|Paul and Peter kicked aside the drying palm leaves that littered the streets as they walked through the deepening twilight.
“Was it Pizza Express or Pizza Hut?” asked Peter.
“Beats me,” Paul answered, “He just said we’re going for a Pizza and a walk in the park. It’s usually Pizza Hut though ‘cos Judas likes the salad.”
“Well he didn’t book it this time, it was James.”
“Jesus only knows where we will end up then!” Laughed Paul.
“Well I hope so; it's his turn to pay,” Peter smiled back at his old enemy.
Turning a corner they entered the Herodias Memorial Shopping Arcade and Baths. The familiar smell of olives, dates, spices, leather and damp loincloths enveloped them. Slowly they picked their way past tables groaning under the weight of cream eggs, gaily decorated donkeys bearing squealing children on their backs and enormous chocolate bunnies. Finally they reached the central square where a platoon of Roman soldiers were busily erasing the words 'Romanes Eunt Domus' from the base of the fountain.
“Let’s try Pizza Hut, it's nearest,” suggested Paul.
The two disciples pushed open the familiar plate glass doors to be greeted by a sour-faced waitress whose greasy complexion and rolls of bare skin hanging over her mini toga bespoke of a diet of pizza and oven-ready chips. She had a small badge that read: ‘Hi, I’m Rachel.’ The red and blue paper hat perched on top of her scrubbed back, blond hair sported three stars showing she could apply toppings, clean the toilets and operate the cash register. A fourth star would have indicated she could wash her hands as well. “Table for two?” she asked in a clipped, nasal whine.
“Er…thirteen actually. We’ve booked,” said Peter.
“James?” asked the waitress, shuffling through a pile of parchments. “Got nuffink for James.”
“James son of Zebedee maybe?” suggested Paul
“Or Alphaeus?” offered Peter.
“James or Alphaeus?” queried Rachel. “Make ya bleedin' minds up.”
“No.” Said Peter, beginning to see a never-ending sea of confused Sunday school faces stretching out before him. “There are two James'—one is the son of Zebedee and one is the son of Alphaeus.”
“Never 'eard of neither of 'em."
“Not many people have,” said Paul. “But one of them may have booked the table.”
The waitress made another half-hearted attempt to find the booking. “Nah, nuffink 'ere. D'you wanna wait until something comes free or wot?”
“How long will that take?” asked Paul.
Rachel picked absently at the diamond stud in her nose. “Dunno.”
“Well, could you find out?” asked Peter.
“Dunno...(shouting) Mr Jacob! Party 'ere wants a table for thir'een!”
"Tell them the big table already has an Irish party just starting," bawled a disembodied voice from behind the deep-fat fryer.
"The big table already 'as an Irish party—" said Rachel.
"—Yes, we heard, thank you," interrupted Peter, rubbing his ear. "Would Jesus O’Nazareth be among them by any chance?
"Jesus O'Nazareth—the popular street entertainer and faith healer?"
“Mr Jacob! Party 'ere wants to know if Jesus O’Nazareth is 'ere!”
"Who wants to know?" shouted back Mr Jacob.
"Some bloke called James—or Al—Alf—Alfa..."
"Alphaeus," said James helpfully.
"Alphaeus," repeated the waitress.
"Romans?" yelled back Mr Jacob.
"I'll ask. Are y' Romans?"
"Do we look like Romans?" said Peter.
"Nah...but ya could be disguised. Can't be too careful wiv the Sanhedrin stirring up trouble about Jesus practising wivout a license. 'ad a couple centurions in 'ere earlier lookin' for 'im."
"I assure you we are Irish," said Peter stiffly.
"Speak for yourself," said Paul. "I'm from Ephesus."
"Nah!" shouted Rachel.
"No what?" shouted back Mr Jacob.
"They ain't Romans."
"Well he is then," replied Mr Jacob.
"Well 'e is then," repeated Rachel.
“Right then, that’s them!” said Peter and Paul together.
