[2.4] Tale of Two Awkward Men

Andre stood standing in front of Monash University Bicycle Shop. He looked down sharply and his eyes were greeted by the great big well-rounded ball that was his tummy. This was his chance to do something about it, and possibly look the way Brad Pitt did in the poster hanging behind Andre’s bedroom door. His eyes skimmed through the range of bicycles available behind the glass windows briefly and finally decided to open the door.

“Hello” said the shopkeeper, in an almost hostile tone. He had an amazingly square jaw, and pearly white teeth that would most probably reflect the moonlight perfectly in the night. His hair was combed neatly back, and he was wearing a singlet which drooped so low his nipples were partly visible. He was bow-legged, clearly the result of years of vigorous bike riding. He looked no older than 25.

“Hi, I was looking for a bicycle” came Andre’s hesitant reply. There were piles of bicycle parts in literally every single corner of the room. The shop space was so minimal Andre found it a huge challenge just to make it to the only available space in front of the shopkeeper, who was standing rather awkwardly in the middle of a mountain of trash. When he finally managed to claw his way to the front of the man, the proximity between the two men was so close Andre could smell the Hawaiian pizza from the shopkeeper’s breath.

“Okay. Erm… What kind of erm….bicycle?” The shopkeeper replied, and the uncertainty in his voice discomforted Andre.

“Just anything really. Anything that maybe… like that one” Andre’s sentence ended so abruptly that the shopkeeper stood rooted to the spot in anticipation of a continuation.

“Oh” A pause which felt like a full 10 minutes followed, before an answer was finally given. “Erm…Well, we have actually sold out most of our bicycles. And by most, I mean all”.

Another silence filled the small, cramp space which the two men stood in, this time definitely more deafening than the last. Andre did not know what to say next. His brain seemed to be drawing little doodles in its imaginary drawing pad, completely leaving Andre to his own.

“But I guess I could give you the phone number of another bicycle shop, just around the corner in Moorabin”

“How am I supposed to bring a bicycle back after purchasing it from another suburb altogether?” Andre asked impatiently.

“I guess…maybe..erm..maybe you could just take a bus? And then… I guess you could maybe just cycle it back? I don’t know” replied the shopkeeper, still standing astoundingly in the exact same spot all the while. Andre could feel the conversation heading rapidly towards another abyss.

“Could I just leave my number with you and you give me a ring once you receive new stock please?” came Andre’s feeble attempt at keeping the conversation going.

“Sure… Then I will just give you a call when I get stock. But I won’t know what we might get. Erm… We might get something too small or too large. Erm.. But yeah okay. I shall keep your number”

With that, Andre forced a wide smile and said a quick thanks, before running out the door. Once outside, Andre felt the oxygen re-enter his lungs. Life seemed to brimming with colour and energy. Everyone smiled caringly at each other, and everyone walked with such a bounce Andre felt as though he was on drugs. Everyone seemed to be having the time of their lives, and Andre never wanted to enter the bicycle shop ever again.

“Gosh, what an awkward man” Andre said in a nearly audible whisper before beginning his walk home, oblivious to the fact that the shopkeeper was feeling exactly the same way.

[2.3] The Master Award?

‘OOOooo! Another award for moi!’
squealed Andre as he scrolled down Lady V’s blog. Sunlight filtering through the blinds splashed almost too violently across his laptop screen, resulting in an excruciating pain at the back of Andre’s eyes every time he tried to focus. Nevertheless, he had another award, and that was all that concerned him. Narcissism or easily excitable?

There was no time to lose, and once again Andre pulled out the trusty black book called a diary and began on a fresh new page.

12th March
Time: 5.47pm

Dear diary,
What luck! I just received another award, this time from Lady V. I have won more awards in the span of two weeks than I have in my lifetime. I am so happy. No, I am ecstatic. Actually no, I am elated. I feel like a SIM (from the SIMS 3) who has just completed his lifetime goals and is now ready to die in peace. Well diary, I don’t think I can ever feel more satisfied. I would even drive naked to the tune of ‘Battlefield’ by that Jordin-something.

