Pete: Sunday February 14th
Valentines Day: received one small card, written, quite obviously, in Jeff's curvy handwriting. He watched me open it, the smile on his face such that I decided to play along, even though we both found the situation unbearably depressing. "See," he winked, "told you there was someone special out there for you." And he ruffled my greasy hair.
Sent Simone a big box of permanent marker pens, with the note 'Remember Bridlington, '06? XXX' tied beneath a red ribbon.
Pete: Wednesday February 17th
I peered my head around the corner, bracing myself. Nothing. Just another anonymous-looking walkway in a labyrinth of gloomy corridors. Taking Amy's hand, I sped off at a dash, only my Timelord instinct guiding me through the really long, windy maze. I knew the exit to the abandoned quarry was close. Then, if we could just get past that row of 'deactivated' Cybermen, we'd almost be back at the TARDIS. Suddenly, however, the tall shape of a Dalek materialised from out of the shadows. I looked at my reflection in the metal wall, and saw that I was Jon Pertwee. Great- I'd been Matt Smith for ages. It was then, aiming a judo chop at the eyepiece with a shout of 'hii!', that I noticed something was wrong.
"Hang on a minute!" I said, oddly enough in David Tennant's voice. "You're a Peter Cushing movie Dalek! You're not even supposed to be in proper Doctor Who!" When I raised my sonic screwdriver, the metallic monster began to weep uncontrollably. Thank god- my bluff had worked. It obviously had the mind of one of The Rod's over sensitive, touchy-feely Daleks. Soon enough, it began to frazzle and burn out, its casing blowing off to reveal the hideous green creature hidden within.
Amy took my hand and said, in a pan-British accent, "Oh Doctor! You're brilliant... and so good looking!" She kissed me passionately, and, at long last, I came to realise that the universe could truly be a beautiful place. And then I woke up.
My underwear and bedsheets were an unpleasant mess of bodily fluids. There were several embarrassing reasons for this, and I knew I'd have to clean up before Jeff found me out. I mean, it's not as though he really snoops round my room that often - I don't have anything worth stealing like he does - but after the 'soup pan fiasco' the other week, I feel as though there are certain standards I have to set. Am I not, after all, the more responsible of the two of us?
Scrutinising my homemade chart of Jeff's work shift-pattern, I saw that he should be out, but I pressed my ear - and a glass tumbler - against the wall for a good 10 minutes to make double-sure. Everything seemed reassuringly quiet, so I pulled on the new pair of beige underpants that Uncle Julian sent me for Christmas (ever since I turned 14, Uncle Julian has, without fail, been mailing me boring underwear and photo laminates from every male-model catalogue he appears in - why is this?) Then, scooping up the blankets and making sure the coast was definitely clear, I ventured into the lounge.
As someone who believes that, no matter how arduous and debilitating the task, cleaning needn't be a chore, I can honestly say there was something weirdly pleasurable about stripping my sticky sheets and dancing to the sound of Rush's '2112'. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, it was probably the volume of the record that prevented me from hearing the front door. I only realised I wasn't alone when I felt the cold finger of doom running down my back, and I spun round in horror to see Daisy, who grinned manically.
"Pete'ums!" She spoke as though oblivious to my humiliatingly near-naked body. "I know I should have called, but I was in the area to check out Cassie's new place. You know, The Yoghurt Dungeon?" She didn't give me time to answer, which is probably for the best, because I don't think I could have formed a coherent sentence. Daisy generally has this effect on me. "Anyway, I thought it'd just be so rude not to pop round and see what my two favourite boys were up to, so... oh my god!" She stopped abruptly, staring in horror as though only just having noticed my lack of clothes. "Naughty boy, Pete! Washing at 40, AND using one of those nasty super-strength detergents. Do you want to be held responsible for destroying the environment? Do you want people to call you a rapist?" She slapped me lightly twice on the buttocks, and various areas of my body visibly stiffened. "I insist you let me hand wash those in some aloe-fragranced salts, with a splash of lemon juice!"
"No... it's... really." She seized the blankets from my hand with surprising force. My mouth fell open and remained that way for several seconds, my lower jaw somehow rendered temporarily incapable of performing its primary function. I attempted my usual confidence trick, and tried to picture myself as an inspirational TV character, but saw only the Absorbalof. Halfway to the sink, Daisy suddenly stopped in her tracks, spinning to face me.
"Uh oh... looks like someone's been having a good time." She was inspecting the cold, damp patches on my bed covers with disconcerting fascination. Every inch of my moral fibre spurred me on to say something like 'this is ridiculous' and throw her out, but the best I managed was a hollow syllable. "Oh, don't worry, Pete," she winked, "there's no shame in being a wanker. From the way you've been behaving though, I can see you're in no fit state to look after yourself today, so why not lie down on the sofa and let me take care of you until Jeff gets back." I don't know why, but I found myself doing exactly as she instructed. Why is it that my powers are rendered utterly useless around Daisy?
