I’m in the toilet again-on what must be my fifth break-debating whether to have my second wank of the day, but the noise from the end cubicle has killed my mood. At first, I naively assumed it was someone with a cold blowing their nose until it dawns on me, and I feel stupid for my previous assumption. It’s The Fuse taking he’s daily coke supplement. Ed Hughes is actually okay despite what most people will tell you. He got dubbed “The Fuse” on account of his mockney bastardisation of the English language. The Fuse doesn’t go out for beers, he goes out for Britney Spears. He can be a bit of a prick in a group situation as he’ll always play up to the bravado and Fuse ego people expect, but get him on his own and he’s a pretty nice guy. I always felt sorry for him as the lads hated him from day one, mostly out of petty jealousy. He ticks quite a few boxes-good at football, good looking, arrogant, and most importantly gets on great with the ladies. His cards were marked long before my arrival. As long as I’ve known him he’s only ever had lunch with the girls but even that has been taken away from him now.
Ever since Heather uncovered that email the girls have closed rank around her and wouldn’t even spit on Ed; half of them out for support of Heather, the other half out of jealousy that Ed fucked Heather in the first place. They were the Posh and Becks of the company and quite alike in terms of sheer melodrama. Every day for what seemed like two months Heather would spontaneously burst into tears; at her desk, at lunch, and on nights out constantly comforted by her ferocious gaggle of friends who’d use the opportunity to have another pop at Ed.
Judging by the amount he’s snorting today someone’s either had a go, or his hedge fund’s had another bad day. Guessing by the way our funds have been performing lately I’d say it’s the latter, meaning another all-nighter.
I wait patiently in my cubicle so not to startle him or make him paranoid. For a few minutes it remains quiet only for the drip drop of taps and cranking of pipes in general.
Finally he flushes the toilet and I hear a frantic pounding of fist against tile causing a loud blunt smacking noise to sharply reverberate. Before the toilet’s even had a chance to settle he’s gone.
I take this opportunity to wash my hands and leave promptly. I return to my desk and nothing’s changed except my screensaver is now running. Still no piles. Two weeks now and I still haven’t managed to beat my original quota of fifteen minutes work a day.
I decide to give Matt a call. Usually I tend to avoid the phone because your talk time is monitored, and conversation can be listened to. To combat this I use the phone from the desk beside me, which isn’t registered to me. It doesn’t take long before I’m greeted by work Matt.
“Hello Investment fund services Matthew Kiernan speaking, how can I help you?”
“Aye up Guv’.”
“Story Tony?”
“Ah same old really. I was just in the jacks there and the Fuse was really going hell for leather on the aul’ nosebags.”
“And that’s surprising why? Sure everyone knows he’s a total coke fiend. He was a fiend even when I was there.”
“True. I feel a bit sorry for him though.”
“Sorry for him! Sure the last AIE company night out he was balancing pints on you while you were sleeping.”
“I know but…”
“And he kept burning your hair just to get a cheap laugh.”
“Suppose.”
“You still chief wire puller in there?”
“Matt it’s ridiculous. I’ve done no more than four hours work in total since I’ve been here. I’m going demented.”
“Take it easy while you can. Sure only little less than a month ago you were on the phone daily, crying about how stressed the job had you.”
“But isn’t there a happy medium?”
He snorts before adding, “Not in funds.”
“Any word from that whingy bowler?” He asks.
“She mailed me the other day wanting to meet up but I never responded.”
“That girl’s so needy.”
“Preaching to the converted guv’. Sure the other day she didn’t get in till after twelve. I saw her after lunch chatting to one of the girls and I could smell the Stella Artois off her five desks away.”
“The only reason she gets away with it is because Daddy Dick is her boss.”
“Yeah Richard’s such a fuckin’ sleaze bag. You’d want to see the hack of him the other day. He came in wearing a brown leather jacket, and had blonde streaks going through what remains of his hair.”
“That four-eyed geek reminds me of a fat version of Milhouse,” Matthew then proceeds to do one of his Simpson’s bits impersonating Milhouse.
“If I die Bart, bury me at make out creek.”
We both crack up laughing before Matt hangs up citing that he’s been on the phone for nearly ten minutes. This place really hasn’t been the same since he left.
I spend the rest of the day trying to avoid time, forwarding emails, and surfing the net, only to accidentally catch the clock on my desktop. This leaves me despondent and a little crushed as every time I’m certain I’ve killed at least forty minutes- the cold harsh truth confirms nothing more than a mere ten minutes have lapsed. This tedious dynamic plays out on a continuous loop until the clock finally gives in, and grants me my 17:30 reprieve.

The match is about to start but the thoughts of watching another dour Man U affair is painful. The schadenfreude I get from seeing Man U lose is nowhere near enough to compensate for their success. I grab my laptop and decide to place a bet so that I at least have a personal interest in the game. I check the odds and Barca are a healthy 5/6 so I place a grand on them to win. The game kicks off as I expected in a dull manner with neither team wanting to push too far forward in case they leave themselves exposed, but it’s without doubt the most exciting game I’ve ever seen in my life. Every throw that Man Utd get feels like a penalty, making me spit language so raw and visceral that it would make even Chris Rock blush. I try to control by Tourette’s, but then with less than ten minutes gone Paul Scholes picks up the ball miles outside the box, and with a speculative long range drive plants the ball into the top corner of the net, leaving the keeper with absolutely no chance.
“FUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKK. YOU FUCKIN’ GINGER FUCKIN’ CUNT.” I slam the remote control so hard off the floor that it bounces three times.
“YOU SHOULDN’T EVEN BE ON THE PITCH YOU FUCKIN’ GERIATRIC GINGER PRICK.” “If it wasn’t for Ferguson you and that other Neville cunt would be sucking dick for ham sandwiches.”
I do my best to settle down but my heart is thumping so loud I can hear it over the commentary. The first half flies by in what seems like only a matter of seconds. Barcelona have done absolutely nothing apart from dick about in their own half, and shoot their load anytime they get anywhere near the Man U box. The second half plays out exactly like the first. “What the fuck is wrong with you Messi, you retard? Best player in the world my hole.” I spend the entire second half shadowboxing and hurling expletives at the television. “No wonder Wenger got rid of ya you fuckin’ whore-you couldn’t even score in a brothel with a fist full of fifties. JESUS CHRIST.”
Barca continue to flirt with themselves as they complete pass after pass after pass only to lose their bottle whenever they get slightly close to the Man U box. “Come on lads. Pleeeeeease.” I pray, dance, jig, and beat the couch but still nothing changes.
The match abruptly ends on a whimper with Barcelona having done nothing, and Man Utd having done just enough. Towards the end of the game I gave up shouting simply resigning myself to fate. The match may have been over but I’m still absolutely buzzing from the defeat. It’s not until well after 4.00 am in the morning that I eventually succumb to sleep.

Previous chapter.

From the beginning.

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