Broken Toys: pt 3 Two Fryups, please, all the Trimmings

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Julie Duffy is the host of the creative writing challenge for short story writers, held annually in May. She first came across the term ‘defenestration’ in a high school history class and blames it for her subsequent degree in History. A transplanted Scot, she lives and writes in Pennsylvania and blogs at



“Bloody women!”
“I know, mate.”
“Bloody, bloody women.”
“The thing is, they’re the ones that don’t follow the rules, but they make it like you’re the bastard.”
“Mmm-hmm…Good eggs.”
“That’s it, my son. That’s it, exactly! It’s all about their eggs! Used to be about getting a snog behind the bike sheds, having the best-looking bloke pick them for the slowdance. You could have a good time then: take them for picnics, pints in a country pub, feel them up round the back of stately home on a Saturday afternoon. But all of a sudden you’re sitting outside the changing rooms while she’s squeezing herself into jeggings, or you’re pretending you care about curtains and every Sunday afternoon you’re in her mum’s front room trying to watch the game while her Great-Aunt Lil goes on and on about how it was different in her day. Until finally it’s all about her eggs: when are we going to have a baby? Everyone else has a baby. Guess what? Tricia’s just told me she’s gonna have a baby. And then you get her up the duff and that’s the end of that. Eat, work, sleep, eat, work, sleep, with two weeks at some resort in the sun where you sit staring at her pudgy white thighs and waiting for death to take you away from it all. Jesus, is it any wonder we need a bit on the side!”
“I meant here. ‘Good eggs’, here.”
“What? Oh, yeah, well. It’s new, isn’t it? I found it after she kicked me out. And I tell you, it’s a bloody marvel, being able to eat breakfast like a proper grown up again. No rushing about, no whining, no bloody Cheerios under my feet. No, a man should be able to sit down, read the newspaper, talk to another human being over his breakfast. It’s no wonder I started inventing those business trips. It wasn’t just the sex — though I have to say the sex was bloody fantastic—it was getting up in the morning and having a bit more sex and then having a cup of coffee and a smoke and maybe a bacon roll in peace and bloody quiet. Don’t underestimate that, old son.”
“You going to eat that sausage?”
“Are you listening to me at all? Here I am, spilling my guts, looking for a bit of comradely support, and all you can…Yes, you greedy, unsympathetic bastard, I am going to eat my sausage.”
“Fair enough.”
“I mean, what did she expect? It was all about the kids, the kids, her mum, the kids, the school, and how are we going to afford university for the kids, the bloody kids? And they never get off their arses to lift a finger for themselves. Is it any wonder…”
“…you went slumming with Mary, yeah, I know.”
“Slum…wha..? Heh, well, I mean she’s not exactly hard to get, but she was far from the only, one you know.”
“Susanne from Gregg’s, Tracy up the shops, Linda from Accounts, that mental Alice, Judy from next door. You might have mentioned them once or twice, yeah.”
“Judy? I don’t think there was a…Oh, you mean Jennifer Mason from across the street—now she was a tiger! You would never have guessed, to look at her, but it’s true what they say…it’s the quiet ones you have to watch. Speaking of which, that Alice. She really is mental. Do you know, I caught her following me around the supermarket yesterday? And I keep seeing green Renaults like that little piece of crap she drive, everywhere I go. I think she’s got a thing for me. Real stalker material.”
“…such an idiot.”
“I’m an idiot?”
“Forget it, OK? Eat your sausage.”
“Forg…Oh. No. I get it. I’m an idiot because I’m the one who’s been getting it away all these years while you’ve been going home to your own version of jail?”
“Keep your voice down.”
“I’m not the idiot, my old son. If anyone’s the idiot it’s you and you know it. You wish you were me.”
“That’s it, isn’t it? You wish you were me: getting it where ever I want.”
“Yeah. Yeah, John, that’s it. I wish I was you. I wish my wife and kids hated me and everyone else thought I was a complete arsehead, and I was living in flatshare with some students from the technical college.”
“Whatever. But you’re right, I wish I was eating breakfast every morning in a greasy spoon, going on and on about my conquests like it makes me a big man. And nobody, John—man, woman or child—reads a newspaper anymore, over breakfast or otherwise. Jesus, John, you’re like someone off the telly from the 70s…Here. Here’s a twenty. Make sure you leave a tip, and try to avoid sexually harassing the waitress before you leave, would you? I’ll see you at the office. Just…just don’t talk to me unless you have to, OK?”
“I’m too late then? Your wife’s already turned you into one of the girls, has she?…And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I had to get out. That, walking out the door there folks, is a prime example of a man who lets his WIFE keep his BALLS in a BOX BY THE BED! Well, nobody’s going to keep my balls in box, you hear me?!
“Alright, alright, I’m going. Money’s on the table. I was just leaving, anyway.
“Before I go, my darling, what time do you knock off? I could stop by, take you out, show you a good time, maybe we could end up back at your place…Oi, watch the coat! This is genuine Harris Tweed, this is. I tell you, you don’t know what you are missing.
“Bloody women.”



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