I actually managed to write a shorter scene this week, mainly because Renee & Frei’s scene was slightly longer. So, I hope you enjoy the many bloopers and typos as much as the story as here is this week’s Queer Tango.
Episode 25: Lovingly Disreputable
Tammy did like a good Snickers or even a melted Snickers and, as far as she was concerned, there were nuts in those lovely chocolate bars and nuts were good for her. To prove this, she’d lost eight stone on the Snickers diet. Okay, so she’d been dancing too and sweating copiously several times a week to the threat of a plimsole then working nearly every day for eight hours solid running the Bumblethorpe Bee might have helped… but she was crediting the Snickers. Her Colin agreed too so it didn’t matter that the doctor told her it wasn’t medically sanctioned, what did he know, he had more meat on him than her.
Her mum, ‘Liza’s Luxury Taxis’ to most of Bumblethorpe was well impressed by Tammy’s success at losing weight because she was sure that Tammy would have had those flappy bits people got when they lost weight but, and you’ll be stunned by this, she didn’t have many of them ‘cause she was all toned and that. Seriously. Her bum was so firm she could do grip strengthening training on it. Colin weren’t so happy her bust had shrunk too but he told her that she was well fit now so he didn’t mind.
Tracy, of course, was her rock and it was all Tracy’s idea they went to dance anyway ‘cause they’d been talking ‘bout how the doctor said Tammy’s ankle was shot and that she had to lose weight pronto. It was fun dancing with Tracy too ‘cause she weren’t bad at it and she didn’t sweat as much as Colin did or try and smooch when she was concentrating. She loved him and all that but, you know, a girl has to have ‘me time.’
‘You looking dazed, luv,’ Colin said as he leaned onto the bar and grinned at her. ‘Fancy a cuppa?’
Tammy eyed him. ‘Are you asking if I want one or saying you do.’
‘I’m asking you,’ Colin said with his best sweettalking voice on. ‘Kids are wondering what you look like.’
‘They know what my purse looks like though, the little…’ She stopped and smiled at Glynnis who strolled in. Best not swear in front of the posh people. ‘Tell them, when they want to be fed they can crawl in here and work off their thieving.’
Colin glanced at Glynnis then attempted to tidy his joggers. ‘You sound like your mother,’ he mumbled with a guilty look.
‘I know, it’s weird ‘cause she was well scary when I was kid.’ Tammy turned to Glynnis who surveyed the bar stool, took tissues from her pocket and placed them on the bar stool before perching on it. ‘What can I get you?’
‘Trevor sunk my boat,’ Glynnis muttered while eyeing the beer pump like it was an exhibit. ‘The boat I bought for the weddings.’
‘They was good weddings too,’ Colin said in a quiet voice like Glynnis was a teacher. ‘How come he did that then?’
‘Because he didn’t want Ceri getting married,’ Tammy said and rolled her eyes. She loved him, but he weren’t all that quick to catch on. ‘So he’s pouting.’
‘Ay, our kids pout but they don’t go sinking boats,’ Colin said then wagged his finger then seemed to get that they didn’t own a boat. ‘Or cars or nothing.’
‘Because I’m like my mother,’ Tammy said then turned to Glynnis. ‘I hope you’re gonna press charges.’
Colin raised an eyebrow. ‘You advising getting coppers involved?’
‘Yeah, Tracy’s boy at least. I mean, it’s a crime sinking boats.’ Tammy nodded hoping it was convincing but she’d never really sunk a boat or known anyone arrested for it but then, there weren’t a whole lot of boats in Bumblethorpe.
‘It is but I have no evidence to prove he sunk it… and it cost… a lot.’ Glynnis sighed, placed a tissue on the bar and leaned onto it. ‘It will cost tens of thousands to repair.’
Colin sucked in a breath. ‘It’s a write-off?’
‘Nah, boats cost loads more,’ Tammy said then polished her beer pump. ‘Ay, it’s metal, ain’t it? Maybe Colin can try and fix it.’
Colin stared at her. ‘I change tyres.’
‘Well they is like tyres for a boat,’ Tammy said then pulled out a Snickers from her stash under the bar. Chocolate helped her think. ‘They just need patching up.’
‘It’s fibreglass,’ Glynnis said looking at the array of spirits on the shelf. ‘What do you recommend?’
‘I stick tape over the windows when they crack,’ Colin said looking all handsome with his ‘pensive’ look. ‘It don’t look great but it stops the draft.’
Glynnis nodded. ‘Tape isn’t waterproof however.’ She patted him on the hand then looked up at Tammy. ‘I meant, what do you recommend… to drink.’
‘Um… depends what you’re into,’ Tammy said and motioned to the fridges. ‘You needing a shot of something ‘cause you need to fork out money or something milder to keep your wits about you when you’re thinking up how to pummel Trevor?’
‘I lost my wit when Trevor abandoned his family and his career,’ Glynnis said with a sigh. ‘A nice rich bodied wine will do.’
