James Robertson + David Wagner

Jackpot

Jackpot

Mary with the dicky hip from Bridge Club says that when a woman complains she’s invisible, it means she hasn’t been ‘strip-squeezed’ for a very long time. Mary and I like euphemisms.
I’ve been invisible since 1992.

F 52, GSOH, enjoys walking, theatre, candle-lit dinners & travel. WLTM solvent M 45-55 for friendship.
Inbox (0)
Mary says I need to put myself out there more. She’s not invisible. She says her Harry at number forty-eight has a wallet full of fifties and a repeat-prescription for Viagra.

F 52, dark hair, curvy figure. Looking for fun times w/solvent M 40-60.
Inbox (1)
I get a response from a chap called Bernard. He wants me to send him some soiled underwear but unfortunately all my underwear is clean, and it’s nine in the morning, so even the ones I’m wearing are hardly dirty yet. Bernard’s a retired postman and has a state pension, so I think I’ll leave it at that.
Mary says that saying I’m curvy makes people think I’m fat. I’ll get more responses if I say I’m sexy.

F 52, sexy, spirited, thrill seeker, WLTM solvent M 35-65 for relationship & more.
Inbox (5)
One is from a maths teacher called Trevor. He’s sent me a picture of his enormous ‘angle of incidence’ and says he’d like to do ‘x + y experiments’ together. I have a soft spot for large angles so I’m meeting him for coffee.
I thought I might have forgotten how to do it, but in fact it’s just like riding a bicycle. In fact, it’s exactly like riding a bicycle. After a bit of x over y and a particularly enjoyable session of y over x, I look around his flat and realise he’s terribly poor: dirty curtains, shag pile carpet, empty wallet. While he’s in the toilet, I gather up my things and run out.
Mary says I should be clearer about what I want, instead of worrying about what men want.

Sexy and adventurous F 52, WLTM M 35+ SOLVENT for passionate nights and playful days.
Inbox (8)
The most promising is from Jack. He’s been a merchant banker for the fifteen years since his wife left him. He’s bald in his picture but did I mention he’s a banker?
We go for dinner at a fine restaurant in the city. He’s five foot two and his stomach bulges over his belt and his hands are hairy, but he also has a wad of notes in his wallet and is wearing a designer suit and a Rolex.
His flat overlooks the park and his huge bed is smothered in silk and Egyptian cotton. He kisses me and asks for a return on his investment. I tell him I like euphemisms and kiss him back and then he asks me if he could complete a planned course of asset stripping.
I stand naked, facing this man, examining the contours of his belly and the thick dark hair on his shoulders. On the bedside table is a brochure for luxury yachts and I ask him to base-spread me there and then.
We love each other, I feel it. Did I mention he’s a banker?

The Diamond Kid

boy, mookie, the diamond kid, david z wagner, jamie robertson innit, democratic republic of congo, DRC, gemstones, blood diamonds

The Diamond Kid

The Diamond Kid

I heard about Little Mookie last year. He was an 8 year old African kid from the Congo who had started throwing up precious gemstones.
Normally when we got an African story on the wire, we all hissed at the world for not doing more, and then got on with another story that would actually get some inches.
But we ran the story and even got a column above the fold. We were thinking of sending someone out there but it was too dangerous and no one really cares about Africa, really. Not in the buying newspapers sense anyway.
A month later, there was a note on my desk saying that a jungle militia group had abducted Little Mookie.
I wrote 300 words of conjecture and handed it to the night editor. He didn’t love it. I told him I wanted to get out there and do a big feature on it.
He looked at me and said “Are you fucking mad? They eat human heads out there.”
“Do they really do that? I know we said they do but do they really?”
“Yeh, probably! And the flies lay eggs in your skin. Fucking nightmare. You’re mad! And anyway, the bosses will never allow it.”
“But ask for me please.” I pleaded. He snorted and turned back to his computer.
The next morning I got a call from the owner. He said he loved the story and wanted someone to go out there, and I’d come recommended. I accepted and he said “good luck” in a way that brought winter to my bones.
After 3 days of travelling and eating and sweating rice, I finally managed to get hold of a village elder who knew a man who knew a doctor who would sacrifice a goat which would summon a spirit to contact the jungle militia.
My editor was getting annoyed. No one cared. Come home. But I stayed because I couldn’t face having done all that sweating for nothing.
Ten days of moving between shithole villages and innumerable decapitation dreams later, I scored an interview with the head of the jungle militia, who proudly informed me the group was called Mai-Mai. He wanted to showcase Little Mookie.
I was picked up by four men with guns and a blindfold. I strained not to shit my pants. I put the blindfold on and to my own surprise, said a few prayers. Oh father, who art in heaven, don’t let these men kill me or cut me up or make me eat boiled woman meat.
We travelled for an hour or so, I’m not really sure. It occurred to me that I was being willingly abducted.
Eventually we arrived somewhere and they took me out the car and inside a tent. They removed the blindfold, and stood in front of me was a young man in a scruffy army uniform.
“Welcome to the home of the Mai-Mai.” He stretched his arms out and chuckled. “Cigar?” I took one. I was so bewildered I would have put a tarantula in my mouth if he’d offered it.
In the corner there was Little Mookie. He looked at me with popping eyes. I could see the red lines in them from across the tent. He lurched forward and spluttered and put his hand to his mouth. His back arched and his hands filled with the most brilliant of pink diamonds.
“What a marvellous boy. He makes us rich and we can fight the government. Look how well I treat him! Look how fat his belly is.”
Before I could answer, the sound of gunshots made me instinctively fall to the floor. There was shouting. In English.
Special Forces barged into the tent. I was excited about the twist my story was taking. Imagine the inches.
They shouted at me to stay on the floor and from what I could see, they grabbed Little Mookie and ran out with him.
They left me in the jungle. Most of the militiamen were dead. I stumbled through the jungle for 4 days before I came across an Austrian missionary priest and I was saved. Not in the way he wanted though.
By the time I got home, the story about Little Mookie had been and gone. He’d stopped retching and wasn’t worth fuck all anymore.
Last I heard he was on the cargo ship headed for ‘somewhere in Africa’.
I wrote a piece about Little Mookie’s plight and gave the copy to my editor. It never made it in.