Save The Whale

Story 2 of my Portrush Quartet….. Published in “Lateral Moves” #23 in Winter 1999

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Spacka never had any money. He’d get his Giro on a Thursday and by Friday it was gone. Either down his neck or into the machines at Sports/and. The Gecko always had a few quid. His mother sent him twenty a week, still feeling guilty for clearing off and sending his old man round the twist.  Spacka’s solution was to start breaking into cars. The Gecko went along with it for a laugh. They’d go out on Saturday evenings when it got dark, dressed in bike jackets and black jeans, just to look inconspicuous and try door handles. If one was open, Spacka dived in and The Gecko stood watch. They’d take anything. Money, smokes and booze were the obvious favourites, but tapes, library books and videos were fair game as well. Liam who had the second hand shop bought any old rubbish like that. It gave them a few quid for a carry out at least.

They only did this for a few weeks. There was no chance of getting caught as they never smashed windows or set off alarms to draw attention to themselves, but The Gecko started acting weird. One time they turned over a doctor’s car. Spacka took the drug company samples, taking anything that was 200mg and above, whilst The Gecko pocketed the C90s. It turned out they were all either hymns or theological debates. Around this time, he’d taken to dropping in on JL and Rude Julian at their Christian discussion groups, mainly because there was always free food. He took these tapes with him and the next thing he’s running about with a He Is My Light badge on. His Hallelujah phase didn’t last long, but it was enough to end the business agreement.

Then Spacka found himself a woman, known as Le Garcon, on account of the fact she had no tits and always had a bottle under her arm. She was a drinker, banned from all the pubs. They’d buy these carry outs: a bottle of vodka and four Special Brews for her, two litres of Merrydown for him and sit in his bedroom drinking it. She’d end up unconscious and he’d start crying.

One time, everyone’s Giro was late, a Bank Holiday or something. The Garcon was going mental for a drink and neither of them had a penny. Spacka had an idea. Taking an old Marvel tin, he cut a coin slot in the top and wrapped a sheet of paper with SA VE THE WHALE!! in blue biro on the side. The two of them went begging outside Crazy Prices in the pissing rain. Quitting after a couple of hours, they bought a big carry out and pie and chips, then went home.

Later, someone called an ambulance when an empty Smirnoff bottle crashed through Spacka’s window and Le Garcon’s arm was seen rubbing against the jagged pane. Inside we found they had been playing Blood Brothers. Eighty six cuts each on their arms, and then she took it a step too far. They didn’t bother with A&E, taking her straight off to the bin. Spacka packed his stuff, then hitched to Amsterdam . He’s still there.

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