The next 10 minutes were spent most wisely by Andre as he doodled away passionately in his little black book.

There! Dear diary I have finished this work of art. What I want to convey in this piece is the joy I am holding in my heart. Should my heart suddenly stop one fine day, my emotions and all of my days will remain on this earth. Maybe, just like Adrian Mole’s diary, mine will be discovered by some influential figure in the literary world. He would probably realize the significance of my life in the context of literature and I’ll get famous! I shall live on with all the other greats such as Charles Dickens. Who knows, we might even end up housemates in the after-life. How exciting, gosh.

Oh anyway, back to the masterful award. I proudly declare that I am a master of Wedgies. I don’t know when or how I managed to develop such an advanced skill, but ever so often, when I least expect it, I suddenly feel the warm fabric climb up just a tiny bit higher. Before I know it, BAM, its just there, between the cracks like a peanut butter sandwich. There is a saying that goes ‘with more power comes more responsibility’. I think it came from the Spider Man movie. Anyway, I don’t know how this applies to me but I’m pretty sure it does.

I do realize that most of the bloggers I want to send this award to already have it, so I shall sadly have to skip them. Maybe next time my dear ones. Anyway, I nominate the three musketeers: Andy Jones, Johana Hill, and Chantelle. Alright dear diary, I’m sweating because the stupid air conditioner in this library isn’t working again. Til we meet again, toodaloos.

Andre Leech

[2.2] Public Transportation Horrors

Andre looked wide-eyed at the gigantic notice plastered across Clayton train station’s gate. ‘No trains are running today. Bus services have been arranged as an alternative to the nearest train station. To get to the city, please board the train at Oakleigh train station platform 2.’

That would take a good two hours! Good grief, what are they doing to me here? Andre thought to himself as he stubbornly rammed his face into the cold, tightly shut glass doors of the train station. So hard was the collision between his face and the door that Andre thought he heard the faintest snap in the upper bridge of his nose. The train station was completely deserted, besides that one fruit-fly which came flying merrily towards Andre’s squashed face on the other side of the door, as if to mock his helplessness. This enraged Andre more, but he reluctantly let the anger pass him by. He had more important issues in life to deal with at the moment.

Giving the closed platform a final malicious look, Andre spun around and started to scan the vicinity for the assigned bus replacement service. He found it soon enough, and raced towards the bus like a hawk chasing a rabbit. I’m swift as the flowing river, he kept telling himself as he ran, skipping over puddles of water with such grace and determination, all the while humming to the tune of 'I believe I can fly'.

‘C’mon mate you are holding everyone up!’ yelled the bus driver. Andre jumped in surprise, almost losing his balance on the steps of the bus and knocking over the poor old woman behind him. Taking in a deep breath and calming himself down, Andre leaped into the jam-packed bus, squeezing in just in time before the bus driver impatiently slammed the door shut, missing Andre’s big toe by a whisker. The ride to Oakleigh train station was nothing short of painful.

What is that terrible, terrible smell?

Andre tried as best as possible to put up with the smell, but curiosity soon got the better of him. The phrase ‘Curiosity killed the cat’ would never have been used more ideally than in this situation. Andre strained his neck, rotating it almost an impossible 180 degrees. There, just inches away from Andre’s face, was the source of the foul smell: An armpit. Yes, an armpit. Actually, it was The armpit. The armpit which managed to leisurely fill the bus with its pleasant aroma like roses in a garden. The armpit which was being held up high and proud (and open) like the Olympic torch, ready to fill people’s hearts with love and joy and the fresh scent of victory.

Andre looked away and closed his eyes, reminding himself that ignorance was bliss.

[2.1] 7 Facts and An Award

Andre took a sip of his favourite Hazelnut Mocha and squinted at the clock hanging lazily above the coffee machine in Gloria Jeans: another two hours until ‘Shutter Island’. He tried to stifle a gay giggle as he felt his excitement boil inside him, but failed terribly.

