"I despise dusting," Nigel spat as he ran an old dishrag over his television. Today was his annual spring cleaning day, and he intended on getting his apartment tidy and presentable, even if he was wasting valuable Spring Break time doing it.
"'Cause even I'm getting disgusted looking at this mess." There were piles of Science Digest, Scientific Man, and Evolution Today magazines stacked in every available space. In the months he since he had moved into his own place, the area had gone from sparse and under furnished, to an under furnished pack-rat haven.
"I can't throw these magazines out. They are full of man's dedication to science, progress and knowledge," he said, tossing the filthy rag into the garbage. There were hundreds of newspaper clippings hanging off the fridge, and everything else that didn't fit there was taped to the walls. He knew his apartment looked messy, but he lived alone and answered to no one but himself.
"Welcome to Nigel country, baby." Nigel sat down on his couch and put his feet up. Just as he closed his eyes, he could hear the rapid pitter-patter of footsteps running down the hallway.
"No..." he whispered.
They stopped outside his door and the incessant knocking at his door began.
"Oh god no," he moaned quietly. "Rowntree..."
"Hey, brother!" Rowntree shouted, his voice muffled. Rowntree was Nigel's neighbour from down the hall. He had a habit of calling on Nigel anytime, of banging on his door for no reason, and inviting Nigel over to get his hair hot oiled when Mumsy did his.
"But I'm bald," Nigel would tell him every time, exasperated.
Rowntree would then lean in close and say in conspiratorial tones, "Head hair ain't the only shag that needs some conditioning, brother."
Groaning, Nigel dragged himself to the door. Rowntree was still knocking relentlessly and shouting for him to open up.
"Hang on!" Nigel yelled back, as he unlatched the locks. A moment later, Rowntree fell into the apartment, gasping loudly.
"You got to help me out, Nigel!" he exclaimed. He was running his hands through his hair neurotically, and it appeared that he was sweating. "I need assistance, pronto." Without asking, Rowntree strode to the fridge and yanked it open. He stuck his head in, and moaned in disgust. "Where's your beer?"
"You drank my last a few nights ago," Nigel replied, feeling bored.
Rowntree shut the fridge and sighed. "You should have bought more! I have to say, you're a shitty host!"
"Perhaps I continue to be a shitty host to discourage visitors," Nigel said with a hint of frustration.
Rowntree nodded and entangled his hands in his hair. "I need you to help your fellow brother out." Rowntree paused, and Nigel noticed that he was blushing. "I'm graduating from technical school this Friday, and..."
Nigel cut him off. "Technical school? You go to technical school?"
Rowntree flushed further and muttered, "Yeah. Technical school."
"To do what? Make ham radios?" Nigel laughed.
"No!" Rowntree shouted. "Come this Friday, I will be a certified upholstery cutter and tile setter, thank you very much." He puffed out his chest. "And you'll still be in high school!"
"I'm supposed to be in high school." Nigel replied. "I am a year younger than you."
Rowntree looked a little uncomfortable. "Yeah, well, I need a date. If a guy like me shows up without a girl..." he shuddered. "They think I'm a ladies man and I need everyone to know I'm getting some, even though I'm not."
Nigel frowned. "Maybe I'm confused... but you want me to get you a date?" Rowntree nodded vigorously. "Me?" Rowntree nodded again. "Are you fucking high? I'm bald, I'm short and weigh less than a twelve year old girl. Exactly what kind of female contacts do you think I have looking like a starved manatee?"
Rowntree shrugged and settled in Nigel's dingy recliner. "That's not my problem. See, I'm currently in a transition period between ladies."
"Quite the predicament," Nigel murmured, scratching his chin. He thought of his ex-girlfriend Laura, who had turned promiscuous since they had broken up the previous year. She was always willing to hook up with any man; Nigel had heard rumors that she was keeping the retirement home population happy by sucking their balls dry once a month.
"So can you help me out?" Rowntree asked desperately. His eyes were wide and pleading.
Nigel sighed heavily. "I think I can, Rowntree. Free of charge."
Rowntree collapsed back into the recliner in relief. "Will she put out?" he asked quickly, looking away from Nigel's gaze. "It's been a bit of a dry spell, and..."
Nigel cut him off. "As far as I'm concerned, she does."
Rowntree smiled, closing his eyes. "I'm imagining walking into that room with a high line triple-X kind of girl with skin soft and sweet like butter, double D's busting out for all to see, and a libido so strong that she can't keep her lips off my crotch."
"Please stop." Nigel swallowed. "I have to remind you that I haven't had a woman in a very long time."
Rowntree grinned and nodded his head slowly. "Then when I'm through with her, maybe you can have a turn or two. Choo-choo!" Nigel had to suppress a shudder. He had sacrificed his virginity to Laura, and regretted it ever since. "So who's the lucky lady?" Rowntree asked, rubbing his hands together.
"I'd rather keep it as a surprise."
Rowntree groaned. "As long as it's not that girl you used to date... what's her name."
"Laura," Nigel interjected.
"Yes! As long as it's not her." Rowntree said, frowning. "I heard she's got crabs."
Nigel nodded slowly. "This is probably true."
