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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Decisions in a Square

Category: Humor Winners, Issue 4

Trafalgar Square was packed as usual. Day-trippers gawped at the huge lions, serene in their grey metal contemplation of the surroundings. Workers on their lunch break and out for a breath of air, ate food from small plastic wrapped parcels. Pout breasted pigeons, secure in their tenure, dodged precariously through a forest of human legs, waiting for a falling crumb.

Kevin sat on the edge of the fountain drinking from a polystyrene cup and stared gloomily into space.

‘What’s up with you then?’ Kevin’s friend, Tom said, wiping a dribble of coffee from his chin with the back of his hand.

‘Nothing, pissed off that’s all.’

A pigeon put a tentative pink foot forward onto Tom’s shoe and he absentmindedly flicked it off. ‘Didn’t have to be a genius to guess that.’

‘We had one of those talks last night.’

‘Who did?’

‘Trace and me,’ Kevin glanced sideways to gauge Tom’s reaction ‘You know – about commitment.’

‘Oh right.’ Tom closed one eye and aimed his empty cup at an open basket litterbin. ‘Sod it, missed.’

Kevin waited while Tom retrieved the cup and deposited it in the rubbish. ’Well is that all you’re going to say?’ he said

Tom shrugged his shoulders noncommittally ‘I dunno, they all get round to it sometime or the other. Shit or get off the pot, the old shotgun up the butt, bit.’

Kevin was always amazed at how quickly his mate grasped the finer points of a conversation. ‘What do ya think, then?’

‘Depends on how you feel about her - er - did you watch the footie last night?’

Kevin shredded the polystyrene cup absently between nervous fingers. ‘Yeah good game, you see it?’

Tom pulled back his feet to let a woman with a pushchair pass. He watched her hand some bread to the child folded cosily in its depths and smiled slightly at the little girl’s clumsy attempts to throw it to the strutting pigeons. ‘Nah, had to take the kids to swimming lessons. What was the score then?’

‘Draw, one all. See what I mean, your friggin’ life ‘s not your own any more!’

‘Look, I got to get back to work. See you later, dude.’ Tom grinned and rose to his feet scattering startled birds into the air.

‘Thanks a bunch! Fat lot of help you were.’ Kevin said with a smile.

‘Well what did you expect me to say?’

‘I dunno – something.’

‘Okay then. Is she a good shag?’

‘Yes, of course she is.’ Kevin laughed.

‘Well, there you go, then,’ said Tom, as he sauntered off

Kevin turned his attention back to the crowd. The child in the pushchair was staring, her eyes focused on his face. He wiggled his fingers in her direction and she laughed.

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