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R. Sole esq. - road rage story
satire, road rage, psychology, violence
Road Rage Short Story
R. Sole snr, the proud owner of R. Sole Builders Murchants, a self-made man but poor speller, stood on the stool in the gents toilet and gurned into the mirror. He needed to come to the the toilet to get away from the rabble with no money, the tossers ...
Then again, he might have been smiling.
'I done it, I did. All on me own. Starting from nuthin and looking after the little woman at the same time, not to mention the bloody useless dimwit son/passenger.'
He paused to reflect. There had been a fairly clear intention when he came to the bogs for a private and personal rant, but the plot had meandered somewhat, a condition for which the chronic chronicler has some sympathy.
'What the fuck was I talking about?' he gargled.
He mobiled his poor, dependent, weak little woman at home, supposedly to ask her what had been on his mind that morning, but more so to check that she was home alone in case he needed anything.
'You're home then,' he said.
'Hello dear,' Mrs. Sole replied, doing her best to instantly dismiss the migraine she habitually suffered.
'Was there something special I was supposed to be doing today?' R. Sole asked.
'Showing Mr. Briggs anything he needs to know. You retire tomorrow, dear.'
R. Sole hung up. How could he forget a thing like a that? Handing over HIS business to a mere manager, and of course the other manager that would be secretly checking up on him.
'Fuck me,' he said. 'I'll be walking down the street wasting me fucking time like any other daft plonker. Retired! That's a sodding joke. I'll start something else from scratch, just like I did this business ... collecting discarded bricks as a boy, cleaning them by hand and selling them to toss-pot yuppies. I don't think they was called yuppies then, but they were called toss-pots I know cos I did it.'
R. Sole left the toilet without washing his hands. If no other fucker could be bothered why should he? 'Get a fucking move on you idle sod!' he yelled at one of the trainees. 'I didn't work 90 hours a week for decades to make a job for you as a fucking day dream.'
'It was 80 hours a week last time you said,' replied the youth.
R. Sole marched the youth into his office, hauling him along by the ear and yelled at his secretary to write a letter of dismissal. An easy task for her since the template was always at the top of her in-tray.
'The reason, Mr Sole,' she whispered, hardly feeling brave enough to speak. 'We have to give a reason nowadays.'
'Cheek and violence,' answered Mr Sole.
'There wasn't any violence,' stammered the youth.
'Not then there weren't,' agreed R. Sole, kneeing the youth in the testicles. 'My brother in law is on the local force, so watch your lip. You can stand up again any time you like. Provided it's now.'
On his way home, R. Sole parked his BMW in the Wheel Spinners and Grunters Social Club for his half hour nightly relaxation. He found his wife less objectionable after 6 pints of bitter and 6 double whiskies.
Buttface, his drinking partner, was already propping up the bar. So R. Sole ordered a drink for him too.
'Evening landlord. The usual for me and a pint for Buttface.'
'My name's not ... ' began the one addressed as Buttface, but R Sole wasn't listening. Six free pints a night were hard to turn down though.
'The thing is Buttface, I'm apparently retiring, after a fashion,' said R Sole.
'That's inneresting,' Pisshead the Pseudo-Buttface gurgled through his beer. Six pints in half an hour was bloody hard work with an aging liver and toothache. Why the sodding barman had to keep the damn stuff cold was a mystery to him. R Sole recommended bitter, but it made him throw up and lager didn't, but the lager was cold. Tooth buggeringly cold.
'You don't have to keep interrupting,' snarled R Sole.
Pisshead the Pseudo-Buttface bit his tongue, both literally and figuratively, still able to compute that 5 more pints were on their way. Bloody odd teeth here and there were a sod for interfering with ones tongue. He must remember to offer to buy a round, just for the show.
'Do continue, Arsehole,' said Pisshead the Pseudo-Buttface.
'I need a new challenge, or I'll be walking the streets like any other sod, or sitting here all day with pissheads like you.'
Pisshead the Pseudo-Buttface smiled in anticipation. He could always develop deafness. In fact at 6 pints per half hour he would probably manage the real article. 'We'd need to sit nearer the bogs,' he mused. Or fit misself with an osepipe.
'Did I tell you to shut the fuck up?' snarled R Sole. 'And what the hell are looking so bloody happy about?'
'Sumfink like that,' Pisshead the Pseudo-Buttface conceded He took a thoughtful pull on his half empty pint.