Rowntree stood up, grabbed Nigel's hand and pumped it vigorously. "Thanks, man. I knew I could count on you."
"Anything to help a fellow brother out," Nigel chimed.
Rowntree laughed and headed to the door. "Don't forget it's this Friday at seven pm sharp! My mates and I are meeting at the Red Lion first to get the ladies drunk to loosen them up a little! " He slammed the door behind him, and Nigel heard him whoop joyfully as he ran down the hallway.
Nigel stood infront of the telephone and stared at it for a few minutes. He wasn't quite sure why he was setting Rowntree up with someone he had specifically asked not to be with, other than he felt it was someone else's turn to be at the receiving end of some bullshit. Nigel had never experienced a day without heaps rejection and ridicule, and until now, never had a chance to get a little revenge. Fixing Rowntree up with Laura was such a little sin compared to what he had comitted against him.
"I can never forget when he threw a balloon at me filled not with water, but warm, liquified fat. I was a greased pig for weeks."
And anyway, Rowntree was so desperate for sex he'd probably fuck a cow. It would serve them both in an interesting way. He knew Rowntree would do Laura, he just had one problem with her.
"And it's not even the crabs," Nigel muttered. It was her looks. He pictured Laura in his mind and saw nothing but teased and feathered 80s hair, inches of black roots, bubble gum pink lipstick and neon stretch pants.
"Jesus..." he gasped, shaking his head slowly. "Where'd you go wrong, Laura?" Not that he was any prize himself. Nigel definately favoured a cow over human, with his long face, and rheumy eyes. Others had told him he had that "care package" look and made donations to put "some butter on those buns". Picking up the phone, Nigel punched in her number and waited nervously as it rang.
"Hello?" Nigel could hear the tinny sounds of music in the background and shuddered. "Hello? Who's there?"
Nigel cleared his throat. "It's Nigel."
"Nigel!" she squealed. "It's been so long since I've heard from you!"
"Yes. Yes it has," he said uncomfortably.
"So what brings you a-calling?" she asked curiously.
"I uh...I was wondering if you wanted to do a favour for me."
Without a pause she asked, "Sex?"
Nigel blushed deeply and crossed his legs. "No. Well, not with me at least."
Laura smacked her gum loudly. "I don't exactly do just anyone, Nigel," she said angrily. "I do have standards."
Nigel knew this wasn't true. She had once told him that she spent time in the back of a truck for a couple cigarettes and Archie comics. "He's a friend of mine."
"Do I know him?"
Nigel lied and said, "No."
Laura chewed loudly, pretending to think it over. "Is he a nice guy?"
"Great guy," Nigel lied. "He's graduating, and..."
"Whoa!" Laura interrupted. "You're setting me up with a man who's graduating?! Wow!"
"It's this Friday."
"Oh my gosh. That's so close!" Laura gushed. "I have so much to do! Maybe he'll actually have respect for me and not just use me for sex!"
Nigel cleared his throat. "Maybe..."
"And maybe he'll see that I am a beautiful young woman, not caring that I wear oversized clothes..." Laura prattled on. "... that I'm not all about the latest fashions, and maybe we'll even elope down at the city hall and have a wonderful family and...!"
"I think you're getting a little too carried away," Nigel interrupted.
Laura huffed loudly. "You never know, Nigel. This may be the one."
Nigel imagined Rowntree picking at his hair, Rowntree running down the hallway like a toddler on speed, Rowntree making ham radios... "I don't think so, Laura."
"What do you know?" she muttered angrily. "There's no scientific equation to love!"
Nigel sighed and considered putting his head through the wall. "Just be at the Red Lion at seven. For pre-celebration drinks."
Laura giggled. "Double wow! This sounds classy! I'll be there! I'll wear my red dress! The one that shows my chest off!"
"I'll let him know," Nigel said, trying not to gag. "And Laura?"
"Yes?" she said expectantly.
"Thanks for helping a fellow brother out." Nigel hung up the phone and cackled loudly to himself. Oh, would Laura ever be surprised when she saw her date was not a classy, sophisticated man, but accomplished tile cutter, Rowntree.
At noon on the day of Rowntree's graduation, Nigel was sitting on his couch enjoying a warm beer while reading the newspaper. He was basking in spring break relaxation when he heard the approaching rumble of Rowntree.
"I've been waiting for this moment..." he whispered, folding the newspaper and striding to the door. He opened it just as Rowntree was poised to start knocking.
"Hey, Grad Boy! It's your big day!" he exclaimed gaily. He grinned at thoughts of him having to sleep with Laura to end his dry spell.
Rowntree frowned with suspicion. "Why is your complexion flushed?" he asked, then peered closely at him. "How come you have that 'the-devil-made-me-do-it' grin on your face?" Nigel shrugged lamely. "You were jerking off!" Rowntree accused.
"I was reading the paper." Nigel sighed.
Rowntree snickered. "Yeah, I believe that one. You're probably all hot thinking about all the heavenly pussoir I'll be tasting tonight."
Nigel rolled his eyes. "Yes Rowntree, you are so right."
