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Punks for the Memory

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posted on Aug, 16 2009 @ 12:22 PM
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Jamie was a punk of the first order, and proud to be so. He never missed an opportunity to sock it to the masses. Following his progress up the street would have been a rare joy for an anthropologist, but sadly his stock of hand gestures and facial expressions had yet to be discovered, researched and displayed to the world at large by the likes of Desmond Morris.

Snarling at old ladies and spitting at little children, Jamie kept the flame alight for the Great Spirit of Punk. (Provincial Variety).

His main delight, after frightening the defenceless and small animals, was his collection of body piercings. Self-inflicted, with great glee, Jamie's holes boasted a wild selection of trophies. Mostly spoils of gang-fights, each of these had a lurid tale to tell. The skull stud in his eye-brow had been looted from a particularly vicious Hell's Angel, set upon by Jamie and his friends when he was foolish enough to venture out minus his usual little gang of sycophants.

The pendant hanging from Jamie's left ear looked rather effeminate, but he had won it in a fight from a legendary female biker who had knocked his front tooth out before conceding defeat. (She had had Jamie's tooth mounted in silver and wore it in a particularly intimate place which she'd had pierced especially for it. Even Jamie felt sick at the thought, although he might not have minded so much if only she'd been pretty).

He even had a Dennis the Menace badge shoved through his belly button. He'd had to fight his kid brother to get that, and had found it the hardest of all his trophies to obtain. Jamie hadn't only fought hard to win the badge, he'd had to practically kill his little brother to dissuade him from telling their Mum.

Besides his trophies, Jamie's absolute pride and joy were his Doc Marten Boots. Big and hard, those boots symbolized everything Jamie thought was good about himself. Except for one major problem – they weren't quite hard enough.

Not being very bright, Jamie spent a lot of his time fruitlessly trying to think of a way to toughen up his boots' image. All that thought gave him headaches which made him immensely aggressive, and most days he'd go out to pick a fight. This inevitably resulted in Jamie winning more trophies. He resigned himself to yet more piercing and found himself wishing for an extra pair of ears on which to hang his new ornaments.

When he had simply no more room on his nose, eyebrows, ears or lips, he began to pierce his elbows. There were some advantages to this, including getting on and off the bus more easily on pension day. A strategically placed elbow could really cut a swathe through an elderly crowd.

It was whilst travelling on the bus that Jamie got his idea for improving his boots to the point where they would truly illustrate his hard image. He'd have them re-inforced with steel. Armour plated boots! Even more effective for kicking in shop windows and knee-capping old ladies.

Jamie really hated old ladies and the way they really, genuinely expected him to feel sorry for them in their frailty and hardship. Not Jamie. He couldn't put them out of their misery, but he could certainly add to it. Excessive in everything, he couldn't stand half measures.

The search for a decent cobbler was on – a person who could re-inforce his boots to within an inch of their lives. No cissies for this job. Jamie searched for a suitable candidate. Word got around that he was on the hunt and suddenly cobblers from all over the Town found an excuse to go on holiday.

The mass exodus caused some considerable hardship to the poorly shod population. Unable to get their footwear repaired they had to resort to buying new shoes. Profits went sky high for the shoe manufacturers and some had thoughts of getting Jamie sainted.

Determination finally won over adversity and Jamie found his cobbler, an unprepossessing man in his forties with longish wispy hair. Well past it in Jamie's vocabulary, but still skilled, a good listener who immediately saw what was required.

He thanked Jamie profusely for entrusting him with the job, and Jamie sneered in his usual way and muttered darkly about the consequences of his boots being improperly treated. The cobbler smiled benignly and affected not to notice Jamie's distress at being without his beloved boots for a week.

Jamie slunk away into the darkness wearing a pair of worn down trainers, and took a convoluted route home to avoid meeting his few friends and many enemies.

Jamie's Mum had had enough. Her eldest son had been locked away at home for nearly a week with only the scabs on his piercings to pick as a diversion. He'd refused to go out of the front door and in his frustration at having no-one to fight, he'd begun to squeak at her. Well, she wasn't Jamie's Mum for nothing, he had to have got his mean streak from somewhere.

Smirking to herself after a minor altercation with her eldest, she fingered the rather effeminate trophy she'd just torn from his left ear. Go nice with her evening frock, that would.

Upstairs Jamie was recovering from shock. He really needed those boots now, his self-esteem was at rock bottom. If he hadn't been so furious with her, he would have asked his Mum to teach him some of the moves she had just used on him. Jamie tried to console himself. In another few years she would be an old lady. One of those detested old ladies, and he'd have his re-inforced boots. She'd just better watch out, that was all.

Jamie's little brother watched what was happening with great interest. Just wait a few years. Jamie would get rid of their Mum, then Jamie would get old himself. The little pretender pictured himself in his big brother's boots, utilising the battle strategies he was now planning to wheedle out of their Mum. Watch out world!

The following day after nightfall Jamie, swathed in black, left the house. He had his appointment with the cobbler to keep, and absolutely no intention of being late. He scurried through the streets, unaware of the eyes peering out at him from windows and doorways. Rheumy old eyes, silently gleeful at seeing Jamie minus boots. Not for long though – enjoy it while you can old ladies of the town.

Continued




posted on Aug, 16 2009 @ 12:23 PM
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Jamie knocked on the shoe-mender's door and was grateful not to be kept waiting. As soon as he was inside the shop he tore off the old trainers and demanded his boots. The cobbler grinned slyly at the sight of Jamie's bitten toes poking out from socks that looked like refugees from at least two wars and a children's birthday party. He went to his little back room to fetch the boots.

