Sunday, 14 September 2014

Hit or Miss?

Guys, something happened this week that's bothering me and I really need your input. I think we can probably agree that none of us knows how others see us, yes? Or, to lapse for a moment into a dialect we're going to hear a deal more of in coming days: "O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!"

Look, I have no hair – not by choice, you understand, it's the genes – and I do work out hard at the gym, regularly, so I could sort of understand if people who don't know what a pussycat I really am might – very briefly and in a bad light – mistake me for someone a 'bit handy'. But, last Thursday, I'm minding my own business in ASDA, clinging on to a shopping trolley while the little woman investigates another aisle, when this geezer swishes silently up to me on one of those Shopmobility scooters and whispers, out of the corner of his mouth, like in bad B movies: “You look the type. I’m looking for a hit man.”

OK, I’m a writer, I make things up, but this is true. Of course I made light of it, hoping he was simply someone with an even more bizarre sense of humour than my own (difficult to imagine), or perhaps a harmless eccentric. With fingers crossed I smiled, what I hoped was a none-hit-man-like humouring smile, and hoped my wife would arrive soon to save me. But before Freda could arrive, the hit-man-seeker’s own trouble and strife turned up with her trolley giving the poor sod such a humiliating ear-bending that I almost felt like taking the commission.

What would he have done if I’d said yes? How much would he have been prepared to pay? I don’t know, but I have a feeling… It was that pleading betrayed look he gave me every time our eyes met as he dogged the footsteps of his shrewish spouse down other aisles.

So, my question is, given that most of my friends online are probably writers, editors, and publishers or in some other way connected with the literary world: Guys, you know how hard it is to make a living as a writer. Do you think there's an alternative income stream for me here?

Please, I'm only after friendly advice, not potential targets. You know how little sense of humour the Security Services have.