Rowntree hooted and pointed accusingly at Nigel. "I knew it! You have been tried and found guilty of masturbation, my friend!"
Nigel waited for him to stop whooping before he spoke. "What can I do for you, Rowntree?"
"You can wash your filthy hands, that's what!" He chortled hysterically, and Nigel wondered if what he was doing was worth this immaturity. "Okay, okay, seriously Nigel. It's my graduation day."
"Ah yes," Nigel breathed. "Congratulations, Rowntree. Maybe I can get you in here one day to re-carpet my bedroom."
Rowntree scrunched up his nose in disgust. "I ain't no carpet laying lowlife, you ass. I cut upholstery."
"Then you can recover my couches."
"Like I said, I cut upholstery, fathead," Rowntree muttered angrily.
Nigel frowned and asked, "You went to school to learn how to cut upholstery?"
Rowntree looked embarrassed and tried to shield his face with his hand. "I set tiles too, all right? That's a very precise art form, I'll have you know."
Nigel nodded his head, even though he knew he could cut material and set tiles without wasting a year of his life to learn how to do so. "Couldn't you have checked out a book at the library to learn how to do that?"
Rowntree turned purple and shouted, "At least I don't masturbate!" Nigel knew this was a lie, but shrugged guiltily. "Anyway, I just wanted to go over tonight's plans."
"What about it?" Nigel asked without interest, crossing his arms.
Rowntree fiddled with his hair nervously. "The girl will meet me at the Red Lion, right?"
"She'll be waiting for you at the bar, wearing a red dress."
"Wow," Rowntree breathed. "Red?"
Nigel nodded slowly. "Tight, red, lots of cleavage."
Rowntree whistled and surreptitiously adjusted his crotch. "God, she sounds hot! Even if she doesn't like me, I'll force her to stay! I ain't letting no hot mama like that get away!"
"And what if you don't like her?" Nigel asked.
Rowntree shook his head with vigor. "Hell no Nigel. She sounds way too hot for a sex starved brother like me." He leaned in close to Nigel and added, "A group of gay guys in my class told me that if I didn't come with a girl tonight, they'd take me out back and sodomize me!"
Nigel laughed. So Rowntree had to stay with Laura. His setup was working even better than he thought it would. "You better get going. I'm sure you have lots to do."
"Mumsy is coming over to give me a manicure and hot oil my hair," Rowntree said, then whispered, "I'm going to pocket an extra bottle to use down below."
Nigel nodded, trying not to vomit. "Be careful not to burn anything important."
"I won't!" Rowntree exclaimed, then kissed Nigel on the forehead before he ran out of the apartment. "I am eternally thankful to you!"
"I'm sure that will change," Nigel muttered, as he watched Rowntree leave.
A few minutes later Nigel was in his Corvette, on his way to Laura's house. He tried to resist the temptation of seeing what she would look like, but in the end, he couldn't. He wanted to know what Rowntree would be see, he wanted to have an inkling of the horror he would experience.
"Nigel, you have set up the perfect plan," he whispered as he knocked on Laura's door. Almost without hesitation, it opened.
"Nigel!" she exclaimed, air kissing him.
"Laura," Nigel said, and nodded his head.
"How do I look?" she asked, twirling around in a circle.
Nigel lied and said, "Great." He cleared his throat and stepped inside. "So, are you ready for tonight?"
Laura bobbed her head up and down and giggled. "I haven't been so excited in such a long time! I've never had a date with a respectable man!" Nigel wondered why he didn't count as respectable, but said nothing. Laura pranced to her bedroom and Nigel trailed after her.
"I have to do my makeup." she said, sitting in front of her vanity mirror. Without any thought to staying within the line of her lips, Laura smeared on drippy red lipstick that instantly bled at the corners. She then applied too much magenta blush to her cheeks.
"Putting it on a little heavy, don't you think?" Nigel commented.
Laura shook her head, then swiped on a thick layer of black eyeliner. "It's the evening look, Nigel. It's supposed to be dramatic."
"I see..." Nigel murmured, fingering the red dress she was going to wear.
"Do you remember how sexy I look in that dress?" she asked, powdering her face frantically.
Nigel concealed his frown as the memories rushed back. He had taken Laura out for dinner at an upscale restaurant, and told her to wear her best outfit. Nigel was horrified and embarrassed when her best turned out to be an over stretched red frock that accentuated her sagging bosom, hefty saddlebags, and rolls around her middle.
"Nigel?" Laura was frowning. "I said, do you remember how sexy I looked?"
"Yeah," Nigel murmured out. "Drop dead, hot damn sexy."
Laura smiled and batted her clumped eyelashes. "Aww, aren't you sweet," she cooed, stripping off her robe. Any other time, Nigel would have been turned on by the sight of a woman undressing in front of him, but in Laura's case, it was almost as bad as looking at a naked man. She grabbed the red dress and stuffed her body into it. She looked worse than Nigel remembered.
"Oh my god..." Nigel croaked.
"It's great, isn't it?" Laura exclaimed, cocking a hip. "I look so damn sexy." She adjusted her drooping bosom. "I'm not wearing a bra."
"I can tell," Nigel said, looking anywhere but her.
