[Flash Fiction] Queueing For A Bruising.

In #rabble3, Culture, Humour, Illustration, Print Editionby Georgia CorcoronLeave a Comment

Illustration: Aoife Quinn

It’s true that all sorts are on social welfare. They practically let anyone sign on. Which, is often wonderfully amusing as Georgia Corcoran finds out.

Never a dull moment at the dole office. In the Cabra offices a few weeks ago I found this blonde dolly bird, waiting to sign on. Practically galloping in circles outside a booth in huge, ginormous black heels. Shifting frantically from one quivering leg to the other- ‘Sorry, I just-really-need to go to the toil-let’ she apologised loudly- not to me… I guess to everybody. On top of the shoes she was wearing sheer tights with stars on them and an oversized black sleeveless fringed woollen coat, polka dot sleeves poking out which a large shiny brown bag swung from. She wasn’t a Penneys princess, it was more of a River Island vibe but with something else I couldn’t place. Forever 21? Bershka? Dunnes? Whatever I was sensing overall I found instantly endearing. With my ticket I sat down outside the information office and, almost immediately, there was a perilous roar.

A lady who had previously been faced into the booth was squaring up and over Dolly, balanced on the toes of her dirty runners, really impressing her attack. ‘Do you have an issue? Are you going to take me on?’ They were well able for each other. ‘I poxy will-wait-till I get you outside ya poxy English slut.’ Runners lady took great offence to being called an ‘English slut’. To be honest she did have an English sounding voice but, understandably, wanted justice for the outrageous statement. The whole thing escalated. ‘Wait till I get ya outside-I need to get my card. Kick ya outta here ya dirty English. Ya poxy schizo’ and then she wiggled up to the booth and goes ‘sorry about that I just need to get my card – I’ve a taxi outside.’ She actually had time to elaborate that she had a child waiting to go to the hospital in a taxi outside before Runners interrupted. ‘Well let’s go. C’mon, lets go.’ In an astounding instance, a flash, Dolly had changed into a pair of silver flats and was considerably smaller, if far more furious. She had transformed into one of those terrifying short people. I was called in for my turn in the information office at the worst possible time and missed out on all the action. When I came out word was that she was waiting outside. Sticking to her guns, pacing up and down. Runners, dressed in a dreadfully gloomy, shapeless coat, was getting everyone’s compassionate attention. I didn’t see quite how it started but she was definitely very rough towards darling Dolly. They had both been hysterically and passionately volatile. Yet…everyone huddled protectively around Runners. Listening to her side of the story. Probably offering her cups of tea and sympathies. I left disgusted and disenchanted at the injustice.

Outside there was no sign of Dolly but whilst waiting for the 39 I saw her leave McCafe across the road- I figured she’d finally got to go to the toilet. She seemed relatively calmer and appeared to have a tissue scrunched in her hand. Ah god, I thought, she feels dreadful about the whole thing. She was back in her heels though, definitely, and when she walked on a bit further I could see that the tissue was actually, it turns out, a double cheeseburger held within its wrapping. The bus arrived and we caught up with her jauntily walking through Stoneybatter, smoking, and I hoped that she wasn’t having to walk be-heeled all the way into town. All though to be fair we know that she has flats in her bag if she needs them ever, god forgive her if she does. The taxi comment was clearly a lie. I got off along the quays and as I stomped over Ha’penny bridge I definitely saw the lady who plays Mrs. Doyle.

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