Category: Nathan Barley
Length: 1-5k words
Notes: Date of posting to BSH: May 2006.
This was the first Dan Ashcroft story I ever wrote!
Usual Rate, etc.? by The Lizard
Dan Ashcroft slowly lifted his head off the table and gazed with barely concealed contempt at his work colleagues through his shaggy mop of hair. He was surrounded by Idiots. Idiots who were paid for being as moronic as possible, for spending their days spouting inanities into their twit machines, while bouncing around the office on Space Hoppers to an ironic soundtrack of 80s power pop and disco. Dan sighed heavily.
Jonatton Yeah?, chief editor of ‘Sugar Ape’ magazine, gurned in Dan’s direction, pulling a face like a chimpanzee with haemorrhoids. Jonatton was King Moron. Dan wanted to punch him hard in the cock.
“Slash Haven, etc.?”
Dan felt his stomach flutter. One of the Idiots laughed like a donkey on speed, uttering every sentence he spewed as a question:
“Oh yeah, I’ve heard about that from Barley’s website? There are these people who write gay porn on the internet? Only they write about famous comedians and actors and shit?”
Another Idiot spouted more verbal bollocks: “They write about them bumming on sofas!!! HhuUUuhuaauuuhHHHHhhh!!”
“Yeah, it’s well gaybertron!!” More Idiot donkey-laughing.
Dan stared into space, his hands tremble slightly. His breathing quickened. How did they know about this? Surely they hadn’t used his laptop and checked on his internet usage? They mustn’t be allowed to taint his precious secret with their empty twaddle. He had to protect it.
“I’ll write a feature on it.” Dan said. He looked down at the desk and picked at some imaginary dirt.
Jonatton feigned a face of approval and pointed both of his index fingers, tapping them in a faux clap. The gesture made Dan want to rip out his pancreas and stamp on it. “Usual rate, etc?”
Dan hunched over his laptop and gently moaned in ecstasy. It was 4.00 a.m. Jones, Dan’s housemate, was in a deep sleep on the sofa. There was no way Jones was going to wake up now. He had been awake for four days on a mixture of caffeine and speed, making an apocalyptic din he laughingly called “music”, and he had only just crashed out. Dan knew it was safe to masturbate. He re-read the latest story on the Boosh Slash Haven website. Howard Moon and Vince Noir were screwing each other senseless after yet another disagreement. Howard had been rather more sadistic with Vince in this story than in recent slash, but this change in tone had excited Dan a great deal. There’s was something about the Howard character that reminded him of himself. He shuddered to a climax and fell back into the chair. Jones grunted and muttered something but remained asleep. Something about Jones had always reminded Dan of Vince Noir but he couldn’t quite place it….
“How in God’s cocking name am I going to write about this?” Dan pondered as he wiped off his residue with a tissue, did his trousers back up and lit a post-wank cigarette. Of course – he’d have to slag it off. He couldn’t have other people knowing about this, especially not Idiots. It was his private passion, a little fantasy world that helped him escape the depressing reality of his current situation. He finished his cigarette and lit another straight away. Jones turned over on the sofa, still slumbering.
Dan had to admit that being a principled man meant being a poor man. He owed money left right and centre. He was sleeping on and off at Jones place and he looked like a tramp most of the time. But at least he hadn’t sold out like his friend at The Weekend on Sunday, who was probably losing sleep over editing some arse-wiping article about what wine should go with braised emu testicles or whatever over-priced poncey toss was being served at middle-class dinner parties these days.
Boosh Slash Haven is shit. If he said it was shit, the Idiots would believe him. After all, he was The Preacher Man.
He scrolled back through the Boosh Slash Haven archive and found a favourite story, undid his trousers and began gently working himself up into a rhythm.
“Mmm, bananas…” he grinned and writhed in pleasure.
Dan sat at his desk in the ‘Sugar Ape’ office. The magazine’s art editor rode past on a child’s toy tractor, spouting something moronic about an email of a woman being eaten out by a goat. Dan shot him a look that could have cut out his anus at fifty paces. ELO’s ‘Last Train To London’ blasted out from another Idiot’s i-Pod connected up to a pair of children’s toy stereo speakers purchased from Toys R Us. He went back to his article and tried to focus:
“Slash Haven is the last refuge of the mentally retarded with the creative imagination of a flea. It’s about as sexually exciting as seeing your grandmother’s beef curtains on the day of her funeral. Do yourself a favour and avoid this pathetic excuse for erotica and porn. Buy a copy of the ‘Woman’s Weekly’ instead, roll it up, stick it up your arse and have a proper wank…..”
Dan highlighted the text and deleted it. He couldn’t do it, no matter how hard he tried. He couldn’t be negative about his beloved Slash Haven. It was like being nasty about a good mate who had always been there for you in bad times. Principles.
“Oh dear. Am I going to have to write it for you……and not give you any money?”
Jonatton Yeah? peered over Dan’s shoulder and pouted. Dan screwed up his face, his crab eyes almost vanishing. He nodded slowly.
It was a few days later, and the new issue of ‘Sugar Ape’ was due out. Dan stood outside the faceless office entrance on Great Eastern Street and pressed the door buzzer with a heavy heart, awaiting the predictable Idiot greeting. “Who’s THHAAAAAAAT?” screeched over the intercom. “Enid Blyton?” Dan replied sarcastically. The buzzer sounded and released the door catch. Dan pushed it open with a heavy sigh and passed through into the dark corridor. Trudging up the stairs slowly, an Idiot was waiting for him at the top:
“Hey Ashcroft, brilliant feature on Slash Haven. Those gaybertrons are well plastic!”
“What?” Dan asked, confused and suddenly feeling very hot and dizzy.
The Idiot held out a copy of the current issue of ‘Sugar Ape’. The article on Slash Haven was the cover feature…..‘Slash Haven’ was the coolest thing on the web right now…and apparently he said so. Dan snatched the magazine, pushed past the Idiot and marched into Jonatton Yeah?s office. King Moron was picking his nose. Probably looking for his brain.
“What the fuck is this?” Dan exclaimed, throwing the magazine down on Jonatton’s desk. Jonatton threw Dan a look of pity. “But I had to write it for you Dan, as you went a little bit……..” Jonatton pulled an expression like a hamster.
“But you put my name on it”, Dan said, his voice suddenly small, his throat closing up. He felt as though he wanted to cry.
“Yeah, well. We think it’s shit, don’t we?” Jonatton said.
Later that night, Dan sat smoking in the living room of Jones place. It was 2 a.m. and Jones was in the next room, creating a noise reminiscent of a drum-kit crashing through a greenhouse containing squealing boar. Dan’s laptop blinked at him from the small table in front of the sofa. He really wanted to take a look at Boosh Slash Haven but the excitement he got from reading about the fictional couplings of Howard and Vince was now lessened by knowing that somewhere a bunch of Idiots were reading it and even adding to it with their own inane take on it, probably written in text speak….
Sod it. He couldn’t stay away from it and he really needed to wank. He logged on to Live Journal and scrolled to the latest Boosh Slash story. Hmmm, 14 comments on this one already, it must be a goodie …..it looked like Vince was going to really take it up the arse yet again.
Dan was pounding hard when Jones walked into the lounge. Jones stopped suddenly when he realised what Dan was up to. Dan flushed with embarrassment and let go of his cock, hurriedly trying to re-arrange his clothing. Jones smiled, walked over to Dan and sat down next to him. “It’s alright, Dan. I know what you get up to when you think I’m asleep. What’s the latest story about?”
A wolfish grin slowly broke out across Dan’s face. The two men peered at the screen together.