Burgers (Photo credit: Neil T)

It wasn’t my fault I got the boot from Penny Salerno’s Ma’s dressmaking stall at Greaty Market!   I didn’t bank on Penny’s 17 year old cousin Zani being my work colleague on Saturday.    Penny tells me his name is actually Zanipolo, but they call him Zani.   As you might have guessed, Zani is Italian, and he growls in Italian as well!
Zani gave me the evils all morning every time Penny’s ma would turn her back.  He’d stand in front of me so customers would go to him instead of me.   At one point I was selling some turquoise voile to a woman.. I had her in the palm of my hand! When Zani stepped in front of me, took over, and completed the sale.. so he got the 2 quid owing to me from Penny’s ma.  I was steaming!

‘Eh, That was my sale!’ I shouted.

He turned to me and put his nose up to mine ‘Vaffanculo!’, I didn’t have a clue what he said, but I knew it wasn’t ‘I’m sorry’.  After staring each other out for what seemed like a life time, I turned and started calling to the customers again.  Zani tapped me on the shoulder and I turned round,  he screwed up his nose and spoke ‘ Sei uno stronzo!’

‘Yeah, to you too mate!’ I shouted.  I knew he wasn’t inviting me to his house for dinner; this fella really hated me, and for what? Dickhead!

Then Penny’s ma went off to find the bog, and knew I was in trouble.  Zani just kept staring at me and pushing me out of the way when customers showed any interest.  I finally got a  sale… spent ages priming this old girl, then when she came to hand over the cash for the pink velour curtain material, Zani does it again… he pushes me to one side and goes in for the kill, taking the money himself.

It wasn’t that which got me the sack from Penny Salerno’s Ma’s dressmaking stall at Greaty Market… it was the fact that I saw red.. I wasn’t thinking straight…  I went for Zani; diving on him over the polyester tressol.   I didn’t mean for my forehead to meet with the bridge of his nose, it’s just that the tressol collapsed to the ground, and when the ground broke Zani’s fall, my head kept moving… ’till it met his nose!  It was a right stonker of a scouse kiss; right between the eyes.  Ok, it sounds a bit aggressive now, but at the time I was just wanting to show him that I wasn’t the  wimpy little push over he thought I was! He’d wound me up all morning, and he’s bigger than me, so he could have fought back if he’d have tried.

I knew I was out on my arse straight away, especially when I saw the gash between his eyes, and the blood running down his nose.  At least he was conscious and holding onto his nose! So I did what any brave man would do…  I legged it from the stall before Zani could find his feet and get his revenge.

I stopped at the other end of the market to check that no one was following me, then sat down on a plazzy garden chair next to a burger van to get my breath back.

‘Oy! If you’re not buying, you’re not sittin’!’ shouted the fella on the van.. he had a queue as long as the Mersey tunnel waiting for cups of teas and bacon butties.

I stood up ‘No I’m not buying, got no money’.  I was about to walk away when he called me back.

‘I’ll give you a cup of tea and a beef burger with onions if you come and give us a hand for half an hour lad; I’m inundated here!’.

I didn’t need to be asked twice! My dirty apron was on and I was flipping burgers before you could say scouse kiss.

One door closes and another one opens… that’s what my mate Anthony always says.

God Penny.. I’ve got some explaining to do later!

War memorial cotton exchange liverpool

War memorial cotton exchange liverpool – Credit from Wikipedia

All right… so I didn’t quite make the 200 quid I was hoping for on Penny Salerno’s Ma’s dressmaking stall at Greaty Market on Saturday.  Well… it fell quite a bit short of that actually… more like eight quid.  WELL you just wouldn’t believe how hard it is to sell dress material to women!  They’re dead fussy and want everything for nothing, and if it’s not Egyptian cotton they want a discount.    I don’t see what makes Egyptian cotton any better than good old Liverpool cotton.  They might be all right at building pyramids, but you can rely on the scousers to be the leaders in fashion.. I mean, where else but Liverpool can you find girls with a year round tan, camel-sized eyelashes and finger nails that can scratch your back even if you’re sitting on the other side of the room?