'I was just imagining stuff. Up yours, shortarse,' he beamed, brandishing the pint in a friendly gesture.
'What did you say!?' screamed R Sole, visions of teachers in primary school jostling for prominence in his internal cinema.
'Cheers to you. Friendly like. Nice beer,' said Pisshead the Pseudo-Buttface. God, he's got a short tether this lunatic, he thought. 'Can I buy us another round?'
'No way, Buttface,' said R Sole, seeming to grow larger in his seat. 'I know times are hard for you. Let me get 'em. I might as well buy two rounds at once.'
He needs something to do,' thought Pisshead the Pseudo-Buttface, looking at R. Sole pushing to the front of the queue at the bar. Something where he can feel 6 feet tall instead of 5 feet 7, the shortarse! I know just the thing.
'Here's a drink or two on me, Buttface,' said R. Sole, slamming down the tray with 4 pints and 2 double whiskies. 'Are you sure you wouldn't rather try bitter? Lager is for kids and pansies.'
'This is fine, thanks, Short Arse,' said Pisshead the Pseudo-Buttface.
'What did you call me?!' screamed R Sole, jumping to his feet and waving his fist in front of Pisshead the Pseudo-Buttface.
'Er, Arsehole? I think,' said Pisshead the Pseudo-Buttface, concentrating intensely. 'I thought of your answer, like, when you was at the bar. You could buy a massive motor-home and everyone would know you was the complete R. Sole, rather than just some employee or retired git.'
R. Sole prepared a withering reply as he was accustomed to do when underlings spoke out of turn. Then the vision entered his mind. The biggest vehicle on the road barring lorries, which only mere employees or one man businesses drove.
'Fuck me ... '
'No thanks ... '
' ... Buttface. That is such a good idea, I'm going to leave you another ten pints paid for. Here, take this bill to the barman will you?'
'My pleasure, Arsehole.'
'Yes. I know that.'
'Hello dear,' mumbled Mrs Sole, fearfully. Was the drive home okay, you're a few minutes late?'
'Does it matter if I'm a few minutes late?!'
'Not at all dear. I know it bothers you sometimes, that's all.'
'Well I have some news! Little wife!,' said R Sole.
Thank god, thought Mrs Sole. She waited patiently, trying to judge if R. Sole wanted asking or was in his more habitual rant mode.
'Do ... ' he began to rage.
'Please tell!' yelled Mrs. Sole, pre-empting the tantrum. 'Oh, and how were your friends at the pub?' she'd nearly forgotten to ask.
'Not many there tonight; just the usual tossers. I stopped on the way home at the garage and reserved a new car for us.'
'Oh good. Another BMW?'
'No, they ain't big enough.'
Mrs. Sole was a mite surprised. She heard occasional complaints about BMWs, but smallness didn't tend to feature. 'What type is it, then?'
'I can't remember the make, probably Japan or Malaysia or some other coons, but it's the biggest and best fucking motor-home in the fucking world!'
Holy mother of god, save me, thought Mrs Sole. A house with only one sodding room, no neighbours and R. Sole is driving it, and me, wherever he chooses.
'Oh yippee ... '
pic by Marty Downs
It was a bright and cheerful morning as R. Sole drove his lovely new £75,000 motor-home out of the Mitsushitti forecourt and onto the main road. The bumblebees were bumbling busily, the flies flew fluidly and birds burbled brightly. Meanwhile, R. Sole swore and grimaced as though both angry and suffering from chronic piles. This was partly because he was angry, partly due to the piles – which happened to be chronic, but mostly just habit. One doesn't become a foremost exponent of gurning and blaspheming without decades of practice.
The 'witless, bloody moron sales-boy' (actually Clive, aged thirty something) had shown 'appalling cheek worthy of a bloody good kicking' by suggesting that R. Sole might like to practice driving the motor-home around the forecourt and then around the block, since it was huge compared to R. Sole's BMW. R. Sole had cast doubts on the paternal lineage of Clive's family tree and headed straight onto the highway.
R. Sole cruised downhill around a gentle left hand curve, relating the experience to his domestic servant, Mrs. Sole, over his mobile phone.
