Fred West's Shorts

Pork Is Yummy But In The Sun You’ll Fry Too

Christ goes into a Holiday Inn.

He looks like a groupie making his way back from an all-night Manson family vigil. His long brown hair has matted into crude lengths of rope, while his face is dark and oily, flecked here and there with what can only be described as shit.

He stumbles to reception and punches the bell.


He lurches forward with the unexpected grace of a fox skirting between lots and punches the bell nineteen times.

Still nothing.

He lifts the bell with the grace of Maria from Hungary who stayed here briefly during the southern leg of her explosive steroid-expose book tour and launches it through the main window.

Still nothing.

Christ hammers the desk; first with an open hand, then a closed hand, then two closed hands. A thin mist of sweat appears on his top lip.

Three days ago, he was murdered in a jukebox quarrel.

Every so often he shouts, “bastard desk.”

A fat kid with indiscipline etched into every fold of every chin of his undisciplined fat-fuck face comes into reception from a side-door and sits down to watch.

The kid believes his whole life has been leading up to this moment; this guy.

Christ sees this, feels it, and is inspired.

He punches with abandon.

In excitement, he sidles towards the kid – hereafter known as Chubs McGoober – and attempts to launch him through the window the way of the bell, but McGoober is fleshy and soft and squirms in and out of his grasp and disappears into a function room, squealing*.

Christ returns to the desk and shapes to go again.

He curses Chubs with every ounce of his soul.

Now a woman with a birthmark on her face the size of Uruguay.

She has risen, in poor taste, from nowhere, and looms over the desk.

Her eyes are wide like saucers.

Christ laughs.

He’s been drinking since noon.

She looks at the desk –

Have you seen a bell?

He says he hasn’t,

He says she should fix the window.

Christ sports a two-thousand year old dinner jacket, the kind they still sell on QVC. His red, puffy eyes match the polka dots.

Over the top of the jacket, so tight you can see every line of his under-garment, is a screen-printed MC5 shirt; some DIY, off-tour number laddered with holes; same exact shit he wore to a supper last week.

The receptionist is frowning.

She’s heard of MC5. She can’t remember, though, if they’re white people who sound black or black people who sound white.

She asks about the Jesus Lizard.

He looks at her like she burped in his mouth.

He’s heard all the jokes and would never listen to them, or the Jesus and Mary Chain, or Teenage Jesus or any other stupid fucking punk band she cares to mention.

She asks for money.

Christ rolls his eyes.

“Transactions are so boorish,” he says.

Not for the first time today, there is a problem with his card.

Christ sighs, even though he knew this would happen.

The receptionist angles the monitor his way , but he refuses to look.

Instead, dirty hands reach into a jacket pocket and rummage around – what miracle is this?

“These things have changed my life”, he says.

“No more miracles.”

He’s holding a pair of glasses –

Google glasses.

They look like prototypes.

(In fact, the word “prototype” is emblazoned between the bridge.)

The arms, he says rubbing at the lenses, snapped off at a party and Google are being dicks because he can’t find the receipt.

That was two years ago.

He presses them to his eyes and blinks like a broken camera.

He mumbles nervously about his birthday; about wanting tickets to a popular wood-craft class with Rod Segal, “the father of modern carpentry”, as he thinks he has an interest.

Several faces later, she smiles and hands him his key card.

He smiles back, asks what time she finishes.

“When it comes to sex,” he says,

“I’m more than a meat and potatoes guy;

I’m also a leek, cabbage and goat guy.”

He laughs hysterically at his own joke for ninety seconds.

The receptionist knows it’s ninety seconds because she starts to count after five.

“Seriously though,” he says tapping a brown -long dead- nail above his name in the guest book,

“I’d like to put it in your ass and never take it out.”

His breath is a  smorgasbord of cider and long-term tooth decay.

He turns and wanders off in the direction of the function room.

She has a hard-time believing he escapes his brain for any real length of time.

And isn’t he the same guy who was masturbating in the skate park underneath the overpass?


*Chubs McGoober will pass the entirety of his short, sweet life without ever being thrown through a window. In 11 years’ time, his remains will be spread along a mile wide patch of the M11 by a truck moving fertiliser.

This one  is for Chubs.


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