“You should 'ave said you was Irish,” complained the waitress as she showed them through to a back room. “Would 'ave saved me a lotta time." She suddenly stopped dead and turned on her white stilettos. "Justaminute!"
“What?” said Peter and Paul together.
"You can't come in 'ere dressed like that. Ditn't ya read the sign?"
"What sign?" asked Peter.
"No sandals wivout socks."
"But half the people in here are wearing sandals without socks!" objected Peter.
"Yeah, but they're Jews. You're Irish. We don't allow Irish in 'ere in sandals."
"But Jesus O'Nazareth is wearing sandals," persisted Peter.
"Yeah, but 'is mum's Jewish."
"How do you know mine isn't?" asked Peter.
"She might be..."
"Oh all right, seein' as you're mates of Jesus—but don't make 'abit of it. Waddya want to drink wiv ya pizza?"
“Two grails of water,” said Paul, winking at Peter.
“WA'ER?” asked the waitress sharply, putting her hands on her ample hips. “Y' tryin' to be funny? Ditn’t ya see the sign; No Miracles. You want wine you pay for it.”
“Could we pay 10% corkage?” suggested Peter.
“No you bloody well can’t. I’ll bring you a jug of the 'ouse red and a couple of grails and we’ll have no more funny business or you’re all aht.”
Peter and Paul walked into the room and greeted their companions.
“He who comes last to the inn drinketh of the freshest wine,” said Jesus; everyone laughed.
“Give us a parable!” Called Bartholomew.
“No, you don’t want one really—you’re just being polite,” mumbled Jesus. “Oh all right then.” He added quickly.
“There was once an inn wherein were three men. And the three men did drink of the juice of the vine and became loquacious and boastful. And the first man did say: ‘I have a pet dog which doeth tricks. I sayeth unto the dog 'come' and lo, he cometh, and I say 'sit' and verily upon his haunches he doth sit.’
And the second man was boastful and a pain in the arse of the Lord. And he sayeth: ‘Thy dog is nothing, pal. I haveth a camel who doth carry heavy loads through the desert and forswears water from one Sabbath day until the next.
And the third man did say unto his companions: ‘Thy dog is surely a fine dog and thy camel a wondrous beast, but outside I have an elephant and the elephant doth fuck cats.’
And the innkeeper did hear and he sayeth: ‘Put thy money where your mouth is, mush. I have a tomcat here and ten shekels says your elephant will not fuck it.’ And the man said: ‘I will take your ten shekels and is there any man here who will add another ten?’ But the others had given their shekels to the innkeeper in return for the juice of the vine and could not take any of the action. And they were a tad dischuffed.
And it came to pass that they all went outside into the yard where the dog and the camel and the elephant were tied up. And the innkeeper handed the cat to the third man, the one with the elephant. The third man did place the cat before the elephant, and the elephant did sniff the cat with his mighty trunk. And the cat did take a swipe at the elephant’s mighty trunk and the elephant did stand upon the cat.
And then the third man, whose elephant we are talking about, said unto the innkeeper. ‘Innkeeper, your cat is well and truly fucked. Give unto me thy ten shekels that me and my friends might sample more of the juice of the vine.’ And the innkeeper did give him the shekels and the dog licked up that which remained of the cat.
And it came to pass that the innkeeper took the shekels back across the bar that very night, and ten more besides.
And I say unto you, my disciples, you may own a camel, an elephant or a clever dog but if you own an inn you will never be short of a few bob.”
All the disciples bowed their heads at these wise words and Matthew made a few notes for a book he was planning. The waitress returned with the wine and started to hand out menus. “The specials is on the board in the bar. We're nearly out of anchovies an' the bogs is blocked again.”
Her surly manner evaporated as she leant over Jesus to fill his glass and added sweetly: "Course, Mr O'Nazareth can use the staff toilet."
"Thank you, Rachel," said Jesus, smiling up at her.
Rachel trembled from head to foot as his manly thigh brushed her naked midriff. "Ya know I'd do anything for you," she whispered. "You only 'ave to ask."
