Help wanted III


On my first day as a pizza driver I parked Mum’s Bluebird in front of the store, tucked my white school shirt into my jeans and set off the buzzer in the doorway.

Boss called to me as I strode past the pinball machine. Turns out I should have parked around the back, should have worn a red shirt and shouldn’t tuck my shirt in. Made me look like a poofter.

I had a lot to learn. And he was going to teach me.

The guy was rotund. His hands looked as if they had been inflated, so that his knuckles were now the inverted fist-dimples of toddlerhood. Tight freckled skin stretched like latex over the backs of his two meaty gauntlets, the left of which usually rested on the foothill below his sternum.

He had the bearing of a heavily pregnant woman, chin and shoulders way back, so that he always appeared to be slowing the invisible horse which he was straddling within his tracksuit thighs.

It was as if he had one day swelled head to toe.

His neck bulged, proud as a bullfrog. His fingers tapered like parsnips. His tiny white sneakers were triple-tied, tight as the knot of a balloon, as if restraining a mass of air which threatened to bluster out of the man at any moment until he was stringbean thin and confused as the 16 year-old delivery boy before him.

Everything about his physical frame said he had spent a lifetime grasping, taking and consuming.

Yep, I had a lot to learn. Even if there wasn’t much to do. There were only two deliveries on my first shift so I meandered from oven to bench and back again, shirt untucked, trying to look as heterosexually unassuming as possible.

Boss didn’t talk much, but his communication was always clear.

He told me the wogs in the shop next door had it coming and he told me with a chuckle that his enemies usually ended up with bricks through their windows. Ogling the woman outside the shopfront, he told me she’d go alright with a bag over her head.

And he told me I could work again on Friday. Told me it would be crazy.

I should have guessed, but he didn’t tell me it would be illegal.


~ by Daniel Townsend on June 26, 2013.

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