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OLD TIMERS IN A NEW AGE
I've been fired, Allen. Given my marching orders. Guess what? It's a blessing in disguise I say. I wake up and turn up. Ache from all the energy I burn up. Get a wee bit older. Die. Were the first ever humans building a luxury world for the last ever humans? And were the people inbetween just cannon fodder? One cannot fathom this repetitive pattern, Allen.
They can't fire you, you're an integral part of what we're doing here.
What we're doing is following orders for 12 hours a day. Explain to me what you mean by integral! Coz I've been working my arse off for nigh on infinity. The roads of our town should be paved with fucking gold by now! Where the hell is my tax money being spent? Coz it sure ain't as hell being spent on these buildings and roads. Where's the infrastructure? The shops? The nightlife? All we have got is a fucking statue of Gracie Fields and a Wilko!
And a Regal Moon.
Sigh... come on, Allen. I can take a hint. Let's get down there and have a few jars. Drink our sorrows away. Good old Regal Moon where the illegal beagles do gather.
You know what? You've been fired, so I'm quitting this poxy job as well. It pays me peanuts. 5 days on 3 days off. I slog my fucking guts out and for what? Remember when it used to be 3 days on 3 days off?
I do. We were a lot happier in those days. These jobs now, we're working extra hours, they've got us doing weekends like it's always been the norm. They're killing us. Trying to break our spirits. It's disgusting what those footballers are earning. Just for kicking a ball!
Hey, Allen. The boss doesn't pay you to stand around talking to ex-employees. Get back in here!
He hardly pays me at all, Jimbo. Minimum wage for what we do? Giving ourselves chronic back pain for when we retire? It's not worth it, mate. This job sucks big time penis. If you wanna spend all your best years rotting away here, Jim."
Fuck off! You two cunts don't know what you've got until it's gone. You'll know about it when you've gotta pay a bill and keep food on the table!
I couldn't give a flying frigg, Jimbo. We've all got to die sometime and of something. You might spend the next 30 years here in this dumpster, go for a routine check up at the hospital and be diagnosed with cancer. You should make your life worthwhile, Jim. Have a bit of dignity. Go and do something that you want to do with your life. Wake up and be happy. Don't wake up and keep running to this shithole just because it keeps a roof over your head. Pursue your dreams, man.
Nah, you two can go if you want. I'm happy here. Can't afford to leave. If you go, you won't get another chance to come back.
You say that like this place is heaven.
Well, mate. You'll know what heaven is really like when you can't find another job.
Who said I was looking for a job? Plenty of things out there to do. Life is about meaning, maybe one day you'll escape from your little bubble and discover what's out there. Come on, Tony, let's get out of here. Fuck this shit.
Going down the Regal Moon again are we? And you're talking about pursuing your dreams! Ha! Not gonna find any meaning in the bottom of a bottle. And when your wage runs dry, you're not gonna be able to find another bottle!
Shut it, Jimbo! You know fuck all about me.
Whatever. Fuck off. Don't beg me for money the next time you see me in the street.
You're never in the street, Jim, you're always here in your little cardboard box. Packing cardboard boxes funnily enough.
A job's a job.
If you say so... Adios. Liberation from Pantheon Solutions Limited!
Come on, let's get down The Regal Moon and celebrate our freedom.
I got news for you two! Nobody leaves the Pantheon. Nobody!
See you around, Jimbo. In the next life maybe...
Never underestimate the health and wellbeing properties of a dingy English pub. Beats all your yoga and meditation. Humans have been drinking since 2000 BC, so it must do something for your soul. I'm not into all this newfangled technology. Give me a drink and a good conversation over a Garmin and a gym anyday.
Can relate, mate. Where would you rather be right now? In the Pantheon producing and stacking cardboard boxes, or sat in this admittedly rundown, yet homely and historical pub? I've no idea where my next penny is gonna come from, and I love it.
Strange, I feel the same way. Might be the lager talking.
I've got a new drink in. It's called Coventina. The barman was called Clayton Morgan. He'd been at the Regal Moon for a good 12 years now, so he had a good idea of the regulars that came in. He knew Allen and Tony.
Coventina? Never heard of it, man.
You probably won't have. I had it imported from abroad, only really share it with people I like.
I'll just nip to the toilet and then we'll shoot off.
Alright, mate, no worries.
Ten minutes had passed. Allen had spent those minutes with his head slumped down. He was relatively tipsy, but not paraletic. Tony was taking a long time on the loo. Had he got the runs or something?
Five more minutes passed. Tony started to get suspicious. He wondered whether to text Allen, but then decided against it. Opting instead to do it the old-fashioned way, by checking out the toilet. To get to the toilet, you had to pass the bar itself as well as a couple of fruit machines, navigate three flights of stairs, pass through a main entrance door, and then another two doors close together to enter into the male toilet. Upon entering, he noticed that it was eerily quiet. The room itself was well lit. Nobody else was having a piss in any of the cubicles. He made a slow glimpse of the cubicle doors, they were all open except one. He approached the door that was closed.
"Allen, mate! Are you in there, Al?" There was no response. "AL, mate! Are you alright?" Again, nothing. Just silence.
He placed the palm of his hand against the cubicle door, gently giving it a shove forwards. Even though the door was practically closed, it didn't appear to be occupied. The door swung to its most open.
There was nobody there. Nothing but a sharp pissy stench and a turd in the bottom of the bowl. But Tony did spot some graffiti on the cubicle wall. Strange symbols, and the word Mamucium.