Peter glared at her disapprovingly as she casually adjusted her mini toga to expose a lurid red thong and was on the point of voicing his displeasure when a look from Jesus quelled him.
There was a lull in the conversation as they studied the menu. After a while Thomas asked: “Is anyone having a starter?”
“Oh, got to have a starter!” Said Phillip. “What about garlic bread?”
Matthew asked: “How are we for cash?”
“It’s my turn to pay,” said Jesus. “But I am a bit short to be honest. Mummy’s late with the rent and I said I’d help her out. But, didn’t I hear the sound of coins when you sat down Judas? How are you fixed old man?”
Judas looked a little uneasy. “Yes Lord, I am a bit flush just now as it happens.”
“How much?” asked Andrew.
“Thirty pieces of silver,” said Judas so quietly only his neighbour at the table, Bartholomew, heard him.
“Bloody hell!" he exclaimed. "Thirty pieces of silver! What did you do, sell some valuable intelligence to the Romans?”
Judas' sallow face paled to a sickly shade of green. “Er, we expect a death in the family…er…shortly,” he muttered. "The money is an advance on the legacy."
"Anyone we know?" asked Peter.
"Er...not as such..." replied Judas in a strangled voice.
“Well Judas,” said Jesus. “Lend me five ‘till the end of the month, there's a good chap.”
Judas looked like a man who had sucked a lemon dry as he handed over the coins.
“Starters it is then!” said Phillip. “What about the garlic breadsticks?”
"Breadsticks is off," said the waitress. "Ditn't ya read the board in the bar?"
"Well, couldn't you make some more?" asked Paul.
"I bet you would if Jesus asked," muttered Peter.
"Oi!" said the waitress, rounding on him. "Less of ya cheek or ya barred."
"Bugger," said Phillip.
“What about garlic bread?” suggested Paul. "Or is that 'off' too?"
"Nah, that's on. Garlic dip is too. You could order bread an' the dip."
"Isn't that the same as garlic breadsticks?" asked James.
The waitress gave him a pitying look. "Nah. Ya gotta dip it. Garlic breadsticks 'as garlic in 'em."
“How about some salad?” said Judas.
Jesus asked: “Are we sharing this around or is everyone having their own? Hey, Phillip, do pay attention, do you want to share the garlic bread around?”
Phillip broke off his conversation with Andrew. “You what?” he asked.
“Garlic bread; do you want to share it round?” Jesus shouted back.
“Yeah, put it in the middle and we can all have some,” Phillip responded.
“Right,” said Jesus. “Let's have four garlic breads, two deep fried mushrooms and four salads as starters.”
“That’s only ten,” said the waitress.
“We're...um...sort of sharing it around...” said Peter.
Rachel scowled at him. "Ya tryin' to be funny? If you 'ave the salad wiv the main course you can 'ave the ‘as much as you like’ deal and go back for more as often as ya like. But if ya 'ave the garlic bread ya can't 'ave seconds. Unless ya order the 'Easter special."
"What's the Easter special?" asked Phillip.
"Egg salad instead of plain salad. Do ya want that instead of the salad starter?”
“Let's do that.” Said Jesus.
“Only I can’t let ya share that round, obviously, or you’d only buy one!” said Rachel, ruffling Jesus' auburn hair playfully.
“Right,” laughed Jesus and then called out, “Judas, are you going to want salad with your main course? ‘Because you can have the 'eat as much as you want deal' with eggs—is that right, my little olive bush?"
Rachel almost swooned with pleasure. "Unless ya 'ave the Roman Salad Special, " she replied breathlessly.
"Roman Salad Special?" repeated Jesus.
"Number twen'y-eight," said Rachel, resting her hand on his manly shoulders to steady herself.
"But that's an extra two shekels," said Judas.
"Yeah, but the eggs are stuffed wiv anchovies."
"Do you want that, Judas?" asked Jesus.
“No, don’t think so, Lord.”
