This is something that was originally part of my novel Charlie and Me, but I chucked it out. But a friend found it funny, so here it is.
I hope you’ve played Cluedo, or the reference will go straight over your head.
Charlie and I were down the pub one summer afternoon, and we both needed to go and have a wee at the same time. We went down the corridor to the lavatories, and Charlie peeled off to go into the ladies. She opened the door and stopped dead in her tracks.
‘Err, help, Rick.’
‘There’s a cock in here.’
‘You’ve seen one before. He’s probably drunk and went in the wrong door. Tell him to put it away.’
‘No, there’s a cock in here.’
‘You moron. There’s a cock in here.’
I went to join her. Lo and behold, she was right. There was a peacock in all his finery, tail fanned out, all razzed up about the other peacock he could see in the floor-length mirror. The silly bugger was actually getting aerated and trying to out-display himself. He was even trying to peck himself. In a mirror. I closed the door.
Two things about peacocks. No, three. No, four. One, a peacock’s brain is so small it makes a goldfish look like a candidate for Mensa. When someone coined the term ‘birdbrained’ they had peacocks in mind. Two, the village where we live has a thriving flock of the damned things living wild. Three, peacock shit can burn a hole in the paintwork on your car and then etch the metal. Anything plastic or fibreglass just melts. It’s not good for your lawn either.
Four, for some reason Charlie fears them almost as much as she fears fire. Fearless Charlie goes weak at the knees around peacocks.
Sorry, five things. Five, they’re heavy. I hit one once in the Transit. It was like hitting a vulture. It took out the the nearside light cluster and most of the grill, and its beak punctured the radiator. Honestly, there would have been less damage if we’d had one of those frozen chickens fired at us by the people who test aircraft components to check their resistance to birdstrikes.
Six things. Sorry, I forgot one. Six, peacocks explode on impact. They must live on a diet of TNT. Under the bonnet it looked as if a small Ancient Greek had been trying to divine the future. Cleaning part-cooked entrails off an engine before the guys at the garage will go anywhere towards repairing the damage is not a job for the faint hearted.
‘Hmm. I’ll go and get Babs, because there is no way I’m doing anything as pervy as going into a women’s toilet.’
I went and found her. Remember she’s from Scarborough and she’s used to a bit of rough housing.
‘Babs, there’s a peacock in the ladies.’
‘Not another one. That’s the second this week. Yon daft buggers get on the roof and fall in through the skylight. I’ll be right with you.’
We went down the corridor to where Charlie was still transfixed with fear.
‘Don’t worry love, I’ll sort it out.’
Babs went in, closed the door. There was a moment of silence, then a short burst of anguished squawking followed by a sharp click and more silence. Babs poked her head out.
‘Charlie love, I need to get rid of the body and clean up the mess he made. Use the gents, love. Rick, stand guard for her.’
‘Hang on Charlie, I’ll just check.’ I stuck my head round the door. Inside was a man at one of the stalls. His left arm was resting on the wall, and his head rested on his arm. His right arm and hand, well, you know. He was whimpering.
‘Hey Joe. Still having problems?’
He nodded weakly.
I turned to Charlie. ‘Cross your legs. Little Joe’s in there.’
‘Still got the dodgy prostate?’ When I nodded, she went off on one. ‘Fuck, I’ll be here all afternoon. Why don’t you just mock him mercilessly till he gets it seen to? You know, ha ha ha your penis is broken?’
‘Well for one thing, that may be the future that beckons me, and I don’t want to tempt fate. And he’s worried about the examination. I can see his point. He didn’t go to boarding school, so he’s had fifty something years of oneway traffic. Mocking him would be cruel and unusual punishment under the Geneva Convention.’
‘What about my cruel and unusual punishment? Fuck me, a peacock in the ladies and a no pee cock in the gents.’
‘Hey, that was quite clever.’
‘Fuck off. I’m going anyway. Maybe the fucking noise will help him.’
She walked into the gents, nonchalantly said ‘Hello, Joe,’ and slammed the cubicle door behind her.
‘Sorry Joe,’ I said.
He did his best to shrug, which wasn’t easy if you think about it.‘Charlie all over.’
‘Fuck off Joe.’
There was a noise that resembled an elephant hosing out the inside of a water tank.
‘How’s it going Joe?’ she asked.
‘It’s helping, thanks, Charlie.’ He stopped whimpering and a look of relief suffused his face.
They both came out together. ‘Errmm, Charlie, you didn’t wash your hands.’
‘Fuck that. I know where I’ve been. Who knows where the last bastard to touch those taps had been. I’ll take my fucking chances, thanks. Anyway, you’re my mother now? Fuck you.’
We went back to join our friends in the garden.