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by John D Robinson




What Is It?


It was hard to guess how

old he was, he looked

ancient and he shuffled

to the counter clutching

a £5:00 note:

‘How can I help you?’

the cashier asked and the

question seemed to fuck-

him-up, he couldn’t

remember what he was

wanting at the store:

‘Cigarettes? tobacco?’

the cashier asked:

he shook his head,

frowning, trying to

think what he wanted:

‘A lotto ticket? stamps?

scratch cards?’ the

cashier enquired: the

old man shook his head;

a few people were

getting pissed-off,

cursing the old guy

beneath their breath; a

few others in the queue

shouted out ‘TV guide?

pipe tobacco? vapours?

matches?’; again he

shook his head and

looked confused and


I stepped up, ‘A pack

of rubbers’ I suggested:

he shook his head and

laughed a toothless

laugh and then said,

‘I’ve got a couple of

packets left over from

the 1970’s in the

bedroom cabinet but I’m

buggered if I can think of

why I’m here’

‘Good luck’ I told him

‘I can’t remember the last

time I had some of that’

he said.




a line, (a short blue one)



1st Time Gloves On


‘When the punches start

coming back at you is when

the trouble starts and that’s

why your first, initial

punches should be clean

and vicious and hateful

but controlled, keep

your temper: from the

sound of the bell, it’s

life or death, think of it

no other way, your first

punches should be your

best and the last’

I nodded my head

knowing that I was in

for a hiding as my

veteran, older opponent

threw punches into the

air, dancing like a

victorious gladiator,

already tasting the blood

and wanting more.




a line, (a short blue one)



A Vasectomy And Sibelius


‘Music is very important at these

kind of times’ he said ‘And what

music is it that you enjoy’ he


‘Classical music’ I replied:

‘I was hoping you were

going to say that’ he said and

walked over to a C.D. player

and pushed a button, Sibelius’

2nd symphony filled the room:

he put on some rubber gloves

and pulled up a paper-face-

mask: ’10 minutes and it’ll

all be over, lay back and relax’

the surgeon advised and I did:

a few hours later I had sore

and swollen testicles the size

of apples and for a few days a

hard-on caused agony, which

amused my wife who cruelly

and playfully teased and

aroused me, enjoying my

simultaneous agony and





a line, (a short blue one)



A Bright Sunshine


I knew it was going to

be the end of our

 teenage romance when

she said ‘I’m pregnant’:

gifted academically and

musically, she was

17 years old

and just months away

from university and a

future: I was 18 and

becoming a hopeless

drunk working in

illegal factories with

no fucking ambitions

but I sold what I

could to pay for the

abortion and I felt

shitty and useless and

the clinic was cold and

unfeeling and the sad,

ashamed faces of the

young women have

never left me and I

recall looking out of

a window into a dull

and lifeless car-park

that evaded even the

brightest of sunshine.




a line, (a short blue one)





His uniform consisted of

a pair of shorts, sandals

and shades; he’d walk up

and down the golden

golden sandy beaches,

drinking a cold beer and

smoking a cigarette,

moving amongst topless,

scantily clad sunbathing

women and frequently,

he’d take money from

these beautiful semi-

naked girls for the hire

of beach-chairs and


I’ve always disliked

working  and have

truly hated each job I’ve

had, but this guy had

things sussed; this was

not hard work or

boring, this was

inspiring and


fuck, if I had his job,

I’d be putting-in for

plenty of over-time.




a line, (a blue one)


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