Gorilla in the Midst

A true story


 A burly Irishman walks in, smoking.

BLOKE: Alright then mate, how’s it going?

TOM: Very well thanks. Yourself?

BLOKE: Pissed as a fart. Give us a good fillum then.

The Irishman is shadow-boxing to the music. Despite his drunken state he remains quite nimble. He laughs and growls.

BLOKE: Ah, you’re a good kidda.

Tom approaches the bloke and dodges him, indicating a film.

TOM: Right, well this is a good thriller.

The bloke grabs it.

BLOKE: Yeah?

TOM: Mmm, one of the best I’ve seen lately.

BLOKE: No, I’ve seen this one haven’t I? Fuckin shite. Fuckin crap it was. Pick us another willya?

The bloke continues shadow-boxing. Tom tries to be helpful – careful to avoid any stray punches.

TOM: Ok then. How about this one? It’s not bad.

The bloke takes the video and tried to read the back of it, screwing up his face. Tom retires behind the counter and pretends to read the paper.

BLOKE: Yeah. I’ve gotta be in fuckin Manchester tomorrow morning. Fuckin nine o’clock! Jesus! Haven’t I?

TOM: Oh yeah?

BLOKE: Yeah, gotta leave by (checks his watch) two, fuck it.

He flexes his arm and points at a large bicep.

BLOKE: Look at that! Alright isn’t it?

TOM: Certainly is…

BLOKE: Hahar… they don’t mess with me, eh? Yeah go on, I’ll have that one. Probably fuckin fall asleep anyway. Poxy fuckin job. Manchester!

Tom takes the box and puts it into the computer.

BLOKE: You’ve got me name on there, right?

TOM: Yup. There you go; two pound fifty please.

BLOKE: Ah, you’re a good kiddie, aren’t ya? I always pay up don’t I? I always fuckin pay up, me, don’t I?

TOM: (Smiling stiffly) Mmm. Cheers.

Bloke turns to go, thinks better of it and turns back. Flexes his bicep.

BLOKE: Here, have a feel of that. Come on!

TOM: I can see. It’s all there, isn’t it?

BLOKE: Come on! Give it a feel!

Tom prods the bicep tentatively.

BLOKE: Ha! What d’ya make of that then?

TOM: Well, you can’t argue with that now, can you?

BLOKE: Ah, yer a good kiddie, aren’t ya?

Tom smiles and shifts back to the safety of the counter. The bloke starts to shadow-box again.

TOM: Mind how you go then.

The bloke turns to go, turns back and raises his arms like ‘Rocky’, looking exultant. He roars.

BLOKE: I’m a gorilla, I am! A fuckin gorilla!

He goes to walk out. Tom sits down. The bloke turns round again. Tom wilts. The bloke extends his hand.

BLOKE: Come here, pal. Put it there. Come on!! (Tom complies) Ah, you’re a good kiddie, aren’t ya.

Tom’s hand is crushed.

BLOKE: Yer shakin’ mate. What’re you shakin’ for?

TOM: (Jokes feebly) Must be the drugs.

BLOKE: Well you better fucking give me some then! Haha!! See ya, mate.

The bloke walks off and waves.