Sea View Babylon
Chapter 14 (so as not to give any games away!)
Mick an Jim sat on the small sandy beach eating ice cream in the hot sun, and discussing their abject failure as human beings.
“I dunno,’ said Mick. ‘I tried, but questioning that Jimmi was slippery - everything was all over the place - a bit like juggling kangaroo sperm.’
Jim stopped licking, stood up suddenly, and went to deposit his unfinished ice cream cone in a nearby waste bin.
He came back looking a little nauseous. ‘Why do you go in for disgusting similes? You do it all the time.’
‘No, I don't,’ said Mick, ‘I could have said slippery as juggling with a bull’s recently removed testicles, but I didn't, because you were eating, and I’m always sensitive to the fact that other people’s constitutions may not be as cast-iron as mine.’
‘Anyway,’ said Jim, anxious to change the topic, ‘I don't think Moira loves me.’
‘Course she doesn’t,’ said Mick. She’s the most gorgeous creature on the planet and you’re a depressing, scrawny, alcoholic, with no prospects, who last had sex seven years ago, and still has difficulty in remembering what happened.’
‘That’s quite unnecessary,’ said Jim. ‘In fact, that really hurts.’
‘Sorry, my old mate,’ said Mick, ‘it was out of order, and it was untrue. I reckon it’s more like ten years.’
‘Right, said Jim, ‘I’m off to get another ice-cream, but you’ve got to promise not to move on to snails’ penises, red-arsed baboons mating techniques or the way vultures vomit intestines and faeces when threatened.’
‘You have my word, dear boy,’ said Mick, ‘and anyway I think I threw all those into the small-talk session with Moira, last night.’
‘You were right over the top,’ said Jim, even though he had no recollection of the evening, whatsoever.
‘No I wasn’t,’ countered Mick. ‘When that bloke came round selling individual roses, I bought one for her and even managed to recite a rather lovely poem.
‘O Love,’ he said, and kissed her mouth
Heart, heart, remember thou the bliss?
In east or west, in north or south,
I know no finer rose but this!’
‘Then I followed it up with a few choruses of ‘Who stuck the dick on the snowman, and made it look a lot like me.’
Jim had had enough, so he wandered off to get an ice-cream, and, against his better judgement, bought one for Mick, as well.
So they sat on the beach in the blazing sun, eating ice-cream, checking the exhibitionists and reminiscing about their time on the mother-in-law ship.
"No let up in the pace as Mick and Jim cope with murderous agents from the CIA, KGB and MI7, so secret even MI5 and MI6 don't know about it. Great final paragraph."