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Rescue Chickens

The Kindness of Strangers

Does my arse look fat in this soul?

The demon of paranoia re-visits old Sket

On The Road......

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2006-04-01 - 9:09 p.m.

Ohhhhhhhh Goddddddd!

(she said again, with sickening regularity)

As you know, on Thursday night I faced the unhappy experience of having my little Gerbil Barry having a fit and dying in my hands. Well, as always my life turns everything into a poorly written sit com....

...SO, I turn up at the hostel from hell for my very last shift Wa-hoooo hoping that I was going to be alone and therefore able to bury Barry's body in the abandoned bit of garden outside the office window before any of the residents bothered to surface from their pits. The night before, I had written something like:

Barry - Died 30th March 2006. A fine Gerbil

on a load of kitchen roll before wrapping him, some small crystals and sunflower seeds up and tying it all together with some nice purple ribbon I had. Heck, he was my little friend and I shared his last moments; I wanted to do it right somehow. I didn't want the cat to sniff him out so I looked everywhere for something to put him in.

- All I could find was a dogshit bag.


I put the corpse in my handbag and looked around for some kind of digging implement. Heck, we're 2 girls sharing a place. All I could find was a big spoon thing with holes in it that i guess is for taking eggs out of boiling water. I slipped that into my bag too.

Well, as I say, I got to work for my last shift and then had an anxious hand over with Mark the Hippy who had done the sleep over the night before. We always seem to chat too long and then start talking surreal stuff before inevitably pissing ourselves at bits of Monty Python "At that time, a friend shall lose his friend's hammer". I love our hand overs to bits but I just wanted Mark to go quickly so I could bury Barry as fast as possible.

FINALLY he left and I breathed a sigh of relief. I mean, I wasn't breaking any laws or anything but I don't think my manager would have really gone for me depositing dead creatures around the place so I had to do it all in top secret.

THE HEAVENS OPENED and rain did pisseth down all over the place.

Thanks FATE.

After a while I decided that I should brave the storm and run outside and start digging a hole quickly. I took the big spoon and furtively crept outside the office. I didn't realise that the soil was almost pure clay. WATERLOGGED clay no less and I bent the bleedin' spoon trying to dig the stuff. Then came the rocks which got in the way of the direction the hole was going. I feverishly tried to make the hole bigger by going around the feckin rocks but I wasn't winning my battle.

"Shit, Shit, SHIT!" I exclaimed under my breath, cursing as rain ran down my hair and across my face.

"HELLO Sket!" came a cheery voice. FUCK, it's Steph the trainee Social Worker!

"Haha, hello Steph. Erm......"Damn, I couldn't think of a plausable reason why I was out in the rain digging a hole with a bent spoon"I'm erm, shall we go inside?"

"O-K.......is everything ok?

(in a higher pitch than I'd have preferred)"Ha ha, yeah, OF COURSE it is hahahahahhahahaha. Erm, you don't finish til 5pm do you Steph? No, thought not... I said, defeatedly.

So I sat there in the chair in the office with a dejected look on my face, rain running in rivulets from my stupid hair and a half dug clay hole which was rapidly filling with water. Oh, and I had wet clay smeared down my clothes and later on I would discover, in my hair and on my face and she neglected to mention it. Perhaps she was a bit frightened of me. I must admit, it wouldn't have been the kind of greeting I'd have expected as I turned up for work :(

The minutes ticked away and we just kinda looked at each other sneakily a few times. The office was quiet, the residents were being avoidant and I kept glancing out at my hole and thinking about the decaying rodent in my handbag.

Finally I cracked. The silence, the suspicion and the subconscious need to clear my name of being thought of as some kind of freak made me blurt out:


Now y'see, Steph is really young, petite and kinda ladylike and I think that this is the last thing she would expect to hear and the last thing she would consider carrying around in her handbag. She looked stunned. She asked why (reasonable I guess) and I had to admit that I didn't have much garden and had been hoping to sneakily bury my gerbil in the gardens here. She told me that I could rely on her not to say anything and that she would keep lookout for me/answer the phone. I gratefully grabbed Barry back out of my bag (where he'd been stuffed back when I had been disturbed) and began, once again, to try to dig the bloody clay. Of course, it was later in the day now and a resident might come by at any moment or happen to look out of a window. I feverishly tried to dig and dig but the hard clay and the rocks were making it impossible to get as deep as I'd have liked. I also didn't make it as long as I'd have liked and I'm rather afraid that Barry didn't have as peaceful or beautiful a send-off as he could have. I squashed him in the hole, pushed clay and pebbles over him and tried to replant a couple of weeds over the grave.

I've been paranoid ever since. Paranoid that they might decide to have a group Spring project of doing up the gardens. If they decide to dig a hole to plant anything they will come across a decomposing gerbil wrapped in paper with my bloody writing all over it (my writing is quite distinctive - big and a bit strange). There would be no denying it was my dead rodent and erm, it wouldn't be very pleasant. I don't know whether to buy anything to plant there myself as a kind of tribute to my time there. Would they go for that? I dunno. I couldn't buy anything too big tho, I'd end up digging up Barry myself. What can I put there that has shallow roots and will survive clay soil?


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