What'll We do with the Baby-o?
I've had the baby for a week now. It's watching me. I found it in a skip in a housing estate. I was going to pretend to ignore it but it told me that if I rescued it from the skip it would tell me where the loot was hidden. It told me that it had done over a bank and was in possession of around two grand in used tens and twenties and would cut me in on the deal. I've always wanted some loot. I rescued the baby, carrying it home in a Kwik-Save bag so as not to arouse suspicion. I got home and sat the bag on the table.
"Got any booze?" said the baby. I told it that I don't drink because it makes me have one of my turns.
"Well go out and get us a couple of bottles of gin and some beer," it demanded. "And some ready salted nuts while you're there."
"I don't have any money," I told it.
"Well diddums for you!" it said. "You'd better find some dipshit or I'll tell the police that you kidnapped me and did things. Do you know what they do with freaks like that in prison?" I didn't. "They castrate you with piano wire and cut your elbows off."
I grabbed my coat and left the flat in search of alcohol for the baby. I got some money by selling my pills to some school kids. I don't seem to have needed them much anyway. I returned home to see the baby with its feet up watching football and finishing off a curry.
"I got some nosh using a stolen credit card," it belched. "I got one for you too but you took too long and I ate it." It threw the empty foil container at me. "Where's that beer then. I'm dry as a veggie's shit hole." I handed it a can. "Well warm it up a bit first!" shouted the demonic infant. "I am only a baby. And put it in a baby bottle. I can't drink from a can." As I went to the kitchen to do as I was told I heard it say "tosser" under its breath.
I came back with its bottle of beer.
"Is it warm enough? I don't want to get a chill. And it better not be too warm. If I burn myself on it I'll give you a right slap." It snatched the bottle and downed it in one. "Holy dog's cocks!" it shouted. "What did you get Tennants for? It tastes of hyena piss."
"You didn't have to drink it," I said, perfectly reasonably I thought.
"Don't you get smart with me," it snapped. "I'll tell everyone what you do with the Kay's catalogue you've got hidden under your mattress."
"Why are you tormenting me?" I sobbed. "You were the one who asked me for help in the first place. If you don't like me you don't have to stay."
"Look pal," it said gritting its two milk teeth. "This isn't Three Men and a Fucking Baby. It's not like you're Tom Sellick of Steve Guttenberg or that other useless tosser. I tell you what to do and there's fuck all you can do about it." It went back to its channel-hopping. "Jesus is there no fucking porn on this TV? I can't live on Sunset Beach all day."
I decided that I should leave the baby alone for a bit. I went under the sink to hide. When I emerged a few days later the flat was almost unrecognisable. Some of the furniture and wallpaper was half burnt. The carpet was strewn with rubbish - cans, bottles, fag packets and even an empty pack of condoms. The baby was sitting on the less charred side of the sofa shouting at Kilroy on the telly. I decided that the baby should have a bit of discipline. It would do it good to have the firm guiding hand of an adult to help its development. I put on my confrontational face.
"Baby," I said. "Either you go or I go."
"Good," said the baby. "Fuck off. You snore like a diesel engine anyway." It went back to its shouting. "Go eat a turd sandwich Kilroy!"
This was not the effect that I had intended. I stood in front of the telly so that the baby had to look at me.
"Why are you here anyway?" I shouted, quite menacingly too. I rather surprised myself. "What do you want? Who the hell are you?"
The baby looked up. "I'm your worst nightmare."
I hate clichés. I grabbed the baby by the neck and repeated my question. "Who are you?"
"You want to know who I am?" giggled the baby. "Have you ever seen the film Fight Club?"
"No," I said confused.
"Ah well. You won't understand the relevance of the reference then, will you?"
Stuart Leitch, January 1999