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David C Dawson's blog

A Friend of Dorothy’s

Some things Posted on Thu, September 08, 2016 20:58:13

A Friend of Dorothy’s

Timothy
stood on the crowded underground train, the carriage packed with Friday evening
commuters. His fingers clasped tightly around the handles of his carrier bag. It held his impulse buy. A very expensive, impulse buy. What the hell he
thought. His contract had just been extended by another four months. It was his
reward, he had earned it. Tim was a researcher at Channel 6’s hit day time television
show Ey Oop It’s Elaine. He had a regular weekly salary and a flat share just off
Brixton High Road in South London. Life could not be better as far as Timothy was concerned.
And to crown it all, he had an invitation to the party of the year.

Top talent
booker Oz LeStrange, the doyenne of daytime, threw a party at a private room,
at the Vauxhall studios of Channel 6 once a year, and Timothy had an invite! It
was his passport to making it in TV.
It was all thanks to Dorothy Dimpkins,
deputy make-up artist on Wake Up To Weather! He had nearly got off with her
that Friday lunchtime at the Channel 6 local; the Red Lion. She was older than
Timothy, a lot older. At least five years. She must be nearly thirty but looked
amazing for her age.

That
lunchtime she had stared deep into his eyes as he told her all about the
brilliant booking he had made that morning. Britain’s only conjoined triplets
would be live in the studio next Wednesday. It was a coup. No other TV company
had got them. It was all thanks to Timothy, Tim the Man!

There were
lots of high fives in the office when he announced his success, coupled with
envious glowers from his co-researchers on the show. At the end of the morning,
executive producer Sandra Crow had called for him. Sandra Crow! The most
intimidating woman in TV, known as Scare Crow behind her back. She was
delighted with Timothy’s booking and promptly extended his contract.

As he recounted
all this to Dorothy he could see the glow of admiration on her face. Timothy
felt sure that he was about to score. Then came the killer blow. “Did I tell
you I’m going to Dubai this weekend?” she asked innocently. “My ex-boyfriend
does something dreadfully high powered in investments or something. Out of the
blue he’s said he’s taking me there, and on the Sunday we’re going out into the
desert on dune buggy thingies with a whole crowd of his chums and Simon
Cowell’s going to be there! Imagine! It’s going to be such fun and I just know
he’ll be looking for make-up artists on X Factor USA. It’s so exciting!”

Timothy’s
face must have betrayed the depths to which his spirit had just plummeted.

“Oh but
darling Tim! You’re the man! Tim the Man! Look, why don’t you take this? I
can’t use it because of the Dubai thingy. You must go.” That was when she
handed him the invitation to the party. “It’s the party to get noticed at”
Dorothy breathed. “Great things will happen Tim, I just know it!”

He had
failed to get off with Dorothy Dimpkins, but Tim had an invitation to a party
thrown by the great talent booking wizard Oz. You win some, you lose some, he thought.

Standing
in his deceptively spacious bedroom in Larkminster Rise, he stared admiringly
at his new, expensive purchase. A pair of cherry red Nike high ankle trainers.
Sweet. That was the only word that came into his head. His eyes caressed
them lovingly, before he turned to the important task of what outfit to wear for
the party.

Ten o’clock
that evening, Tim was in the ticket check line outside Hospitality B at
Channel 6. The red Nikes hugged his feet and ankles, the turn-ups of his blue
Beaumarchais trousers grazed the top of them. He self consciously rolled
back the cuffs of his fake Gaultier jacket, Dorothy had sneaked it out of
wardrobe for him. Tim reached the head of the line and handed over his ticket. He entered the pulsating
atmosphere of the great Oz’s party.

He took a
luminous blue cocktail from a passing tray, and felt an arm wrap itself around
his waist . A voice purred in his ear. “Well hello! Why have I not seen you
before? Tell me, are you A Friend of Dorothy’s young man?”

Timothy
turned to see that it was none other than Oz LeStrange himself. The great man
had singled him out! Perhaps Dorothy had mentioned his name to him, or maybe
even Scare Crow had mentioned him!

“Well yes”,
said Timothy turning. “I am a friend of Dorothy. And I’m a big admirer of your
work”.

The next
moment he felt a hand grab his crotch and the arm around his waist tighten.
“And I’m a big fan of your works too young man. Relieved to know that you are a
fan of Dorothy, like myself. This party was looking far too straight for my
liking.”

By 10:30 on
Monday morning everyone in the Ey Oop It’s Elaine production office had heard
about Tim the Man’s misadventures at the party of Oz. His face remained crimson
with embarrassment for much of the morning. Now he knew, that to say you were a
“friend of Dorothy” in the gay circles frequented by Oz LeStrange, meant a lot
more than being chummy with Dorothy Dimpkins.



