nereus' Daughters
4 March 2002. Dan writes: Diomedes
7 February 2002. Dan writes: Text Only
14 January 2002. Dan writes: Civil Engineering
20 December 2001. Dan writes: Nativity
26 November 2001. Dan writes: The Wedding Band
1 November 2001. Dan writes: what dreans mecum?
8 October 2001. Dan writes: Stop me if you've heard this one before
13 September 2001. Dan writes: Mother of the Muses
20 August 2001. Dan writes: I say I say I say
26 July 2001. Dan writes: Bigger, Better, Brother
2 July 2001. Dan writes: Hecatomb
7 June 2001. Dan writes: Dispassionate Leave
14 May 2001. Dan writes: Small Town Boy
19 April 2001. Dan writes: Maintaining the Driving Line
26 March 2001. Dan writes: Cut and Paste
1 March 2001. Dan writes: Redemption
5 February 2001. Dan writes: Blyton the Face of the Earth
8 January 2001. Dan writes: Smoke Signals
18 December 2000. Dan writes: The Loa Depths
23 November 2000. Dan writes: The Limits of Melissa Joan Hart
30 October 2000. Dan writes: Shiftwork
5 October 2000. Dan writes: Dawson
11 September 2000. Dan writes: Testing Times
17 August 2000. Dan writes: Onanova
3 July 2000. Dan writes: Roboto il Diavolo

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