Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I told Jimmy about my theory of wearing suits. The theory is that people trust, rightly and wrongly, men in suits. It was one of the countless nonsense bullshits that two men exchange when only separated by two pints and heterosexuality. At the time, the discussion arrived and left unremarkably as we drank at the Tam O'Shanter. I didn't think anymore about it until I saw Jimmy a few days later.
"It fucking works a treat, pal" He said in a wide grin. He was wearing a grey suit that looked tailored despite him, as he told me later, stealing it from a grocery bag of clothes left outside Oxfam's. "Dinnie know I was fucking millionaire? Eh pal?" The only hint that Jimmy wasn’t a natural suit-wearer came when he put his foot on the bench I was sitting on.
"Where's your socks?" I pointed.
"Ah, for fuck's sake." He put his cigarette in his mouth and pulled up his trouser leg. A worn and dirty sock hung from his calf. The toe of the sock ended in a blackened, dirty hole like a cartoon exploding cigar. He pulled the sock down over his heel and returned his shoe. "Had a tyre burst."
"Where did you get that suit?"
"I nicked it," he said. "Let me tell you. You were right. You can do anything. I've been getting free drinks, chatting up the girls. Look." He dramatically jumped over and stood on the pavement like superman – wide stance, fists on his hips – and shouted to a woman trying to parallel park. He motioned to her to keep backing up. She shouted, "cheers", and started backing up. He kept motioning; she hesitated.
"You got miles, dear." She looked unsure, but started reversing again. Her head jerked and she frowned when she hit the other car.
"Perfect." He said and gave her a thumbs up as she shouted, "you cunt" at him. When he rushed past me, he said, "See. Brilliant. See you later." He mimed drinking a pint and winked at me.


  1. It's 'dinnae'. Scots may not be standardised but there are limits. If you want to quote Jimmy's "I nicked it," you have to forgo saying beforehand he stole it as you found out later, because the repetition jarrs. "I nicked it"'s better than telling he stole it as narration. After the 'he said', add 'from a grocery bag etc.' That he told you is implied.