Accident and Emergency

Some things Posted on Thu, September 08, 2016 20:49:29

Accident and
Emergency

So the task from my
writers’ group was five hundred words on accident and emergency. That was
three days ago. Now here I am, half past six on a Sunday morning, driving to
the John Radcliffe Hospital with Nick fading fast in the passenger seat. Is
that irony? Or God having a laugh? Well there is no God so it must be Mother
Nature taking the piss. Ooh, there’s controversial. Father God or Mother
Nature? Who’s the worst supreme being? Which one gave my partner the pneumonia,
which is now sapping the life out of him?

He’s
the colour of fire ashes and coughs like an asthmatic. He just sits there, with
his head resting on the door pillar of the car. He’s not even
flinching at my terrible gear changes. He must be sick.

So, I can do Thame to
the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in under eighteen minutes. It’s
official. And illegal. Officially illegal. If I’d been pulled
over I had a good excuse sitting next to me, hacking up phlegm to prove the
need for speed.

Thank God for the
National Health Service. Or rather, thank you Nye Bevan for the National Health
Service. And thank you to the one point three million people who work in it.
Thank you Google for that fact. And thank you to the amazing people who are
here on duty in accident and emergency today.

Seven minutes. That’s
all it took. From arriving at the reception desk to Nick having an oxygen mask
put over his face. Blood tests. Intravenous antibiotics. More blood tests, then
the X-ray that shows the storm cloud of pneumococcus over his left lung. We
take a photo. Perhaps it will be a first for Facebook. Something to share and
like. Yes! Three people like it in the first twenty minutes. Why isn’t
there a “that’s terrible”
button on Facebook? (Ed: OK, there is now..)

Nick’s
lying here now. His breathing is shallow, but his temperature is falling and
his oxygen levels have stabilised. It’s a start. The doctor has curly hair
falling across his baby face. He looks like Jesse Eisenberg, the actor who
played Mark Zuckerberg in the film the Social Network. Perhaps I should ask him
about the Facebook button idea. Maybe not. He might look young but he’s
got a brain the size of a planet. Like all the doctors here.
He’s
on the phone, trying to find a free bed to admit Nick to the hospital. He’s
making a lot of calls. Endlessly patient. Endlessly polite. But persistent.
Thank goodness for his intelligent idealism. Let’s hope the
dead hand of government health service reform doesn’t squeeze it
from him.

Midday. Nick’s
been admitted. The only bed was in infectious diseases. Inappropriate, as pneumonia
isn’t infectious. But it means he gets his own room. On the ground floor
with a window looking onto a garden. Well, a scattering of gravel and three
pretty looking weeds. Nick’s asleep. He will get better.



A Death in Autumn

Some things Posted on Thu, September 08, 2016 20:43:59

Published in the first anthology for Chesham Writers and Scribblers 2015. Look out for the second one this autumn

A Death in Autumn
As he stood on the platform that late September morning,
Harold got ready to set in motion his plan for the death of the man in the
smart overcoat. The mechanics of the plan had always been simple. But until now
it was the means of avoiding discovery that had eluded him.

Not any more. His plan was now perfected. Today he would put
it into action. Everything was right on this first day of autumn.

The platform was filling, as it always did, for the six
thirty eight to London. This was the first wave of commuters, who always
arrived in good time for the non-stop City train. Immaculately dressed, coffees
in hand, perfectly groomed. Soon would come the last minute dressers. Women
still applying their make-up, men reluctantly putting on their ties. Finally,
at around six thirty two, the pushers and shovers would arrive. Delivered at
the last minute by their spousal taxi services, they started at the back of the
crowded platform, yet always got to the front as the train came to a halt and
its doors opened.

The man in the smart overcoat was part of this last group.
Today, Harold was ready for him.

He had rehearsed his moves many times. He needed to be just
to the man’s side as the train doors opened. He would execute a
swift jab to the man’s thigh as he moved forward and then
Harold would pull back. The forward surge of the commuters would carry the man
into the carriage. Even as the doors closed, the poison injected into his thigh
would begin to act. By the time the train got to Moor Park, the man in the
smart overcoat would be dead.

And good riddance. That man who had cost Harold his job, his
marriage, maybe even his sanity. The man who Harold had seen on television,
saying over and over: “There are always casualties in a
recession”. The man who last Christmas received a bonus of three
million pounds from his bank.

The imminent arrival of the six thirty eight was announced.
It was on time. Harold looked over his right shoulder. As people gathered up
their belongings and shuffled forward, he saw the smart overcoat. Harold stared
straight ahead and drifted to his right as the commuters around him got ready
to move. One further brief glance to his right confirmed that he was alongside
the smart overcoat. Harold reached into his pocket and his fingers wrapped
around the adapted hypodermic. The crowd surged as the train doors opened in
front of him.

By lunchtime it had made the headlines on the television
news.

“The twin brother of Global Bank’s deputy chairman Cedric
Messeter was found dead on a crowded commuter train this morning. Angus
Messeter, a director of the charity Poverty Action, apparently died from a
heart attack. He was forty two. He was a vocal opponent of his banking brother’s hard line approach to
struggling businesses during the recession.”



Writer’s Block

Some things Posted on Wed, May 11, 2016 07:24:21

A video that shows we’ve all been there…



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