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Mucky Pups

Girl on Bike

Peter Miller
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Stewpot was taught about sex by three of his sisters. They showed him photographs and crude diagrams, and talked him through the rigours of reproduction. In return he allowed them to use his knob for wanking-off practice and let them have a good look at it, before, during and after. By the age of fourteen he’d had his foreskin pinched, prodded and pulled enough to last most people a lifetime. It didn’t do his family relationships any harm. All such shenanigans trickled away as the girls put their discoveries to good use behind the youth club. Stewpot knew exactly what to do when romance came tug-tug-tugging at his zipper. Shagging never posed him any great difficulties, but love eluded him for many years. He jumped the cohabitation hurdle at an early age, but watched his posters and pop collages blur as the bedsit turned slowly and solidly into a befuddled bachelor pad. He turned the other cheek, which is no turkey snot.

Mitch was less fortunate, having to conduct his own plonker-pulling preliminaries. No one would have it off with him.

Mungo’s earliest sexy memory was of himself and some friends climbing up a tree in the park and taking all their clothes off. Of course, it was a nice day, otherwise they would have frozen their tiny bollocks off. Parks are always busy on nice days, and sure enough a straggly parade of people passed beneath the tree, oblivious to the unspied spindlies dangling down. The boys giggled as a pretty girl of about eighteen rode her bike down the path towards their hideout. The slow sound of her tyres on the gravel had a curious effect on Mungo’s lower abdomen. Her copper hair glinted as she passed through a shaft of brilliant sunlight admitted by the slowly swaying leaves.

“HEY! GIRL ON BIKE! TAKE A LOOK AT THIS!” yelled Davie Gibbon. He had stood up on the branch without the others noticing, such was their interest in the approaching girl. She involuntarily looked up at the commotion and was treated to the sight of naked Davie grasping a sprig of puny twigs above his head with one hand whilst using the other to shake his pre-pubescent penis at the girl and her shiny bike.

Davie was the only one laughing, still shaking his dinkle, as the girl sped off along the path in what looked to Mungo like the general direction of the police station. The boys scurried into their clothes, scrambled down the tree and scampered off in the direction of home.

“Aw, Davie ya dick!” said Mungo several times. He thought Davie had spoilt his chances with the girl, and he fumed about it for weeks afterwrds.

Mungo told that story to Mitch and Stewpot to brighten up a dismal December afternoon on the freezing terraces of Firhill football stadium. They were watching, or half-watching, a match between Clyde and Ayr United, who boast the most pompous nickname in British football, The Honest Men. Mungo was enjoying pointing out a number of dishonest men in the sparse crowd who had been dishonest children with him at school. Davie Gibbon was among them, but he didn’t have his knob out on this occasion. Just as well, because it was quite cold weather. Neither did the other people Mungo remembered from the school chess team and playground purges. They all had their flies buttoned up correctly. All had changed considerably, becoming fat skinheads or thickset labourers with necks that looked like they’d stolen them from a sleepy bull. A smelly little boy called Yeti had blossomed into a smelly little man called Yeti, his filthy hair being whipped by the wind into the faces of his reluctant companions. Mitch and Stewpot didn’t much care about all this, but they laughed sportingly. They even managed to warmly applaud each and every one of Ayr United’s six goals, partly to keep out the cold, and partly to cheer Mungo up. He wasn’t feeling very well again, and was facing his first Christmas for a long time as a gay bachelor.

Mungo had met Wee Janie when he was DJing at the students’ union. She was pretty, her friends were pretty, and she hit the jackpot when she asked for a record that Mungo really liked, Outdoor Miner by Wire. He watched her dance from his DJ table, hands on his hips and an enormous grin from big hoop earring to big hoop earring. Later on he asked Mitch to look after the record decks. He crawled under the table, dodging the puddles of spilt beer, and asked her to dance. Mitch resisted the temptation to spoil everything by doing a bit of impromptu Run DMC scratching.

Mungo was unusually cheerful when the potato-shaped entertainments officer ambled up with a few ill chosen words of praise and thanks and handed over the customary roll of grubby fivers.

“Do you reckon you’re in then?” asked Mitch, his frosty breath sowing doubt in the onset of Spring.


“Are you going to see her again?”


“Didn’t you ask, you big jesse?”

“She’ll be back,” breezed Mungo.