“Well, make your mind up because I don’t want to buy you a salad now and then buy you another one in five minutes,” said Jesus smiling patiently through gritted teeth.
“Can’t we share the ‘eat as much as you like’ one?” asked Judas.
“No, Rachel says we can’t.” replied Jesus. "Isn't that right?"
She nodded, too overcome by his presence to speak.
“Oh, I’ll just have the salad starter then,” shouted Judas.
“Pizzas?” asked the waitress, scribbling down their order.
“Pizzas, lads?” called Jesus
“Is the Pope Catholic!” Laughed Peter.
“What are you wittering about?” said Andrew.
“Pepperoni with olives,” bawled Thomas.
“Mushrooms, garlic and anchovies!” shouted Paul and the two James'.
“Yes that’s us too,” said Peter, Matthew and Phillip.
"Pineapple and gifilte fish," said Andrew.
"Gefilte fish?" exclaimed Bartholomew and Simon.
"I always have gefilte fish," said Andrew. "You know that."
"We don't do Gifilte fish," said Rachel sullenly.
"Don't do Gifilte fish?" said Andrew. "Pizza Express do."
"Well bleedin' eat there, then!"
"Oh, all right, tuna then," said Andrew. "But make sure it's Dolphin-friendly."
Rachel glared at him and turning to the other disciples, rapidly took down the remainder of their orders. "Right," she announced curtly. "That's one Pepperoni with olives, two mushrooms, garlic and anchovies—'alf price coz they're on special durin' Passover—"
"—Just a minute," interrupted Andrew. "Why are theirs half price and mine isn't?"
"Coz the special only applies to matchin' product categories."
"Mushrooms is veg. Pineapple ain't."
"But tuna and anchovies are both fish," persisted Andrew.
"So if they're in the same product categories they should be on special offer too."
"Well they ain't," snapped Rachel.
"Well, they should be..." muttered Andrew. "Pizza Express—"
"Will ya bleedin' give over about Pizza Express!" shouted Rachel.
"Look, we'll be here all day if you're going to argue about the ingredients," said Paul. "Judas is flush, he'll pay for yours, won't you Judas?"
Judas turned an even sicklier shade of pale green and reluctantly nodded his acquiescence.
"Right then!" bawled Rachel. "That's one Pepperoni with olives, two mushrooms, garlic and anchovies—alf price coz they're on special durin' Passover—three Chicken Margheritas*, one Vegetable Supreme, three pepperoni and spicy beef—"
"Just a minute..." interrupted Simon in a sheepish voice. "Is the Chicken free-range?"
"Y'wot?" asked Rachel.
"Um...free range..." repeated Simon.
"ow the bleedin' ell should I know?"
"Well, could you ask?"
"Wot—the chickens? Bleedin' ell, mate, are you for real?"
"Well...I was only asking..."
"Ya finished, are ya?" said Rachel, flinging down her pad. "Cos if I 'ave any more of your nonsense ya all barred!"
Jesus laid his hand on her arm and she instantly relaxed. "Take no notice," he said soothingly. "They'll have what we've ordered, won't you lads?"
Heads nodded and Peter dug Simon in the ribs to stifle the objection that was on his lips.
"Thank the bleedin' Lord for that!" exclaimed Rachel.
"Don't mention it, " said Jesus, patting her hand. She shivered at his touch and leaning forward to retrieve her notepad, deliberately brushed the tips of her breasts against his cheek.
"I wish you wouldn't flirt with that waitress, Lord," said Peter, as Rachel minced out of the room with a longing, backward glance at Jesus. "People are beginning to talk."
"About what?" asked Jesus.
"Well...the droves of young women running after you. Especially that Mary Magdalene and her little sister, Martha. Always hanging around, pawing you and washing your feet. It's not seemly."
"You're not jealous, are you?" asked Jesus with a merry laugh.
"Certainly not!" replied Peter avoiding his master's piercing gaze. "I-I've given up that sort of thing."
"Pity," said Jesus. "Without woman man is nothing."