Andre looked down at his black-leather diary, and then to his bloated tummy, promptly pulling his pants up the slightest in order to cover his obnoxious butt crack. Decency was highly valued by Andre, ironically enough. In his diary he wrote:

2nd March
Time: 5.58pm

Dear diary,
I went on Blogger yesterday (that blogging website), only to find that I have been tagged in one of those 7 facts about me thingamajiggies. I am not sure why anyone in their right mind would want to know more about me, but I do like to play tag games. Therefore, I shall attempt the quiz with all the brains, charisma and intelligence I can muster. I would also like to thank Princess V for giving me this challenge, and for giving me such a pretty award. Now let’s see… what have I got?

An hour went by without another word being put on paper, and Andre’s momentum started to drain like a leaking dam – swiftly and dangerously. He continued to swirl the spoon aimlessly in his Hazelnut Mocha for a while, before ideas finally started to sink in.

Time: 6.05pm

Dear diary,
Sorry I abandoned you for an hour. I am now back and ready to conquer all. .

Fact 1: I rarely finish what I start. I used to think that everyone was just like me, always getting distracted, forgetting what stage I’m up to in a project, lacking enough motivation to keep me going. But now that I’m older and so much wiser, I realise I might just be abnormal.

Fact 2: I used to be an athlete. Now this fact is highly subjective. Close friends and family used to tell me that athletes didn’t look the way I looked, neither did they run the way I ran, but what does anyone know anyway? I was able to grasp the technicalities of most sports almost instantly. Plus, the only injuries I have ever sustained came from carelessness, and not my sporting abilities.

Fact 3: The only time I ever sprained my ankle really badly was when I stepped into the hole on a golf course. I used to tell people this all the time, thinking that it proved my athletic abilities, since I haven’t really injured myself like all other sport stars. They would just laugh at me, and I would hate them all my life.

Fact 4: I suffer from severe arachnephobia. Gosh, those legs. Why do they need so many anyway?

Fact 5: I am pretty darn good at Scrabble. I don’t know if this is a trait worth having, since Delilah almost never touches a scrabble board, and hurries away when I pull a Scrabble board out. I used to represent my high school in Scrabble at one stage. The glory. Of course, I didn’t win.

Fact 6: I have no idea how to drive a manual car.

Fact 7: I fart a lot. I did significant research on this, and I even posted a comment on OneMinuteWriter.blogspot.com. Let’s see if I can still find it. Of course, as usual, I didn’t win.

Now I’m at the stage where I send this award to 7 other bloggers out there but since I don’t even have 7 followers, I shall just send this award to my dedicated followers because they deserve it:

Andy from http://andyjonesx.blogspot.com,
Johana Hill from http://the-mercurial-wife.blogspot.com/,
Chantelle from http://whenmythoughtsgotainted.blogspot.com/,
Lady V from http://torijean.blogspot.com/,
and The Analyst from http://theanalystquotes.blogspot.com

Andre Leech.

[1.6] Grey, Grey Skies

Andre looked around him as he stood on the balcony. The cloudless sky was a vast canvas of toneless grey. The wind blew furiously and rain poured with assertion. Each drop plunged like daggers to the heart, like treacherous words intended to rupture even the purest of souls. Andre set his hands on the balcony rails, and lay his head peacefully on the back of his palms. For the first time in a long time, he felt alone.

He inhaled deeply. The moist, unfriendly air filled his lungs as he let out an abrupt cough. I guess tar and moisture aren’t the best of buddies, he thought.

That night Andre pulled out a little black leather book, which would serve as his diary in the years to come. He turned to the first fresh page, gave it a whiff and put his pen to paper. He wrote:

27th February 2010,
Time: 10.25pm

Dear diary,
I miss Delilah.

Andre Leech

[1.5] Oh my, how very rude!

Andre pulled off his beanie and violently scratched his scalp. ‘Not so hard you dufus!’ came Delilah’s sharp intervention, followed by a severe (and awkwardly loud) smack to the back of Andre’s head. Andre was overwhelmed by a piercing ring in his ear and a stark moment of blindness. Can’t you feel the love tonight?

