Episode Seven: The Records Written by Ricky Star
“I was in the shops earlier, and you know what I saw?”
“What did you see?”
“And do you know what it was advertising?”
“No. What, pray tell, could it possibly be?”
“Well. You know those spinny record people? You know, the ones who spin records around and around on a table and make all whizzy noises with them?”
“Well. I saw them advertising classes for them!”
“And I think that would be great for me. I’d be great at being someone who does the spinny record things! And it could be great for the business if I’m down with the, er, children!”
Haresh was tired and frustrated. He had had to deal with a boy kicking a football through his office window. He had seen this sort of behaviour in comics and on television, but he had never expected it to occur in real life. Naturally, the delinquent in question had received enough detention to see him to the end of his time at the school (which was another three and a half years), but he still had to source funds to replace it in the skant budget without compromising on his promise to the governors to have a new block built within two years (a feat for which all other spending had been cancelled, and thus, he would need to explain to the other teachers why he needed a new window and they didn’t need new desks). In essence, he couldn’t care less about what Gita was up to as long as it didn’t cost very much; he was already beginning to suspect that he might just have to pay for the window quietly out of his own wages.
“How much does it cost?”
Gita was talking but Haresh had already zoned out. He’d had enough. He got up and went straight to bed, without thought of food or shower or even brushing his teeth.
In other words, Gita was free.
“Right, so, who’s done scratching before?”
A few people put up their hands, including Gita. After all, Gita had scratched many times. Whenever she had an itch. When she told this to the scary man at the front with the records in front of him, he did not react kindly.
“Cut yer lip! I’m gonna teach you all how to scratch and mix. First, step up to your mixing desk…”
Gita had the hang of it within hours. She was the spinny record queen! She could spin records all day! And there was only one way to put her new talents to test; she needed to enter that national competition she had read about in Scratching Monthly!
“Are you insane!?”
Haresh was evidently still in a grumpy mood. Gita decided not to pursue the matter with him any further. Instead, she would do it all by herself…
“Have you heard the news about the mad flower shop lady?”
“The news? What news? What’s she done this time?”
“You’re never going to believe this!”
“Why? What is it?”
“She’s only gone and entered the national competition for DJing!”
Banners proclaiming “GO GITA” were held up by the most out of place, slightly middle class attendees of the National Scratching Cup. Haresh was not among them, because he refused to believe that Gita was even remotely serious about trying, and had expenses to sort out anyway. “The Flowerer”, as Gita had coined her DJ alter ego, had taken the world of scratching by storm through her unorthodox approach to it. She happily cut between and “wobbled” songs by The Beatles, The Human League and Tchaikovsky. It had proven to be remarkably successful, and the judges remained unsure of what to make of the entrant. The crowd was equally baffled, as a mixture of Mozart, Pulp and Eminem blared out of the speakers.
Bloomin’ Lovely had been shut for the event, which was broadcast on national television, and all those residents of Foxglove who had been unable to procure tickets for the event were watching it at home to support Gita.
Except for Haresh.
Haresh had arguing to do.
“I told you, I need a new window, otherwise my private conversations can be heard from outside!”
“I’ve needed a new window for longer!”
“But yours is an internal window. Nobody can see you through it outside, can they?”
“All the more reason to give me a new one! It’s less likely to get broken, and you already have a good view! A window isn’t that much to ask for, is it?”
“Look, I’m very sorry, Mr Fitzgerald, but I really do need this window. And I have got greater authority than you-”
“I will resign from my post if you don’t give me a new window before you get one. Six months before you get one, to be precise, because that’s how long I’ve been in the queue.”
Haresh couldn’t deal with all this. It was far too difficult. Life was much too hard. It took years to get to a position of any value, years to hone his skills, and still, it felt as though he always lost…
“AND THE WINNER IS… NEWCOMER GITA CHANDRA, THE FLOWERER!”
The crowd could not believe it.
Gita could not believe it.
This was her new greatest anecdote, for certain. Apart from the one with the giant space rhinos. And the one where she had a lizard man in her. And the one where a big alien man destroyed her entire street. And her daughter fighting baddies from outer space…
It was quite a good anecdote, at any rate.
The people of Foxglove had enjoyed supporting Gita at the time. After all, it isn’t often that the mad flower lady suddenly becomes a DJ. However, the fun began to wear off when it suddenly affected their shopping habits.
Affixed to the window of Bloomin’ Lovely was a large sign declaring “SHOP CLOSING ON 31ST DUE TO NEW DJ CAREER”. Gita had already been signed by a record company and her new album was due out in three months, and was predicted to top the urban charts. Her first single, “The Beethoven and David Bowie Scratchy Song” had hit number two, and was available for purchase in the flower shop (so the displays of “Red Flowers” had to be stored in the back room instead).
“Ooh, hello there, Mrs Bucketbottom! Would you be interested in buying my new single?”
“No, I most certainly would not! I must say, I think this is appalling behaviour for a shopkeeper! You need to know your place…”
But nothing could spoil Gita’s mood now. Not even the fact that her husband didn’t care in the slightest about her newfound success. He would come round in the end…
Mr Fitzgerald, true to his word, had resigned, and now Mr Chandra was inundated with CVs of hopeful candidates for a post teaching economics. He also needed to choose a new deputy without sparking any more anger among his staff; he couldn’t deal with any more resignations.
So no was his answer when she offered to play him her song. He was far too busy trying to get his head around everything. He didn’t care when she told him that she’d won the competition. He didn’t care when she told him that she’d been given a record deal. He didn’t care when she told him that she had got to number two on the weird moderny woderny charts. He didn’t care when she told him that the album had flopped because Coldplay had released a record on the same day. He didn’t care when she needed to reopen the shop in an embarrassed haste. He had more important things on his plate.
She only had flowers, flowers and more flowers.
The most surprising thing was definitely the fanbase. Even after her second album had been cancelled, Gita was astounded to discover that there were people who had come all the way to her little flower shop to pay homage to her music.
Perhaps most notable of Gita’s legions of (very strange) fans was Bill the Builder. Bill the Builder had arrived bearing gifts: he brought bricks, and he brought mortar. He also brought windows. Many, many windows, adorned with little gold bits, “in honour of Gita”. Delighted, Gita had had the windows of the shop removed and installed the lovely gold ones (which also had writing around the edges, proclaiming such truths as “Gita Rulz ok” and “Buy Gita’s album NOW, scum!”).
Haresh did, in fact, care about this. He cared because, at last, he could have an office window! Everything could have been solved by this development!
But there were still the prospective deputies to consider.
And the new employee.
And, of course, that little rascal had to go and kick another ball through the new window.
That was it.
Haresh was going to murder that absolute-
Bloomin' Lovely returns tomorrow in The Customer...
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