The coco pinchard boxset.., p.5
Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font       Night Mode Off   Night Mode

       The Coco Pinchard Boxset: 5 bestselling romantic comedies in one!, p.5

           Robert Bryndza
 

  Marika says you are both taking me out tonight and “no” is not an option.

  Tuesday 27th January 10.43

  TO: rosencrantzpinchard@gmail.com

  If you do have to get drunk after your classes, please remember this is my home too. When I opened the front door to collect the milk this morning, I found a half-eaten kebab on the doorstep.

  Tuesday 27th January 17.18

  TO: chris@christophercheshire.com

  Rosencrantz just came home from classes grinning at me. It was my kebab. He found me on the doorstep at one this morning, clinging to the boot scraper for dear life and shouting, “The world is spinning!” I am mortified. Did we really get kebabs?

  Tuesday 27th January 18.43

  TO: chris@christophercheshire.com

  Ah yes, we were doing Drambuie shots in the Shadow Lounge… I remember. The barman made a big show of blowing dust off the bottle, saying “older people” only ever ask for Drambuie.

  I sincerely hope none of Rosencrantz’s friends were there. I remember you and Marika going up on stage to help judge the amateur male stripper contest and me dancing, no, grinding against the winner…

  The only thing I should be grinding at my age is pepper.

  Was fun though. Made me forget for a bit.

  xxx

  Wednesday 28th January 09.07

  TO: rosencrantzpinchard@gmail.com

  I’ve just had an email from your drama school with this term’s reading list. Thirty-two books? That’s going to be over £300! Do you really need them all? The Complete Works of Shakespeare (£49.99) has never been touched and ditto all of Stanislavski’s scribbling’s (£19.99 apiece). All I ever see you read is Heat Magazine.

  Wednesday 28th January 11.22

  TO: danielpinchard@gmail.com

  Dear Daniel,

  Please can you put some money into our current account? The joint account is empty. I need to buy Rosencrantz’s books.

  Coco

  Wednesday 28th January 15.01

  TO: chris@christophercheshire.com, marikarolincova@hotmail.co.uk

  This just in from Daniel:

  ATTACHMENT

  FROM danielpinchard@gmail.com

  TO: cocopinchard27@gmail.com

  Coco,

  I have just deposited £100 into the joint account. That is all I can spare now. I haven’t had my first Whistle cheque through yet. Why are we still paying the council tax and water yearly? The direct debit cleaned nearly four grand out of our joint account. That’s half what I earned over Christmas, and you’re asking for more. I’ve also had to pay yours and Rosencrantz’s phone bills. His is £87 for the month! I have had a word with him about it.

  Why didn’t you tell me about your book? I am very sorry for you. Despite everything that has happened, I think Chasing Diana Spencer is a brilliant piece of writing.

  As the iPhone was your Christmas present I will pay the remainder of its contract, but you really do need to find your own money solution.

  Yours,

  Daniel

  My own money solution! Cheeky bastard, he’s the one who left me!

  Thursday 29th January 14.55

  TO: marikarolincova@hotmail.co.uk

  Have just been round to Chris’s and raided his library. He had everything on Rosencrantz’s list apart from the play Shopping and Fucking. He’s boycotted it from his shelves after the writer Mark Ravenhill once pushed in front of him and bought the last packet of cheese and onion crisps during an interval at the National Theatre.

  Chris has Chasing Diana Spencer displayed in a cabinet, on a cushion.

  Do you have Shopping and Fucking? If not I will look online.

  Friday 30th January 15.32

  TO: complaints@westlondonbooks.co.uk

  Dear West London Books,

  I wish to complain. This morning I logged into your website to buy a copy of Shopping and Fucking by Mark Ravenhill but I was logged out for using “improper search terms”. I then phoned your help desk. I was told my language was disgusting and your agent terminated the call. Do your agents read? I wasn’t just mouthing off for the sake of it. Shopping and Fucking is a published play! I’ve just been to my local charity shop where they had THREE copies on their shelves. The cashier told me that she and her friends had recently read it for their over-eighties book club, and it had generated quite a lively discussion. That’s what books are all about! I look forward to reading Shopping and Fucking and I believe, as with all good writing, it will enrich and educate me.

  Coco Pinchard (Ex-customer)

  Saturday 31st January 10.56

  TO: rosencrantzpinchard@gmail.com

  Last night I read Shopping and F**king and I wish I had never picked it up. I had to have half a bottle of wine and take three Nurofen. Those poor kids all named after Take That getting involved with drugs and prostitution! One is your age. You know you can always ask me if you need extra money for shopping. I’d rather you did that than the other things.

  Saturday 31st January 12.22

  TO: chris@christophercheshire.com

  I have just had my severance package from Dorian.

  He included a letter from my publisher saying that because of “poor sales” in a “tough market” they have withdrawn Chasing Diana Spencer and will not be printing a paperback. They have allowed the rights to revert to me, but it means I don’t get the last instalment of my advance. This has blown a huge hole in my budget. (I now have to rely on asking Daniel for even more money.)