They sat in a corner of Hargraves library, as usual, away from prying eyes and curious minds. As Delilah sat with such poise and grace, working away at her laptop like an attorney hard at work, Andre sat like a confused monkey without his banana, clueless. He had only one thing on his mind: the telephone conversation that had taken place several hours ago between him and his workplace manager.

Andre had been working at Coles for a good two years now (Editors note: Coles is the equivalent to Wal-Mart in America). In his whole two years of work experience, he had never had any contact with his store manager since the need for it never arose. That particular afternoon came his first encounter with the most feared man of any workplace.

‘Hi am I speaking to the store manager?’ Andre asked meekly. His voice trembled as he felt a sudden warmness in his underwear. Did I just…?

‘Yeah, who’s this?’ was the unfazed reply on the other end of the line. He sounded stern and cold, a voice which sounded exactly the way Andre had imagined it to be like.

Clearing his throat and doing a small bounce off the ground to shake off the initial shock, he answered almost too forcefully ‘Its Andre, I work as a service assistant in Coles’


‘Well I was wondering if I could get a store transfer to the Coles branch in Burwood. I have already informed the store manager there and he would be happy to have a talk with you about my internal transfer today. In fact, he could give you a call later this…’

The unforgiving voice came interrupting rudely before Andre could complete his sentence.

‘Call Catherine’ (who was Andre’s grocery manager)

‘But she isn’t in today’

‘Yeah, so?’

‘Couldn’t Burwood’s manager just talk to you? You are the store manager after all. It wouldn’t take more than a minute’

‘I’m leaving the store now alright? Bye’

There Andre stood with his mouth gaping open in bewilderment. For a good five minutes he remained stoned as a statue, oblivious to the puzzled looks passer-bys were giving him. A fly landed peacefully on his parted lips and twitched a little, only to fly off, probably from boredom. Still, Andre did not react. He just could not comprehend the work ethics of his store manager.

How could someone in his position not possess any sense of responsibility? I’ve heard of such treatment in the workplace before but I have definitely not encountered it until now. I wonder who else have had experiences like that. How rude some people can be! Gosh.

With that, Andre’s right hand shifted towards his buttocks for the third time that day and pinched at his underwear, attempting to pull the fabric out from between his butt crack. Summer can be an unforgiving season.

[1.4] Coffee and a Caramel Short Black?

The one thing that Andre found more annoying than getting slapped with a hefty fine from illegal parking (which was unfortunately a recurring circumstance in his life) was his utter lack of knowledge in the realm of coffee-latte-talk. Yes he drank Cappuccinos and Lattes almost once every couple of days, but the finer details never failed to baffle him.

What exactly is a Latte? Isn’t a Latte in the same family as tea? Cappuccinos hail from the same ancestors as coffee- that much I think I know. So what is an espresso then? Long Black and Flat White: they sound like political parties. My poor, poor brain.

Andre looked up and down the long McCafe drinks menu, instantly feeling a strain in his brain nerves (the exact name of the nerves are not known – but one would probably be the ‘logic’ nerve). The longer Andre stared at it, the more it resembled a periodic table. This was definitely designed for the mentally advanced, not for the common man, Andre thought to himself. He had once plucked up the courage to ask about the different names on the drinks menu, but his memory had failed him, as usual. Instantly feeling his IQ dip a few figures lower than the average man, Andre figured the only way to salvage his lost dignity was to order an ‘experienced-coffee drinker’s choice’. ‘Fake it til you make it’, that was the saying wasn’t it?

‘How can I help you sir?’ came the voice behind the counter.

Hey this might just be identical to Sub-way’s food menu! Piece of cake. Andre closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, to which an eyebrow was raised by the man behind the counter in confusion. ‘I know this might not be the time of the day, haha, but I think I’ll need a strong one to keep me going through the day. I will just go with a Caramel Short Black please,’ came Andre’s all too intelligent reply. The next few seconds were spent in silence. The two men (one who looked too confused and another who looked too smug) both stood leaning on the Café counter, with a handful of customers in line waiting to see what came next.


Realising it was the only smart thing to do, Andre changed his answer to a far more ordinary one. ‘A cup of hot tea I meant’, and gave a crooked, awkward smile.

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