Published by Oi Polloi of Cottonopolis

Image by Eóin MacManus & Mike Sallabank

Image by Eóin MacManus & Mike Sallabank

Let’s Not
The Red
Only A

Part IV of a short story by Sam Waller

After making a wedge on the art scene, The Red Baron spent the last fifteen years holed up in an underground garage on the outskirts of Berlin with Brian Eno, working on an ambient sound collage composed solely from engine noise. The only way we could tear him away for this race was by commissioning him to make a ‘UK-centric re-imagining’ of Kraftwerk’s ‘Autobahn’ album, tentatively titled ‘Dual Carriageway’.

With all three cars now neck and neck and neck, it’s well and truly anyone’s race. But what are those blue flashing lights on the horizon? And what’s that helicopter that says ‘POLICE’ on the side? And who’s that on the CB radio?

“Hello there boys, it’s your friend the Chief Inspector here. It sure looks to me like we got you boys surrounded. So if I were you I’d saddle up those there tin horses of yours and walk out here nice and slow before we have to put a dent in those expensive looking toys you’ve got... ten-four?”

The drivers’ macho tendencies quickly faded away as they mulled over what the Chief Inspector had said. Any car collector knows that damage to cars this rare isn’t cheap, and to source the original parts, in the correct colour? Nigh on impossible. The cars jammed to a halt and the drivers jumped out, sheepishly walking towards the roadblock ahead with their tails beneath their legs. “Driving nearly twice as fast as the speed limit? An all-round ignorance to red lights? A general disrespect for damn near anything on the roads of Greater Manchester? Yessir boys, I sure do hope you like porridge for breakfast” said the Chief Inspector before bundling the drivers into the back of his car.

As the dust settled, news slowly filtered across town that the race was over, and with no clear winner the Team OP adjudicators were left with only one option. The prize was retrieved from the safe-room, carried down the stairs and into the busy street below. A Stanley knife was produced and the box was slashed open, before comfort shoe after comfort shoe was thrown into the air. Arms clambered frantically as people of every race, gender, age and shoe-size reached for their shoes of choice. Joyous chants of “Jacoforms for everyone! Jacoforms for all!” echoed through the streets as the town bells chimed a majestic melody.



The alarm jarred loudly through the bedroom. He woke with a start, sat bolt upright and looked across at the red LED display. 07:30. For the last few weeks he’d been having increasingly elaborate dreams about his toy car collection. What did it mean? Was something trying to tell him maybe he had too many? Surely not. He put this thought to the back of his mind and went about his regular breakfast routine. After leaving the house and waiting only a few minutes for the bus, he climbed on and looked down the aisle at the other passengers. To his surprise, every single person was decked-out in brand new Jacoforms.

Their posture was impeccable.

Want more?
See this issue’s contents