23 Mar 2009

Sally, A Fiction Part 3

Okay gals! Here's the next installment of my exciting novella (inspired by Wollstonecraft's wonderful 'Mary, A Fiction'. Well sort of). In it I cunningly undermine the ghastly genre of chick lit. As the wonderful Angela McRobbie writes (when slating Bridget bloody Jones) it is a genre in which ‘new lines of demarcations are drawn between those subjects who are judged responsive to the regime of personal responsibility and those who fail miserably.’

Bridget (although she is a mess) is undoubtedly subservient to those perverse images of femininity staring us in the face, ye visual position. Helen Fielding pretended to destabilise this receptiveness, I go further: I take it to the bottom of the river, like a iguana takes a monkey. I drown it using my lady talons, I leave it down there for three weeks only to return and gobble it up when its all juicy and decomposed.

Sally Pooper, my heroine, shits bigger than Bridget Jones. Her inane self lethargy sickens even the most fickle of minds.

Here she is: Part Thrice:

Sylvia Bloomingdale and Sally Pooper were sworn enemies. As far as our heroine could remember Sylvia had been the dullest, meanest person in the world, ever. Their mothers were friends and they were forced to play together as children. Sylvia would pretend she was a trader on the stock market, which gave her an excuse to scream at Sally who only wanted to play princesses and shoe queens.

The last time they met was at Sylvia’s parents’ golden wedding anniversary in Cornwall three years ago, when Jenson had poured an entire terrine of salmon into Sylvia’s new handbag. But there she was, one sunny afternoon is Notting Hill, bellowing into a payphone. Sally wanted to run away, but knew she couldn't.

“Sylvia what are you doing on a pay phone? No mobile?”

“What?” she couldn’t hear through the glass and opened the door. “Sally Pooper, it’s weird but I’m actually glad to see you, can I borrow your phone? I’ve left my handbag in a bloody taxi somewhere and I have a meeting with a client in half an hour.”

“Still having handbag trouble I see?” Sally chuckled.

“Yes,” she replied in a stern voice. Sylvia was a lawyer, which gave her an inflated opinion of herself.

Sally handed over the phone. “Only sorry it’s not a blackberry,” she added sarcastically.

“Oh come on don’t apologise, I mean why would you need the Internet? Do you even have an email account?”

“Bitch.” Sally thought to herself. “I mean everyone has the Internet.”
“Yes, I do have an email account actually,” she said, tossing her hair over her shoulder.

“Oh really?” Sylvia seemed surprised (which makes sense because Sally didn’t really have an email account) and tried to disguise her disbelief with courtesy. “Well in that case you must give me your address. I’m throwing a birthday party for mum and I’m sending out the invitations online, you know ‘Flash’ that kind of thing.”

“Yeah I know Flash.” She was cunningly trying to create a facade of technological know how.
“Yeah, websites-”

“ What’s your address?” Sylvia was poised with a pen.

“Oh well it’s… Sally,” she panicked, “…dot…Pooper…” She had to buy herself more time. “That’s Pooper spelt ‘p’ double ‘o’-”

“I know how to spell your surname.”

“Yes of course you do!” she laughed. “So, it’s Sally dot Pooper at…” she looked around frantically for inspiration. She had to make up a server name. She glanced at her shoe bag, “…at LK Bennett dot com.”

“LK Bennett? Are you working for LK Bennett?”

“No not working, I’m just a really good customer.” She smiled knowingly.

“Right. Well I’ll send an invite for you and Dominic” Sylvia paused. “Jenson’s not invited.”
There was an awkward silence and she quickly tried to change the conversation. “I’ve been working on this really dull job recently. These wankers are building a new ride at Universal Studios in LA and there’s so much legal work.”

Sally was falling asleep but had to seem interested. “What’s it called?”

“It’s a reconstruction of the Irish potato famine.”

Her ears pricked up.

“Half of southern Ireland is suing for emotional damages. Apparently the figures look like their ancestors or something. I mean come on: they're robots for godsake.”

“I had a nightmare about the Irish potato famine last night!”

But Sylvia wasn’t listening. She was too busy doodling something on the back of the card with the email address. What Sally doesn't know is that the doodle spelt out ‘I Hate You’ just above her name.

“That reminds me,” she continued. “I bumped into Dominic when I was out there last week. He was looking well.”

“Sorry Sylvia but that just can’t be. The last time Dominic went away was with me on a wine tasting course in the Loire Valley this summer. You must have got him mixed up.”

“No, it was definitely him.” There was an uncomfortable pause. “Look I’ve really got to make this call Sally. Give me two secs.”

“Dominic? The Irish Potato Famine? Dominic in LA?” She thought long and hard while Sylvia was on the phone talking lawyer speak. "There was no way Dominic could have gone to America. First how could he have got there? Second he was always busy when he came home late. Third he would always call me. Could you make phone calls from America to the UK? Anyway, what am I thinking, this is fuck face Sylvia- she cannot be trusted.”

“I don’t trust you,” she said when Sylvia handed back her phone. “Dominic was never in LA!”

“Don’t talk to me in that way. Why would I lie?”

“I don’t know, why would Dominic lie to me?”

“Maybe he forgot to tell you?”

“You’re a liar and I would rather be sick all over my new shoes than come to your shitty party.”

“How dare you! You wouldn’t be welcome Sally Pooper." Syliva heaved and grew red. "Don’t accuse me of lying when it’s blatantly your husband that’s the liar! He’s probably got some blonde bombshell tucked away in the Hollywood hills, likes to tuck into a juicy burger now and then when he’s not choking on stale bread in west London!” She hailed a taxi, opened the door and got in. “Goodbye Sally!”

Sally was fuming. “Fuck you Sylvia Bloomingdale!” she marched onto the street and started chasing the taxi down the road. “I don’t even have an email account you silly bitch!”

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