It’s Wednesday. And as everybody knows, Wednesdays are Orange Wednesdays, which means it’s BOGOF night at the cinema. And lots of people are getting slapped by orange fat men. I’m with Big Boots and housemate-that-never-was Dan Mac watching 300. King Leonidas is hard. And Scottish. The other King’s a freak. Freakishly tall. Nobody’s that tall. Faramír from Lord of the Rings is in it.

Dan drops us home after the slaughter. It’s late, and both I and Big Boots have work in the morning. We head straight to beds. I find my fish-shape mp3 player and Russell up some Avril Lavigne. Some loud Avril Lavigne. Perfect pyjama putting-on music.

There’s a banging sound.

It’s Big Boots. He seems wound up. I thought he loved Avril Lavigne!

I turn it down so I can hear him.

“Dan! Get some trousers on!”

Eh? Hmm. That’s odd. I guess he doesn’t mind amped-up Quebecois rock at quiet o’clock as long as I don’t show any leg. I’m not entirely sure why that would bother him. And less sure how he knows I have no trousers on.

I scan the room.

It’s clean.

By which I mean there are no bugs.

By which I mean there are no hidden cameras.

I thread up and open my door to see my formidable housemate pelting it downstairs. Something about his max-speed-liness intrigues me. He doesn’t do that unless Hayley’s at the door. I look at the door. She’s not there. Which can only mean one thing.

Something dangerous!

I grab my phone. It shows the time as a small squirrel sleeping. I should be that squirrel! I’ll be knackered at work in the morning. I’ll be P’d off if this is all a load of fuss over nothing! Somebody better have died outside.

I run outside.


Somebody may have died outside.

I survey the scene before me. It’s eerie. An eerie silence. Also an eerie crash-fresh hatchback-lasagne on the pavement before me.

It’s twisted. And cold. But I’m wearing trousers. Big Boots knows.

A red Renault is lying on its’ side propped up by a blue Vauxhall biting its’ front wheels into the Renault’s driver door like a crocodile with no bottom lip trying to eat a Meccano selection box.

There’s nobody around. Big Boots is investigating the cars. Someone arrives. Is it a paramedic? Robocop?!


It’s Kyle. The local boy oft seen walking dogs. In a red jumper. He’s on the scene, and is here to help. With a dog.

Shame. I’d have been happy with Kenan and Kel. Still. I s’pose it’s a-K.

Hang on.


Wasn’t he there the time that car skidded into a bollard last year? I remember seeing someone with a dog. How many people really walk dogs around here? It was someone in red… It was definitely him!!! Coincidence? Impossible! Could he even be a spy? Or an assassin?! I look over. He is tying his shoelaces. He doesn’t do the double-tie. No. Shame. He can’t be a spy. Or anything cool.

But then…?

Could he…?

Does Kyle attract car crashes?

Kyle’s seen the 5-door curry and is freaking out. I tut at him. You’d think a man with his magnetic personality would be comfortable seeing a bonnet blancmange. I get my head in the game, and activate my default action man settings. My muscles turn to pure beef. I am Vinnie Jones! Ready to headbutt the world! It’s Mean Machining Time!

Time for ACTION!

“Hello, emergency services?”

Big Boots is flagging down traffic as I juggernaut directions at the frustratingly uber-calm voice over the phone. More people arrive.

With dogs.

Minutes later some rozzers and an ambulance zoom in. The emergency services have emerged.

Then we get some more for some reason.

Then even more! The road’s now rammed with 8 police cars, 2 ambulances and 3 fire engines! A vicious policewoman barks at the locals standing around. Their dogs bark back.

“Ok folks, back in your homes please, nothing to see here.”

There’s blatantly something to see here, but I and Big Boots are good citizens. We obey and go back inside. This must be top secret. Beyond top secret! G3 Classified! We could end up in slammer town just for leaving dog hairs at the scene! Norton may or may not be about to see a huge population decrease! Think of the shorter chippy queues! Cashback! I suddenly love other people’s dogs.

This is ace! Entirely private. Entirely classified! Entirely illegal. We go into the front room, turn the light off and open the curtains so we can watch. A few more police cars have shown up.

With dogs.

Incompetent flatfoots! They’ve sullied the evidence! Sigh. No speed-scollops for me.

A few minutes go by. Uniforms fill the street. With people in them. In moments like these guys bond, and there’s a question I’ve been wanting to ask Big Boots.

“How did you know I had no trousers on earlier?”

“Huh? Oh, you were listening to Avril Lavigne.”


It’s getting later. And we’ve got work in a couple of hours. We go to beds.

A helicopter flies over.

Two weeks later Big Boots and I are driving to a Wild West Party. He’s a cowboy. I’m Gandalf. I can’t wait to stop for petrol! Avril Lavigne comes on the radio. Big Boots frowns and checks my legs. Nothing about the moment feels good. I switch stations.

And see a red jumper in the distance.

“Is that…?”

“Oh no!”

We drive past Kyle.

And swerve.


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