Published by Oi Polloi of Cottonopolis

Image by Eóin MacManus & Mike Sallabank    

Image by Eóin MacManus & Mike Sallabank


Just Like
Were Off

The first part of a short story by Sam Waller

After a chorus of squealing rubber and a cloud of smoke that would make Lambert & Butler cough, the cars were in top gear and the green flag was already a distant dot in the drivers’ wing-mirrors. Not that they were looking — driving through more red-lights than Roxanne, quickly breaking through the thick smog of traffic and heading out of town. The tarmac opened up as the four cars raced to their goal. 


One Hour Previously

It was a Friday. A casual Friday at that. All work that needed to be done had been done, and from humble chimney sweeps to wealthy bankers, everyone was winding down for the weekend. Deep inside the Oi Polloi menswear megalopolis a slight feeling of boredom was lingering, like the scent of shoe-glue in the air. How to spend the evening? Beer and a burger just doesn’t hit the spot like it used to, and the prospect of another night of post-ironic Balkan folk jams weighed heavily on their minds. No, they needed entertainment, action, thrills and spills. Then it hit them — what could be more thrilling than a madcap dash down the two-lane blacktop to distant Oldham? To make it interesting the man crowned super driver of the Northern-West would receive a crate of Jacoform comfort shoes. It didn’t make a lot of sense, but the best ideas don’t have to. Team OP ran quickly to the communications chamber, grabbed the CB radio from its holster and put out the word... time to get moving, it’s time to hit the road. 


Back to Real Time

Currently in the lead we’ve got a wizened and world-weary chap known on the radio as Old Blue Eyes in his trusty Porsche 904. A hardened race veteran, he’d hung up his driving gloves after putting a bun in Penelope Pitstop’s oven, but with a prize like this dangled in front of his leathery old proboscis he’d have to be a few valves short of an internal combustion engine to turn it down. Already stretching his lead over the pack, something pretty wild would have to happen to... BUT WHAT’S THIS?! Roadworks, that’s what. Any young gun would have spotted this a mile off, but with cataracts in both his glass eyes no amount of cones, lights and hi-viz jackets could stop him doing his best ‘James Dean’ into the back of Hollinwood Highways’ fresh out of the factory, centre-articulated three-point road-roller. 

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