But fashion isn’t exactly ME is it?  I’ve got one pair of trainees (no shoes) which I wear for every occasion (You can’t see the hole under the left one, but my soggy sock knows about it!), I’ve got one coat (next door’s cast-off) and seven pairs of undies which I wash, wear, and turn inside out for extra wear on a regular basis.   Don’t get me wrong, Anthony and Susan have been life savers with the stuff for school they’ve bought me when I go around to their house… but it doesn’t exactly make me a follower of fashion does it?   And if I’m dead honest, I don’t give a shit if I’ve got gear from the charity shop or posh named gear.

I was watching a fella on the fruit stall opposite, shouting to the  customers.. ‘Get your broccolis here.. three for a pound!’  I could do that! I know my broccolis from my cauliflowers.  But selling flowery material to tight arsed old grannies just isn’t my forte.  Still… eight quid’s better than a smack in the gob, even if I did work my arse off for seven hours!  And the upside of it is that I’m beginning to know my brushed cottons from my algodon cottons (or something like that anyway).

I’m not giving up that easily though.. next week I’m aiming higher, hoping to double my money.   I might even treat Penny to the pictures afterwards with my wages if I have enough (bet she’d be dead made up).

Jeremy Clarkson called Richard Branson a beard...

“Space virgins need chutes”. The Times (London) . . Retrieved 26 April 2010 . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not only have I got the love of a good woman now (The beautiful and talented Ms Salerno!) But my luck is up and running in other ways too… Penny’s got me a job on her ma’s dressmaking stall down Greaty Market!  She says if I single-handedly sell material and bring in new custom to the stall she’ll give me two quid for every sale! TWO quid for EVERY SALE!  I was working that out in my head.. and it basically means that if I can get 100 people a day to buy something then I’ll clock up 200 quid a day!!! I’LL BE LOADED!

Greaty market is only on Saturdays, but I was thinking that if I can do dead good at that, then I can start working at other markets in the week.. maybe on the fruit and veg at Saint John’s and then work my way up to fresh meats, I could end up being like that fella Richard Branston by the time I’m eighteen!  Having my own helicopter and flight company by the time I’m twenty-one ….   Penny will be mega impressed! I’m dead looking forward to it big style!

The offending Lamb-Banana!

After a crappy summer of dodging me ma and her needles and dreaming up exciting ways I could have Binny knocked off, I was glad to be at school (yeah, I know…Dead weird eh!).   It was good to see Penny Salerno and her shiny black long hair everyday; I didn’t need to wait a whole week to meet her on a Saturday anymore.   But I don’t know if she looked at me in a very good light when we had a bet on the way home from school…. Penny reckoned that I’d be arrested if I went and sat on one of those Lamb-Bananas in town.   I bet her twenty pence that there’s no way that someone can be arrested for sitting on a Lamb-Banana.   So we shook hands on it.   I sat on the nearest Lamb-Banana to prove my point…. and found out that I owed Penny twenty pence, ’cause you CAN be arrested for sitting on a Lamb-Banana!

Whether it was the actual ‘sitting’ on it that got me arrested, or whether it was the actual pushing the bizzy over onto his arse as he tried to man-handle me off the Lamb-Banana that actually put the nail in the coffin.. I’m not really sure which.    Either way, I found myself down the cop-shop being talked down to by a bizzy who thought he was interrogating an al-Qaeda suspect (he was obviously a new recruit who was looking at this opportunity to make a first impression on his fellow bizzy officers!).

I said to him ‘ Look mate.. all I did was sit on a Lamb-Banana!  You haven’t just foiled a major bomb plot to blow up the Liverbuildings!’