“Like fuck she will!” snarled a drunken tramp as they passed a piss-stinking doorway next to the chip shop. Crowded. At this time of night, with that much alcohol flooding the bloodstreams of the city, waxy white uncooked chips are considered a great delicacy. Staff had no trouble short-changing customers, and everyone was happy, including the dogs drawn to the pools of vomit that awaited the gaily-clad street cleaning troupe. Stewpot and Mitch lugged their heavy record boxes past the laughter steamed windows and plonked them down at the back of the taxi rank queue. Mungo was normally foul-tempered when his pre-ordered taxi failed to show up, but tonight he was lost in spaceboy dreams. Mitch kept quiet, not wanting to interfere with his friend’s temporary happiness. He hopped unnoticed from foot to foot, not because of the unseasonable cold, but because he was dying for a slash. He didn’t want to add to the rivers of piss that were flowing down Glasgow’s intricate network of lanes, the photogenic hive of back alleys that made the city a bit better than it’d be without them. His thoughts started to go on a merry trot, the vodka in his veins inducing a mixture of philosophy spiked with nostalgia: Was one person’s piss different to another person’s piss? What happens when somebody’s piss mingles with another person’s piss? Do they automatically get on all right, regardless of social backgrounds? Is posh piss more acidic than poor piss? Why is piss called pish in Scotland?

The most impressive display of formation pissing Mitch had ever seen had been at Parkhead, the home of Glasgow Celtic. He and Stewpot had gone to see Celtic confirmed as league champions against God knows who, probably Motherwell. At half-time they wandered outside to absorb the atmosphere and scoff the Tunnock’s Teacakes they had brought with them. About half the capacity crowd were standing up against the perimeter wall pissing away quite merrily. The resulting piss torrent was like a miniature scene from the Bible, with empty fag packets playing the part of Noah’s Ark and a castaway Coke can as a toppled Tower of Babel, which floated off down the noisily populated slope, knocking into and bouncing off of shoes and boots. Eventually it bumped into a cardboard box containing crudely constructed cheese and ham rolls. The vendor’s hysterical salespitch was in no way affected by the piss flood sloshing around his ankles. He was either unaware of or unconcerned about the inevitable seepage into his goods. To judge by the queue, neither were his customers overly worried about the consequences of eating a piss-pickled ham roll. The bus ride to the ground had been hair-raising enough for Mitch, a huge moustachioed drunk shouting in his face that Ally McCoist “sucks the pish out of his wife’s knickers”. Mitch doubted that this could be true, Ally McCoist seemed OK for a Hun, but he could offer no solid evidence to contradict the quivering moustache, tawny hairs bouyed up by beer soaked breath. He kept his counsel, and tried with all his might not to laugh when he saw Stewpot’s shuddering frame, silently laughing, out of the corner of his eye. Now another moustache, this time ginger, was bearing down on Stewpot:

“Are you that guy out of the Cheeseus and Merry Chain?”

Stewpot shook his head.

“My pal says it’s you. Him over there.”

The moustache indicated a tired tableau of demented thugs up the slope. None of them were looking over, they were too busy spouting shite and showing off grim plumage of laughter. Stewpot shook his head again, but didn’t say anything. Mitch steeled himself to catch any flying teeth, but the moustache just slunk back to his pals.

Celtic’s victory brought on a display of ecstasy that Saint Theresa of Avila would have had difficulty describing. A dart dipped in fire appeared to have been inserted well into every partisan rectum in the stadium.

“Celtic, you’re magic!” cried one supporter as he was lifted towards Heaven, trailing clouds of beery glory.

“What are you laughing at?” demanded Mungo.

“Nothing. That guy with the ’tache at Celtic.”

“What ‘guy with the ’tache’ at Celtic?” teased Mungo happily. “This fucker’s ours!” he yelled in triumph as a black cab swung violently into view and belched to a halt in front of them.

“They were shit, weren’t they?” said Patrick Speckle, interrupting Mitch’s conversation with Dolph, a huge leather jacketed freak who was co-hosting the party.

Patrick was the lead singer with a rather wishy-washy pop group who had played support that evening for The Carnivals, an Australian group whose poignant love songs had gone down fairly badly in a hall full of dickhead students. Patrick’s group had been a big success, surprising even themselves.

“I didn’t like them very much,” answered Mitch, triggering a barrel-bottom laugh from Dolph.

