TWO TENS THEN LAST WEEK A TWENTY

I bet that Marge Partridge is rubbing her bloody hands together with glee. I knew something was wrong when Trout came round. All that talk of how well the farm shop’s been doing then Oh by the way Jean, Mrs Partridge says the money’s been down a few times of late. Are you careful counting the change out? Do you leave the bag lying around?... Bloody Marge Partridge. She’s had it in for me since we first moved here. Always breaking her bloody neck to tell me how well their bloody Carl’s doing at school, and then that stupid bloody pretend sympathy face she pulls and Ooh, Carl tells me your Billy’s in a bit of bother at school, or, Tell me Jean, how’s your Billy doing? Has he settled down a bit?... At least my husband sleeps in the same bloody bed as me. I wouldn’t be surprised if she weren’t bloody diddling the takings herself, just to make me look bad. Or to pay for her bloody Ooh did I tell you Jean, me and the boys are going to Spain again next month, well, you can’t take it with you can you Jean?... Stupid woman looks like a tangerine with legs six months of the year. A great fat horse chestnut the other six. Ooh Jean, you ought to come round and try our sun-bed. It’d do wonders for your complexion... Cheeky cow. She doesn’t even have a complexion. An inch of foundation sees to that... God. It’s so bloody embarrassing. I’m sure it’s just a slip-up somewhere, Trout said. Don’t worry about it Jean. Just double-check the change you give out. And make sure you put all the takings in the bag with the float... I felt so ashamed. I couldn’t even look him in the eye. How can I tell Chris? Funny how some things never go away. Mam asking Dad where the rent money had gone from the Oxo tin, Shirley Mackison telling me how Dad got sacked from the knicker factory for pinching the tea-money, Jenny Sanders telling me how Dad had been to her house, cadged a fiver off her Mum, to pay for shoes for me he’d said, the lying... I’m always careful with the change. I do count it out. No one touches it until her highness calls round for it. It stays locked up in the drinks cabinet the rest of the time. No one even goes in there unless it’s a Saturday night. Who’s going to touch it anyway? There’s only us three in the bloody house. I’m always careful with the change. Bloody Marge Partridge is wrong... Or making it up... Or it’s her.

 

21. You’re at the bottom of Castle Lane

19. At the kitchen table

 
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