  The most horrifying thing is that the 3,000 remaining hardback copies of Chasing Diana Spencer are due to be pulped next week by a company called TBS Returns (probably stands for To Be Shredded).

  They have included an email address for them in case I want to keep any copies.

  Marika is here with a box of Chardonnay. You want to come over, get terribly drunk, and celebrate the end of a terrible month? I think I’ve reached rock bottom.

  Saturday 31st January 23.56

  TO: enquiries@tbsreturns.co.uk

  A Pulping Poem by Coco Pinchard

  Oh, ye great soaring warehouse in Essex!

  Open your hallowed doors, and let me see your lights

  I will wear my bestest tights

  For tis soon in the month of Feb-yur-ee

  My book will travel to thee

  Great TBS returns!

  Where no book never burns

  But with such a double negative

  Is pulped, and gulped

  In frenzied recycling activity

  That ain’t no nativity.

  Nothing is born; no star is followed, when a manuscript is man-u-ripped!

  Three thousand copies I do have withdrawn

  Three thousand copies maketh Coco so forlorn.

  If I could have but a tenth of these for myself

  To fit on my Ikea bookshelf

  A happy cow I’ll be

  Moooooooooooo.

  Ms Coco Pinchard (author, poet, and don’t she know it!)

  February

  Sunday 1st February 12.33

  TO: rosencrantzpinchard@gmail.com

  Something’s wrong. The house is shaking!

  Sunday 1st February 12.37

  TO: rosencrantzpinchard@gmail.com

  Well, can you turn down the volume on Star Trek: Voyager? I thought we were having an earthquake when the Enterprise hit warp speed. Why did you let me sleep until nearly one?

  Sunday 1st February 13.47

  TO: marikarolincova@hotmail.co.uk

  Did you get home okay? Chris says he woke up in his front garden an hour ago. It’s all coming back now. The huge amounts we drank. Rosencrantz coming down twice to tell us to keep the noise down. My head feels like it’s full of mice in spiky golf shoes.

  And my poem… I have just had this email:

  ATTACHMENT

  FROM: iain.anderson@TBSreturns.co.uk

  TO: cocopinchard27@gmail.com

  Dear Ms. Pinchard,

  We never normally enter int
o correspondence with authors or readers. Much of it is abusive due to the unfortunate nature of our work. However, your poem of late last night greatly touched our morning staff. In one instance, it made Terry who drives the forklift shed a tear. We adored its irony.

  So, on this occasion we will grant your request to “Open our hallowed doors”, and tour our facility for the pulping of your book Chasing Diana Spencer. I have sent the three hundred copies you requested and waived the P & P. Do keep writing, out of all tragedy comes hope.

  I have booked your visit for 10.30am next Saturday 7th. Due to limited number of hard hats available, we can only grant you one guest.

  Yours faithfully,

  Iain Anderson (Head Book Pulper) TBS Returns

  I am cringing. Why didn’t you stop me from sending that poem! It’s awful, awful, awful. I went “moooo” at the end of it.

  Where am I going to put three hundred copies?

  Monday 2nd February 17.56

  TO: chris@christophercheshire.com

  The newspaper didn’t arrive this morning. I phoned Clive the newsagent and he said the bill was not paid for January. Luckily, there was nearly a tenner in change down the back of the sofa. I cleared the bill and bought The Independent. They have announced the shortlist for the Anne and Michael Book Club.

  Anne and Michael Brannigan were on page seven, clinking wine glasses with Regina Battenberg. Window Box Winemaking is top of their list. Anne Brannigan was looking a little twitchy and drinking orange juice…

  I have decided to go on Saturday to TBS Returns and get closure. I’ve never had closure before, but the way everyone bangs on about it these days, it may be my salvation. Once it has happened, I can move on. Every day I replay my literary downfall in my head. Do you want to come along? Marika has a hot date on Saturday with an even hotter Greek guy.

  Monday 2nd February 19.04

  TO: marikarolincova@hotmail.co.uk

  A humiliating call from Daniel this morning. The pompous bastard informed me he was willing to put an “allowance” of £300 per month into my current account. He then hung up saying he was in the middle of a Whistle sound check.

  Tuesday 3rd February 17.01

  TO: marikarolincova@hotmail.co.uk

  Parcelforce woke me at midday with three hundred copies of Chasing Diana Spencer. They are piled up against the wall in the living room. I am pretending they are modern art. The white spines look quite good with the black writing.

  Thank you for the offer to put me on your school’s list of supply teachers, but I am going to try to weather the storm. I couldn’t go back to being an English teacher, not after telling everyone when I left that I was going to be a writer.

  Friday 6th February 16.30

  TO: marikarolincova@hotmail.co.uk

  What a wasted, depressing week. I just sat on the stairs this morning crying. I thought I had turned a corner. I don’t know if I can go tomorrow but Chris is insisting.

  P.S. Enjoy your date tomorrow.

  Saturday 7th February 18.00

  TO: marikarolincova@hotmail.co.uk

  I was looking for my car keys this morning when the doorbell went. Chris was grinning on the doorstep in a smart suit. Parked by the old red telephone box sparkled his mother’s Bentley.