Tammy picked up a bottle of her best and splashed some in three glasses then dragged her stool over and plonked down to think on how to help Glynnis.
‘You could ask Ricky,’ Colin said taking his glass with glee. He didn’t get to drink wine a lot because he got sloshed quicker and he was worse than George in class when he was on the wine. ‘He could just like nick Trevor’s stuff.’
‘He could but then he’d need to find how Trevor seems to have so much money even when he’s meant to be broke,’ Glynnis sipped at her glass then peered into the glass. ‘It’s corked.’
Tammy pulled the glass over, grabbed a spoon from the side and fished out the floating cork bits before handing it back. ‘De-corked.’
Glynnis stared at her but took her wine. ‘Anyway, he seems to be far richer than an accountant should have been. Even if he did embezzle money.’
‘How come he ain’t inside then?’ Colin asked chomping on a bit of cork from his glass. ‘Even posh blokes get put inside for nicking stuff.’
‘Colin’s right, they do.’ Tammy nodded then threw a piece of cork at him. ‘He should have a tag on.’
Tracy bustled through the doorway chomping on her gum, rain dripping off her Welsh woman’s hat (she’d taken to wearing it everywhere) and carrier bags draped over her arms and wrists. ‘Ay, how come you lot are on the pop then when I been working hard?’
‘Trevor sunk Glynnis’ glass boat, tape won’t fix it and we ain’t sure why he’s rich when he should be locked up.’ Tammy said then prodded the cork floating in her wine. ‘Your Ricky know anyone who got done for trashing a boat?’
Tracy heaved the bags onto the counter then flicked her hat onto the hat stand she’d put up at the side of the bar and pulled off her dripping coat with a shiver. ‘I think he knew a bloke who tried to escape in a rowing boat but he got caught ‘cause he got grounded.’ She chewed on her gum then started hauling fish and chip cartons out of the bags. ‘Think he made it a few feet down the stream though.’
Colin snorted. ‘What a plonker.’
Glynnis chuckled. ‘Unfortunately Trevor knows how to steer a yacht.’
Tammy poured Tracy a glass. ‘I was saying that maybe there’s a way to fix Glynnis’ boat on the cheap ‘cause Trevor went and trashed it in a pout.’
Tracy rolled her eyes. ‘I’d just send Paulette around to beat him with her plimsole.’
‘I’m quite perplexed how Paulette wields such influence with a ballet shoe,’ Glynnis said as she sipped at her wine then wrinkled up her mouth before pulling her lips away and pulling more cork off them.
Colin chewed on his cork while studying her. ‘You ain’t seen Paulette in a mood. She’s right scary.’
‘She is,’ Tracy said with a gold toothed grin. ‘She’s better than sending my brother ‘round to tickle their kneecaps.’
Glynnis raised her eyebrows. ‘Who knew… dance shoes are offensive weapons.’ She smiled around her glass. ‘I’m not sure a lady in charge of baby growing should be threatening others with plimsoles.’
‘She’s getting right big,’ Tracy said as she knocked back her wine, let out an ‘ahhh’ then picked cork out of her teeth. ‘Not sure why Andy needs to wear a pillow around his waist in support though.’
‘I believe it’s meant to help Ruby feel as though she’s included in the process,’ Glynnis said then eyed the pack of scampi bits on the cardboard holder. ‘Do scampi and pork rinds go with alcohol?’
Tammy handed over the scampi. ‘They’re kinda full of rubbish but they help when you get peckish.’ Although, on her Snickers diet, she hadn’t eaten any for months.
‘Here, have some of my chips,’ Tracy said forking out a load into a clean pint glass. ‘It’ll go with the scampi.’
Glynnis took the pint glass with a confused look but then nibbled on her scampi and chips with delight as Tammy refilled her glass. ‘My husband has washed his hands of Trevor because he was hoping we’d use the boat to get away together.’
‘Why, what did you nick?’ Tracy asked chomping on her chips.
Tammy snorted around her battered fish.
Glynnis smiled and sipped at her wine then grimaced then shrugged and pulled more cork out of the glass. ‘I do wonder if Barry has connections.’
Colin eyed her. ‘’Course he does, he works in refuge. You gotta watch them ‘cause they don’t always mean recycling in the manner that other people mean it, you follow?’ He chomped on his chips then dipped them in his wine. ‘And I heard from a bloke who was having his tracking checked that he put out his recycling in the way he was meant to and got fined… only when he complained to the council, they wasn’t who fined him.’
Tracy leaned onto the bar. ‘I heard the same from a woman in the shop. She was saying how she put paper out in the right box and got fined three hundred quid for putting metal in there but she didn’t have nothing metal to put out.’ She dunked her chips until ketchup dripped off them. ‘Council hadn’t heard nothing of it.’