Pete: Thursday February 18th
Felt nauseous this morning, so decided to alphabetise our food products. The tinned goods situation wreaked anarchy! I'd done so well with 'fridged' and 'boxed', but I felt a challenging dilemma in cases such as 'baked beans' and 'tomato soup'. Was it more valuable to categorise them under their product suffix i.e. In the case of beans, 'baked' rather than 'beans' or their overall genre classification?? It probably shouldn't have mattered. I can see that now. I mean, we didn't even have any other products to index between 'ba' and 'bea', and we only ever bought the one type of beans; the one type of soup; the one type of spaghetti. That was it! We needed a shake up. That'd stop me wanting to throw up! I was going to buy more than one type of tinned spaghetti! Hell, I'd surprise Jeff by doing the whole weekly shop! We were down to the last 17 cans of beans, after all.
It'd been a while since I'd called my Mum, and she sounded taken aback to hear from me. Our exchange, as usual, covered a melee of unpleasant topics. When I told her I'd been ill, she told me that I needed to get some meat down my neck, and when I asked how she'd been feeling, she went into graphic detail about the bulging veins in her inner thighs. At one point, I could hear my Dad in the background, rasping in his metallic voice. "Has he made an honest man of himself yet, or is he still shacked up with that nancy-boy-fag?" "Your father says hello." My mother tended to reinterpret his comments in edited form. I asked if I'd be able to use her account details to do a food shop on Tesco online. After much grumbling and making me feel guilty, she eventually agreed. "You'll have to have us over for dinner though," she said insistently, "so we can check you're not spending our money on a load of rubbish." I reluctantly agreed, but managed to postpone things until the following week. My parents are fiercely critical visitors, and the prospect of entertaining them has been known to bring on asthmatic attacks weeks in advance of their arrival.
Bizarrely, Tesco have started segregating their cereal into 'children' and 'adult' categories. I was sure my choices would fall in with the grown-ups, but, oddly enough, both 'Frosties' and 'Coco Pops' are filed under the kids' section. I had to wonder what this suggested about me as a person. If I'm not deemed mature and responsible by the good people at Kellogg’s, what does this say about how actual people see me? I almost dropped my 'Starbug' mouse into my mega-milkshake when I saw that they now make Doctor Who pasta shapes... in tomato sauce! I ordered 30 tins as a treat for Jeff. The only trouble is, Tesco don't display ingredients. Still, surely there could be nothing nasty lurking in tinned pasta... Well, apart from some Daleks in this case! What a triumph! So why did I still feel sick?
Redressed my blankets in newly washed, stain free bed covers. At 11pm, I vomited all over them. My medical sixth sense seemed to suggest that I was coming down with something...
Pete: Friday February 19th
Things gradually deteriorated from there. I tried to discard the dirty covers, but became increasingly entangled, my feverish hallucinations transforming the struggle into a wrestle with one of those rubbish butterfly creatures from that William Hartnoll Doctor Who episode that not even I pretend to like. I didn't sleep for hours. I was too scared. The room just seemed to be getting bigger and bigger. I reckon Roger Delgado was miniaturising me! I desperately needed the toilet, but was convinced I'd slip down the plughole. I did at least dream of relieving myself, but when I looked in the bathroom mirror, I was covered in lime green bubble-wrap. When I woke up, I'd actually pissed myself!
The doorbell was ringing. It seemed to be getting louder too, like someone was drilling in my head. Then it hit me. Shit! The Tesco man! Donning my dressing gown, I lurched unsteadily downstairs to find that the Tesco man was actually a remarkably good-looking Tesco woman. I wiped a stray bit of sick from my beard, and tightened the dressing gown cord. It was the same as the Tenth Doctor's in 'The Christmas Invasion' and 'Smith and Jones', and the thought had crossed my mind that the delivery girl might mistake me for David Tennant. She looked at me as though she were actually considering this, but then said "Sorry. I didn't realise you were disabled. Let me get these shopping bags for you." Her tone of voice and moronic grin suggested she were dealing with a retarded six-year-old. I wanted to cry.
When I got back to the flat, I felt too weak to do anything about the shopping, so I slumped onto the sofa - surrounded by stacks of tinned vegetables and melting ice-cream, watching Flash Gordon on ITV2. When a 1993 Wheel of Fortune repeat came on, I actually started crying about the Tesco girl. So, I picked up the phone and tried to call Simone: the only girl, aside from my mother, who had willingly seen me naked. I left an impassioned message about body hair, the Transformers movie, Silurians and world poverty, and ended by whispering "I still love you, you know" with unrestrained sensitivity. I wish I'd managed to hang up in time before the retching started.
