"I've been doing some thinking," Jeff said to me this evening, "and I've just got this feeling that everything's going to turn out OK." He removed his fist from the back-end of a chicken, pulled off a pink rubber glove, and placed a hand on my shoulder. I stood there in silence, playing with the dial on my broken 'time-travel adventure' watch and wondered what flawed epiphany was heading my way. "I mean, I was talking to Dom..."
"You've been taking advice from Dom?" I interrupted, incredulous. “His favourite episode is ‘The Horns of Nimon’, for Christ’s sake! Are you insane?!” I grabbed the nearest kitchen implement and held it aloft, emphasizing my point.
"Leave Dom alone. You know he's been having a hard time since the..." he paused, pulling the glove back on, "event. He was making a valid point too. And, for god's sake, put that wooden spoon down. You look like a terrorist."
"Sorry, I... just don't appreciate you sharing revelations about my future when you've got your hand up a chicken's arse." His face contorted into a brand new look of distaste. In sympathy, I patted his back with the wooden spoon. "What're you cooking that for anyway? I'm vegetarian. You're vegetarian. Daisy's-" Jeff held up his hand. If the other had been free, I have a feeling he would have been attempting to fit it into his mouth.
"Daisy recently decided she's exxo-vegetarian... for health reasons. We've all got to be very nice to her about it."
"Haha, something to do with that imaginary condition she's got?" Jeff spun round, frustrated.
"Light - Mild Non-Organic Durum Wheat Intolerance is NOT imaginary!"
"Alright, alright!" I waved my hands defensively, and gave what I hoped came across as a good-natured smirk to hide the fact that I was gritting my teeth, secretly wishing I was the one with the overly neurotic, self-obsessed girlfriend.
"So, what did Dom have to say for himself anyway? It wasn't about that secret level on 'Tomb Raider II' again, was it?" We both smirked guiltily, snorting as we laughed. Wheezing hysterically, Jeff dropped a bag of giblets into the sink. He had told Dom that if you entered the correct sequence of keys when Lara reached the middle of her maze, she would strip off her top and cargo pants. No one saw Dom for 6 days afterwards.
"Secret level!" Jeff shook his head at the ridiculousness of it all, and filled a tumbler with luke-warm tap water to help catch his breath. "You're right: Dom can be such a tool sometimes! But, you know, he's kind of a genius too..."
"People thought Professor Thascalos was a genius, Jeff," I snapped, "but we all knew it was just The Master up to his old tricks!"
"Are you seriously comparing Dom to the most evil, vindictive villain ever to appear in the Whoniverse? Dare I say, the... universe?"
"Well, until John Simm came along and-"
"We are NOT getting into the John Simm debate again! I thought he'd grown on you now?"
"His performance was sub-par at best, sacrificing a whole plethora of The Master's true characteristics in order to compliment the Tenth Doctor's personality... albeit with some comical results." I realised I had been gesticulating wildly, my wrist hanging limply in the air. For a moment, I thought I could hear my Dad's voice, asking why I'd yet to find any nice girls 'willing to put up with me'. By the time my brain floated back into my head, Jeff was gazing reverently at a poster above the sink - a still of Tom Baker from 'The Ark in Space' - and seemed to be winking at me.
"The answer's been in front of us all along..." He looked at me in a way that suggested I was supposed to know what he was on about. "I mean, you know we've been having that whole 'scary door' conversation? Well, we don't have to worry about turning 40 anymore!"
"Have you found some sort of magic age serum inside that chicken?" I think my eyebrows were raised more than was really necessary, as I noticed my reflection in the window and looked like the victim of a botched facelift. I looked old too. Maybe Jeff had found the secret to eternal youth inside a Netto frozen chicken?! "It's something to do with the giblets, isn't it??"
"What? No! It's Tom, Pete! You know- he had the rough upbringing in Liverpool, the failed marriage, that thing with the rake, the struggle for cash when he was a builder... And then... When he turned 40..." He raised his arms theatrically. He looked like a possessed cleric in one of those weird American churches. "...He got given the greatest job in television history!"
"What's your point?"
"It's us!" He gripped me by the shoulders, shaking me with violent enthusiasm. "We got the rubbish start in life: my shit job, bad hair and, frankly, terrifying girlfriend; you having no money, hardly leaving the house, that 'thing' you had with Simone." A dark look crossed both our faces, and my genitals stirred pathetically. I hope Jeff didn't notice. He was stood very close to me. "Tom's living proof that life really does begin at 40!"