"I don't need one." Nigel begged to differ but said nothing. She popped a piece of gum in her mouth and asked, "Do I need to bring condoms?"
Nigel shrugged. "You can never be too careful."
Laura opened her drawer and fished through it anxiously. "Shit!" She yanked open another and swore again. "I used my last one the other day. I don't have any."
"Go buy some," Nigel suggested.
Laura slammed the drawer shut and shook her head. "He'll have some. Respectable men always come prepared." Laura sat back down and fluffed her hair higher. Nigel wasn't sure if the look she was going for was 80s goddess or 80s whore. He could barely contain his retching.
"I better get going," Nigel said, heading out of her room.
"Bye Nigel!" Laura shouted, waving. "Wish me luck on my big night!"
"Have a good time," Nigel muttered as he left the house.
The next morning, Nigel woke up early. He busied himself around his apartment, arranging things neurotically, cleaning the same areas over and over and reading the entire newspaper twice.
"Fascinating," he said, tossing it on the floor. It wasn't until one pm when Rowntree showed up. Nigel smiled and folded his hands together. The knocking began.
"Brother!" Nigel smiled at the muffled voice. "Open up!" After unlocking the door, Rowntree collapsed into Nigel's apartment.
"Whoa! Rug burn!" Rowntree exclaimed, brushing off his pants. "Like I don't have enough of that already!"
Nigel shut the door and sat down on his coffee table, heart racing. "How was last night?"
Rowntree beamed. He clasped his hands over his heart and sighed, "Great. It was wonderful."
Nigel frowned. "Did you just say it was great?"
Rowntree strutted over to Nigel, stretching to his full height. "I did. It was wonderful, she was wonderful..."
"You must have hooked up with the wrong girl," Nigel said.
"No, though we definitely hooked up," Rowntree said, elbowing Nigel playfully.
Nigel eyes flared. "You slept with her?"
"We didn't exactly sleep." Rowntree winked then sat down on the recliner across from Nigel. "We had sex."
"Oh my God." Nigel rubbed his head, wondering if Rowntree was jerking him around, waiting for the ideal moment to strike and beat his ass. "You had sex with that 80s whore?"
"80s goddess, get it right!" he shouted. "At first I wanted to kick your ass for setting me up with her."
"As expected," Nigel interjected.
"But she seemed hot for some action, and who better to give it to her than Whiffle Bat Rowntree?" Nigel shook his head. "And as the night went on, I realized that we have a lot in common. We both want company and love."
Nigel sighed and said, "But Rowntree, she's a whore! Certified 100% harlot! Trust me! I used to date her! She's changed from a one man woman to the town pump!"
"I doubt a guy like you could satisfy a woman like Laura." He growled then added, "She's one feisty lady."
"Rowntree, she sleeps with everyone," Nigel blustered. "How can you lower yourself like that?"
Rowntree fiddled with his hair and shrugged. "I would have thought the same thing a day ago, but Nigel, I think she's the one."
"The one," Rowntree confirmed. "I always imagined myself as a studly bachelor, but I've changed my tune. Laura has convinced me that all I really want out of life is her."
"Her sex, you mean," Nigel clarified.
Rowntree shrugged. "She's got moves, brother."
"She's learned, then," Nigel replied.
"How could a boy like you have taught her anything?" Rowntree asked. "My game is tight."
"She does men for jelly shoes and slap bracelets!" Nigel sputtered.
"And she slapped one around my you-know-what last night! Woo-hoo that was fun!"
Nigel couldn't imagine how that could be fun, but then, he never thought that Rowntree would like Laura. He thought he had standards. He must be more desperate than he let on.
"You're just upset because I found someone decent and she just so happens to be your ex!" Rowntree accused.
"That's not what bothers me..."
Rowntree cut him off and said, "You set me up with her 'cause you thought no one could love a girl like her, but you're wrong! You are vengeful and angry because you have no one! Even your parents are dead!"
"Only my father is dead. My mother is in Sweden."
Rowntree frowned. "Why?"
"Mental illness," Nigel stated. "Doesn't matter, leave it alone."
Rowntree shook his head. "No. No, I'm not done with you! What you tried to do to me was a cruel prank. You probably spent all last night awake, imagining this taking place."
"I did not," Nigel said indignantly.
"Falsehood! What you did was low. Laura is a good and talented girl."
"Yeah, her hand and tongue work wonders on any consenting man," Nigel muttered sarcastically.
"Shut up, you ding dong. I'm allowed to find love and I have."
"Rowntree, she's a whore! And a cheap one at that! She didn't even have any condoms on her, and that's 'cause she used the last one on a customer!"
Rowntree shrugged. "So? Who needs condoms? A man like me should be spreading his seed as much as possible."
Nigel picked up a section of the newspaper and opened it. "You done here?"
Rowntree wiped his nose on his sleeve and strolled towards the door. "I just want to thank you." Nigel put his head in his hands and shook it. "Thank you for setting me up with Laura. Thank you for allowing me to meet a wonderful woman, for without her I would be living a sad assed existence. Laura makes my days bright and pleasurable."
"You've only been on one date!" Nigel exclaimed.