Pete: Saturday February 20th
It turns out that the Doctor Who spaghetti shapes have anchovy extract in! I can't bring myself to throw them away, having paid for them. I decided that my first course of action would be to write a polite email to the manager at Tesco HQ, threatening legal action for not clearly displaying the ingredients online. Bafflingly, an hour later, I received a response from the company's legal team threatening to 'counter-sue' me. I find it odd that they replied to me so quickly when, on the occasion I emailed them to ask whether their 'beef and tomato noodles' contained any beef (and tomatoes), I received only an automated response telling me what a valued customer I was. To get them off my back with the whole 'counter-sue' scenario, I emailed again, casually dropping in the lie that I was disabled, and that their delivery lady could verify this for me. Moments later, another message appeared, informing me that all legal action would be dropped. "One can only imagine," it said, "what it must be like to have no legs." No legs?? No Legs??! Where the hell did that one come from? They're sending me a palette of 'Doctor Who Pasta Shapes' as compensation. Perhaps if I put all the tins in the cupboard, the pleasure I glean from looking at the wibbly spaghetti K9s, and deformed Cyberman heads, on the packaging, will make it value for money? I still don't feel any better.
Pete: Monday February 22nd
When Jeff got home tonight, his hair was gelled into a pale imitation of Matt Smith's. I looked at him. He looked at me. For once, I think I actually had the edge on coolness.
"I tried," he said solemnly.
"It isn't working, is it?" He let out a long breath of air, spent a while studying his shoes, walked to the fridge, and opened a can of Hogg Bavarian Beer.
"No," he spoke at last. "I think I'd better do something about this..." He wiggled his fingers around his head "mess. Daisy's coming round in a bit. What if she ends up liking it, and tries to make me keep it? She's always telling me I should get my hair cut like the singer in Kasabian."
"What's that? I don't think I've seen it. And why's Daisy coming round? It's Doctor Who night!"
"We don't have a Doctor Who night." Jeff protested.
"Yes we do. I found that timetable we made a few years ago: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday - we watch Doctor Who. Tuesday - we do Sarah Jane - and on Saturday we try to get into Torchwood. The rest of the time we write."
"Oh yeah, and that's working out really well for us," Jeff said, a little too sarcastically. We both opened and closed our mouths several times, not really knowing what to say. It sounded like a couple of slugs crawling up with work surfaces. "Look Pete, you know I'd rather watch that 'Sixth Doctor Years' video you bought me, but Daisy's invited herself, it's Romantic Comedy Night, and that's that!" A globule of sweat, merged with neon blue hair gel trickled down his forehead, which didn't help dispel the slug image.
"Romantic comedies?! You do realise I'm a sick man?" I coughed, perhaps a little too theatrically, to drive the point home. "I don't mean to moan, but my head's throbbing, I'm totally worn out and sick, my throat feels like someone's rammed a pitchfork down it, my body's permanently shivering, my nostrils are clogged with snot, and my lungs must be touching 11 on the mucus scale." I forced a wheeze, and was perversely impressed by how grotesque it sounded. "I won't have Daisy here... for her sake, really. I'll infect her. Yes, I forbid it!"
"You could always stay in your bedroom?" Jeff suggested.
Six hours later, as yet another Rom Com reached its spectacularly banal conclusion, Daisy lay with her head in Jeff's lap, her legs stretched out onto me, bare feet buried firmly into my crotch.
By this time, Jeff had turned as pale and yellow as I'd been looking for the last few days. From the way he was shaking, I guessed he must be catching my flu. It was during 'Four Weddings and a Funeral', when Daisy said "Oh, Jeffy, I hope our wedding can be this womantic," that he suddenly sprung to his feet, dashed to the bathroom, and narrowly missed the toilet.
For one reason or another, that night I was at least spared the sound of Daisy noisily climaxing.
Pete: Tuesday February 23rd
For once Daisy left early the next morning, and Jeff was too ill to go to work, so we spent the day sat on the sofa, watching the 'Phantasm' box set (although, despite my protestations, we skipped the third film). Just after lunchtime, when we'd finished breakfast, Dom texted: 'Turn on BBC1 now... something you WON'T want to miss!!' There was an excited scrabble for the remote control, which had become wedged somewhere between the cushion and our collective buttocks. In our panic, we knocked the mute button, and the volume wouldn't go up again - I told Jeff he should have changed the batteries! This was terrible! What if it was another new series trailer, as an attempt to make up for Saturday's below-par effort?
