The Little Green Man by Simon Armitage

The Little Green Man

Simon Armitage

'Bloke-Lit' filled with humour and horror. Barney, estranged from his wife and autistic son, seeks out his childhood friends and embarks on a game of outrageous dares. An engrossing and sensitive look at relationships in a new century.

There can't be a better reunion for five old mates than a game of five-a-side - it's made to measure. We turned up the following Friday, entered the knockout and got hammered 18-2 in the first round by a team of shelf stackers from Asda. Afterwards in the showers, I couldn't help looking. Winkie, with his little dick and the makings of a pot belly; Pompus, with a full-blown beer belly and the turquoise spot on his left cheek where he was shot; Tony football, going thin on top, with a bottle of shampoo in one hand and conditioner under his arm, covered in lather, as if milk were bubbling out of a hole on the top of his head; Stubbs letting the water blast against his face.

In the bar we sat in a half circle overlooking the baths. Pompus pulled up a chair and took a long drag on his fag. 'That's better, is that.'

'We should do this every week,' I said.

They were all drinking up, playing with their car keys saying how we'd have to keep in touch and all the rest of it when I said. 'Look gents, do yourselves a favour and come back to mine. I've got something to show you.'

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