Rowntree seemed not to hear him, and looked blissfully out the window. "One date or one hundred, I have found my soul mate." He left the apartment and Nigel could hear him singing about love, marriage and fast cars.
"Some song," Nigel muttered sadly.
Three hours later Nigel was sprawled out on the couch surrounded by empty food containers. He was depressed by how his plan had turned. How could Rowntree have liked Laura? Didn't he have standards?
"She crimps her hair, for god's sake!" Nigel exclaimed. He felt let down by Laura as well. She obviously had used her ladylike charms on Rowntree, whereas Nigel never even knew they had existed. He was pulled out of his melancholy by loud banging on his door.
"Why must he be so loud? Can no one knock with class anymore?" He pulled open the door and was surprised to see Laura leaning against the wall. "Laura! Well! Come in!" Laura walked in and eyed his apartment. She was wearing skintight blue strechpants, a large chunky belt and a lime green button down shirt that reads 'fat cats only eat out at night'.
"What are you doing here?" Nigel asked, cringing at her clothes.
Laura sat on the couch and lit a cigarette. "I'm here 'cause of Rowntree, you jerk. Why did you set me up with him?" she demanded, smoke and ash flying everywhere.
Feeling shamed, Nigel muttered, "I thought you would like him."
Laura's mouth fell open. "Like him? He's nothing but a dope who's been blessed with athleticism and a larger than average package." Nigel shrugged his shoulders. "But he doesn't even know how to use it!"
"Not at all?" he inquired.
"No!" Laura shouted, pacing the room. "I had to teach him how to fuck!"
"Sounds like fun!" Nigel exclaimed. "And he likes you! He told me this. Don't you like him? He said you two hit it off."
Laura shot an annoyed glance at Nigel and blew a faceful of smoke in his direction. "Hit it off? I didn't even get off. And he didn't bring a rubber." Laura shook her head and smiled slowly. "But that's his problem now."
"Why is it his problem?" Nigel asked curiously.
Laura put her half finished cigarette in an empty glass and walked to the door, cracking her gum. "Let's just say...that one day he may come to teach you a lesson about the dangers of promiscuous sex."
A week later, Nigel was happily cooking in his kitchen, adding massive amounts of mustard to the soup he was making when he heard the pitter patter of Rowntree, followed by banging on the door. Sighing heavily, Nigel wiped his hands on his Kiss the Cook apron.
"What do you want, Rowntree?" Nigel asked through the crack.
Rowntree sniffled loudly and kept banging. "Let me in! Hurry!"
Nigel took the locks off the door and pulled it open. Rowntree fell in and was flushed, perspiring, and red eyed.
"What the hell is going on?" Nigel asked, concerned.
Rowntree looked everywhere but Nigel. "I got a problem, Nigel," he said quietly.
"Are you on drugs?"
Rowntree whispered, "No... no drugs."
"Then what's the problem? Why are you acting crazy?"
Rowntree wiped his nose roughly, then entangled his hands in his hair. "Do you promise not to laugh?"
"I promise," Nigel said, putting his hand over his heart.
"You have to swear. Swear you won't laugh."
Nigel inwardly rolled his eyes. "I swear, Rowntree. I won't laugh."
"And you have to promise not to divulge this information to anyone." Rowntree said, jabbing his finger towards Nigel. "You have to promise, no matter what happens between us for the rest of our lives."
"Jesus!" Nigel muttered incredulously. "Okay Rowntree, I swear. When Nigel makes a promise, it stays vaulted." Rowntree nodded his head, but still looked nervous. He gnawed on his fingers until one started to bleed. "Come on, buddy. You can tell the Nige-ster."
"It's really... so... so embarrassing," Rowntree sputtered.
"So? Look at me. I have to put up with embarrassment every time I leave this place." Rowntree smirked, obviously knowing that this was true. "Spit it out. You came here to tell me. You want to tell me. So tell me or go home." Nigel sat down on the couch and put his head in his hands, waiting.
A minute later, Rowntree quietly said, "I got sicknesses."
Nigel looked up inquisitively. "Sicknesses?" Rowntree nodded. "The flu?"
"I wish it were as easy as that," Rowntree sighed, blushing. He began pacing the room.
"What sicknesses then?" Nigel asked, his heart racing with anticipation.
Rowntree cleared his throat and mumbled, "Problems... down there."
"Down there? As in down there, down there?" Nigel asked, nodding his head towards his crotch. Rowntree snapped his fingers and swiped at his nose. "Wow. What... are you impotent?"
Rowntree shook his head and whispered, "Gonorrhea."
Nigel whooped aloud. "Whoa! You got the clap!"
Rowntree sobbed once. "It hurts! It burns when I pee!"
Nigel had to conceal his smile. "I'm sure it does, buddy."
"And... there's this discharge..."
Nigel groaned. "TMI! Too much information!"
Rowntree sobbed again. "There's more," he confided.
Nigel felt inner glee. "Tell me, brother."
"Eww!" Nigel exclaimed. "Whoa! There's no cure for that one!"
"I thought it was jock itch! Or razor burn!"
Nigel frowned. "Razor burn? Down there?"