  A distinguished looking driver got out and opened the door.

  “I thought we’d go in style,” said Chris.

  “How will your mum get to Harrods?” I said, grabbing my bag.

  “I told her about the Tube,” he said. “She’s going to try it with her friend India; they’re very excited.”

  The car barely made a sound as it slid across London. As I predicted in the poem, TBS Returns was a huge warehouse, but it lacked hallowed doors. It had those plastic strips flapping in the breeze. Once we slid through the gates, we were searched, briefed about the fire exits, and asked to sign a confidentiality agreement.

  “Just remember,” said Chris as we descended in the lift, “you’re not a bad writer. One day you’ll be bigger than Regina Battenberg.”

  “No thanks,” I said. “She’s packing a lot under that Kaftan.”

  As the lift opened, we took in the enormity of the warehouse. Books were piled floor to ceiling and forklift trucks buzzed about.

  We were also confronted by the sheer damn sexiness of Iain Anderson, “Head Book Pulper”. I had imagined some fusty old git and I blushed when he held out his hand to greet us.

  “Coco Pinchard!” his voice echoed confidently. “The writer and poet.” I guffawed like a slapper on a hen night and went red. He put his hand on the small of my back and ushered us into a nearby cherry picker. Chris hopped in after and he closed the gate.

  Our bodies were packed close as we rose up over the warehouse. With his full lips, dark stubble and muscular lean body, Chris and I locked eyes in agreement. Iain was hot.

  “You just made it,” said Iain, as the cherry picker slowed its climb. “Chasing Diana Spencer is next.”

  He pointed to a forklift carrying a wooden pallet stacked high with my book and moving towards the pulping machine.

  I went to say something profound but the forklift swerved and dumped them in one go. As they hit the spinning blades, the hardback covers squealed and cracked. I felt tears coming and, for some reason, buried my head in Iain’s chest. It was firm and muscled and he smelt so wonderful.

  I realised what I was doing and pulled away, but a big string of snot hung between my nose and his shirt pocket.

  “Oh God!” I said, mortified. Chris’s eyebrows shot up and he fumbled for a tissue.

  There is nowhere to run in a cherry picker, and it was a long minute before all the snot was accounted for.

  “We often forget how tough it is to be a writer,” said Iain, as we descended back to earth. I wasn’t sure if he was changing the subject or being polite about the silvery trail of snot now drying on his shirt.

  “A lot of the staff read your book this week. It’s great,” he said. “In fact, we reviewed it in our internal magazine, Pulped Fiction.”

  “Thank you,” I said, as he helped us out.

  “I’m sorry I didn’t have more time to talk to you, but I’ve got to go. Best of luck,” he said.

  And that was it, over so quickly. On the way home in the car, Chris asked if I had had the anticipated closure.

  “No, but I now have a nice cringeworthy memory to add to my woes.”

  “I know,” said Chris. “If he’d have been a minger it would’ve been much less embarrassing.”

  “It’s made me realise that if I ever go on the pull again, I’m limited to the over forties. Your youth, it goes.”

  “Try being me,” said Chris. “In gay years I’m virtually a pensioner.”

  When I got home, Iain had emailed me the book review. I have attached it.

  Chasing Diana Spencer By Coco Pinchard Published by House Of Randoms. £19.99

  A sublime piece of comic fiction from first-time writer Coco Pinchard. Set in 1981 in a parallel reality, Prince Charles is to announce his engagement to Camilla Parker-Bowles. With a week to go before the official announcement, the Queen is visited by the ghost of Queen Elizabeth I, who informs her that a grave error has occurred in the order of the Universe.

  If she wants to save the monarchy, and the future of humanity, Prince Charles must marry a young woman called Diana Spencer, working as a ski instructor in a sleepy corner of France. The Queen is forced to don a disguise and undertake an epic journey to find Diana before it’s all too late. Full of comedy, drama, and delightful plot twists, this novel must be read before the scheduled shred. ★★★★★

  Sunday 8th February 13.30

  TO: chris@christophercheshire.com

  Are you around for some Sunday lunch? Rosencrantz is in love, Marika is in love. I am not. Are you? You know I always wish you happiness but please don’t tell me you’ve fallen in love since yesterday. I need a fellow ying for their loved-up yang.

  Marika had a wonderful dinner with her Greek
guy, Aristotle. He was chivalrous, made her laugh and the lingering kiss he gave her whilst pressed up against the gas meter was so good she has lost the will to smoke.

  “His pheromones have flooded my body, and taken away the cravings,” she said as I lit up a fag, my fifteenth of the morning.

  Rosencrantz met a guy during a flashmob this morning at King’s Cross Station, organised via Facebook. Three hundred strangers congregated at precisely 11.09 and all performed the Macarena. Post flashmob, when they were being herded out of the ticket hall by the police, Rosencrantz got chatting to Clive, a handsome older guy wearing Prada sunglasses.

  “I’m like in love,” he said. “The writing’s on the wall.”

  I presume he meant his Facebook wall.

 
Turn Navi Off
Turn Navi On
Scroll Up
Scroll
Add comment

Add comment