Extract from my comic Bed and Breakfast memoir Utterly Undiscovered
My Basil struggles to deal with teenage mountain bikers obsessed with fitness.
To keep themselves in tip-top racing condition, these lads have a strict eating regime, with carbohydrates the main component. I’m closely interrogated as to what I can offer. None of it is a problem for My Basil, but the way it’s demanded is.
‘Haven’t you got any brown rice?’ says Lee, a particularly stroppy adolescent.
‘Only baked beans?’ says his mate, Marvin. ‘I need pinto beans to maximise my energy level.’
‘I didn’t realise teenagers had an energy level,’ says My Basil. ‘By the way, I just went and scratched your bike.’
‘I’ll see what I can find,’ I say.
‘I’d like my porridge and yoghurt at 8.43, an hour and seven minutes before my first race, to yield maximum energy per unit of oxygen I consume,’ says Lee.
‘Will you be up by then? I thought all teenagers stayed in bed till lunchtime.’
‘I’ll see what I can do.’
I feel used and abused. But that’s not the end of it; the Reading Room has turned into a harem. While one lanky lad has his legs over the arm of a chair, presumably at the prescribed angle for perfect blood circulation, the other chair is being used as a massage couch. Leighton lounges in underpants while his girlfriend Jackie (his support team) lubricates his thighs with what smells like Ambre Solaire. Little grunts trip from his lips with each upward thrust, and his legs jig uncontrollably. I daren’t look too closely but he seems really happy. It’s a lot for a forty seven year old to have to deal with in his own home.
‘Take your hands off that boy! This is not a brothel.’
Paul Costello © January 2013
You can read more about the outrageous bikers in:
Utterly Undiscovered by Paul Costello. Illustrated by Emma Hames
Out spring 2013 Fineleaf Editions http://www.fineleaf.co.uk