Rowntree reddened. "I like to keep myself trimmed so I'm Speedo-ready."
"That's very feminine," Nigel commented.
"Shut up!" Rowntree shouted. He ran his hands through his hair and cringed. "I went to the doctor. He said he wouldn't tell my parents, but I'm terrified they'll find out! They'll be so ashamed. I'm ashamed!" He sat down and uttered, "I wish I were like you. I wish my parents were dead."
"Only my father is dead." Nigel pointed out.
Rowntree shrugged. "Big difference. One, or both, who cares?"
Nigel frowned. "I care."
Rowntree rolled his eyes. "Whatever. I need you to help me. You need to pick up my prescription."
"Me? Why? You do it!"
"I can't! Everyone will know I'm a walking STD!"
Nigel looked at him incredulously and said, "And if I pick it up, they'll think the same thing about me!"
"But you're clean!" Rowntree said. "Please Nigel! I am desperate, I need your help! It's not you who has to put up with a cheesy, seeping ding dong!"
Nigel gagged and wished that Rowntree wasn't sitting on his couch. "You better have some protective garments on, 'cause I don't want any crotch ooze on my upholstery."
"Nigel! Please!" Rowntree begged. He got on his knees and sniffled. "Just pick it up for me! I need it today! This is unbearable!"
Nigel looked out the window and sighed. "Fine, Rowntree. I'll get your medicine."
Rowntree exhaled loudly. "Thank you. Thank you so much for helping your fellow brother out."
"I just have one question." Rowntree looked up at him. "What infested street corner whore did you get this from?"
Rowntree blushed. "I plead The Fifth."
"You can't. This isn't America."
"But it works in the movies!" he shrieked desperately. "It works just fine for them!"
Nigel crossed his arms over his pigeon chest. "Tell me or you can get your medication yourself."
Rowntree muttered the words blackmail and bullshit, then grumbled, "Laura."
Nigel snorted aloud. "Laura?" Rowntree nodded sadly. "I told you she's dirty!"
"But you did her too! You probably have the same stuff I have!"
Nigel shook his head. "I'm proud to report that my genitals are an ooze-free zone."
Rowntree looked crestfallen. "Why'd you set me up with someone so infected?"
Nigel shrugged. "You needed a date. How could I know it was going to include a meeting of crotches?" He then added, "And I thought you said she was the one."
Rowntree shuddered. "Forget that. Rowntree's woman ain't no dirty whore! She knowingly infected me with her slutty filth!"
"You can always find someone who will love you despite your incurable herpes and its outbreaks," Nigel suggested hopefully.
"They'll turn me down as soon as I tell them I'm a living disease," Rowntree grumbled.
"You're right," Nigel said. "They would."
Rowntree dropped his head in defeat. "Can you please go get my medicine? It's hurting."
Nigel saw that his eyes were glassy with tears. He felt a little sorry for the guy. "Okay Rowntree. I'll get your medicine."
"Here." Rowntree shoved the prescription paper at him with a wad of bills. Nigel picked it all up and put it in his pocket. "Again, thank you."
"It's not like having people think I'm STD ridden will make a difference. I am already as low as I can get."
Rowntree nodded and said, "That's why I want you to do it. You have nothing to lose."
"How very insightful of you," Nigel said dryly. "Remind me that I owe you one fuck you."
Rowntree walked to the door with obvious discomfort. "Drop it off as soon as you get it."
"I was making my dinner before you came, you know," Nigel pointed out.
"I don't want this rotting going on any longer than it has to," Rowntree replied.
Nigel couldn't blame him and opened the door. "I'll see you later, Rowntree." Rowntree saluted him weakly and staggered slowly down the hall.
Nigel drove down to the pharmacy, thankful that it was only five minutes away. He didn't even have to leave his neighbourhood.
"A bonus," he said to himself as he parked his car. Double checking that he had the prescription, Nigel headed into the store. It had been a long time since he had visited the pharmacist as Nigel preferred not to take medication if it wasn't absolutely necessary.
"It's legal poison," he muttered, strolling to the rear of the store. There were a few bright looking ladies behind the counter, one of whom was not sneering at Nigel. She actually acknowledged his presence!
"Hi," Nigel said suavely. "How you doin'?"
The girl smiled. "I'm doing very well," she replied, then added, "especially now."
Nigel's mouth fell open in shock. Was this girl was flirting with him? Could he have finally found the one woman in existence who found garden gnomes attractive?
Nigel cleared his throat and said, "It would seem that my day is improving as well." He pulled on the cuffs of his jacket and said, "I uh... I'm single."
The girl smiled. "I'm easy."
Nigel's eyes widened in disbelief. This girl was offering herself to him! He would not usually go for such a girl, but it had been a long time since he had had some loving.
"I'm available," she added.
Nigel swallowed hard. "It would seem as though I am as well," he croaked out.
The girl smiled. "I'm Cindy," she said, holding out her hand.
Nigel grabbed it and stammered, "I'm Nigel. I'm single."
Cindy laughed and batted her eyelashes. "So you've said."
Nigel cleared his throat. "Well so I have, it seems. I uhh... I'm not busy tonight."
"Neither am I," she purred.