Well… the word ‘bomb’ was enough to have a second bizzy come in and treat me like a terrorist suspect.. both not a lot older than me, and full of shit.

I was in that cop-shop for nearly 3 hours, not a glass of water, not a phone call! If it wasn’t for the fact that they let me go without charge after  3 hours, they were dead lucky ’cause I’d have put a counter assault claim in for how that copper man-handled me off the Lamb-Banana, and the fact that I didn’t get my rights to a solicitor and phone call down at the station.  They got off lightly there!

As I walked outside and smelt the fresh air of freedom, there was Penny.. tearful and red-eyed, waiting for me!  She ran to me and put her arms tight around me, bursting into tears.  I was overcome myself – she was so beautiful! She DID really care for me! This wasn’t something I witnessed in my life very often.   My heart felt like it was going to burst as I felt her arms around me, and her tears against my face.

I really think I’m in love with Penny Salerno….

By early May me ma was hardly ever in, and when she was she was so off her head that she could hardly speak.  It hurt so much at first, but I had this other life;   a fantastic life where I walked Penny Salerno home from school every night, and then I’d go for tea round to Anthony and Susan’s house.  Anthony was Boss.   I’d never have been able to survive on the food in our cupboard at home…. a jar of mouldy piccalilli and a tin of sliced peaches (which had been there since I’d come back to live with me ma from the foster parents).

I can touch the light, and it feels dead good! Photo by Jilly Gardiner

Anthony could sense things weren’t going well in our house, so Susan was making dead gorgeous scran every night, and then washing and drying my school clothes for me to take home for the next day.   Susan had even gone out and bought me a pack of new white school shirts from Next!

I was feeling dead smart when I’d walk Penny home from school.   Then on Saturdays I’d fish on the dock, and Sundays I’d go to Ray’s at tea time to walk our Regal, and they’d always give me a load of ham and tomato butties and trifle for afters……   Yeah life was fantastic!

I just dreaded nine o’clock at night when I’d go home, put the key in the door and not be sure what I’d find.   It was mostly a relief when me ma wasn’t in; but if she was I was terrified to find what state she might be in.    One night I found her lying draped over a tipped up chair in the kitchen – puke all over the floor, and a cup smashed to pieces with her still holding on to the handle (with nothing else attached).

Sometimes Binny was there… sometimes he wasn’t.  He was always in the same state as me ma if he was there.  I reckon neither of them ever noticed me come in… I wondered if me ma remembered I lived there at all.   I’d just go to my room and lock the door, lie on the bed and surround myself with National Geographic mags.  Then before I went to sleep I’d think about my walk home with the gorgeous Penny Salerno, and her smile….. thinking of her always relaxed me (worked me up in a good way, but made me feel relaxed and content).

The less I was seeing of my ma, the more I could pretend everything was brilliant.

April came and went… I walked Penny Salerno home at every chance I got.   Her laughing at every stupid joke I told (I even made some of them up!), and me feeling dead warm inside every time she did laugh.  I started hating the weekends ’cause it meant I wouldn’t see her (But I still loved walking our Regal at Ray’s house on Sundays!).   Me ma was hardly ever home, and she was showing signs of using.    I’d tried to ignore it over the weeks, and kept telling myself that they were just Binny’s needles I was finding.  But when Binny disappeared off the face of the earth again, I knew for sure me ma was on it.

Penny Salerno was the only thing that kept my mind off it.  I couldn’t wait ’til four o’clock Monday to Friday just so I could walk her to the end of her road.  She was my drug, just like smack was now me ma’s.    If I thought that I was losing me ma before, I knew now that I’d lost her for good.

What a mad few months!  It all started in April on my 14th birthday.  Yeah, I’m 14 now!  Only seems like yesterday since I turned 13 and became a proper man… and now here I am half way to 28!  Being half way to 28 has its ups and downs though… I’ve got all these feelings.. stuff I’ve never known before.  It’s all going on in my head; sending me off my head.

