Frankie & Benny #7 – The Cold

“…How many layers are you wearing under that coat Benny?”
“Four, five?”
“Why do you want to know?”
“You look like somebody’s pumped you up.”
“Well, you’ve got plenty on yourself.”
“Nothing special: vest, shirt, jumper, cardigan and hoodie – the same as I wear about the house.  I just threw a coat on top to come out with you.”
“Your dressing gown belt is hanging below your coat.”
“…And a dressing gown.”
“Well, whatever.  It’s cold, I’ll grant you that, but it’s nice to get a little bit of sun on the face isn’t it.”
“Alright, if it makes you happy, it’s nice to get a little bit of drizzle on the face.  It’s nice not to be looking at the same four walls.”
“Especially with your wallpaper.”
“What’s wrong with my wallpaper?  I put that up myself.”
“How long ago, twenty years?  Thirty?”
“Probably.  About the same time you last bought new trousers.”
“What’s wrong with my trousers?  They’re good trousers.”
“There’s nothing wrong with them Frankie.  I like a good turn-up myself.  And a button fly.  How long does it take you to do that up in the morning?”
“If I’m honest I don’t normally bother unless I know I’ve got to go out.”
“…My wife chose that wallpaper, that’s why I’ve never changed it, since she…  It’s the only time I’ve ever wallpapered.”
“It’s stayed up well, I’ll give you that.  No sign of it peeling or anything.”
“So it should.  It cost me a fortune in Bostick!”
“It was all they had at the corner shop.  Everyone in the block was suffering hallucinations the week I put it up.”
“You made a good job of it though.”
“Until I ran out of paper.”
“Yes, well, always been the elephant in the room that one, hasn’t it.  Couldn’t you have got some more?”
“They wanted me to buy a whole roll and I only needed one length.  I always meant to push that old Tallboy in front of it, but…”
“…It’s hiding where you tried to plaster over the serving hatch.”
“So I’ve never bothered much since…  Do you fancy a pasty?”
“What time is it?”
“Pasty time.”
“Ok then.  We’ll walk through the park shall we, get one from the pub?”
“Why not?  Nothing like a microwaved pasty and a pint of lager for warding off the cold.”
“What about a whisky?”
“Whisky?  Are you paying?”
“Well, I have had a small win on the scratchcards.”
“Really?  How small?”
“Enough for a whisky to accompany our pasties and, but not enough to put the fire on when we get back home.”
“Oh well, an hour in the pub then, and then an afternoon on the seat over the heater on the bus before we head home.”
“Are we at yours or mine tonight?”
“Mine I think – providing you do your buttons up.”
“I’ll probably put my onesie on.”
“You’ve got a onesie?”
“Yes.  Well, it’s more of an overall if I’m honest.  I kept it when I finished work.”
“That was fifteen years ago.”
“I knew it would come in… and since I spilled the tomato soup it matches my slippers.”
“Do you sleep in it?”
“Benny, I’m in my eighties.  I sleep in everything.”
“So do you wear it over your clothes then?”
“Some of them, I mean, I don’t suppose you’ll be putting your heating on will you?”
“It depends on what you class as heating…”
“I’ll bring a blanket then, shall I?”
“A hot water bottle wouldn’t go amiss… and drop a tea bag in it.  It’ll save boiling the kettle later.”
“I’ll bring those squashed Wagon Wheels* I got last week.”
“We’ll put a plastic bag over the smoke alarm and light a candle, that’ll warm things up.”
“I might have to take these plus-fours off though.  I think I could be allergic to tweed and they might be just a bit too much even inside your flat…  Still the bloody drizzle.  I wish I’d put my balaclava on…”

*A chocolate covered marshmallow topped biscuit.  When I was a child the advert used to go, ‘Wagon Wheels are the treat for me.  They’re the biggest biscuit you ever did see.’  They have shrunk.

Should you be at all interested in the previous conversations of these two old friends you can find them here:

Frankie & Benny #1
Frankie & Benny #2 – Goodbyes
Frankie & Benny #3 – The Night Before
Frankie & Benny #4 – The Birthday
Frankie & Benny #5 – Trick or Treat
Frankie & Benny #6 – Christmas


34 thoughts on “Frankie & Benny #7 – The Cold

  1. I thought wagon wheels were terrif! All those things shrank, as if they thought we wouldn’t notice we were paying more for less. These two talking about clothing reminded me of my parents when they packed up in the West Indies to head north (in January of all times). Dad had worn shorts and sandals for decades. Hours before departure my mum was trying to dress him. His belt didn’t fit so she tied him up with string and his hat perched on the back of his head. Their old Globetrotter suitcases had holes where cockroaches had eaten through. It was a sight to behold. And within the space of a few hours they turned into old people.

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  2. Mid-winter brings cold comfort for those two. But hey, why not put the coat over the dressing gown? Someone might, on seeing it peeping out from ‘neath the greatcoat, mistake it as a posh smoking jacket?

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  3. Frank, my my, how can I resist you?
    Don’t do it, Ben you hum to it.
    I know, don’t go wasting your emoticons 😃 😄 😁 😆
    We’re a long way from home
    Frankly Benny, there’s something in the air tonight.
    Welcome to the pressure loam. 💩

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      1. Can’t find it, still, the words have brought back those moments. Now I’m searching for cabinet record player images that fit with my memories (easier than going to smelly antique shops).

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      2. My favourite 78’s? Buddy Holly? Elvis? Nah. Lonnie Donnegan – does your chewing gum lose its flavour (on the bedpost over night) and of course my old man’s a dustman. Now they take me right back


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