Nigel felt his cheeks burning. "Want to do something? Maybe dinner? Drinks? A show about science?" he stammered.
"Or something else," she said, winking.
Nigel couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Or something else?" he asked.
Cindy nodded. "You like the sound of that?"
Nigel almost fainted. "I sure do," he said. He pulled out the prescription sheet and put it on the counter. "I need this filled first though."
Cindy smiled. "Of course you do. I'll get right to that. In the meantime, why don't you find something down there," she said, pointing to the "Family Planning" aisle, "... that could come in handy later."
Nigel swallowed, and nodded. "I think I can do that."
Cindy smiled and fingered the prescription sheet. "Give me ten minutes to fill this out for you."
"Sure. Sure, ten minutes." Nigel said, stumbling over his feet as he headed down the condom aisle. Nigel stared at the never ending selection, completely miffed at what a female would consider the best choice.
"Bubble gum flavoured?" Nigel muttered, picking up a box. "For her pleasure? I cannot imagine latex and bubble gum would be an ideal flavour combination,." he said, placing the box back on the shelf.
"Tropically scented? Banana? That's foul." Nigel couldn't imagine the point, and found the idea repulsive. It reminded him of those awful scratch and sniff stickers kids collected when he was younger.
"Bingo," he breathed as his eyes fell on the Magnum XL "for the well-endowed man" condoms. He picked up a box and studied it. Sure, he didn't need anything so huge, but Cindy would be impressed. He would bring them to the counter and make sure she saw them. Hell, she might even take off work early just to get some extra time in with Nigel.
He strolled back to the pharmacy, placed the Magnum's in a prominent spot and waited for Cindy to finish getting Rowntree's prescription filled. He whistled and tapped his fingers on the counter top until she returned.
"Found some," Nigel said smoothly, pushing the box a couple of inches towards her.
Cindy eyed the box then slowly looked up at him. "You won't be needing those."
Nigel smiled slowly. "My, my Cindy, I didn't know you were that kind of woman."
"I'm not!" she exclaimed, swiping the box off the counter. She held up the prescription sheet with disgust. "You're trying to hook up with me but you have gonorrhea? And herpes?"
Nigel's mouth fell open with shock. "No! Those aren't for me! They're for a friend who was too embarrassed to get it filled for himself!"
"Yeah right. You'd rather everyone think that you're a human cesspool to do him a favour? I don't believe you!"
"I have proof! Let me show you my driver's license! You'll see that it's not for me!" Nigel jammed his hand into his pocket, searching for his wallet. Cindy glared at him skeptically. "It's in here somewhere!" But it wasn't. Somehow it had slipped Nigel's mind to bring his wallet with him.
"So let's see this proof," Cindy said, arms crossed tightly over her chest.
Nigel pulled his hands out of his pockets, shoulders slumped. "I forgot my license at home."
"I'm sure you did, Mr. Rowntree," she snorted. "You didn't even tell me your real name."
"Nigel really is my name," he replied with defeat. Cindy didn't care. She rang up the prescription and Nigel handed the money over. "I can bring my ID back. You'll see that I am who I am. I swear, I'm not lying!"
Cindy rolled her eyes. "You want to prove to me you aren't this Rowntree guy? Bring him down here and have him tell me himself."
"I will!" Nigel exclaimed. "I only live a few minutes away! I'll be back soon!" Nigel grabbed the medicine and ran to his Corvette. He was home in less than three minutes, having ran two red lights. He was shocked at his recklessness. He sprinted up the four flights of stairs to Rowntree's apartment and banged on the door desperately.
"Is that you, Nigel?" Rowntree cried.
"Open up, dammit!" Nigel shrieked. The door flew open and Nigel fell in, gasping. "Rowntree, you have to help me!"
"You have to help me first, Nigel!" Rowntree exclaimed. "When you were gone, the doctor called. He said, Rowntree, you must inform the people you were intimate with of your condition. I said, I just got it from this one girl, Laura. He asks, Laura Carver? I say, yeah! You know her? He goes, yes, we better get you back in here and run a whole battery of tests on you." Rowntree looked anguished. "Oh my God Nigel! On my God! I probably have HIV!"
"That's too bad," Nigel said vacantly as he tossed the medicine on the couch. "Now you need to help me."
"Don't you care that I could have HIV?" Rowntree asked. "I think that's more important than your problem!"
"Look Rowntree, 'cause I went to get your medication, a girl who wanted me, yes, wanted me, now thinks that I am too diseased to get down with! You have to go to the pharmacy and tell her that it is your prescription, not mine!"
Rowntree frowned. "Is she hot?"
"Yes!" Nigel exclaimed. "Now please, let's hurry before she goes home for the day! I haven't had female companionship of any sort for a very long time!"
Rowntree shook his head. "Sorry, brother. I'm not admitting to a hot girl that I am a cesspool of crotch rot."
Nigel's mouth fell open with shock. "I just got you your medication! Now you won't do me a favour?"
"I'm not trashing my reputation so you can get some action." Rowntree said, fingering his hair. "I like to help a brother out, but not that much."