"But Mary Magdalene is a cheap prostitute, Lord!" Peter exploded.
"I wouldn't say cheap...exactly..."
"Common whore, then," interjected Matthew.
"And you're a tax collector," replied Jesus softly. "Now tell me honestly, Peter—who would you rather be screwed by?"
Peter hung his head and relapsed into silence.
Ten minutes later the waitress returned with their starters wearing an even shorter toga and her long, blond hair cascading over her shoulders.
"See what I mean?" muttered Peter. "They can't keep their filthy paws off you."
"Oh do give over," said Judas. "She's less likely to spit on your pizza if you're nice to her."
Jesus looked up suddenly. "One of you will grass me up to the Romans before this night is done.” One by one the disciples asked him: "Will it be me, Lord?"
Jesus smiled and said, “Look, it is prophesied that I will get well and truly hammered—pass the wine—the worst they can do me for is drunk in charge of a religious sect!” The disciples laughed.
“But who will betray you?” asked Peter.
“He who receives his starter from the waitress first will be my betrayer,” said Jesus.
"Er...just off to the toilet," said the two James' and Andrew as they rose abruptly from the table.
"Me too," said Judas. "This wine has gone straight to my bladder..."
"The toilets are out of order if you remember," said Jesus.
The disciples dropped sheepishly back into their chairs and shuffled uncomfortably under their master's penetrating gaze.
“Ere ya are,” said Rachel. “I’ll just bung 'em ‘ere in the middle of the table shall I?” And in an instant she was gone leaving behind four soup of the day, eight prawn cocktails and a distinct smell of drains.
"Oi!" shouted Paul after her retreating back. "We didn't order this!"
"Too late," said Phillip.
"Bugger," said Andrew. "Prawns give me the squits*."
"The soup's not so bad..." said Thomas, swallowing with a grimace. "Really. I've had worse..."
"Woe unto the man who grasses me up this night," said Jesus as the disciples turned reluctantly to their starters. "It would be better if he'd never been born..."
"Well, James clearly hasn't or he'd never have booked us into their grotty place," said Simon, fishing a large bluebottle out of his soup.
Slowly, every eye turned to Judas; every fork and spoon was laid down and a deathly hush descended on the table, broken only by the sound of a free-range chicken being strangled in the kitchen. Suddenly Judas looked up from his prawn cocktail and said: "Why are you all looking at me like that? It's not me! Just because I've come into a bit of money you all assume I must be the one. Well, I'm not, I tell you, I'm not! Tell them Lord!"
His shifty, black eyes turned pleadingly towards Jesus.
"Is it me? Is it?"
"You said it," replied Jesus quietly.
"I say, has someone just farted?" said Matthias, wrinkling his nose.
"Er...excuse me," said Judas, rising hurriedly from his chair. "I'll be right back." With that, he scurried from the room, pressing his toga tightly between his legs with both hands.
"Bloody hell!" exclaimed Andrew. "I'm glad I didn't have the prawns!"
Ten minutes later, the waitress returned with their orders and dumped them unceremoniously in the middle of the table, except for a Pepperoni Margherita, which she placed deferentially in front of Jesus with a shy smile.
"I asked chef to put extra olives on it," she said.
"What's this then?" demanded Thomas, nibbling distastefully at a corner of his pizza. "It's like bloody hardtack."
"It's unleavened bread, innit," explained Rachel. "Waddya expect on Passover—hot cross buns?"
"All right, Judas?" asked Bartholomew as the thirteenth disciple slunk back to the table.
"Yeah...I'll be OK. Just needed a bit of air."
"Not the prawns then?" asked Bartholomew.
"They were off you know. And I ordered spicy beef, not ham. If this is ham..." he added, poking his topping with his fork.
Rachel spun on her heels and minced over to them. "Y'wot?" she demanded with a sulky pout of her freshly painted lips.
"This isn't what I ordered," he said. "I wanted spicy beef."