'Apparently this thing has blue teeth, with which I could talk to you. Fuck that for a lark, I told the sales boy, I've a phone, a TEL E PHONE. I think he might know what a phone is, though I doubt the tosser could use one. Hold on, some shit4brains is waving at me, I need one hand free to give him two fingers...'
'Are you still there? No you don't need to speak, just grunt or something to let me know you're listening.'
As R. Sole looked ahead he saw a very small car poking it's way hesitantly out of a side road. He had to slow down, since there probably wasn't enough room to get past, so he pulled over to the right to make sure the little car couldn't get into the central reservation.
R. Sole wound the window down, the better to converse with his fellow road user.
'Are you going to bloody reverse, or do I need to drive over your sodding roof?'
The elderly gentleman in the little car seemed unable to turn his head to look backwards and he gestured towards his legs and the 'disabled' sticker on his car windscreen.
'I know you've got legs, you dipshit. You don't have to get out and walk. Just put the bloody toy car into reverse and drive it. That's what the fucking engine's for.'
The elderly gentleman showed no sign of reversing, so R. Sole climbed down the ladder from his cab and stomped over to the little car. He banged on the roof.
'Are you fucking out to lunch, shit-head? Or have they let you out for the day?'
The gentleman pointed again to the disabled sticker.
R. Sole quit swearing long enough to read the sticker.
'Holy mother of Cod! They let spastics drive! Get out the bloody car and I'll reverse it for you.'
'I can't get out of my car without help into the wheelchair. If you could reverse two feet I'll be able to pull into the central reservation out of your way.'
'Reverse! Fall out of the car and I'll fucking stamp on your witless head, you spastic.'
The elderly gentleman raised one eyebrow in a dignified manner and closed the window of his car. He turned on the radio, cursed gently at the adverts and switched to the CD player.
R. Sole tore open the door of the car, dragged the disabled man out onto the road and proceeded to pull him towards the pavement.
The enormous driver of an enormous truck had pulled to a halt behind R. Sole's motor-home, and wandered forwards to converse with the gentlemen causing the hold-up and find out what the problem was. He saw R. Sole manhandling the rather heavy disabled gent, registered the disabled sticker on the tiny 3-wheeler car, and spoke thusly:
'What the fuck are you doing, arsehole?'
'Oh, you know me. Give us a hand with the spastic will you?'
The mysterious stranger with the mammoth truck stood incoherent for a second, then picked R. Sole up by the collar, with one hand, and whispered “No” in his ear.
'Have you got a wheelchair in the car, sir?' he asked.
'I have. Could you please fetch it?'
'No. but arsehole will. I could carry you back to your car, if you like? But I'd rather stand here and watch arsehole do something useful for a change.'
R. Sole opened his mouth to rant, but within the depths of his mind something ancient and instinctive recognised the fact that the mountain standing in front of him was both huge and angry, and not given to aimless debate.
The elderly gent passed his car keys to Giant who passed them to R. Sole, maintaining a meaningful eye contact while doing so. R. sole extracted the wheelchair from the boot of the tiny 3-wheeled car and Giant carefully placed the gent into it. Then he helped the gent into his car. He pointed back up the road behind R. Sole's motor-home and said 'ten feet.'
'I've got urgent business,' muttered R. Sole, checking his watch.
The Giant looked at R. Sole and at the elderly gentleman.
'Tell me, kind sir,' he began. 'If you have time, that is. What is the nature of your disability? Did you have an accident?'
'No sir,' replied the gent. 'I suffer from diabetes. As you get older, sometimes it causes other problems. I think the other gentleman may be in a hurry.'
'I have a cousin with diabetes who is reluctant to talk about it. Could you please offer some advice about how to help? Phone numbers, websites, and the like would be very helpful.'
'I do have such information on the back seat somewhere. Can you see a briefcase?'
'I can. Let me pass it to you.'
Ten minutes later the information was exchanged and all was well.
The elderly gent waved happily to Giant as he drove into the central reservation and blessed R. Sole in a forgiving manner.
Giant returned to his truck and indicated that R. Sole may like to drive on ahead.
'After you, arsehole,' he gallantly offered, while binning the information on diabetes which he already possessed.
Mrs. Sole moved into the spare room at 2 a.m., weary beyond description with R. Sole's constant thrashing and cursing as he slept the sleep of the drunken sociopath.
R. Sole dreamed of being deserted by his mother, and dismissed it as meaningless. Maybe it would help if he drank more?
'We're going to the sea,' said R. Sole, 'away from all the tossers.'
