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Jeezus!! ‘thought fancy dress parties were meant to be fun.

The blood pouring from the cavernous wound striping across his forehead soaked the viscose orange ‘real look’ fur of Jake’s ape suit hood.

His head hurt. Bt this was no hangover. Even though they’d nailed the booze last night to be fair; and come the strike of midnight, the post spliff-munchies madness had set in. The Pot-Noodle-dunked Pringles were just the beginning.

They’d nailed every snack in the flat: Aero Bar: 1, Quality Street: 13, Ben & Jerry’s: 4 spoons, Jammie Dodgers: 7, half Dave’s Galaxy – and they even dug out the Aunt Bessie’s from the freezer, microwaved and then smeared peanut butter on them.

Nice. That ‘s Texan weed for you. Leaving no snack opportunity left unturned. But his sweetly moisturised forehead was not in great shape. Though skin tone was the least of his problems right now.

The post-binge morning had demanded the special forces of facial forgiveness and some heavy grooming to get him ‘meeting-ready’. Once he’d Gillette’d the iron fillings off his chin the cabinet beckoned.

He could still taste the vague glimmer of the Total Care Colgate at the corner of his lips, but it was overshadowed by the metallic taste of his own glottal blood.

At least he smelt great.

Trish’s smelly Body Shop soap always worked a treat; with three squeezes of her Herbal Essence shampoo just to bob things along – though this morning he could barely muster a whimper as he rinsed the foam out of his hair; let alone a half decent orgasmic screech.

He felt like screaming now though. His right leg seemed to be twitching all by its self.

And a strange needle like pain was working its way out from a pooling red stain around a large gash in his over-foamed orange belly fur.

This morning he had even nicked Trish’s smart Clinique and Elizabeth Arden crèmes (that Olay stuff of hers always made his face feel like he’d rubbed acid in it). His skin felt great!

And he didn’t throw up his Nut Clusters and over-Clovered Hovis toast at work this time so last night’s excesses were obviously being held in check, much like the rest of him slopping about inside his dressing up box outfit right now.

He looked to the side. His other leg was still twisted up and caught between the car sill and the adjustable driver’s seat. They must have got him just as he was stepping back in to the car.

He hadn’t noticed anyone in the street. Clueless. Minding his on business.

He’d told the lads he’d pick them up en-route and then they’d drive to the fancy dress party together. There was something funny about Darth Vadar, Frank N Furter (Jez would be secretly over-egging his sister’s Great Lash Mascara) Clyde the Orangutan (Toby’s one sop to his hero Clint Eastwood’s more populist cinematic oeuvre), and the uncomfortable majesty of Phil’s Elmo ensemble, all stuffed into a Fiat Uno.

He’d stopped to use the ATM next door to the RAINFOREST SPA. Hadn’t noticed a thing. He certainly hadn’t see it coming.

The first blow had knocked the bolus of Wrigley’s and one front tooth out of his mouth.  After that the blows just rained down on him. Bats of some sort he reckoned. And by that he meant the blunt Ash of the slugger variety and not the flappy midnight in the rainforest kind.

His new baby, his I-phone, was smashed to pieces scattered across the pavement around him: bastards.

What had he done to anyone? Ever? His right eye went blind.

God, could murder a Mars bar right now. This thought was swiftly followed by another; the last in fact that would ever cross his conscious mind.

 Last time I’m going anywhere dressed as an orangutan.

AUTHORS NOTE: This short story was written to illustrate and challenge the dislocation that exists between what is done in our name in the pursuit of industrially farmed Palm Oil and the everyday products that we use – written along the thin orange line between us and our simian cousins

Every product bar the Fiat UNO mentioned in this short story contains Palm Oil. If we were to personally pay the same bill our Simian cousins do for its place in our convenience, perhaps we’d think twice about the products we used with convenient ignorance.

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