"Did ya?" snapped Rachel. "Right!" She reached across the table, snatched Matthias' pizza from him, and dumped it front of Bartholomew. "appy now?"
"Now Matthias has the wrong pizza."
"Well, tell 'im to swop wiv Andrew then. e's got spicy beef too."
"What will Andrew eat?"
"e hasn't touched 'is prawns, as 'e?"
Andrew groaned as she flounced back to Jesus' side.
"All right, is it? I asked chef to put freshly grated Parmesan an' black pepper on it for ya."
"Delicious," said Jesus.
Rachel's face was rapt with admiration, not unmixed with awe, lust and a puppy-like devotion that was pitiful to behold. "Not wiv Mary tonight then?" she asked casually.
"She's a working girl," replied Jesus smilingly.
She flicked back a strand of blond hair and blushed deeply.
"Still seeing Miriam? She's 'avin' a littlun Rebecca says."
"Not mine," laughed Jesus.
"Not at the moment, no."
Rachel bent down until her face was level with Jesus' ear, her breasts pressed tightly against him.
"I get off at ten. If ya not doing nuffink…maybe we could..."
"Perhaps another night," said Jesus, patting her hand affectionately.
Rachel shivered at his touch and sighed deeply as her eyes lingered on his shining, auburn hair, magnificent beard and manly shoulders.
"Tomorrow?" she whispered breathlessly. "I do a really relaxin' foot massage..."
"I may not be here tomorrow..."
Rachel's face clouded with disappointment. "Oh..."
"But I'll be back."
"Cross my heart and hope to die."
Rachel giggled. "Oh, ya such a joker, Mr O'Nazareth. Gotta run. Party of eight just came in."
"...There's no profit in fast-food franchises anymore," Matthew was saying to James the son of Alphaeus. "Margins are down to less than 2%. I recommend you get into short-term Myrrh futures. I predict an embalming boom."
"You would say that," objected Thomas. "You know all the bleedin' dodges. It's poor fishermen like us who get hammered with tax when stocks fall."
The disciples continued to chat amongst themselves until the last few olives had disappeared and all the wine was gone.
"Right!" said Peter, laying down his napkin, "I'm ready for our walk. Where's that bloody slut of a waitress?"
"Oppsss..." muttered Paul as Rachel brought the flat of her hand smartly down across the top of Peter's balding head.
"Ow!" exclaimed the apostle, "What did you do that for?"
"I'll do a lot more than that if ya don't stop slaggin' me off, ya poncy prick!" retorted Rachel. "I 'eard ya earlier goin' on about us. Ya know wot the girls call ya, dontcha?"
"I'm not in the least bit interested," said Peter, sliding his chair out of her reach.
"I am the rock upon which the Lord shall erect his mighty Church!" shouted Peter.
"Rock? Leave it aht. I've seen 'arder jellyfish than you, ya limp-dicked tosser. The only thing you'll be erectin' is the bleedin' gallows the Romans will crucify you on."
"Well, at least I shall keep women out of the Church!"
"Much bleedin' good it'll do ya, you pious old fart!"
"Now then, Rachel," said Jesus, holding up his hands. "That's enough."
"Well...'e asked for it, Lord," she replied defensively. "If anyone's gonna betray you to the Romans it'll be 'im."
"Nonsense!" shouted Peter, puffing out his chest. "I'd sooner deny my Lord thrice than betray him to the Romans!"
Rachel folded her arms across her chest and regarded him pityingly. "Ya got that dead right."
"The evening draws on, Lord," said Judas, looking at his watch, "Let us pay the wench and be gone or it'll be too dark to see the Ro—er, see the trees, in the park."
"Yes, let's settle up," said Paul. "Before Peter gets us thrown out on our ears."
“Can we have the bill?” Asked Jesus looking at Rachel. Rachel fished a piece of grubby parchment from the folds of her toga and handed it to the nearest disciple, Matthew.
“Jesus! This can’t be right,” exclaimed Matthew.
“What’s wrong?” Asked Jesus.
