Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Only Way Is Up 

Mike asked Stella if it was OK to take the afternoon off. He had a doctors appointment and wanted to go home and have a bath first.
“Why do you need to do that?” she asked.
A hushed silence fell upon the office.
“Because I’m going to get naked and I want to be clean.”
Everybody shuddered.
“Yeeughh!” replied Stella, one of the rare occasions when she speaks on behalf of all of us. “Sorry I asked,” and she returned to filing her nails and reading up on orgasms in Cosmopolitan.

Later on I asked Mike if he was sure about doing this half marathon, what with him being a tubby lad who likes his food, not to mention being the kind of bloke that doctors need to see naked before they can be certain.
“Are you trying to wimp out?” he asked.
“Sod off,” I said. “I went for a run last night. I’m fighting fit,” and I hopped up and down a bit on my good leg to prove it.
“Me too,” he said. “Seven miles.”
“Bloody hell! Really?”
“You sound surprised,” he said. “How far did you run?”
“Same as you, seven miles. How long did it take you?”
“How long did it take you?” he countered. Don’t you hate that?
“One hour, one minute, fifty eight seconds,” I said, trying not to sound like I was boasting. “Since you ask. PB”

He wouldn’t say what his time was. He just sat there grinning, which was really annoying.
I was also slightly thrown because this was possibly the longest and most mature conversation anybody’s ever had with Mike.
Then he said something about how my seven miles will have been on the flat, whereas it’s hilly around Blackburn, and that he also ran four miles on Saturday and Monday, and any fool can see where this is heading.

Just like violence, competitiveness can only escalate and I refuse to be beaten in a half marathon by a greasy Neanderthal who eats crisps and Mars bars all day, except at 10:30 and 3:30 when he skulks off to the toilets for his twice daily wank - regular as clockwork - comes back looking red faced thinking nobody noticed, when in fact everybody on the ground floor knows about it, frequently hears it too.

We spent the afternoon speculating why he’d need to take off all his clothes at the doctors. Terry suggested he was having Bionic Man implants shoved up his ass, which got the best laugh, but I’m not really sure how that would work and besides, I’m worried that it won’t be the last.

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