My wife and I rang the doorbell to Barry’s new home and the first verse of the song “You can ring my bell” by Anita Ward chimed clearly, and far too loudly.
The door swung open and Barry’s youngest daughter greeted us with the most amazing smile I have ever seen. But it wasn’t just her smile, it was her teeth, they were magnificent.
We were invited in and I handed Barry, who was an old school friend of mine, a bottle of wine. “I’ve got a drop that’s much better than that,” scoffed Barry putting my bottle in the cupboard and pulling out a bottle of Grange Hermitage.
We all sat down at the dinner table and Barry’s wife Edna served up the most amazing meal I’ve ever tasted.
The cutlery was silver, the crockery was Spode and the glasses were of the finest crystal.
I couldn’t help noticing that Barry’s thirteen year old daughter had completely changed from the girl I had known. It turned out that she had had plastic surgery to heighten her cheek bones and remove her under-bite. She too had an amazing set of teeth the likes of which I had never seen before… before her sister.
Now, the first time I met Barry’s wife Edna she was a slightly frumpy housewife who had looked older than her thirty eight years. Now however, she was slim, her breasts were larger and she had so much work done that she looked like a life sized Barbie Doll.
This was all too much for me, I can barely make ends meet let alone live the high life like Barry and his family were. At the risk of being rude I just had to ask.
“Barry, how do you live like this on your salary? You are a Parking Cop for heavens sake!”
Barry smugly laughed to himself and chose not to answer the question. Eventually Edna piped up and ended the silence. “You can’t tell anyone this, but you’re practically family so I feel I can tell you.”
Edna looked at my wife and I as if for confirmation that we would be discreet with the information she was about to divulge.
“Barry has a kickback system.” She looked at us as though this explained everything and then as if explaining to a child she continued.
“You know how when you go to the Doctor, the Dentist and especially Specialist?” She laughed at the little rhyme she had made. “Well, you know how they always keep you waiting for over an hour? On Barry’s beat, the parking spots are all one hour spots. So the doctors get a kick back for making you wait around and Barry makes a fortune in commission on each parking ticket he hands out.” Said Edna.
I still didn’t understand what she was talking about.
“They are in cahoots, the doctors get kickbacks and Barry gets favors. You know, contra.” Said Edna.
“I’m running out of bits to fix up, business is so wonderful.” Continued Edna.
To my wife. “If you need any bits fixed up love, come and see me, I’ll be able to get it done for you.”
I had always wondered why you have to wait so long in Doctors and Dentists waiting rooms, and now I know.
A work of fiction.