"Ok then..." I reasoned sceptically. "What about my Dad? He fell a few days before he turned 41, and has to go round in a wheelchair now." Jeff was obviously trying to reign in his usual impulse to laugh. Admittedly, what with his wrinkled skin, elongated scar and glass eye, my dad does now bear a striking resemblance to Davros. "Or sex-offender Stanley, from down the street, suffering that stroke. Or-" I was cut off by a knock at the door, and the sound of giggling coming from outside. "What's going on?" I asked suspiciously, dropping the wooden spoon.
"Oh, er, I probably forgot to mention, but Daisy's brought a friend with her." His genial smile, as he left the kitchen, could hardly mask the fact that my best friend was a total cunt! I stooped down to retrieve the wooden spoon from the dirty floor, took it to the sink, and began scrubbing, with carbolic soap and fury.
Pete: Tuesday December 22nd
I wasn't sure what length of time spent hiding in my bedroom would be sufficient to make the point about how pissed off I was. So, after some time on the laptop - mostly spent trying to get the bloody thing to work properly - I decided it would probably be safe to re-enter the living room, just as soon as I'd chilled myself out by naming every classic Doctor Who story - in order. Unfortunately, I got confused somewhere around Patrick Troughton's second season, and kept having to start 'from the top' with 'An Unearthly Child'. Things unravelled from there, and by the time Jeff walked in, he found me in a cold sweat, repeatedly shouting "Fury from the Deep! FURY FROM THE DEEP!! at a wall of post-it notes.
Despite my steely determination that I would not join the others for dinner, Jeff quickly broke down my iron resolve with the promise that he'd taken my favourite meal to new culinary heights. He wasn't wrong! I don't know if he'd switched allegiance from Heinze to Branston, but my generous serving of pasta and beans was delivered with a whole new twist. I awarded it a full 10 out of 10 doctors (snort!) Of course, Daisy didn't agree.
"If you boys keep tucking into these revolting, carbohydrate-saturated meals, without burning off any of the calories, you're only going to get fatter." She nibbled at a tiny mouthful of her 'Poulet et Arrose', and fixed Jeff with a dark look. "I think it's about time I whip Jeffy here into shape." Giggling, she pinched his cheek. He winced.
Her guest, Tracey - who appeared from the bathroom the moment I arrived, and sat intrusively close to me - was even worse. Her bulky frame spilled out from a black cocktail dress that would have been better served as a belt. It left little to my horrified imagination, being too high to hide the crease of flesh on her buttocks, but low-cut enough to show the tattoo on her breast: a toppled chalice, its yellowy-white contents spilling out. I don't think it was just the glistening sweat around her cleavage that made it look like semen. She kept looking at me and winking, raising chunks of food to her freakishly long tongue, and licking them until they sparkled with saliva. I think the overall effect was supposed to be sexy. I couldn't help but feel nauseous.
The meal became an increasingly tense affair and I was desperate for the girls to leave. And so it was with considerable horror that I eyed Daisy when she suggested that her and 'Jeffy' head to the bedroom to giver her "astral alignment a good seeing to."
I decided to adjourn for a lengthy toilet break (safe in the only room with a lock on the door), when Daisy forced me down onto the sofa, next to Tracey.
"Oooh, this'll give you a chance to get to know one another!" She clapped her hands together girlishly. The moment we were alone, Tracey began to advance on me. I had no idea what to do or say, so I started giving a talk on the difficulties faced by the 'Who' production team during the shift from the Second to the Third Doctor. It wasn't easy to discuss the rise of Technicolour, what with the sound of Daisy's violently enthusiastic lovemaking coming from the next room. I was also put off by the way that Tracey kept inserting her index finger in and out of her mouth.
"I'm not wearing any knickers." She said, after some time. I had no idea why this was relevant, or how to respond, so I told her I was wearing a pair of Cybermen boxer-shorts, and went to make a cup of tea.
Shortly after the kettle had boiled, Jeff walked in looking troubled, breathless, and - in a short, silk dressing-gown - remarkably gay.
"See," he wiped his blackened eyes, frowning, "I told you everything was going to be OK."
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