Every Tuesday at Coffee Haven we have a Writers Boot
When I say boot camp its more like four people drinking
coffee, smoking and writing supposedly real life stories and letters for a wide
selection of popular womens magazines.
Were responsible for the classics such as Im
having my brothers baby! & Im a child prostitute, and the
one that got a mention on Christian radio Im attracted to
Im not proud of this but it generates us a small income
and the occasional prize. All of our letters get a good response probably read
by people we pass in the street. The freakiest replies are from the happy
clapping born again Christians and Scientologists.
Every now and again we reply to our own letters and win small
prizes like a digital camera or $50 to spend at The GAP. The only
downside to this is that thousands of women and probably a handful of men read
our fiction but wed never get the recognition we deserve or a book deal.
Thats why at tonights session Im gonna suggest
that we call it quits and possibly try something serious like our own novels or
As I light my second cigarette Dan strolls in clutching his well
read copy of Choke, hes an alright bloke, the life long
student living off grants and the pittance he makes at KFC. Whatever the
weather hes always wearing the heavy black crombie coat and as always
hes wearing his now trade mark tight black jeans and Mettalica t-shirt.
He flops down opposite & takes one of my B&H and mumbles.
Hey Patrick, hows it going?
Yeah things are kind of interesting at the moment.
Hows work going?
Shit, thats how its going, although I get all
the chicken I want for free.
Still working on your novel? Whats it called
Its called THE QUESTION IS
I actually want to
talk to you about the group, I want to work on my own shit, you know what I
Yeah Im glad you mentioned that..
As I started talking a large clap of thunder boomed out above
the coffee shop and the rain started lasing down, too which Dan shouts
Man thats fucking freaky!!
The door swings open and Sean stomps in.
Hey Pat, Hello Dan. So whats going on with this
Dan replies Yeah pretty screwed up
Sean pulls up a chair and takes one of my cigarettes and picks
up Dans Choke
Why are you re-reading this shite?
Snatching it back Dan snarls I like it! Thats the
fuck why! Im not one of those losers that just read Fight Club
Sean pouts his lips and replies Try reading anything by
Augustan Burroughs or Brett Easton Ellis
Oh really? Ill also join the New York Times book
Club like all the other pretentious wankers that read Ellis and
At this point I interrupt.
Guys come on calm down; Ive got an announcement to
They both look at me at first not saying anything until Sean
Are you gay?
No Im not gay! What Im trying to say is
Shouldnt we wait for Karen? I mean she is part of
Yeah I guess we should wait for her
Shes always late and shes only been in the
group a few weeks
Do you fancy her? Dan says rather cheekily.
Yeah he wants to shag her Sean says whilst laughing.
Guys can we get serious for one minute, and yeah I
actually do fancy her!
And to set the record straight shes more than all those
fuck this and fuck that brigade
So whats the big speech? asks Sean in a half
Finally I can get a word in edgeways.
Its about the group; weve gone as far as we
can with writing those bogus letters. Editors are starting to put two and two
together and to top it all off Ive heard through the grapevine that a new
group has started doing the same thing and theyre one step ahead of
Sean slams down his frapachino
Fuck! Ive just put together an excellent article on
the trials and tribulations of a handicapped albino girl at the Olympics.
The coffee shop door barges open and Karen stomps in soaking
Hey freaks Im wetter than a slappers fanny!
Karen slumps down and starts drinking my coffee.
Hey Karen, hows it going? I hesitantly ask
expecting some kind of offensive reply.
The rest are staring at her wet white t-shirt trying to
distinguish if it is indeed a nipple they can see or is it part of the faded
Anyway, what I was saying before Karen got here was that
Im thinking of folding the group as weve exhausted all possible
ways of keeping our identity secret and Im sure you all want to be
working on your own shorts and novels
Karen quickly answers back
For fucks sake, we only meet once a week! Weve got
all the time in the world to do our own shit. As for running out of ideas for
the womens magazines, Ive got hundreds. Just because things get
tough we dont need to give up
Everyone except me gives her a mini round of applause
Dan lights one of my cigarettes and offers Sean & Karen one
and she bloody accept! And says,
So what if the editors know about us, technically we are
only what are classed as ghost writers, you know like those that write
To which I reply Hold on it was only 10 minutes ago you
were up for calling it quits? We cant go on forever
Like being at school Sean puts his hand up
Ive got an idea! The readers that reply to our
letters receive a prize?