Mitch wasn’t sure whether Dolph was laughing at his comment or because Mitch had been cornered into a conversation with a well-known campaigner for gay rights. It dawned on Mitch that this was the first time he had ever consciously tried to have a normal conversation with a gay person. He’d been chatted up and propositioned before, but Patrick harboured no such intentions. Nevertheless, Mitch began to feel uncomfortable and stutter platitudes about the evening’s entertainment. Patrick’s group, The Hobnails of Discomfort, had been loudly encouraged from the side of the stage by the temporary head of security, Mungo, who was now hovering around the crowded flat somewhere, but Mitch’s nervous eyes couldn’t pick him out. There was Stewpot warbling merrily away to someone or other. He had one hand in front of his mouth and a bottle of Grolsch in the other, its bloody silly click-off top clattering against the glass as he swung the bottle about wildly to illustrate whatever pointless point he was making. Mitch slipped away from Patrick as soon as he could and went to sniff out Mungo. He found him sitting on the floor between two battered armchairs, hugging his knees and sporting a wide smile. He gleefully raised his eyebrows at Mitch, who perched quietly on the arm of a chair to see what was happening. Mungo was listening to a sparkling debate about the nature of pop (as in pop music). The chief participants were Jim Feetfirst, a spiky-topped leather fetishist with pierced nose and lips (as well as who-knows-what else), and Celery Dream, proprietor of a well-appointed hairdresser’s to the stars. In Glasgow, “stars” meant the staff of BBC Scotland and Ricky Ross out of Deacon Blue. Celery dressed beautifully, hair slicked back to exude a classic confidence. The third debater, and the one giving Mungo such jolts of pleasure, was Haycock Devonshire Julius Spott, who looked and acted just like Johnny Rotten. Haycock possessed an enviable ability to get right up people’s noses. He was on fine form tonight, tripping up Feetfirst and stripping down Celery at every pompous turn of the argument. Feetfirst believed, with pierced lipped intensity, that three minute pop tunes, best exemplified by The Ronettes and the Pet Shop Boys, were fundamentally superior to absolutely everything else.

“The best pop makes you feel like you’re sixteen again,” he rattled, making the few stray sixteen year olds, all of whom were wearing Sonic Youth and Rapeman badges, look at each other in confusion. None of them seemed to know how they felt.

Celery surprised them all by claiming that he had been bitterly unhappy when he was sixteen, so fuck off. He preferred corrosive rock ’n’ roll as typified by Neil Young and Crazy Horse or Led Zeppelin, whose monumental riffs...

The sixteen year-olds went shuffling off to the kitchen to get more punch. Mitch was tempted to go after them. One of the girls’ necklaces had caught his attention, how the silver, or pewter, or whatever it was, merged with her pale skin and expressionless face, but he stayed put and soon forgot about her. Big jugs though.

Haycock insisted again and again that hardcore hip-hop was the choice of champions (his own bizarre expression) and that hip-hop had been around for ten years and it would be around for much longer than any other type of music, “Especially that indie-pop shite!” he politely sneered in Celery’s perfumed earhole. Celery brushed him off, but Feetfirst declared with impressive solemnity that in ten years time no one would be buying albums of their favourite hip-hop songs, whereas the Pet Shop Boys would be revered as visionaries by civilisations yet to be founded.

“Fuck off!” scoffed Haycock, and Celery added to Feetfirst’s indignation by comparing Neil Young’s guitar solos to the groundbreaking and ear-exploding saxophone squawks of John Coltrane.

Feetfirst’s upper lip quivered angrily as Haycock leant towards Celery:

“Schooly D’d shove his saxophone up his bumhole for him!”

“Schooly D bollocks,” countered Feetfirst, defending his original opponent, “Smiley Culture was the first and best rapper—no contest.”

Everyone except Feetfirst fell about laughing, and an impersonation of Smiley Culture’s cockney policeman character could be heard coming from the corner.

“’Ere, whatcha got there then?”

Feetfirst got up in humiliation and skulked over to the corner where the drug fiends were to be found dreaming up ever more foul and complex ways of getting out of their boxes. Buckets, bongs, sputniks... such inventiveness never failed to impress Mitch. Haycock shuffled after Feetfirst, the scent of victory in his nasal passages. He didn’t bother to get up, just dragged himself along the floor on his backside. He looked like an oversized crab. The doorbell went, as it had done roughly once every ten minutes since they had arrived. This time when it opened Mitch gave Mungo a sharp kick in the kidneys. Wee Janie and her friends walked in, carrying bottles of wine under each arm. Mungo leant forward to see them disappearing into the kitchen. He formed a huge “O” with his mouth and his eyebrows swung joyously skyward. He heaved himself up off the floor, using the two chair arms for leverage, and trotted after her. Mitch was left slumped in the now vacant armchair, next to the one occupied by Celery Dream. Mitch contemplated going in search of the girl with the porcelain skin and achingly ample bosom, but he acknowledged that it was a lost cause before he started. His enthusiasm for the endlessly convoluted search for lasting love was renewed, however, when Celery leaned over and asked:

“Do you like Vic Godard and Subway Sect at all?”

“I’ve only ever heard Are Friends Electric? to be honest,” shrugged Mitch, and got to his feet.

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Copyright ©Peter Miller, 2001
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Date of publicationNovember 2001
Collection RSSGlobal Fiction
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