My work colleagues tell me to stop smoking. They say it’s detrimental to my health and always ask me, ‘Do I wanna see my kids grow? Do you want us to stand next to you on the next lunch break?’
I got pulled over by the police, they told me to stop speeding. ‘Someone could have got hurt,’ the officer said. ‘There’s no way a child could have survived a hit that speed,’ he added, launching saliva into my face.
A few of my friends and I were coming back from an expensive shopping trip at Trees. Security stopped me on suspicion I had stolen something. They took me to one side, looked into my bag and checked the items against my receipt. They let me go once they saw all of it was on there.
Granddad Hayes was quiet about the fact that he needed some financial help. I gave him an unexpected visit and found nothing in his fridge. I passed him two hundred pounds and asked him why he was struggling. He said the government had introduced the ‘Granny Tax’ to stop the growing deficit.
My girlfriend’s flight to Turkey was stopped. There were fears of a terrorist attack. She told me it’s probably nothing, ‘Just the counter terror police looking for an excuse to raise their weapons.’
In my last visit to the dentist I was told to stop eating so much sugary foods. It was clearly damaging my teeth. Either that or, ‘I would smile like I had a recent, very physical disagreement with Wladimir Klitschko.’
Common sense tells me that I should stop claiming benefits while working. How can I when my bills keep going up but my income doesn’t?
I came across a street robbery or something of the sort. The attackers – or muggers – spotted me and told me to, ‘Turn the fuck round and look away.’
‘God is gay,’ written on a wall in bubble writing, was the only thing that captured my attention as I looked out the train on the way to see my father. He needed help decorating.
I remember when I went on a school geography trip. We were supposed to be looking at birds in the wild. All I remember is staring up and seeing the fumes from the power plant nearby.
On my mother’s 50th birth day the whole family came together. It wasn’t supposed to be such a ceremonious event but we ended up celebrating like it was Christmas – minus the turkey. She unwrapped my gift and her face lit up like the candles on the cake the moment she looked at it.
Every time I make a trip to the corner shop I look around the area I live and wonder if it’s possible to live in a place more deserted. God knows why the council invested money into revamping the park when no one goes near it.
I got into a heated argument with my younger brother. He said he would make me see how much of an idiot I am and shoved a mirror in my face while I shouted at him. I looked at my crumpled expression and fell silent instantly.
The inlay booklet of the CD my neighbour gave me had the lyrics to the songs inside it. One of them said: ‘Take a look at the world and see what you can do to change it.’ It made me think for a while and then I remembered I threw five pounds into the charity bucket a man in a giraffe suit was carrying earlier.
I was outside the supermarket waiting for a friend. The people passing by must have been talking about everything. The only conversation worth listening to, was two kids coming up with an endless list of things they could get with the ten pound note they had just found.
The last time I went clubbing the DJ was obsessed with his own voice. Everyone out was forced to listen to, ‘C’mon party people!’ and, ‘this next track is for anyone who . . .’ for the whole night.
An old friend I bumped into told me he’d stopped listening to the news and that if he wanted to be depressed, he’d just, ‘Work more hours.’
I rang up the number behind a letter demanding I paid eighteen pounds or ‘Further action will be taken.’ The real price I had to pay was the forty minutes of classical music I had to listen to before someone picked up.
A friend of mine told me he had never received good advice from anyone. What really bothered him was that most of the time, the person offering it never took it themselves. I suggested he listened to one of God’s, and stopped committing adultery before his wife left him.
My niece came over for a visit. All day she moaned about how bad school was and why teachers always wanted her to stop looking at her phone in class. She asked me what I learnt from listening to teachers back at school. I told her that they prepared me for a world where even the instructions, have instructions.
Under Enemy Colors by Sean Thomas Russel for those wanting the feel of a good story and Fuselit; a literature magazine that has something unique with each issue.