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Funfair hell at John Park West

Trouble at the top for Barry and Uncle Joe

Published on December 14th 2010.

Funfair hell at John Park West

BARRY Bodgeit hated being in this office - almost as much as he hated being in the office it led into.

Uncle Joe’s secretary stared at him with cold, dead eyes as he fidgeted on the uncomfortable wooden bench opposite her desk.

“Even in The Apprentice they get a nice couch,” he muttered.

“I’m sorry?”

Oh God, he’d woke her up, she could smell nerves from two miles away and he’d just given her a sniff of the colour of his.

He coughed and smiled, thinly.

“I was just saying, have you been on holiday this year?”


“I hear Sharm El Sheikh is nice this time of year.”

“They have a shark problem don’t they?”

“Home from home for some of us,” Barry said, staring at his hands.

The secretary glared at Barry and he immediately regretted his cheeky quip. For a moment he thought he was going to faint under her fixed look. Then the phone rang to break the tension. Barry jumped as she picked up a pen and ramped up the gaze a notch or two, slowly she replaced the handset.

“Uncle Joe will see you now.”

Barry stood up, took a gulp and walked into Uncle Joe’s office.

Uncle Joe sat behind his large oak and leather desk; he was reading the Echo and didn’t look happy.

Barry stood for a moment waiting. He noticed that Uncle Joe was no longer cracking walnuts with his teeth. Maybe that was a good sign. He smiled, a little relieved.

“What da hell have you got to smile about?”

Barry's buttocks squeezed involuntarily.

“I see your nuts have gone, Uncle Joe.”

“What? You sayin’ I done gone soft?” Uncle Joe rose from behind his desk and Barry felt a strange stomach churning.

“Your nuts...


“You normally have a bag of walnuts, and I noticed you haven’t got any today! I’m sorry!”

“Shaddup Barry, sit your goddamn ass down.”

Barry sat.

“Why am I readin’ that the folks who bought apartments in Chavasse Park is unhappy at livin der?”


“Chavasse Park.”


“Goddamn it Barry! The goddamn park at the back of Liverpool One!”

“Oh, you mean One Lennon."

“One Lennon?”

“Yeah they got their own statue there now and did the city vigil there, so they changed the name. If Peel can do it to the airport, Gerry Grosvenor can do it to his shops. Genius.”

Uncle Joe stared at Barry for a moment and then shook his head.

“So tell me why are dey unhappy?”

Barry paused, struggling. “Er, is it because they are paying lots of money live in a place that looks like the Royal Hospital?”

Uncle Joe was silent. Barry could feel a cold sweat breaking out.

“It looks like dey never got demselves any planning permission wit dat funfair.”

“What funfair?”

“The goddamn funfair dey built!”

“It’s not a funfair; it’s just a back garden, for John Park West.”

“John Park what? I thought you said... Never mind. The point is this: what kind of back garden has a sixty friggin' foot rotary washing line?”

“Oh, The North Starr, we call it now. The views from the top are brill, Uncle Joe. It's like being at the top of the Radio City Tower, but without Pete Price."

“OK. What about da toboggan run?”

“It's been cold. The kids built a slide. But it's sorted, Uncle Joe,” Barry grinned. “I got a ton of grit tipped down it this morning.”

“Look, maybe they should have got planning permission for all dis. I mean it is looking a bit crazy down there with big wheel across the road as well.”

“You mean the Ringo Ring?”

“Look Barry, just get the planning permission sorted quick!”

“Quick? How do we get it sorted quick?”

“Do what dey did with Mann Island. Get the plans, don’t look at 'em. Just agree. Right?”

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DigDecember 10th 2010.

To be fair it does dry your clothes very well and it is worth paying the fare to be somewhere you can't hear Pete Price. You can't put a price on not being able to hear Pete Price. Priceless. Ho Ho Ho.

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