When we eventually got the sound working, we were disheartened to find ourselves staring at 'Dickinson's Real Deal'. What was Dom playing at?! He knew full well that David Dickinson was on our hate list, ever since Daisy had made the ridiculous suggestion that 'he'd make a good doctor who'. After a moment, however, it cut to a shot of a man with a frightening beard and ginger ponytail manhandling a pair of model Daleks. I must now question how this man rose to the rank of antique-valuer when he was clearly borderline simpleton. The Daleks in question were clearly replica facsimiles from the 'Dalek Invasion Earth 2150' film, and yet the auctioneer seemed to be under the false impression that they were 1970s Tom Baker models. Retard alert! Hadn't he noticed the lights on the head casing were different? Jeff and I could hardly contain our outrage, our mouths hanging open as he drastically under-judged the value of the figurines. We spent the afternoon drafting a harshly-worded letter Jeff was obviously as concerned as me: he even managed to get dressed, go to Omar's and photocopy of our source material, returning with a carrier bag full of Lemsip and Pot Noodles.
"They had an offer on," he said. "Free Lemsip for every 'Bastard."
"But that makes no sense whatsoever?!"
"Doesn't it? Well, perhaps I stole them. I can't quite remember." He spoke drowsily. "But, what does it matter? We live in a world in which people voluntarily watch David Dickinson on TV, and grown men treat Dalek models like cheap toys. If anyone's the thief," he slurred, "it's the BBC." And he fell unconscious onto the sofa.
Jeff: Thursday February 25th
I woke up at 7am but couldn't move. For some reason I had the urge to watch Scream (it's on youtube in 12 parts!). It brought back a wave of nostalgia for those mid 90s summers! Ahh the folly and freedom of youth. Obviously I hated the movie at the time, spending a lot of time screaming to Jon and the others about “Desecration of the classics! Michael Myers would give that pansy a lesson or two!” - but I was surprised to see how retro it now looks. I know it's only been a few years. Well, a decade. Well, a decade and four years. Jesus, I'm getting old. And clearly snobbish.
I still couldn't move after watching the film and ended up watching the entire trilogy. I nearly cried when I saw Sarah Michelle Gellar in the sequel. I miss Buffy...!
By 4pm I was still lying there surrounded by used tissues and empty doritos packets. I couldn't help it. I still couldn't get Rachel out of my head. I ventured down a foolish path and went on to her facebook page.
Stalking is so much easier in 2010. Not that I was stalking, besides it's all public information. There's nothing wrong with reading it. There's nothing weird about making the page available offline and then spending hours crying over it.
As usual it was heart wrenching and I wished I hadn't. There was a bright pink neon counter, counting down the days until her wedding until captain perfect, and there wasn't a single post or photo that didn't somehow involve her “wonderful perfect beautiful little girl”.
It was sickening but I couldn't help but feel completely wrong. When we were 16 we said we'd get married, why wasn't the pink counter waiting for my wedding day? Why wasn't she the mother of my children?
This was insanity. I don't even want children. But I missed her, I missed the innocence of “one day”s. When life was this endless, shapeless thing stretching out before you riddled with limitless possibility. I feel as though there are no “one day”s any more.
I lay in bed listening to Disco 2000 and Warning Sign and cried.
Pete: Thursday February 25th
4.31am: Jeff's barely stirred, and his temperature's through the roof! I couldn't sleep through worry, so I decided to get up and make a brew, but instead found myself cleaning out the airing cupboard. Came across a cardboard storage container (labelled, inexplicably, 'Rob's Box') and happened upon an old Captain Scarlett VHS box set. Score!
Also found an old draft of our famed 'Who script, 'The Kraagan Masterplan', which I spent the remainder of the evening reading. Oh, the youthful naivety of our 32-year-old selves! My writing has, without doubt, come on leaps and bounds since then. (Although only in its ideas stage, 'The Vaporiser' sequel, 'We Melt Again', has seen me and Jeff turning out some of our most top-quality work). Additionally, it has only now dawned upon me that the Kraagan's sinister business front, the 'Company Unit of National Terra-firma', yields the acronym 'C.U.N.T.' I think I'll change it to Spectre.
Jeff: Friday February 26th
Went back into work today. Despite telling Daisy I was feeling too ill to spend any time with her this weekend, I found myself agreeing when Anita invited me to accompany to Mel Totto's wedding reception at the Pines in Preston tomorrow night.
Apparently he's a former work colleague from her Sainsbury's days and she has no one to go with.
I mean, it's not like it's a date or anything … I'm just helping out a friend. Assisting a colleague. If anything it's overtime.
11 pm – What kind of name is Mel Totto?
Pete: Friday February 26th
Spent all day erasing 'C.U.N.T.'s, and scribbling 'Spectre' in their place, before realising that this was also the name of Blofeld's organisation in James Bond. Got angry, and stuck 'The Kraagan Masterplan' back in its box (Rob's Box, apparently), back in the airing cupboard.
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