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Our Scum

June 28th, 2010 by admin

Will has spent the rainy Saturday at his best mate Wayne’s place.

They only left the  garage for bathroom breaks. Between replacing the engine of a secondhand 4 x 4 (Will spotted and handed over tools) and dissecting the All Whites’ football performance, time has flown. The 4 x 4, with the key in the ignition, has turned over successfully. Ben Sigmund and Winston Reid don’t know what they’re missing by not hiring these two mates as their personal coaches. It is time for beer.

After the first Wellington Lager has slid agreeably down his throat, Will says, “Did you hear what Wayland did?”

“You mean, munting a Triumph on Akatarawa Road?”

“No, mate – he trashed a Triumph?”

Will thinks about his partner’s friend, Willow, who Wayland screwed over. He likes Willow. She’s  calm enough to even help Winona chill out, and has a tidy figure under all that polarfleece.  And she did them a solid, setting them up with that flat. “Nah, but it’s pretty similar.” He gives a truncated version of Willow’s tale, making it clear whose side he’s on.

Wayne listens. Pings a second bottletop into the scrap metal bin. Then says, “Well, what do you do? I mean, yeah, he’s scum. But we’ve known that for years. He’s our scum.”

Will gives this weighty statement the thought it deserves. There’s a place for the friend with shady connections. Though nobody talks about it – or those friends – much until their house gets broken into, or their cousin gets in too deep with certain substances, and they want a certain kind of help.  Not much happens at all, when they ask, but the blustering makes everyone feel good.

In the house, Wayne’s tiny son wails, briefly. Both men start, jolted by the unexpected cry.

Will says, “Maybe not any more.”

“Oh, I know, mate. The way he totaled the Triumph was thick as two planks. You stop doing that shit sometime, y’know?”

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