They want you to behave like an adult, but then speak to you like a 5 year old little kid.   It’s dead hard being half way to 28.

Early April I only had one thing on my mind.. Penny Salerno.   We’d got dead close over the weeks.  I was walking her home from school every day.  Loads of stuff I say makes her laugh.   She does something to me…  when she smiles.. something deep inside me that I’ve never really felt before (well apart from the time I found those girly mags stuffed in the inside of Binny’s guitar – they gave me a weird feeling when I flicked through them, but this feeling with Penny is better),  I can’t stop thinking about her when I’m on my own, locked in my bedroom.

I’d started walking Penny home, but stopping at the end of her road, ’cause for such a gorgeous, perfect girl, she had one humongous fault…..  BIG BROTHERS… and to make things worse, they had ME in their sights!

Football…. I f&ckin’ love it!    After thrashing Childwall boys 3-1 the other week, we went on to demolish Aintree Allstars on Saturday 7-1 (YES…Seven – One!!!).  I might have lost half my teeth, but my feet are doing just fine with a football in front of them.   Stevie Gerrard, move over!

And last week me ma went 2 days without a drink! (Yes, 2 days!!!!)  Ok, she had that vomiting bug where she constantly threw up when she moved an inch, so she couldn’t get out of bed.  I just supplied the washing up bowl and the glasses of water for 2 days.  But still, I’ve never seen her go 2 whole days without the whiskey before.

She told me that she felt so sick that she might never touch another drop of ale again.  I didn’t believe her though (and a day later I was helping up the stairs to bed after she’d been on a 14 hour bender).

Another shock I had last week was that me ma DID actually have a copy of my birth certificate! So I could book in and register at the NHS dentist to get my teeth sorted out.  Me ma said she always had to have a copy of the birth certificate for every time she had to get me back from social services.

I wish me ma would have a vomiting bug more often… it was nice to have her around for a few days.. even if she was only half conscious and she had her head stuck over a bowl most of the time!

Penny Salerno gave me a Cadbury’s Cream Egg on our last day of school before Easter!  I’ve saved it for Easter Sunday.  Felt ashamed that I didn’t get her anything back.  She gave a few out to different kids in the class, but I was the only boy she gave one too 🙂

cadbury creme eggs

Photo credit: contemplative imaging

After I’ve travelled over every continent, I’m going to be a footy star I reckon!

Ma…. I just want to say.. Happy Mother’s day.

I love you no matter what.

I love you even when I hate you.

Love from your son

Tommy xx

English: jkklglh

Image via Wikipedia

(and I’m going to tell you this tomorrow when you’re sober)

Been to seven dentists around the city looking for one that would fix my teeth.  Five said they were private, one said they weren’t accepting new patients, and the last one said they’d treat me, but I needed to bring in a birth certificate and some I.D.  Where the bleedin’ hell would my birth certificate be? I bet me ma hasn’t got a clue.  Bet she can’t even remember giving birth to me, never mind knowing where my birth certificate is!

I’ve always thought that I was probably left on someone’s doorstep by me ma when I was born, but then she had been gutted when the bizzies found out where she lived and gave me back.

Kenny Dalglish, manager of Liverpool FC.

Kenny Dalglish - Courtesy of Wikipedia

I want to go to school tomorrow ’cause it’s my last footy practice before the match against Childwall Boys on Saturday… I can’t miss that.   They beat us 2 – 0 last time we played them, and I’m determined to get one past the smug gets this time….  BACK OF THE NET!!!!!!!  STICK THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT.. YOU SMUG GETS!!!!.   But the thought of someone accidentally knocking into me and banging my face makes me want to throw up!  But can’t let King Kenny (Dalglish) down can I?  I’m not going to be able to just cry off a match because I’ve got tooth ache when I’m playing for Liverpool am I?

Oh well… Let’s hope there’s some whiskey under the settee so I can get some sleep tonight!