I used to be pretty poor, still am really but this was different.  At the time I wanted to be a plasterer, so I decided to go to college and do a course. It was a government run thing so I didn’t have to pay but it was for 2 years but they’d give me £50 at the end of every week.

Pretty good right?

I was staying with my Aunty at the time, but she told me she didn’t think I see it through to the end, we had a fight, and I had to move out.

Now there’s not many places you can live on £50 a week. I managed to find somewhere in Clayton. Which is not the nicest area in the world if I’m honest. But I found this house and two mates of mine Dan and Luke moved in too. Luke was trying to start his own business up and Dan was working part-time at Ticketline. So we were all skint…and living in Clayton.

My rent was £50 a week by the way. So i’m sort of not really eating.

Now the Landlord was someone we all sort of knew from the comicbook shop (Dan and I used to work there together). We’d had a pint with him a couple of times with a mutual friend and he seemed sort of normal. In hindsight, he’s an absolute a***hole.

We got to the house and it was barely standing. Nothing worked, and the gas and electric were on a meter so maybe one day a week we’d have gas to heat the house. It was November, so you can imagine how cold it was.

Now the Landlord, “Richard McClean”, which turned into Dick McClean, and then Clean My Dick, He used to live there himself, and he had a dog called Patch. This dog, the poor little bastard. He was so scraggly, he looked like he’d been on the best stag weekend of all time, and is now trying to sober up. Clean My Dick had a pretty big cocaine habit so maybe that had something to do with it. Anyway, when (I’ll just call him Dick from now on) moved out and we moved in, I don’t think Patch got the message. He used to just turn up at the house.

Now the front door wouldn’t lock, it barely closed. And we’re in this area of Manchester that is just full of criminals. Luke once woke up and someone had bent his car doors out at the top, tried to steal it, and failed. So he had to drive a battered old car that was constantly asking “WHY?” with its hands and shrugging it’s metaphorical shoulders.

Anyway, as Patch thought he still lived there, he used to just headbutt the door and it’d fly open. We’d all be sat there with duvets wrapped around us watching Antiques Roadshow and this dog would just saunter in and sit in “his” chair and stare at us. We’re like “We’ve got no food man! Why do you keep coming over!?”

I used to sleep with a bat next my bed, so I was sort of nervous anyway. But when you’ve got this dog just slamming his head against the front door and just walking in like he owns the place, you never really sleep.

Why Dick wasn’t aware this was going on I don’t know.

We even spent Christmas Day together in that house (the dog too). Luke cooked a really nice budget meal and we all sat there with paper hats on downing cheap white wine from the off-licence, it was the most depressing thing you would ever see.

I don’t miss those days, but I do miss Patch. Poor little b*****d is probably dead now.

Rest in Peace Patch. You under fed, cocaine addicted mongrel.


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