Wood parked his car as close to the office door as possible. He didn’t particularly like exercise as it tended to show his smoking in a bad light. Joan and Trandorf jumped out of the car and headed to the door.
“That bloody Phil Bracewell is outside again,” said Trandorf pointing, “he’s hiding behind the bushes, presumably despoiling the air around him.”
“Those bushes are looking rather ill, aren’t they?” replied Joan.
“At least it’s not us he’s gassing,” said Trandorf, “you have to look on the bright side.” With that he opened the door to be met by Roger Laurence.
“Hello Martian,” said Laurence.
“What are you doing here?” replied Trandorf.
“Just to warn you that Pete Brown is on the warpath; I think you might have had him arrested by mistake this morning.”
Trandorf moved past Laurence and approached his desk.
“That’s him, that’s the bastard there,” said a heavily accented, male voice from the desk by the window. The man had a bushy, greying beard, a large forehead and had a well-developed suntan.
“Who the hell let you in here,” shouted Trandorf, “Ted and Roger why is there a homeless person sitting in my office?”
“I am not homeless,” said Brown, “‘let me in’ I mouthed to you through the window this morning. ‘Sod Off’ was your reply, you useless bastard, who did you think I was?”
“I didn’t know who you were and that’s the whole point; we manufacture weapons here and we can’t have any Tom, Dick, or Harry banging on windows and demanding to be let in to offices. You were lucky they just arrested you – I would have Tasered you, you idiot – why did you arrive so early – what was the point of that?”
“I wanted to start weaving, ‘let’s get weaving’ that is my motto, and people like you cut the thread even before I get started.”
“Why are you dressed like a homeless person with that scraggly beard, mad-professor glasses, and scrappy shoes? You’re supposed to be dressed like a contractor, look smart, even if you sound like a voiceover in a Hovis advert; ‘eeee appen me whippets deed, let’s get weaving, oooo a sit at foot of our stairs, it’s a bit black over Bill’s mothers’”.
Roger Laurence was laughing at Trandorf’s accurate accent whereas Ted was just content to smile. Brown, though, was not finished.
“You have no right to take the piss out of me like that, I can’t help the way I sound – and these clothes are my best clothes, so I can’t dress up any more than I already have done.”
“Dress up? You look like something that would appear in a Salvation Army shop window if they ever used mannequins to advertise their clothes for homeless people. If you look in a mirror you’ll probably understand why they don’t use them, because you look a big, hairy mess.”