How long could this shit go on? Nights spent hunched over the bar, demanding they play Sinatra. Every following morning spent roaming the streets, looking for a crapper with growing urgency as the previous night’s Guinness completed its cycle of life. Perpetually hungover, slurping black coffee and mango smoothies by the gallon, I hadn’t written a goddamn word in days. Where the fuck was I anyway? Nothing of beauty for miles around. Just some shitty trees and a mucky looking river that didn’t appear to be running anywhere. The distant drone of traffic and a lone magpie screaming, ‘Caw!…’CAW!’ in a mockery of everything that birdsong stands for.
I came upon a small group of people but my hopes of salvation were dashed when I discovered that they were hipsters. I asked if they knew the way to the nearest bar, or even just a peaceful toilet, but they were all wearing oversized headphones and couldn’t hear what I was saying. Sensing that I was trying to communicate, one of them (who I took for a male, but wasn’t certain) took off his headphones. Somehow the music from his iPod started booming out around me, as if emitting from the heavens.
‘Jesus what is this?’ I screamed.
The magpie stopped cawing and said, simply, ‘Dubstep.’ Then it did a little dance. I turned to flee but the hipsters were waving menthol cigarettes in my face, asking for a light. I ran out into the road and only narrowly avoided being run over by performing a perfectly timed forward roll. The car skidded to a stop and my high school P.E. teacher stuck his head out the window.
‘Gymnastics is for queers Shearer! A rugby man would have stood his ground.’ Then he zoomed off, pursued by a beautiful woman on horseback. She was wearing a white tank top and I stood mesmerised by the rolling regularity of her shifting cleavage. As always, the initial thrum I felt was quickly squashed by an overwhelming sadness at the thought of all the cleavages in the world and how I would probably never have time to perv at them all. Like all beautiful dames she was gone as quickly as she arrived. So taken by the visage, though, I didn’t notice the giant fish launch itself out of the river until it was too late.
The beast socked me a good one and it took everything I had to stay on my feet. I kicked it where the bollocks ought to have been but either it was a lady fish or just even less well endowed than me, because as far as I could see, I didn’t hit anything. The big fucker guffawed right in my face and bitch-slapped me into the river, diving in after me. A badass Led Zeppelin riff started to play as I breathed in filthy water and realised I would have to fight the bugger on his own turf. I grappled with him for a while but I couldn’t get any purchase on his slimy scales and he got the upper hand, holding me under and waiting for me to stop thrashing. Just as Jimmy started to kick out some bitchin’ jams over his own goddamn rhythm track, I made my last ditch attempt and reached for his face. With the last of my strength I jammed my thumb in his watery eye and popped it out using the same motion I often use to free a testicle that has gotten caught in my boxers. This panicked him and I scrambled to the surface for air. Partially blind, he gave up the fight and tried to make a swim for it. Oh no you don’t, I thought, and dived right back in after him.
I got a hold of his gigantic tail and dragged him up onto the riverbank, flapping around like…well, a fish out of water. I ripped off my shoe and smashed his face in with it, which took a lot longer than it should have, as I had chosen to wear loafers that day. I haven’t worn the damn things in months, but I suppose that’s always the way. Once he was gone I gnawed off a section of flesh from his side, Bear Grylls style, and stuffed the bloody wad into my back pocket. When I finally made my way home I whipped up a nice beer batter and deep fried my trophy, which I ate with chips and mushy peas and washed down with a nice English ale. Then I lay down in bed with my bottle of Jack and rested my weary legs. Another narrow miss, but I made it through again.