Recky walked towards Joey, drooling at the prospect of making passionate love to him. Normally, his demanding to see a girl’s breasts (“a yard’s tits” in barrow boy parlance) would have resulted in a slap or a stare of derision, but not with Recky. She was relishing the prospect. Even Joey, the self-declared Zeus, was slightly taken aback by her driven nymphomania.

“Fack’s sake darlin’,” he gasped as she tore open her shirt to reveal her assets (a bra would have wasted valuable time) and held them up to his face, draping them around his dry lips, “I only asked to see yer thrupennies, I don’t wanna be fackin’ raped!”

“Come to me, oh southern one,” drooled Recky, as if controlled by something really sinister and perverted. It was becoming quite scary. Suddenly, a man appeared at the door. Joey managed to arch his head around Recky’s ample body to see who it was, and to his relief it was his footballing friend, Steve ‘Geordie’ Brown (“the man with the bottle to make a difference”). He was nicknamed Geordie because, and it’s a good one this, he used to live in Newcastle. The banter amongst those football boys could be crazy at times. He now lived in the backward town of Basingstoke however (“six hot cross buns a shilling, love”) and his accent gave this away.

“Oi!” shouted Geordie, “Get your filthy bits off Shadesy!” In another piece of astoundingly witty cameraderie, Joey had been nicknamed Shadesy because… he had worn some shades. Those crazy footballers, whatever next? Incidentally, he had also been nicknamed Beardsley and Mankind, because he looked like footballer Peter Beardsley and wrestler Mankind. However, Shadesy was the favoured nickname among the ‘banter boys’ as it was feared that some of the younger players might not fully appreciate the connotations of the other, more complicated nicknames.

“Fackin’ ell,” screamed Joey as he and Geordie wrestled Recky to the ground: no easy task, “I fought [thought] I was in a bit o’trabble then, nearly had to call my old man out.” (He meant his father). “Anyway, what the fack are you doin’ ‘ere?”

“Well,” answered Geordie, “I went round your house early this morning to wake everybody up by shouting as usual, but no-one was at home. All I could find was a note on the door that said ‘Sorry, I don’t think there’s anyone in’, so I figured you must have come all the way up here to stay in a hotel.”

“Oh, gotcha gotcha.” replied Joey, as if it had made sense. As Recky lay dazed and confused on the floor, Cliché Si appeared in the doorway. He said nothing, but pointed to the telephone in reception, and then at Joey. He then stood aside as everybody went past him, starting with Joey, followed by Geordie, then Recky, who crawled through, then Phillth, who went back towards the kitchen upset that nobody wanted his stinking food and saying “Hmmph!”, and finally Kelly, who had been watching events and giggling intermittently.

Si watched the procession of people march into reception with circumspect. ‘Like lambs to the slaughter,’ he thought to himself, but he didn’t say it. Joey wondered who could have phoned him at the hotel. He thought that it must be important for someone to have to reach him at a hotel in as remote a place as the north.

“Probably jast sam fit yard wantin’ it ap ’er,” he suggested aloud, “fackin’ nuisance.” Everyone believed him. Kelly saw her chance to rejoin proceedings and snapped it up.

“Well,” she offered, “whoever it is (giggle), they’ve certainly got you moving (giggle). You’re like a dog on a roof.”

Cliché Si privately despaired of Kelly’s disgraceful bumbling of the well known phrase, but he kept a straight face.

“Oh shat ap you stoopid cow,” said Joey, quite a lot like Pete Beale (Joey’s uncle) used to in Eastenders, “jast get me sam fackin’ food - and none of that tripe or hot-pot or whatever the fack it is that you retards eat.” He picked up the receiver of the ‘old dog and bone’. “Yeah? Who’s this? You what? Yeah? You want sam do ya? Yeah? Oh yeah? You what? Yeah? Who is this?” he said, and things like that, before finally, “Oh alwight bravv!”

‘Bravv’ was what cockneys called their brother. Joey’s ‘bravv’ had called to try to get Joey to patch up the relationship between him and his mother (“my old girl/ my old Doris”). They’d had a furious argument after Joey refused to be a fully conventional cockney like his mother wanted him to be (“proud old girl she is”). He didn’t mind wearing the Reebok Classics, but he wouldn’t get a crew-cut because he didn’t want to reveal the Millwall tattoo his friends had done on his head for a joke; he couldn’t wear a sleeper because he wouldn’t get his ear pierced; and, worst of all as far as his mother was concerned, he had never brought home a peroxide girlfriend called Shirl. “Ok, bravv, you try and patch things ap,” he said to his brother in the quietest voice he had ever used, which wasn’t very quiet, “I’ll speak to the old girl when the time’s right. Alright… kosha… yeah… yeah… yeah… yeah… diamond… ok bravv, yeah… kosha. Remember bravv, blad’s ficker dan water… yeah… t-ra.”

He put the phone down. “Jimmy White, king o’ pots,” he said nonsensically. “Are you going to tell us who was on the phone then (giggle)?” asked Kelly, even though everyone knew. “Er, yeah…” stuttered the Zeus, “er, it was, er… it was sam fit bird wiv massive tits who wanted it ap er. I told ’er to fackoff.” Everyone could see he was lying. Even Kelly, who giggled, as if to show it. “No it wasn’t you fibber (giggle). I can read you like the back of my hand,” she went on, to a look of dismay from Cliché Si, who nevertheless kept a stiff upper lip, “it was your dad or someone; you can’t pretend with me.”

The looks of derision which greeted her were soon averted as Jimmy reached the bottom of the stairs in a camp way, followed by Aled and Ieuian. Ieuian had asked Jimmy where he could find something to eat, like his favourite salad cream butties, and Aled had wandered where there might be some more furniture he could steel. Jimmy had told them to “follow me” or something similar.

“Right!” said Jimmy, camply, and he clapped his hands twice. “Can I have everybody’s attention please? Ok, now, a very important matter. Has anyone seen my John Inman key fob? If I don’t find it soon I’ll just die.” There was no answer, just looks of contempt. “Well, if anyone does find it, I need it back straight away,” he continued, in a camp way, then turned to Aled and Ieuian, “and can you two chaps come with me please? I don’t think I booked you in properly…” with just the merest hint of a cheeky smile.

He walked towards the reception desk, with Aled and Ieuian just behind him, just as he liked it.


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© 1999 Vance Productions. Blue Hotel is a work of fiction. All characters portrayed herein are entirely fictitious and any resemblance to actual people, living or dead is purely coincidental. It really is. Blue Hotel™ tubby toys are now available by mail order from VanceProductions. All subscriptions taken by @DVANCE™ direct debit.