Excerpt from the book Different Planet

5 Days in the life of an English office – there’s lots of banter and insults flying around in this story. One person goes to the wrong place for the weekend, another has horrible personal habits, but the main protagonist realises how he can become a better person – he undergoes a transformation after losing a race and feels better for it.


Continuing from the previous post…

“It’s my program, like, it’s not doing what it’s supposed to be doing.”


“It’s wrong, is it?” asked Laurence.


“It’s not wrong, no, it just doesn’t werk,” replied Balderson


“Hey Traney, you should write that down, you could use it as an excuse for all your programs,” said Laurence laughing


“It’s not wrong, it just doesn’t work,” repeated Tranfield, “what a dipstick you are Balderson, it’s the same thing.”


“It’s not, like, one’s much worse than the other.”


Joan raised her eyebrows and pretended to be captivated by something appearing on her screen.


“You’ll never guess where I am from, like” continued Balderson.


“Well, I think I know already,” said Tranfield, “from my most hideous nightmares, that’s where you’re from.”


“What about you, the the woman?” said Balderson.


“Don’t use your charm on me, sunshine,” said Joan, “and the name is Joan. I would have said that you were from Liverpool, myself.”


“How’d you know that, like?” asked Balderson.


“It’s probably your scouse accent, you thick sod,” said Tranfield, growing tired of the conversation.


“I thought I’d lost that, living up here for 5 years.”


“No, no, you haven’t,” said Laurence, “so let’s just see where your program isn’t werking shall we? Let’s leave these good people to get on with their werk.”  




On the other side of the connecting doors Aileen Greaves was trying to talk to Martin Benn into having a ride on his scooter.


“Martin, if I obtained my own helmet, would you take me for a ride on your scooter?” Aileen smiled at Benn, hoping this would have some effect.


“I’d rather not, actually,” replied Benn without looking at Aileen.


“Oh why is that – I am not dangerous.” Aileen feigned being surprised.


“I wasn’t suggesting you were, it’s just that my insurance won’t cover you if you fell off and injured yourself.” Benn looked at Aileen with some apprehension, because if he ever did give her a ride on his scooter, or moped as he preferred to call it, he would never live it down.


“Well, I am hardly likely to do that, if I am holding on to you,” replied Aileen and mimed putting her arms around an imaginary rider.


“Sounds like you would try to land on me, if we fell off,” said Benn looking even more worried.


“I wouldn’t Martin, I wouldn’t fall off, I have good balance.” Aileen was trying to sound as assured as she could be.


“Why don’t you ask John, he’s got a motorbike,” said Benn desperately.


“He doesn’t bring it to work though Martin,” said Aileen.


“How do you know?”


“Because he told me already.”


“So you have already asked him then?” said Benn in an exasperated tone – he just wanted her to go away and to stop pestering him.


“I did, a while ago, but I’ve always preferred scooters to motorbikes – I’ve always associated motorbikes with Hell’s Angels and big, hairy men with beards who are rough and drink a lot and swear at everyone and fight each other after they’re drunk. They take drugs and shout at each other rather than talking. Scooters always seem more dashing and stylish to me, more debonnaire and sophisticated.”


“John’s not hairy, he’s going a bit thin on top, he hasn’t got a beard,” said Benn.


“I was generalising, Martin, god it’s like trying to get blood from a stone. OK, well I get the message – I will leave you in peace and won’t pester you again.”