Jeffrey died healthy

Jeffrey was a fifty looking, thirty-year-old man who was not good looking. He was overweight, with lank unkempt dark hair. He rarely smiled, mainly to hide his teeth which were crooked and stained. Jeffrey worked as a shipping clerk and his employer had him out of public view in a corner office. Jeffrey lived in rooms above the shipping business in a dingy street near the docks.

Jeffrey had no friends except the cat that came to his door every night for food. He did not have any family. He was an orphan. After work he always went to the diner down the road fora sausage, an egg and a large pile of fries liberally covered in ketchup. Having eaten, he would walk slowly back to his rooms where he lay on his bed and listened to the radio. He loved to listen to jazz guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. He longed to be like them.

One evening he had an ice-cream as well. Afterwards he felt bloated and decided that he should go for a walk. Without noticing, he found himself away from the docks in a strange area. He was about to go home when he noticed that he was outside a pawn shop. In the window was a solid body guitar and amplifier for sale for a hundred dollars. It took him two days to pluck up the courage to go and buy the guitar, but once he had bought it, he only put it down to work, eat and sleep.

   Jeffery discovered that he had a talent for the guitar. Within months he was playing many of the pieces he heard played by his favourite musicians. As he played more confidently, he played his music more loudly. He didn’t need to worry about disturbing his neighbours as he didn’t have any after dark.

On the day that marked Jefferies tenth year with the firm, his boss planned a party for him after work at the office. It was a Friday. Jeffery had never had an alcoholic drink but was persuaded by his colleagues to have a beer and then another. He liked the feeling the alcohol gave him and became more talkative. He told his colleagues about his guitar. One of them suggested that Jeffrey get his guitar and they all went to McGinty’s along the road. Friday was ‘Talent Night’ at McGinty’s.

Well-oiled by five beers, Jeffrey stepped confidently up to the microphone and played and how he played. He was a virtuoso on his pawnshop guitar. The crowd in the bar stopped drinking and talking and just listened. Jeffrey played until he was exhausted and very drunk, a condition that seemed to have little effect on his guitar playing ability.

Jeffrey woke the next day with a massive hangover. As he gradually surfaced, he discovered several things. Firstly, he didn’t really like alcohol. Secondly, he had left his guitar at McGinty’s and finally discovered that he had an agent. According to what was written on a foldedMcGintynapkin, his agent was a Sue-Beth Combrink. He did vaguely remember her. By that evening he felt somewhat better and made his way to McGinty’s where he was greeted fondly by the bar’s patrons.

Jeffery asked for Sue-Beth. The barman explained that Sue-Beth was a ‘lady of the night’ and wouldn’t be in for another hour. When Sue-Beth arrived, she went straight up to Jeffrey and greeted him with a kiss. She was a blousy blonde nearing her ‘sell-by-date’ in her profession. Sue-Beth sat a bewildered Jeffrey down in a booth and explained that as his agent she was going to put him on the map on the local music scene. Jeffrey just said nothing and listened. She told him that one of her clients was a music promoter who had a loving wife who would not like to know about her, Sue-Beth.

   The next few months passed in a busy blur for Jeffrey. Sue-Beth paid for new clothes for Jeffrey, who now did three gigs a week at McGinty’s and had stopped being a shipping clerk. She enrolled him at a gym and personally cooked all his meals, healthy meals.  Sue-Beth took him to a dentist who removed all his front teeth and replaced them with implants. The new Jeffrey was trim and good looking, and his fans loved him. She also applied pressure on the music producer and in less than a year Jeffrey had two albums in the US Top 40.

Jeffrey was making a lot of money, closely controlled by Sue-Beth. She did however allow him to buy himself a 1968 Ford Mustang. It was black with white upholstery and its chrome gleamed. Jeffrey loved to drive it fast. One night he took the Mustang onto the freeway. He was going along the straight at well over the ton and approaching a curve. He took his foot off the accelerator, but it remained depressed. The accelerator cable was stuck.

The police found a dead Jeffrey in the mangled remains of the Mustang. It had missed the curve and hit a large tree on the road verge. Sue-Beth was momentarily upset but quickly consoled with a hefty insurance payout. She continued to live, wealthy, but at least Jeffrey died healthy!