'Yes dear,' said Mrs Sole. All bar one, she thought.
R. Sole drove along the rural road, fuming about the uncut hedgerows, which had helped win the parish the 'Rural Britain Most Unspoilt Village' award the previous year, and checking in his wing mirrors that the flowers weren't staining his paintwork. Two more motor-homes from the same site, both of whom he'd fallen out with, were following behind at a non-argumentative distance – they hoped.
R. Sole came to a junction and looked to his left up another single track road, maybe slightly wider than the present apology. An insignificant little car, probably quite old, was coming down the hill towards him. He pulled out onto the road and drove past the passing place, at the junction, and towards the little car. He wife gasped nervously and R. Sole began to grind his teeth.
'Bloody mindless yokels around here!' he gargled.
The driver of the tiny car, an eccentric character with a vivid imagination, supposed that the portable house on wheels would wait at the passing space. The two other motor-homes had waited in the side road, not even venturing as far as the passing space.
'Very thoughtful,' said Eccentric. 'No doubt the mobile house will realise what they've done and why, and follow suit. Or thereabouts.' Such naïve fellows do sometimes escape the care of an institution, but not often ...
The motor-home came to halt in front of Eccentric and R. Sole began pointing aggressively into the ditch and frothing at the mouth and nostrils. The eccentric one walked past the motor-home to check the conditions behind, and reported that non-one was behind them, there was a clear run of 15 yards to the large passing space. He returned to his car.
R. Sole climbed down the ladder from his motor-home and strutted angrily towards Eccentric.
'Get off the bloody road so I can drive past you fucking witless skinny eccentric bastard!' he suggested.
'If sir would like to desist from cursing I would be pleased to have a conversation with him,' the eccentric one suggested. He also smiled in a friendly manner, which seemed to aggravate R. Sole no end.
R. Sole began to froth from the mouth the nostrils and one ear (don't try this at home, or anywhere ...). The language became more vivid, colourful, obscene and incoherent – no mean achievement in a mere three seconds. Then he returned to his motor-home.
The eccentric one closed the window of his car and wondered, not for the first time, which species would attempt the evolution of consciousness once the homo-allegedly-sapiens had finally destroyed each other. He sent a text message to the local neighbourhood watch and an email to Jenny Jefferson, Temporary-Acting-Chairperson-of-Smogdale-and-District-Amateur-Dramatic-Society@gmail.com (really), and saw that it was good. He set his video recorder in action and emailed the output live to Blogger for the world to see. He thought it a good idea to prepare emails with the url for the am-dram soc and the local police, just in case ...
R. Sole saw things differently. The tosser is playing an arcade game or something,' he screamed, gesturing wildly towards the eccentric one's car. He descended the ladder from his motor-home and stomped angrily, more angrily even, towards the other car. He pulled open the car door, waved his fist in front of Eccentric, and his video camera, and spake thusly:
'I'm going to drag you from your car and beat your head in, you weird, skinny, toss-pot. This is a deserted road and there will be no witnesses.'
The eccentric one realised with a sinking heart that the motor-home dude was in fact insane and no reasoning would serve any purpose.
'I suppose we'll need the police then,' he said.
R. Sole slammed the door shut, narrowly avoiding the removal of Eccentric's fingers, and stomped back to his motor-home. The mention of police had apparently triggered another deeply buried survival instinct.
The eccentric one checked the video camera was still broadcasting, took a note of R. Sole's car registration and locked his car door. R. Sole started his motor-home and drove threateningly towards the eccentric one. Kevin N Sharon, the builder vaulted the hedge and smiled at R. Sole.
'Back up to the passing place, shortarse,' he said. He waved his sledgehammer in an ambiguous manner.
Mrs. Sole asked her husband to do so. He did.
The eccentric one drove his car past and R. Sole drove away, cursing through the window.
The eccentric one drove to the corner, apologised to the waiting sane motor-home drivers for the delay, turned around, waited for Kevin to climb on the roof of his car, Kevin being way too big to get in a mini, and gave chase.
R. Sole arrived at the junction near the main road and found a combine harvester blocking his exit. He stopped, Poddle and Roland The Tramp came forward to say hello.
'Hello!' they chorused. 'We're members of the Local Neighbourhood Watch and we've borrowed the farmer's combine.'