In his eagerness to try on his re-inforced boots, Jamie did not notice the gnarled, expectant faces pressed up against the shop window, nor did he hear the furtive shufflings and stifled murmers coming from the back of the place. He only saw his boots.

His entire being, the last iota of his attention were concentrated on those boots. They certainly did look different, in an indefinable sort of way. Rather subtly re-inforced, not too gaudy. But definitely mean looking. Jamie had not appreciated subtlety until now, but even he could see that subtle menace had much more going for it than his usual brand of knock-them-over-at-a-hundred-paces menace.

He took a deep breath and pulled on the boots. His feet sank in and luxuriated in the hard shell. He wriggled his toes and enjoyed the feeling of restriction he always felt in these boots. He started to bed to lace them up. The cobbler intervened – he would lace them up for Jamie. It would be his pleasure, never had he done such a satisfying job for such an exacting person.

Jamie beamed, he'd have people licking these boots before long, rather than give their blood a chance to dry. He stifled the urge to kick the shoe-mender while he had the chance. The thought was a poor second best to the action.

The cobbler finished lacing the boots, they were bound on tight. His customer considered never taking them off again. He was invited to inspect them more closely. He bent to have a look, and found he could not straighten up. He peered more and more closely. He couldn't help himself. He found his nose pressed right up against the steel, magnetic toe caps. He tried to swear, but found he couldn't open his mouth, so closely pressed to the boot were his lip studs. He grabbed the boots trying to pull himself away, but his rings and elbow trophies were held captive too. Jamie found himself rolled up into a tight ball on the cobbler's floor. Magnetised to his boots, unable to move. Unable even to swear or spit. Helpless, in fact.

The cobbler laughed nastily and opened the door to the back room, which Jamie now saw was packed with Hell's Angels, including the girl who wore his tooth with such contempt. She snuggled up to the cobbler, the guy with the longish, wispy hair, in his forties. Sort of weathered and battle-scarred Jamie now saw. Oh! Jamie wondered what would happen next.

The Angels had got him helpless in their den and he was friendless as well as defenceless. His wretched life flashed before him. Jamie thanked his heathen god for that small mercy, he hadn't wasted his time on Earth.

He watched then, as the cobbler opened the front door of the shop and was truly appalled to see the rush of old ladies flying in, heading straight for him. For someone who had never before experienced appalment, this was a hell of a time to find out about it.

Jamie tasted this new emotion and hated it. But being himself, he saw the silver lining in this particular cloud. So this was the feeling he had sparked off in so many – he felt rather pleased with himself in spite of his present predicament.

He felt frail, withered old fingers clutching at him. A raised voice reminded everyone there was to be no looting. That would be a fatal mistake. Jamie's trophies clamped to his boots would keep him disabled. He felt a feeble kick on his backside, then more kicks and a mighty whack with a walking stick. He found himself being booted up the street by a gang of old ladies, egged on and abetted by a crew of Hell's Angels. What an alliance – lethal for Jamie, sadly.

There were few people to mourn him when he was laid to rest. The police had found no witnesses to the crime. This was hardly surprising. There were no witnesses. Everyone who saw what was happening had joined in.

Even Jamie's family were not sorry to see the back of him. In fact, it worked out rather well for his little brother, who inherited the boots and got his Dennis the Menace badge back.

Everybody kept out of his way whenever possible, and they were extremely pleasant to him when they did have to deal with him. There was always the possibility that he might turn out like Jamie and it seemed a good idea to keep him sweet. Jamie's little brother smiled - “Not for long” he thought.

And he was careful never to get any piercings. He had only the boots, and a mean streak that hadn't yet reached full maturity. And a suspicion about who had been responsible for what had happened to his brother. And everyone suspected that he had that suspicion. And suspected that one day he would want retribution.

Jamie's little brother suspected that he would, or at least would pretend to. He didn't actually want revenge against people who had done him a favour, but he didn't feel beholden to them, either. And those people never suspected his indifference to their crime. But they did fear that one day Brother of Jamie would be after them. And so he would, but purely for spite. And the guilty wouldn't suspect that. He could do what he liked and they would all just think they deserved it. Even though they didn't.

At the top of the Shoe Manufacturers' International building was a small room and in the room was a shrine. Almost forgotten now it boasted a small altar. Above the altar, shrouded in a stale mist of strawberry incense was a forlorn little icon. Since Jamie had died a martyr (according to them), it was easier for the shoe-makers to get him sainted. But time had passed by and they had started to forget their hero.

Until one day the old chairman had tottered in to make a devotion to the man who had ensured his rich and comfortable old age. Rich, comfortable old men had never been favourites of Jamie's and he wasn't the sort to be grateful for a sainthood. Still, the chairman knelt innocently before the image with his head bowed.

The underling who found him later always swore that although the body had been spat upon, and its gold watch and chain were missing, it certainly had been nothing to do with him. Extensive searches of his body, and his house and car, and his DNA coding, did indeed prove conclusively that he was innocent of the outrage visited upon his boss.

The new chairman discontinued completely the worship at the shrine of St. Jamie de DocMarten and ordered the icon to be removed. The old caretaker took it down and was about to wrap it up when something odd caught his eye.

A rather valuable gold watch and chain dangling between Jamie's nipples, which protruded from his torn T-shirt.



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