Glynnis nibbled at her Scampi. ‘I’ve been fined… two thousand pounds… three times now. I blamed my husband…’
‘You paid it?’ Tammy asked then tutted as she finished off her fish. ‘Why’d you pay it?’
‘Because that’s what you’re supposed to do.’ Glynnis sipped more wine then glanced at Colin, smirked and dunked her chips in her wine like him. ‘It’s the law.’
‘The law is how you interpret it,’ Tracy said in her best lawyer’s tone. ‘You see when you is in court, the presiding takes into account different manners to interpret the rules… and so Ricky and me do the same when figuring what is meant by the law.’
Glynnis leaned onto her fist. ‘How so?’
‘We use Ricky’s Rule… being that the people who make laws don’t envision them to ‘cause us hindrance so if a law is getting in the way of us doing what we want… we use the rule that it ain’t fair ‘cause it’s not compatible with our freedoms.’ Tracy swished her chip around then chomped on it. ‘Posh people who go to college and that don’t have much going on upstairs so sometimes they get it when our lawyer tells them that and sometimes they just don’t get it.’
Tammy nodded. ‘She’s so clever.’
Tracy shrugged. ‘You gotta understand your challenges before you can work around them.’ She turned to Glynnis. ‘I would say that, on the account of your boat and these fines you’re getting, that Trevor is using your money to pay for stuff.’
‘Like my thieving kids,’ Tammy said then folded her arms. ‘We raised them right and they still need kicking up the backside.’
‘They is good kids.’ Colin tutted at her finishing his glass. ‘They know better than to sink boats.’
‘Do you have any strategies for sorting him out?’ Glynnis mumbled, downing her packet of Scampi, her glass of wine then finishing off her chips with a polite burp.
‘Yeah, we can do what Tammy is gonna do with her kids,’ Tracy said, turning to two customers who wandered up to the bar. ‘What can I get you, luv?’
‘Which is?’ Glynnis took her refilled glass of wine and chewed on the cork like Colin.
‘Kick his backside. You need to stick a camera on him to catch him in the act, modify the video enough that he breaches some serious laws then threaten him with maximum tariff sentence if he don’t pay reparations to you,’ Tracy said then winked at Tammy as she poured two pints. ‘Which in the case of Tammy’s kids is cleaning the men’s bathroom.’
Tammy nodded. ‘They gonna clean them bathrooms for a month.’
‘She’s well fit when she’s got something in her head,’ Colin slurred, eyes glassy and filled with cheek.
‘And you can’t hold your wine,’ Tammy said then turned to Glynnis who wobbled on her stool. ‘I’m happy to help if you want to take a plimsole to his backside?’
Glynnis grinned. ‘I could do with your help.’
Tammy lifted up her glass. ‘Good ‘cause we already stuck cameras up around your house and Ricky will keep an eye.’ She winked at Colin. ‘He might not fix boats but he’s good at borrowing electricity to run stuff.’
Colin wobbled then grinned and hiccoughed. ‘Dunno how your husband thought we was window cleaners.’
Glynnis rolled her eyes. ‘He’s not very bright for a clever man.’ She met Tammy’s eyes. ‘Have you got anything so far?’
‘Course, and when we get enough, we’ll go and have a quiet word.’ Tammy nodded to Tracy who nodded to Colin who swayed with glassy eyes. ‘Besides, he didn’t really need all that copper piping in Barry’s house.’
Tracy smirked. ‘Our place is nice and toasty though.’
Glynnis put her hands to her mouth then chuckled. ‘What gave you the idea to pilfer his pipes?’
Tracy leaned onto the bar. ‘Our Glynnis, you don’t get that we is fond of you. You went and gave Ceri and that your boat and didn’t so much as frisk Ricky and me when we got on your boat.’ She tapped her heart while serving three customers. ‘It means a lot and it means a lot to Ricky’s dear aunty too… because she thought she’d be bored being back home.’
‘Agnes?’ Glynnis chuckled then sipped more wine.
‘Yup, she’s having right fun trying to sort him out.’ Tammy cleared away the leftovers then topped Glynnis up again. ‘She never had any boys but she said her eight girls were a handful so he’s not much challenge… but it’s fun.’
‘I needed to hear that.’ Glynnis reached over and squeezed Tammy and Tracy’s hand while flashing a glassy eyed smile at Colin. ‘Even if you’re breaking laws that, even with Ricky’s Rule, any prosecutor would see as a Snickers.’
Tammy pulled out a Snickers at that. ‘They can keep their hands off.’
‘So I see,’ Glynnis said with a beaming smile. ‘You, my dear friends are absolutely scandalous.’ She pulled out a pack of Snickers from her handbag. ‘And my husband didn’t notice the cameras but I did.’ She handed them over to a well chuffed Tammy who shared them… yes, shared them out. ‘So my rule is that such friendship should be acknowledged and you should know how much I’m very fond of you too… because, my wonderful friends, you are lovingly disreputable.’