Friday, April 20, 2012

BLEAK SPOUSE: Chapter 8 – Prissy’s Story

GRIM GRANGE. John Jaundiced has taken an avuncular interest in the children's futures, now that it seems they will be denied the rich-kid lifestyle they had expected before their father's once substantial assets evaporated, coincidentally with the evaporation of their parents' marriage.

"What kind of work do you want to go into after you leave school?" He asks Chantelle.

Chantelle gives him a look of horror. The prospect of having to go out to earn a living had never before entered her pretty but vacuous head. She thinks for a moment, then her face brightens. "I won't need to work!" She exclaims. "I'll become a footballer's wife!"

John lets out a sigh, although he admits to himself that Chantelle does have all of the required qualities for that calling: blonde, brassy and, above all, stupid. He turns to her brother.

"What about you, Clint, what do you want to do?" He asks.

“I haven’t the faintest idea what I will be.” Replies Clint, musing. “Except that I'm quite sure I don’t want to go into the law - those lawyers are all crooks!”

"Well, quite." Replies John. "What about the army?" He suggests.

Clint screws up his face. "And get blown up in some pointless foreign war? No thanks!" He says.

John concedes that Clint has a point. "How about medicine - saving lives, rather than taking them?" He asks.

Clint ponders for a moment. "Yes," he says, "I'd like that."

"Excellent!" Declares John. Then he has an idea: "I know a young doctor in town - Allan Plastic - why don't I invite him to dinner, so that he can give you some advice?" He asks.

Clint begins to wonder whether his enthusiasm was such a good idea - he had planned to do an all-nighter on World of Warcraft tonight. "Err... OK." He says reluctantly.

*            *            *

Early that evening. Prissy is preparing the latest recipe from Irish celebrity chef Jamie O'Liver: Pan-fried eye of bullock with squid purée, in a whiskey and pineapple jus.

As she does so, she spies William Piranha outside again. As Mrs Lucrative is no longer at Grim Grange, she realises that he can't be a paparazzo, so she goes outside to find out who he is.

Piranha is clearly nervous as she approaches. He lies to Prissy that he has been instructed by Mrs Lucrative to make sure the children are OK. (In fact, unable to follow Mrs Lucrative abroad, he has stayed at Grim Grange to await her return.) Prissy is dubious about his explanation, but she decides not to press the matter. There is something about Piranha that gives her the creeps. As she turns to leave, Piranha calls out.

"Wait!" He exclaims. "Don't go!"

"Why ever not?" Asks Prissy, eager to get away from the seedy Piranha.

"Will you go out with me?" Piranha blurts out.

"What?" Gasps Prissy. The thought of going out with anyone as squalid as Piranha sends a shiver down her spine.

"Please," says Piranha, with a note of desperation in his voice, "I've fancied you from afar since the moment I first set my lens on you!"

Prissy gathers her wits. “Piss off, you little oik.” She replies.

Piranha is crestfallen.

*            *            *

Prissy's feelings are quite different over dinner later that evening. Meeting Allan Plastic is, for her, love at first sight. He is truly that knight in shining armour that she has been waiting for.

Allan cannot help but notice Prissy's interest in him. He, on the other hand, is not so sure...


  1. Very good. Just one point. Footballers have cottoned-on to the gold digging also - heck there's even a Pot Noodle ad on the subject, and are marrying less and less often.

    Gordon Strachan recently moaned that none of his Middlesborough players were married "Wouldn't have happened in my day ... !" he said. Look up the shenanaggens between Frank Lampard and his ex girlfriend, etc.

    A serious point though, I do wonder what for my two daughters when they grow-up now the institution of marriage is discredited. I think there is nothing for it but to go out and earn a living and if and when children come stay with the bloke.

    Perhaps no bad thing and we are not doomed and heading in an ok direction away from footballer's wives and lawyers. Peter Stringfellow and Micael Winner also spring to mind.

    1. Ah well, perhaps Chantelle will be disappointed...

  2. Perhaps should have been called Chardonnay or Porsche.

  3. Bit like the radio 4 play of this afternoon, very dark. Like that.


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