Nigel fell silent in shock and anger. He always helped others, but when it came to them helping him back, the favour was rarely returned.
"Sorry Nigel. You'll find another girl."
"You know that's a lie," Nigel said, his voice low.
Rowntree shrugged. "Then I guess it's back to your hand and baby oil." He grinned at him stupidly. "There are worse fates."
"Yeah, like whatever you have rotting your body to death, cheese dick."
Rowntree looked hurt. "That was cruel, brother."
Nigel shrugged. "You won't help me out. You're not much of a friend either."
"I don't want to ruin my reputation!" Rowntree exclaimed.
"Yeah, like how I further ruined mine getting you your dick meds!" Nigel shouted. He knew Rowntree wasn't going to give in and stomped to the door. "You're an ass, Rowntree! One hundred percent certified asshead!"
"Don't get mad at me 'cause you can't get laid!" Rowntree yelled back.
"I'd rather be celibate if it means keeping the cheese on my pizza and off my dick!" Nigel bellowed and went back to his apartment.
Seething as he paced the perimeter of his apartment, Nigel considered what action he could take. Rowntree could have saved Nigel, he could have told Cindy that he was Rowntree, he could have done that small favour for Nigel. But no, no! He wouldn't do Nigel the favour and now, doubtlessly, Cindy was spreading the word that a bald guy calling himself Nigel is disease ridden, stay away from him, ladies.
"Hellfire!" Nigel shouted. He already had a tarnished reputation, but no one ever suspected him of venereal disease. Nigel sighed heavily, frustrated, and needing to get revenge.
"I have been messed with one too many times," Nigel muttered to himself, cracking his knuckles. "I'll teach Rowntree to screw with Nigel." Going to his cabinet, he pulled out the local phone directory. He looked under R, found Rowntree's parents and dialed. He sat on the counter and rubbed his chin as the phone rang.
Nigel smiled at the voice of Rowntree's father. "Is this Mr. Rowntree?"
"Is this a telemarketer?" he shot back. " 'Cause if it is, I'll string you up by the balls and..!"
Nigel sighed. "Sir, kindly shut up. I have information regarding your son."
There was a long pause. "Is he dead?"
Nigel considered answering yes, but decided to stick to the truth. "Sadly, he's not dead. However, his penis is rotting off."
"He has been canoodling with harlots..." Nigel heard the man suck in his breath sharply. "...and he has caught some rather nasty diseases."
"Is this a prank call?" the man demanded. "'Cause if it is..."
"You'll string me up by the balls, yeah yeah," Nigel mocked. "This is not a prank call. If you don't believe me, go to your son's apartment, yank down his pants and check out the, oh, what did he call it? Discharge. Check out the discharge and rashes he's sporting down south."
Nigel could hear the man breathing heavily. "What did you say your name was?"
"How 'bout you call me the Anonymous Whistle Blower," Nigel suggested, smiling to himself. "Oh, and for reference, he has gonorrhea and herpes, but his doctor wants to run a whole battery of tests on him, including one for HIV."
"Jesus jumped-up Christ!"
Nigel smiled. "You should have taught your son to keep his wee-wee under wraps." And for good measure, he added, "And to help his fellow brothers out in times of need!" Nigel slammed the phone down and smiled to himself contentedly. Perhaps not spending the night with Cindy turned out for the best. After all, Nigel didn't want to end up like Rowntree, shrieking when he urinated and changing his under shorts five times a day.
"And maybe I've taught him a lesson," he speculated, putting the phonebook away.
For the next two hours, Nigel listened patiently for the sounds of Rowntree's father arriving. It was after nine pm when he finally did. When he heard the door to Rowntree's apartment slam shut, Nigel grabbed a bag of bread and mustard and headed down the hallway to listen.
"This is better entertainment than going to see an overpriced movie," Nigel muttered as he sat down. Despite the door being shut, he was able to hear Rowntree's father rip into him, hear Rowntree break down after an hour of denials, he even heard the sounds of Rowntree being slapped and warned to "shape up or ship out". After a couple of hours of this, Nigel became bored and went home. Usually he would feel guilty for causing this, but he felt justified. He drew himself a bath and relaxed before snuggling into bed. Just as he closed his eyes to sleep, the telephone rang.
"Hello?" he muttered, sitting up.
"Brother?" It was Rowntree. He sounded like a broken man.
Nigel felt himself stiffen. "What do you want?"
"I... I just called to say sorry."
Nigel frowned. "For what?"
"For not saving your ass with that girl." Rowntree blew his nose. "I know it was you who called my parents."
Nigel considered lying, but didn't. "It was me."
"And I understand," Rowntree said. "If you want we can go down to the pharmacist tommorrow and straighten things out with that chick."
Nigel considered this for a moment, but shook his head. "Nah. I already blew it by trying to pass myself off as a wearer of extra large rubbers. And I don't want a diseased wang like you. For once my inability to score with the ladies is a blessing," Nigel sighed.
"Word diggy, brother," Rowntree chuckled quietly.
"Word diggy indeed," Nigel murmured. "Goodnight, Rowntree."
"Later, brother." Nigel hung up the phone, settled back into bed and waited for sleep to shephard him to a new day.