“Sixty-four shekels, it’s outrageous!”
“Y’wot?” asked Rachel.
“Look...” Matthew pointed at the parchment. “…I LUV U.”
“ILVVV?” said Jesus “That does seem a lot.”
Rachel blushed the same colour as the thong peeping out of the top of her mini toga and snatched the paper back “Wrong bill,” she said, producing another.
“That’s more like it, Lord,” said Matthew passing it to Jesus.
“Did we have garlic bread and mushrooms?” Asked Jesus.
“No, we had the prawns and soup,” said James—‘cos the prawns gave Judas the squits."
“Wot are ya on abaht?” Said Rachel. “I writ it dahn ‘ere. Garlic bread, mushrooms an’ a salad for ol’ money bags ‘ere.”
“But you gave us soup and prawn cocktail,” said James.
“Well you should ‘ave said summit. It’s too late to complain now. 'ang on, you didn’t eat the prawn cocktail did ya?”
“Yes," said the two James’ and Phillip.
“I think I did too,” muttered Thomas. "To tell you the truth I'm feeling a bit queasy..."
“Er, right, no problem,” said Rachel briskly. “Per'aps you should be movin' on, somewhere where the bogs is working. Let's scrub the starters if we got it wrong. So seven shekels for the pizzas, yeah?”
“Well who had what?” Asked Matthew, his accountant's curiosity aroused.
"Right," began Andrew, "I had the "Pineapple and gifilte fish—"
"Tuna," corrected Rachel, consulting her pad.
"And we had the mushrooms, garlic and anchovies,” added Paul and the two James'.
"Who had wine?" asked Thomas.
"Not me, I had the asses milk," said Simon. "I'm driving, remember?"
"So did I," said Bartholomew.
"No you didn't," objected Peter. "Look, your glass is still half full of Gaulish plonk!"
“Look, ‘ave the fuckin' meal for free,” screamed Rachel. “Just get aht of 'ere before the prawns seek resurrection.”
Later...the following morning. A bleary-eyed Rachel is talking to a sheepish looking fisherman in the filthy kitchen of Pizza Hut.
"You look a bit down in the dumps this morning, love," said the fisherman.
"Yeah...well, sniff...I've ad some bad news, innit."
"Nothing that a good night out with your boyfriend won't cure, eh?"
Rachel burst into tears. "Ain't got one...sniff."
"Lovely looking lass like you? I don't believe it!"
"Yeah...well...I ad one...sort of..."
"Well, cheer up, got to look on the bright side of life, eh?"
"S'pose," said Rachel, wiping her eyes on a filthy tea towel. "Wotcha got for me then?"
"Couple of lovely fat, juicy kippers—straight from the smoke house."
"Er...two kippers love."
“ow the bleedin' ell am I gonna feed the customers who've ordered the all day full Jewish breakfast wiv two fuckin' fish, eh? You tell me that!”
“Fish cakes?” suggested the Fisherman warily.
“Fish cakes! Ya gotta be bleedin' joking innit. Wiv five loaves? It'd take a bleedin' miracle to make that lot feed the three 'undred customers who've ordered breakfast!"
"Three hundred!" asked the startled fisherman.
"An' anuvver two 'undred expected for lunch," said Rachel. "We've never been so busy."
"Perhaps Jesus O'Nazareth could..?" began the fisherman tentatively.
Rachel burst into tears again. "You stupid sod! Why do y' think we've got so many customers? They're...sniff...crucifying 'im...sniff...up on the 'ill this mornin'!"
"Oh dear...I'm sorry to hear it," said the fisherman. "He was a good customer...always paid on the nail, if you'll pardon the expression...I have some potted shrimp back at the shop..."
"Potted Shrimp?" shrieked Rachel. "Ya tryin' to be funny?" This is Pizza Hut, not bleedin' Seafood World!"
"So...I don't supposed you want these two kippers then?"
"No I bloody don't. Go on, fuck off aht of it before I stuff the fuckers down ya bleedin' throat!”