The Unextraordinary Day of the Bodger
by Alexander D. Jones
You ever feel like you’ve forgotten what you were meant to be doing? Kane Able, local handyman, can never seem to remember his visits to a certain warehouse.
“In a world where everything seems to break continually, one man is on a mission to steady it all. Kane Abel is – The Bodger!” Kane stopped his dramatic trailer speech as he finished screwing another bracket into the already quadruple-bracketed banister.
“Oh, cheers mate,” said Al walking into the room, “Take a tenner, that’s really helped me out, that has,” Al handed Kane a ten pound note.
“Thanks, Al. I appreciate it,” said Kane, “You up for quiz night on Friday?”
“Sure am,” Al nodded.
“I’ll see you then, then,” replied Kane as he left the house with his bulging tool box in toe.
Kane chucked his things in the boot of his van, slammed the door and started to head home.
His front door opened with a creek, “Rats!” said Kane to himself, “WD-40, that’s what I was meant to get!” He slammed the door shut. The picture that had been blu-tacked to the wall fell off and clattered onto the floor, “And picture hooks,” he muttered.
He flung his shoes at the shoe box but both missed by a few feet.
“Ooh, and a bad miss from Abel there, the boss won’t be too happy with that one,” said Kane, narrating his life, as ever.
“And now here’s Abel, lining up the dive, here he goes…” Kane ran into his living room and dived onto his sofa, snatching up the TV remote as he did so. “And he sticks the landing! Ten out of ten from the judges and the crowd goes wild!” Kane mocked some fake cheering as he switched the TV on. Something about satellite launches was on. He flicked through to the sports channel. After several hours he decided that enough was enough and went to bed.
The next morning Kane was woken by his phone. He rolled over and picked it up. The caller ID said Mr Smith. Mr Smith was the manager of a large warehouse up town and he often called Kane in to fix something or other. Weird thing was that he never actually remembered anything about his visits, not that he minded, Smith was a fantastic tipper.
“Hello, Mr Smith, how can I help you?” Kane said
“Ah, Kane,” came the voice from the other end of the phone, “What’s up dude?”
“Nothing much, you?”
“Yeah, I’m cool but we got a leak in the bathroom over here, can you come and fix it?”
“Sure thing, I can be there in half an hour,”
“Cool, cool man, I’ll see you then, bye,” Mr Smith hung up.
Kane heaved himself out of bed and got himself ready.
About half an hour later Kane arrived at the warehouse. ‘Pea-Packing Plant’ it said in big bold letters. Kane unloaded his plumbing gear and headed toward the front entrance.
He entered into a small reception area and went up to the counter. Katie was working there again.
“Hiya Katie, is Mr Smith around?” he asked her.
“Yes, I’ll just get him for you, take a seat,” Katie replied
As Kane sat down Mr Smith entered, he didn’t even touch the seat, he never did.
“My Man!” said Smith as he entered.
“Hey” said Kane, “Another leaky pipe?”
“Yes Sir, third one this week, it’s a problem,” Mr Smith gestured for Kane to follow.
“What kind of people use your toilets?” asked Kane
“You have no idea,” Smith said as he lead Kane down the corridor towards the body scanner, “No idea,”
Kane was passed through the body scanner and his bag through the X-ray machine before he carried on.
“I still don’t see the point of having the body scanner in a pea-packing plant,” said Kane as he went through the first set of double doors. Something beeped as he went through, he thought nothing of it. But then, he went through the second.
Before his eyes was a massive expanse of desks and labs teeming with life, but not just human life. There were hundreds of aliens, some tall, some short, some fat, some thin, some with two legs, some with twelve, some with one eye, some with nineteen. Kane stopped, stared and stuttered.
“Yeah,” said Smith, “We have that body scanner cos this ain’t no pea-packing plant,”
Mr Smith took Kane by the arm and led him along the metal platform that was above the warehouse floor. Kane walked open mouthed, occasionally pointing and making inaudible sounds as he went. Smith led Kane down to the warehouse floor and diagonally moved towards the toilets. They entered as a large furry creature with six legs and three eyes left.
“Sup Weeble,” said Smith. The creature let out a grunt in reply.
They entered and Kane stopped and scratched his head, he looked at Smith and stuttered a sound.
“Yeah, aliens, cool huh?” said Smith
“A-Aliens?” Kane ran his hand through his hair.
“Can you fix the pipe?” asked Smith.
“The pipe? You’ve got an alien armada and you’re worried about a pipe?!” Kane waved his hands in frustration.
“I’ll explain everything once you fix the pipe,” Smith leant up against a wall.
Kane laughed and got out the tools he’d need. It only took him about fifteen minutes to fix the pipe.
“Right,” said Kane, “What the hell is going on here?”
“Walk with me,” said Smith leaving the room.
Kane packed up his things and hurried after Smith. They headed back up the metal staircase and onto the platform.
“It’s okay Kane, I’m sorry, you won’t even remember all of this,” Smith leant on the bannister.
“Oh I hardly think I’m likely to forget all this mate,” Kane said defiantly.
“Come on,” Smith went through the double doors, Kane followed. As they went through the second set of doors something bleeped again.
“I’m afraid you need to go through the scanner,” Smith said.
Kane frowned and put his bag on the conveyer-belt. Kane walked through the scanner and it flashed.
“And they said, what this one?” Smith laughed.
Kane nodded confusedly, “Ha, yeah… What did…?” Kane drifted off.
“But anyways, thanks for fixing that pipe,” Smith got out his wallet and started counting bank notes, “Ten, twenty, thirty, fourty… Eh, fifty, you did a good job,”
“Yeah, the pipe…” Kane tried to think about the job he’d done, the room, anything… He had no idea.
“Cheers man, I appreciate you coming out so quickly,” Smith handed Kane the money.
“Right, yeah, no worries, have a good one,” Kane picked up his bag and headed to his van, he put his bag in and stood for a moment. He tried to remember what he’d done. He still hadn’t a clue. He got into his van.
“Abel is at the front of the grid today, and they’re off!” Kane headed home.
He opened his front door and it creaked, “WD-40!“