It’s the Friday before the big weekend. One single day at work has never seemed so little or so much.

My job has no title. I move boxes. It’s not brilliant but they’ve started to grow on me. We’ve got every box you can imagine! The full range! 1.1s, 1.8s, even 2.4s!

Our boss is Phil. A man who talks slanderously about Kiss. And laughs. Phil’s off with a slipped disc. I suspect SuperTongue (not Chris Tongue) may have found him.

No boss! This should be cause for parties! Boxes getting the good time they deserve. Think about it. They’re always working! Actually I take it back. They sit around in lofts for years on end and have to be carried to do their job. They’re corrugated stomachs. No parties for them!

This should be good news, and it’s not – because of Clive. Clive who teaches sneakiness night-courses at lizard college. The butler in Mr Deeds’ evil twin. He is our new boss.


We’ve been stacking boxes onto pallets for hours. It’s heavy work and there’s lots of low pipes to smack your face off. Most of my effort goes into the preservation of my face, and I’ve done the best I can. Clive last slithered away 15 minutes ago so I decide I’m safe. For now. I’m knackered and want a little sit down. Warehouses are weird though, because even though you’re in your trampiest trousers and your old MyBottlerockit t-shirt, you still don’t really want to sit anywhere because it’s all a little bit nasty. I see a pile of pallets. It looks quite sturdy. I call Craig.

Craig is not normally the type of person I’d be friends with. He knows the names of different beers, and what all the naughty words mean. I know the names of characters from Frasier, and what some of the words in it mean. We’re different, but we have a brotherly box bond.

“I’m knackered man. I’m gonna have a little sit down. Can you watch out for Clive for me?”

“You think I can tell when he’s coming?”

He fears I am underestimating the sneakiness.

“Fine; but, If I see him coming you’ll owe me a Newcie Brown.”

I agree to his demand, but only because I know I never go to New Quay. I walk over to the pallet pile. I’m shattered, and plonk myself down on the pallets.


Craig seems upset.


I’m fine! I’m relaxing! Or trying to…! Your stressful attitude isn’t helping! Don’t you know I may only have seconds? Clive could osmosis his way out of the floor any minute and you will have missed out on a lovely brown.

“Yeah… Why?”

My voice doesn’t portray the annoyance I feel. I am disappointed, and make a mental note to practice sounding annoyed.

“You can’t feel that?”

“Feel what?”

“Stand up…?”

Sigh. I stand up.

I hear a rip.

Rip Torn.


I move my fingers down. Down low. Inappropriately low, but it’s ok, because it’s myself. I find my way to the underside area. The seam of the jeans. I inch inwards. Millimetre by millimetre.

Craig has heard the sound. “How bad is it?”

I look up at him like seven baby owls falling from a tree.


I’ve more than ripped my jeans! This isn’t a hole, it’s a quarry! Hang on. I can feel something else. Something I shouldn’t be able to feel. Something I definitely don’t want to be able to feel.

Oh no!

This is now a rather hairy situation! There is a second hole. A hole in my pants!

(NB: I am English. An Englishman. If I was in New York, I’d be an Englishman in New York. When I say pants, I mean the most inner midriff garment. When I need a number two again, I’ll just go standing up.)

I am exposed. Flashing the lizards underfoot.

Who dares do me this great misdeed? They must be punished!

I brace myself to face my nemesis; the foul and putrid ogre that has so maliciously brought a chill to my netherest of regions. I look down. Slowly.

It’s a nail. A huge industrial nail! An Olympic nail! A BBC Sports Personality of the Year nail! This is ridiculous. I didn’t even know nails got this big. I’ve let mine grow before, and they’ve never got this big! It must be an endangered species! An industrial dodo! A 4-leaf clover! A miracle! A job opportunity during a Tory government!

It’s long. And pointy. With helter skelter sticky-out-bits for dwarf dustmites to play on.

Hang on. I sat on this thing? It went… between my bum cheeks?

But… but… I plonked!

This nail managed to find the tiny gap between my two jelly cheeks???! If it had gone a centimetre in any other direction it would have cut through to the bone! The bum bone! Is that it’s name? I doubt there’s a better name than the bum bone. Though not for a film. Or a baby. I decide to make an emergency expedition to the toilet. I am in a state of shock, but an Englishman will walk and never run.

A few minutes later I return with green paper towels stuffing up the crater. I have had a few minutes to consider this. This was too close. No-one is that jammy. Seriously! I never even felt it up there! The Bible says God looks out for his children, so I chalk this one up to Him saving me from something I couldn’t deal with.

No punchline here. Just the facts.

The fact that God saved my butt.


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