Rodge

A spartan living room | old 3 bar fire on full pelt | a Wedgewood Elizabeth II 50th anniversary coronation plate on the mantelpiece with a chipped edge | next to a pair of dice & an incomplete Rubik’s Cube. Rodge |late middle age & peculiar | far away glazed expression | is sat on a rug in the middle of the room surrounded by various sized spanners | hammers | monkey wrenches & screwdrivers— there is no furniture. The door goes rata tat tat…rata tat tat…no one answers so Plinky just walks in.

Plinky: “Erm…Rodge mate? You in ‘ere? Er… crikey Rodge. What y’doin?”
Rodge: “Wotz it luk like? I’m tekin’ this ship engine t’bits. Gunna use it t’decorate the ‘ouse wiv. Marge will be chuffed t’bits wen she gets off ‘er hols. Best thing fer it i reckon is dangle it from the ceilin’ like a fancy chandelier.”
Plinky: “O…right Rodge. Erm… I dunno if Marge is gonna be so ‘appy ’bout that pal. Why’s d’ya decide t’do all this?”
Rodge: “Cuz me brekkie told us to. Said Marge’d luv it fer our wedding anniversary.”
Plinky: “Yer brekkie?”
Rodge: “Is there a parrot or n’echo in ‘ere? Yeh! Me alph-a-bett-y spag’etti told us. Read me horoscope n’all an that con-f’rmd wot me alph-a-bett-y spag’etti said: ‘you will find a ship engine in an unlikely place & put it to decorative use for a special person.’ So’s that’s wut i’m doin’.”
Plinky: “Who prepared yer brekkie mate?”
Rodge: “Cooked it me self cuz Marge is gone away. Only fing in the cupboard was alph-a-bett-y spag’etti. The likeli’ood of it eh? The shippin’ forecast told me t’gu on wiv out it an all. Sea change. Clean sailing all the way southeast’rly | which is my fav direction. But I mailed you about that. Got me a new penny | an I got one fer Margaret too.”
Plinky: “O yeh | smashin’ stuff that is Rodge.”
Rodge: “Y’gunna ‘elp me or jus’ keep badgerin’ me?”
Plinky: “Gimme five pal. I gotta mek a phone call.”
Rodge: “Well ‘urry yerself | the best bits cummin up | y’don’ wunna miss it.”
Plinky: “Don’t ya wurry Rodge pal | it’ll tek no time‘t all— wudn’t miss the best bit fer the world… (in the hallway Plinky dials— beep beep beep beep ring ring ring)… is that New Cross Infirmary? My pal Rodge is goin’ off on a wrong’n cud y’send sumone out please | his wife died recently: I fink he’s ‘avin’ a mental crumble. The address is…”

Rodge never got to finish decorating his house.

8 thoughts on “Rodge

      1. The insanity (dismantling a ship engine for decorative parts to put around the house & use to make a sort of chandelier) comes from his wife being dead, she isn’t missing, or gone; Rodge in his “mental crumble” only thinks this, a sort of coping mechanism, just like he is pulling apart a mechanical thing; his unravelling is being performed physically. Plinky’s final act is to call the hospital, & he explains to the hospital that his wife died recently. The idea was that Rodge somehow thinks that by using the ship engine as decoration he might somehow move toward sanity or reality, of course, he can’t know this directly, it is the roundabout way of his madness’ behaving irrationally.

      2. I enjoy how you ‘turn a phrase’ in these bits. The language is very real. I wouldn’t change it for love or money. But the deep message is likely to be missed unless annotated. I know my recent stuff goes over most people’s head and in some ways it’s intentional. I don’t expect everyone to get all of it. I’m happy if they get a good read and maybe…just maybe the message will get through in some subconscious place. But your style is unique and I can’t think of any way you could improve on it without ruining it. Maybe adding more hints in the text, which in itself would make it that much richer and, well, even more complicated. Wishing you the best on this one. It could become epic.

      3. i think the language influences your feeling of it being comedy. It is sort of funny i admit, but therein lies the trap i set: how bizarre what Rodge is doing.
        Annotating has its problem, like explaining a joke, you run the risk of insulting people’s intelligence.
        The irony of this is humourous to me: these men speak using a sort of working class Northern English, that any English person would probably understand, probably (sic). But in an international context, it becomes an obfuscation to the overall meaning of the piece. Funny that. This language is so raw & literary to me.

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