Monday, 25 October 2010


Just lately Oi went on Facebook. Cripes—din’t they ever want ter know all about yew; loike yer politics an’ religious views an’ such. An’ ‘ere Oi was, not even knowing Oi ‘ad anyfink loike that. An’ when it comes ter religion, Oi can’t ‘elp noticin’ that lots o’ ovver people ain’t so sure neither. Any’ow, Peter an’ me, we ‘ad a bit of a barney about it. An then Oi remembered as ‘ow we scrapped over it when ‘ee first come ter live near me. Moi gang ‘ad “borrowed” ‘is cart loike. An’ Oi knew somefink about it. An’ so we was arguin’ about tellin’ lies an’ immorality:

‘Oi don' tell lies’ Oi said. ‘That's immoral.’
‘Immoral! What do you know about immorality. You don't go to church.’
‘Yew sound jus’ loike yer mum. Oi 'ears 'er goin' on at yew sometimes when the winder's open.’
‘She's not my mum; she's my aunt.’
‘That's not what moi mum says.’
‘What d'you mean?’
‘She's―  my―  aunt.’
‘Yeah, yeah, okay. Any'ow, yew don't have ter go ter no church ter know what's immoral. What's immoral is when yew 'urt somebody or somefink on purpose. Oi ain't hurtin' yew none if'n Oi tells yew where yer cart is. An it don't 'urt nobody else neither; so long as JJ don' find out it were me wot told yer.’
‘How can you be so sure that JJ won't find out?’
‘Oi said yew was slow, 'n Oi weren't wrong. ‘S'obvious that Oi ain't gonna tell 'im— 'ee'd kill me. An' yew won't tell nobody it was me, neither.’
‘How can you be so sure of that?’
‘D'yew want yer cart back or not?’
‘You know I do.’
‘Then yew'll do as Oi says, or else.’
‘Why are you doing this?’
‘Oi 'ave moi reasons. Let's jus' say that Oi've got somefink ter settle wiv JJ. Besides, Oi loikes yer.’
‘Okay, I'll do what you ask as long as it's not immoral.’
‘It ain't immoral. Oi jus' wants yew ter show me again how yew beat the Slug in the privy.’
‘That's immoral!’
‘No it ain't. It don't do no 'arm to nobody, so long as Oi don't tell. That way, yew won't tell nobody it was me wot told yew where yer cart is. If'n yew do, yer 'oly aunt will get to 'ear as 'ow yew showed me 'ow yew beat the Slug.’
‘I won't do it! It's blackmail.’
‘It ain't any  colour o’ mail. Just a little ole agreement between the two of us.’

(Gang Territory Chapter 17)

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Joinin' the Commandos, or somefink

Yeah-- well, Oi've got me a blog now. An' cripes, wot a combat obstacle course it were ter get 'ere! Anyone'd fink Oi was a-joinin' up fer the Commandos or somefink.
Any'ow 'ere Oi am, an' Oi want ter get somefink straight roight from the start, jus' so's yew won't go a-rushin' madly off in all directions at once wiv the wrong idea. So-- if'n yew're lookin' fer pretty photos of me down at the beach wiv the fam'ly an' the dog-- well yew'd best go a-lookin' someplace else, 'cos yew won't be finding any o' that sorta fing 'ere. Besides, there's mines an' barbed wire all over them beaches, an Oi ain't got no camera any'ow. An' Oi ain't got no dog neither, though it'd be noice ter 'ave one. Moi mum says a dog makes too much work. Besides 'ow would we feed it when we've got our work cut out ter feed ourselves, wot wiv the rationin' an' all. Get the picture?
So-- wot Oi'm goin' ter put in 'ere is jus' moi own stuff, see. The sorta stuff wot pleases me. An' if'n yew don't loike it, well yew know wot yew c'n do about it. Jus' don' say Oi didn't warn yer.
Roight then. The thing is, Oi ain't too good at writin' -- 'cept when it's real important, loike our petition that toime. In any case, the kinda stuff wot Oi loike is wot moi friend Peter writes, 'specially when it's about me.  So wot Oi'm  goin' ter do mostly, is ter copy down stuff wot 'ee's already writ. Sometimes 'ee's a bit daft, so's you'll 'ave ter forgive 'im the daffy bits, but 'ee troies real 'ard, an' 'is 'eart's in roight place. Well-- 'ee wouldn't be moi friend ovverwise, would 'ee. See wot Oi mean?
Well, 'ere goes wiv the first bit. It were just after Peter 'ad come ter moi school:

"Do you know Jenno Bryce?" I asked.
"Everyone knows Jenno," replied Winnifred in a hard voice. "What do you want with her?"
"I just want to know who she is."
"She's over there doing handstands, and showing off next weeks washing, if you really want to know, Mr Peeker," said Winnie angrily.
"I'm not peeking," I retorted, crossing my fingers. "I thought you were my friend. What's the matter? Did you get out of bed the wrong side this morning?"
"Huh!" snorted Winnie disgustedly. "Boys!"
"But which one is she?" I persisted. "There's quite a lot of washing on show."
"If you absolutely must know," burst out Winnie, "she's got pink ones." She got up in a huff and stalked off.
I watched the pink knickers for a while, waiting for their owner to come right side up again so that I could see her face.
The wait became protracted. I decided to go over to her.
"Are you Jenno?" I asked.
"Go away," replied pink knicks, her voice muffled by the skirt that hung over her face. "Can't yew see Oi'm busy?"
It was Jenno's voice. "Can't you stand up? I want to talk to you."
"Naaw, go away. Oi'm busy."
"You're only doing handstands."
"Oi'm irrigatin' moi brain, an' yew're interruptin' moi concentration. Oi'm staying loike this till the bell goes. Go away."
I turned around, bent in two and looked backwards, upside down, to see her face. All I could see was the waistband of her pink knickers, a strip of white flesh with a belly button in the middle, the fabric of her skirt, and two wrists protruding below it, their hands on the ground. The hands were very red, the knuckles very white.
"I just wanted to say thank you," I said quietly.
"S'orrite," said Jenno. "Now go away. Oi wanna concentrate."
I straightened up and began to walk slowly away. A few moments later the bell rang. I swung round, too late. The hand-standers were already upright and mingled with the other girls.
I still didn't know what Jenno looked like.

(Gang Territory Chapter 19)