Just another Monday thought Ben.
The drive into work had been slow but the sun had been shining at least and he grimaced as he parked his car in the works car park before entering the building.
Anglo-Irish Document Clearing Centre welcomed him. Same people, same work stuffing papers into envelopes or rather directing other people to stuff papers into envelopes now he had moved up the ladder a bit.
Ben grabbed a coffee and scratched his arse with his free hand as he made his way to his department to get started.
It was quiet as he seemed to be the first one in. He settled down at his desk to catch up with his emails and savour the works canteen’s machine coffee. Yuck, he thought. Tastes like mud with a bit of caffeine in it.
“Top of the morning to ya Mr Ben.”
Ben looked around dis-concertedly. He had definitely heard the voice but he couldn’t tell where it had come from.
“Oi am here.” Said the same voice full of Irish brogue, almost a sing song.
The voice seemed to be coming from in front of his desk. Suddenly two perfect smoke rings floated up in front of him followed by a small cough.
Raising himself from his chair quickly Ben peered over his desk. The owner of the voice was revealed. A small guy was sitting cross-legged on a small stack of stuffed envelopes puffing on a small long stemmed pipe. He was dressed in a green shirt and matching trousers covered in a brown leather waistcoat. He wore a green hat and his face was half hidden in a large bushy red beard. He winked at Ben and blew another smoke ring.
Ben was temporarily speechless but eventually spluttered “Whathefeck?”
“Me name is Faffy Mr Ben and oi am your new personal assistant.”
With that Faffy stood up and reached out his hand.
“Pleased ter meet ya soor.”
“What….the….feck? spluttered Ben again but slower this time as he unconsciously shook Faffy’s hand to shake it.
“ Ahh Mr Ben oi see yer have some of that noxious coffee stuff there. That’ll do ya no good at all at all bejasus. You’ll be in need of a little of me poteen to liven it up a bit. Faffy pronounced this as pocheen.
Before Ben could react Faffy whipped out a small flask from his pocket and poured a large slug into the coffee.
“There ya go Mr Ben. Troi dat. It slips down a treat.”
Ben was still totally nonplussed but he managed to say. “I can’t drink in works time. It’s not allowed.”
“ For sure, for sure Mr Ben but I’ll tell no-one if you don’t.” Faffy chuckled.
Ben had started to come to his senses by now.
“New personal assistant? I didn’t know I was getting a new personal assistant? What is a ‘personal assistant’ anyway?”
“Well that’ll be me soor in this case. What time do we start?”
Ben needed to think about this and took a large gulp of his coffee.
And wished he hadn’t. He’d forgotten Faffy’s addition to it.
It felt like he had swallowed the acidic contents of a car battery…. Lead as well!
“What thefeck?” he shouted returning to an old theme again. He was sure that flames were about to be exhaled instead of breath.
Faffy looked concerned. “Er Mr Ben. You sure have turned a funny colour bejasus. And why are speaking in such a high pitched shout?”
“Water…..water for Christ’s sake.” Screamed Ben as he rushed out to the works toilet closely pursued by Faffy and a cloud of pipe smoke.
Ben spent a minute bent over gulping water urgently directly from the tap. As he straightened up spots appeared before his eyes distracting at least from the burning pain in his throat.
Ben looked worried. “Am I on fire Faffy? I smell burning.”
“Oi don’t tink so sorr. Don’t worry it’ll only be me pipe.”
“Faffy.Listen. Ben coughed…well no actually it was more of a hack than a cough. “You cannot smoke here or drink alcohol. It is against the rules.”
“Ah rules Mr Ben.” Faffy pondered as he took another puff of his pipe. This time he blew a square smoke ring.
“Yes. Rules Faffy.” wheezed Ben authoritatively .
“Would you like a wee drop more poteen Mr Ben? Only you look a bit peaky?”
Ben backed away defensively while emphatically shaking his head.
“You know what they say about rules Mr Ben?” grinned Faffy. Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men. And I hope in our case we can consider ourselves wise.”
Ben shook his head in frustration and walked gingerly back to his desk with Faffy following. Halfway back he stopped and turned.
“Faffy, if I didn’t know better I’d say you look an awful lot like a leprechaun.”
“Well there is a reason for that Mr Ben.”
“And that reason would be?” asked Ben
“I am in fact … a leprechaun.” Grinned Faffy. “And by the way what time is tea break in here.?
© 2013 Stan M Rogers. All rights reserved.
TO BE CONTINUED….