'You don't frighten me!' yelled R. Sole.
'Then you are truly and completely out of your wits,' explained Poddle. 'Behind you, in (and on) the mini, is the eccentric one and Kevin N Sharon. Kevin the 6'9” builder, as it were.'
'And approaching across the field is about half of the local amateur dramatic society, turning out especially for you, to render your recent performance into theatre and song. I believe the chorus goes
punch your head in, ain't no witness, man. Or similar. Incidentally, the local neighbourhood watch doubles as the local rugby team, this being a small community.'
'What the hell are you talking about, you dimwit shit for brains fucking yokel?' screamed R. Sole.
'The eccentric one beamed a video of your performance onto the internet, God knows how, and we've been learning the score. And if you insult me again you'll miss the performance on account of being dead.'
R. Sole, for one blessedly peaceful moment, was lost for words.
Kevin arrived, beaming happily, as usual.
'You sit here, shortarse,' Kevin explained, pointing to a speedily erected deckchair. 'Relax Poddle. He won't be insulting no more.'
'No I bloody don't,' screamed R. Sole. 'And the names Robert Sole.'
'You DO sit here, R. Sole, and Poddle will sit on you. I hope you don't mind Poddle. We've brought you a pint for your trouble.'
'I'd have done it for nowt,' said Poddle, 'But I'd better not waste the beer.'
Donatella went to retrieve a tearful Mrs. Sole from the motor-home and comforted her. An experience she was clearly unaccustomed to. 'Weird things, men,' said Donatella. 'almost as weird as women.'
'What's weird about women?' complained Mrs. Sole.
'Ah,' said Donatella. 'You don't get out much, do you?'
'Not since I was married, no.'
The police phoned the eccentric one's mobile.
'It's all under control, officer. No-one is hurt and the neighbourhood watch and local amateur dramatic society are transforming events into comedy. I should arrive in half an hour if you don't like poor singing.' And they did. Because they didn't.
R. Sole returned from his holiday determined never to go near Smogdale ever again. Except maybe to extract revenge. He went back to work on a voluntary basis and terrorised anyone who couldn't afford to leave.
Within weeks he was diagnosed as suffering from angina, and dreamed of a goddess coming to help.
'Remember your mother,' she whispered. The mother who'd been unavailable for one reason and another.
'Bloody codswallop,' swore R. Sole as he woke.
'You'll pay for that,' whispered the goddess. Though it may have been someone else in make-up. You can never be sure with dreams.
R. Sole fell down the stairs at work and had to stay home. He dreamed of the goddess again but this time she was angry.
'Bloody sodding codswallop,' said R. Sole as he woke. Though with extra expletives.
'It's your choice, arsehole,' said the divine one, and turned her back on him.
R. sole decided to go away on his own, since his wife clearly contributed nothing to the holiday. He'd make a point of not inviting the dimwit bloody cow-woman that had commenced invading his dreams for the sole purpose of nagging. Bloody codswallop.
He met another man in a motor-home on a deserted country lane. It seems impossible, but the other man was as deranged as R. Sole. Under the circumstances, some would suspect the invisible powers were out to teach someone a lesson. The two motor-homeists were of similar age and build, and the instinct that says 'He's much bigger, give in' didn't have a chance with either party.
They were both admitted to hospital, by helicopter, suffering brain injuries. The tax payers paid, but they weren't asked. It took the police ages to divert the traffic and reverse the two motor-homes from the scene of their battle.
'Battle!?' said the policewoman.
'After they'd battered each other's brains out, they crawled back to their vehicles and started ramming each other,' said Bystander1.
'Brains?!' said the policeman.
'Well, ... , you know,' said Bystander2, shrugging helplessly.
R. Sole sat in his electric wheelchair, unable to move or speak. His wife entertained him by flirting with the plumber. And the electrician. And the vicar...
R. Sole junior was ashamed of his dad. He might have hated the evil sod, but still. Fancy ending up as a vegetable. The shame.
When his ma was out of the room, seeing the vicar off, which seemed to take an eternity now-a-days, he crept up to his dad's wheelchair and whispered to him.
'All my bloody problems are your fault,' he sneered. 'I'll be nothing like you. I'll waste your sodding millions and become an artist.'
Then he went out in his dad's 'old' BMW to get drunk and pick fights with kids his own age with no money, the tossers ...
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