Am I correct?
Yes we all reply
Then why dont we reply to the letters written by our
rivals? That way we can undermine them and still make a little profit!
The smug tosser has actually got a good idea, only wish that I
thought about it.
Karen taps her fingers to the music in the background.
What is this fucking music?
Sean quickly replies Curb Your Enthusiasm
Yeah thought so
The waitress walks over to our table and re-fills our cups.
Taking longer than usual as if almost listening in on our conversation,
Anyway I shout what are we gonna do about the
group? Weve now got rivals and editors are starting to work things
Dan suggests we could always carry on without you if
It wouldnt be the same mutters Sean whilst
lighting the cigarette.
The waitress wonders off back to the counter occasionally
looking back at us.
Feeling deflated I mutter well whatever, well just
After a few minutes of awkward silence the waitress returns with
a pile of magazines.
Are you clowns responsible for the articles in these
We all stare looking stunned.
I know its you guys because you sit here talking all
kinds of bullshit with the entire coffee shop listening.
What do you mean? I whimper
I mean I want a cut of what you make or Ill send
more of your ideas to the Article Boot Camp that meet here on a
What frightened me most was how she leaned in when she made her
Karen lights another of my cigarettes, stands up and looks at
the waitress eye to eye.
Whats stopping me from punching the fuck out of your
miserable fat face?
Jesus Christ!" Sean mutters in complete disgust.
The waitress looks as though she can look after herself and
My dear, nothing is stopping you but lets get one
thing straight, itll be the last thing you do if you were to try!
Ive got to calm things down. Lets calm the
fuck down for a minute or two! We can work this out.
Looking at her chest I see her name is Maureen.
Listen Maureen, we dont make that much money from
Maureen takes the last of my cigarettes lights it and blows a
plume of blue smoke into my face.
I know you jokers make at least $30 per week. I want $10
plus tips; with the other group I can average $80 per month for doing nothing.
Ill let you jokers think about it and Ill meet up with you next
week for an answer. If you say no Ill blow your cover
The smug bitch strolls back behind the counter leaving the
magazines sprawled out over our table.
Fuck me! Dan says looking seriously stressed
Youd think this was a political scandal or something.
The group look at me for an answer and Karen asks,
Well? What are we gonna do about psycho bitch? I mean
its your group, you re the leader and everything.
Sean flicks through one of the magazines and as if a light bulb
She doesnt know our real names or where we live? We
can always meet at my place or Starbucks on 7th avenue.
Dan looks pleasantly surprised Thats a great idea,
if we meet at your place I can bring a few beers
Karen taps the table with excitement fucking cool idea, I
can also bring a joint and some cool music.
Ok, given the circumstances I think thats a sound
idea. As group leader I recommend we meet next week at Seans apartment.
Even if she were to call the magazine editors they wouldnt believe her
anyway. Im gonna write a letter based on the sad bitch.
They all nod in agreement.
So what should we do now ask Dan.
We should leave one at a time and not to attract her
Sean picks up his book and coat Well guys Im the
fuck out of here, see ya all next week at my place.
As we all wave goodbye hes out the door and heading across
Karen is already ready near the door see ya later you
freaks and shes gone.
Dan looks at me I kinda like this coffee shop, Im
gonna miss it. Anyway Ill see you next week Patrick.
Putting his heavy wet crombie back on and picking up his books
hes about to leave.
Yeah Ill see you next week. Im just sorry that
this week was a waste of time.
Dont worry about it; Im already putting ideas
down in my head for a story based on this event. See ya. And within a
blink hes gone.
Maureen has been watching us but unable to hear what weve
Looking directly at me she mouths the words I KNOW YOUR
I wave a bye bye and storm out into the rain.