The Big Issue : Edition 439
60 THE BIG ISSUE 16 -- 29 AUG 2013 all over the foor. Sheenan was laughing. He stood behind her glaring at me. I tried to smile or say something. Instead, I stood there. Louise started crying. As she ran past she called me a jerk. Sheenan laughed harder. After high school I got a job at Berger’s Burgers. Sheenan got a job there, too. One day he thought it would be funny to stuff my apron full of frozen chicken nuggets. I put my apron on and put my hand in the pocket and felt the cold frozen nuggets. I didn’t know if it was a snake or a foetus or whatever, so I freaked out when I felt the cold something in there and slipped on some fries that were smushed on the tiles and I burnt my hand on the grill. Sheenan laughed. I couldn’t use the mouse on my computer for a month after that, and I almost got kicked out of my guild for lack of questing. Sheenan got promoted to manager. I thought that was unfair because Sheenan was late all the time and never said the Berger’s Burgers catch phrase: ‘Our business is better burgers at Berger’s Burgers.’ When I found out, and Sheenan came and gloated at me, I felt this cold rush all down my back. I threw my hat on the ground. After I tried to rip off the buttons on my Teammate T-shirt, I threw my apron down and I told the store manager that he could go and stick it. WATcHIng THIS fLuOreScenT jogging guy running in the distance, I get the same feeling I had that day, like something is standing behind me giving me a push. I swear – I don’t like to swear so I know I am really getting upset – then I look around desperately for Tammy and our el camino. Tammy wanted to trade in our Volvo. I told her that it was reliable and that beige went with everything. We got $400 for it. As if I had summoned her using mental powers, she comes around the corner, the huge puff of her perm peaking up over the steering wheel. Tammy almost hits an old lady and her shopping trolley. Squeaking the brakes, Tammy stops inches in front of me. She drums her bright red fngernails on the steering wheel. “Don’t stand there, Hank, get in. I wanna get home into the air-con.” “But that man…” “Hank, honey, nobody knows what you’re talkin’ about. get in the damn car.” “My g-Seven Thousand!” I get the shakes. Suddenly and all over. I feel like I could explode. That thing is behind me again. This time it gives me a shove and I take off running. My online character, Herdinger Black, has extra points in Stamina skills. This makes him faster and lets him last longer than my guild mates’ characters. I feel like I could use some extra points in Stamina skills right now, because I’m wheezing and puffng all over the place and there is all this sweat dribbling around on my forehead and under my shirt. Tammy squeaks the brakes again as she pulls up next to me. She sticks her head out of the window and her glasses go skewed. “Hank,” she yells. “What the hell are you doing? get in the damn car! Where’s your puffer?” There is no way I can run anymore and I think for a second I am going into cardiac arrest. I don’t have my puffer because I was only going out to buy my new g-Seven Thousand, and even though I was excited I didn’t think I was that excited. I fop onto the car bonnet. I wheeze and stumble around the front of the car and try the handle. “get in, Hank! for christ’s sake!” “It’s locked!” I’m struggling with the handle. Tammy leans over and fumbles with the button; she’s trying not to damage her new nails. “Bloody dammit!” I say. Tammy stops and stares at me, her perm quivering. “Language, Hank.” “The damn door, dammit!” I think I’m in hysterics now. Tammy fnally works the switch and the door unlocks. I get in and slam it shut. “follow him,” I say. “follow who? Hank, what’s the matter with you? follow who?” she says. TAMMy HAS THIS tendency to talk more than she listens. Sometimes I don’t think I’m going to get a turn to talk at all, so I tune out. Once, Tammy called me during my online guild’s quest time. I put the phone down to battle Mordroth the goblin Lord, and when I picked it back up Tammy was still talking like she never stopped. This time I am not just battling the level-60 boss. This time I am fghting for my new g-Seven Thousand. I am fghting for real. So I shout really loud at her. “The damn fuorescent man! He stole my g-Seven Thousand. I’m the victim of crime!” “What g-Seven man? Who’s fuorescent? Hank, how long were you standing in the sun? Why are you yelling at me, I’m just…” There are spots in my vision and I blink a lot and then I do something that guys in movies do; I push down on Tammy’s leg really hard so her foot fattens the accelerator. The car revs loudly for a moment but doesn’t move – Tammy has it in park. now I start to panic a bit because Tammy doesn’t seem to understand what is going on and my trick with the car didn’t work and I still think I am going into cardiac arrest. “A man just stole my computer,” I manage to get out between breaths. My heart is pounding and I’m stressing out. Tammy looks right at me for a moment and then she sort of blinks real slow behind her big glasses as if to say, “come again?” THERE ARE SPOTS IN MY VISION ANDIBLINKALOTANDTHENIDO SOMETHING THAT GUYS IN MOVIES DO; I PUSH DOWN ON TAMMY'S LEG REALLY HARD SO HER FOOT FLATTENS THE ACCELERATOR.