When John Canvey came to me and said he needed a job doing I was expecting the usual kind of thing.
I am what they call a ‘man with a van,’ and I rent myself out, quite reasonably I think, to shift stuff from place to place.
It can be anything, furniture to garden rubbish. I even got myself mixed up in the dumping of some toxic waste once. Anything goes really.
Monday John calls up and asks me to get over to his at my earliest convenience. He’s a bit posh is John and has a tendency to think that the rest of the world is thick. Especially me. I might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but I know what’s going on around me.
Me and him go back a long way and he has helped me out in the past, the not so distant past in fact and we would always have each others backs if the worst ever came to the worst, which I seriously doubt it ever will since Mr. Canvey is far to clever for that.
I get myself over there, and, as I say, I am expecting the usual so the sight of four suitcases stacked outside the front door doesn’t cause me any concern one way or the other..
“Sorry to call you over at such short notice Sid but this is a bit of a rush job and I knew I would be able to rely on you. This is going to be an overnighter I’m afraid and will take you out of town. Obviously I will cover your expenses.”
He looked agitated to me, no idea why and I’m not complaining. A night away is more than welcome. May even get a couple of beers and a game of cards in.
We load the cases into the back of my transit and John hands me a wad of cash and delivery details on a yellow post it note.
“Listen here Sid.. I would be most appreciative if you kept the details of this delivery to yourself.. It’s some private stuff and I would rather not have to discuss it with Marilyn. You know what women are like… won’t ever let anything go.”
I had to smile when he said that. We were on the same wavelength and it was funny to not see the magnificent Marilyn on the doorstep overseeing everything as she usually was.
She was a looker. No doubt about that.. Hair ironed out as straight as ram rods and bleached to within an inch of it’s life. She liked her scarlet lipstick as well that one. Bit too common for me.
Touching my finger to the side of my nose I nodded as I looked down to check the details. Storage depot. Fine. No problem with that. Know the town well.
“Can you be sure and unload before you park up and find a room for the night, don’t keep these cases on board until morning will you?”
Assuring him I wouldn’t, I climbed up in to the front of the van and raised a hand in salute as I pulled away. I would most likely be doing as he asked but he was never going to know if I didn’t, was he?
I called up the missus, knowing she wasn’t home and after leaving a message turned the ‘phone off. Conscientious driver me and I didn’t want any distractions. The message would have pissed Rita right off, unaccommodating bitch that she was. Liked the money she did, but was never prepared to be put out for it.
As I left the slip road and joined the motorway I had a little chuckle to myself about the wad of cash and the post it note. Always one for effect old John, and who in the hell he thought could hear him I have no idea. But he knew what he was at, having been at it a long time. I opened the window and let the note be sucked away.
No need for a map or sat. nav., knowing this journey as I did, and after a couple of hours the need to piss arose so I pulled in to a service station and decided to get something to eat whilst I was at it.
May as well make the most of the freedom. Be a lot going on when I got back and I needed to be ready for it. John may be superior to me socially but when it came to being in control, I beat him hands down.
Three hours later, as the night is starting to close in, I arrive at the deserted assortment of lock-ups. Old John would be happy to know that I have delivered the cargo and it wouldn’t be hanging around in the van overnight.
I back up to the same door as I did last month, get out the van and open it up. There is just enough light to see the suitcases from my last journey here.
Unloading John’s designer luggage two at a time, I set Marilyn on the rack alongside Rita and tell them both to sleep well before I go off in search of a pint.