Excerpt from IN MY TIME OF DYING, DS Hutton Book 5
by Douglas Lindsay - 11:17 on 27 October 2020
Today, the opening passage from IN MY TIME OF DYING.
It doesn’t really have a huge amount to do with the novel, but it’s a classic of its genre in that I thought of something to write, and it was a way to get me started. Typically, this is the kind of thing which might get the creative juice going, and then at some point it gets ditched, because the thought processes of Chief Brody’s wife in the novel Jaws don’t really relate to our Hutton narrative here. However, ultimately, I thought it was funny, so it stayed.
I suspect there are women who would read it and think, what are you talking about?? But, it’s Hutton. This is how his mind works. There’s nothing I can do about it…
Excerpt from In My Time Of Dying, DS Hutton Book 5, published 26th Oct 2020
There’s some shitty line in the book Jaws, when the Richard Dreyfus character’s taking a piss, and Chief Brody’s wife’s fantasising about him – they skipped this narrative thread in the movie – and she wonders at the amazing size of his man-bladder, and how he can just keep peeing and peeing, as though this was some epic, Herculean ability, bestowed upon men by the Gods.
Aside from the questionable, eye-rolling absurdity of having a grown woman impressed by this shit, it’s also complete bollocks. Nevertheless, I read that book when I was a kid, and that always stuck with me, and for decades I imagined there was this significant difference between gigantic man-bladders, and those dainty little female bladders that need emptying every fifteen minutes or so.
Somewhere along the way I realised the truth of it. Men either have to constantly plan ahead, or else spend large chunks of their life searching for the toilet, while women can last literally days not giving a fuck. Next time you’re on a commuter train, look around. You’ll be able to spot the guy who should’ve gone before he got on board. His legs’ll be jiggling like a bastard, and he’ll be looking incredibly uncomfortable. Meanwhile, even if there are seven or eight women in the carriage who need to go, you’ll never know. They’ll just be sitting there, like a boss. For women, needing to pee is a thing that happens. For men, it’s an event horizon.
I think about Chief Brody’s wife every time I find myself caught short. Happened at the weekend. Ended up in a bar in the centre of town. One of those things, one of those evenings. Drank vodka for four and a half hours. Embarrassingly, pathetically drunk at the end of it.
Tried it on with four women. The first one humoured me, out of pity, for fifteen minutes or so. Then she blew me off. But not in a good way. The next completely ignored me. Probably just as well. She may, may your honour, not have been twenty yet. It’s not like I need any more reasons to hate myself as soon as I wake up in the morning. The third introduced her boyfriend to the party, not long after I’d complimented her breasts, and that could have gone badly until I showed him my ID card, and he backed the fuck off. The effectiveness of the ID card isn’t exactly a given, but on this occasion it did the trick. And then there was the fourth, near the end of the night, when she was as drunk as I was. Holy shit. She was no oil painting, I’ll give her that. She, I’m sure, could have said the same for me. So that might all have worked out, until she sicked up a little into her mouth while we were slobbering at each other, then she ran off to the toilet and I never saw her again.
Beautiful night out. Clear sky, crisp and fresh. Decided to walk home from the middle of town. What is it? Four miles, maybe. Saved me worrying about throwing up in a taxi. At some point, inevitably, I needed to take a piss. I thought of Ellen Brody, and how disappointed she would’ve been in my inability to walk home without having to use the toilet.
I stopped and peed against a fence. Two-fifteen in the morning, somewhere in Dalmarnock, on a cold night in early October. A car pulled up just behind me as I was in the act. I turned round to tell them to fuck off, and was confronted by a plod, approaching, while sensibly keeping enough distance in case I turned out to be one of those wankers who’d try to piss on the copper.
We had a chat. During the chat it emerged that I too was a police officer, and senior to him as well.
Perhaps I could have handled it better. Perhaps I was a bit of a dick about it. I was drunk after all. In the end, he of course let me on my way, but my dickery has had its inevitable consequence, and so here I am, standing in front of the new Chief Inspector, getting my arse handed to me...
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