Joe’s scam

I’m getting out of a large black BMW, parked near the Cathedral in town. With Joe Stretch, Joe’s second-in-command (whoever that may be) and one or two other people. Joe and his friend (maybe Joe Cross) are running a scam against some dangerous people. I think it’s a stupid idea and I’m trying to make this point forcefully when I realise or remember that they want me to take part. I also remember that I’ve left my bag in the footwell of the car on the passenger side. I ask that the car be opened so I can get it out. It’s my Rough Trade bag.

I’m wearing a smart, Prince of Wales check, three-piece suit, but Joe has said that I’m not smart enough. I need to get kitted out in a wide-lapelled, charcoal-grey, chalk pinstripe suit. They’re going to take me to a gents’ outfitters to organise this. But I’m adamant I don’t want to take part. Not just that, but that they should not go ahead with the scam at all, which is due to take place in a nearby greasy spoon café where they serve steak suet pudding. An essential part of the scam is a heavily annotated manuscript bristling with red markers and Post-It notes. There’s big looping handwriting all over it belonging to Juliet Buckell. I’m involved with the MS. I’ve edited it or something.

I’m making the point that a lot of Joe’s plans have been ill-advised and ill-founded, mainly to do with watering down the strangeness of artistic projects to make them more appealing to a mainstream audience. This plan, although different, is going to be a bad idea as well, but much more dangerous. (13.08.09)


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