Friday 2 December 2011

Small Ones Are More Juicy

Patsy Collins

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“You’ve been Tangoed,” I say playfully slapping young Clementine’s
bottom. You'd have thought Miss Jaffer would have heard that one
before, but she just smiles.
I’m really something in the world of advertising, so you’ll understand
why I’m so delighted with Clementine. Got plenty of va va voom, but
she’s really naïve. She actually believes low fat chocolate cake will
help make her slim.
“Murray, it’s 95% fat free, so I can go ahead,” she tells me.
She has a slice each morning with her richer roasted, fuller flavoured
coffee whilst I explain our latest campaign.
‘Our’ such a useful word, it makes dear Clementine think we’re a team.
Mr Bannister offered her another position with a higher salary. That
was close, thought I’d lose her there. Luckily I didn’t lose my head,
explained that with Bannister she’d be nothing but a pretty little
“It’s the business that impressed him, that’s why he bought it. He
doesn’t care about the staff. Go compare the two of us.”
Working for, no with, me was different. I was teaching her all my
skills, with me she’d progress to great things.
“It’s the real thing, sweetheart. The team works, and you’ve got to be
in to win it, you know that.”
Didn’t tell her I’d have to hire two girls to get through all the work
she somehow manages. Organisation she says, that’s what she’s good at.
Learnt it from the Sunday glossies apparently. Reads all them articles
on de-cluttering your life and developing inner potential. They write
that she can improve herself. She reads and believes every word.
That’s not all she reads. She believes those shoes advertised in the
supplements really will be the most comfortable she’s ever worn. Or if
by some unlikely chance she found better, her money would be refunded
in full, no questions asked. She believes that those uncreasable
skirts sold in three different lengths actually are stylish. Not
passion, not fashion if you ask me.
Clemmie turns eagerly to the horoscopes, surely no one but a fool
could swallow the idea that one twelfth the population were about to
be unlucky with money but forget these problems when they fell in love
by midweek.
There she is over by the vending machine. I’ll have a chat with her,
tell her about my new car. She’ll be impressed, a man likes to be
appreciated when he’s doing well. Clementine will understand what a
sound investment it is too, how necessary to my professional image.
Not like that nag of a wife at home. A boost to my ego she said. Even
asked if I wasn’t just slightly too young for a mid life crisis and it
would be difficult to get the baby buggy in. Must be that time of the
month I suppose.
“Nice skirt Clementine love, is it new?”
“Yes Murray, I bought it from a magazine. Do you like it?”
“I'm loving it.” And this is true.
The skirt gives me just the reason I need to take a long lingering
look at Clementine. Maybe she’s not quite the best a man can get, but
she’ll do me. I’d like to let my fingers do some walking there, I can
tell you. I’d thought her a bit of a frump before, had the right
attitude, couldn’t do enough for me of course, but not really worth
much of my attention. Now I see things have changed.
“Go on give us a twirl.”
She spins round, very agile she seems, I like that.
“Nifty on your feet aren’t you?”
“It’s these lovely new shoes, they’re so comfortable. I’ve bought a
pair in every colour, so I’ll hardly ever need to wear ordinary shoes
“Getting a drink were you?”
“I was, but I’ve just lost my last pound in the machine.”
“Please allow me.”
I put in my own money. An investment of a different kind, every little
“What would you like?”
“Diet iron-bru please, someone told me I was looking a bit pale today.”
What a girl, so suggestible that a chance remark convinces her she’s
anaemic and an old ad. campaign still has the power to persuade her a
combination of colouring and flavourings can do her good. Something
she’s eating or drinking must be powerful stuff though. That dumpy
assistant I started with has blossomed into a very attractive young
woman. I put a pound in for the 60p drink and pocket the difference.
Time I explained the benefits of being nice to me I think. She might
not be the brightest, but give the girl her due she is trying hard.
She’s there at every meeting taking it all in. If anything needs to be
checked, she’s there.
“I’ll just ask Jeeves,” before she’s right back with the answer.
She must have bought every product the firm has ever handled. She says
she likes a touch of luxury everday, well that’s fair enough.
She drives the make of car we promote.
“I’m a thinking person and I thought as I’m on my own, I only need a
small car, not a driving machine.”
She wears the clothes, the make-up to good effect, she is every bit
gorgeous. She eats the food that makes life taste better. We all use
some of the brands of course, because of the discounts though. I mean,
why pay more? The rest of us aren’t brainwashed like dear Clementine.
She sounds like an advert too, every phrase she uses is either
currently promoting our clients products or soon will be. She is
sympathetic too, listens when I tell her how little my wife
understands me. I’m sure Clementine could understand me very well.
It’s good to talk and I talk her kind of language don’t I?
Old Bannister’s been chatting to her again. I’d better nip in the bud
any thoughts of moving her loyalty to him. He’s the managing director,
and I don’t want her getting ideas.
“You stick with me Clementine, love. Together we’ll go further.”
“Are you sure you’re not just using me because I love the jobs you hate?”
“Calm down dear, it's just commercials.”
“I don’t want to just be an assistant, can’t you give me more
“At some point in time I will.”
“Why not just do it?”
“Remember, you can’t hurry a Murray.”
I’m just explaining that it's Mr Bannister wants to take advantage of
her not me, when I knock over her silly stuffed toys, a kitten and a
"Cat's know the difference," Clemmie mutters. “Murray, please pick up
that penguin.”
I retrieve the fluffy green object. "Well, that's different, but it's
not a hen."
"Things are going to be different, all right."
I’m still trying to work out what she means when Old Bannister calls
me into his office.
“Murray sit down. I’ve been hearing all about your marriage problems.
I think it would be best if you took a few weeks off to sort things
out. Treat her well, remember mums are heroes.”
“There’s no need, and my work...”
“Don’t worry about that, Clementine will take over your department,
I’m promoting her because she’s worth it. Walking advertisement that
girl. She’ll go far, the future’s Orange.”

Bio - Patsy Collins lives on the south coast of England, opposite the
Isle of Wight. She writes about and photographs the things which
interest her. To learn more about her and her writing, and for loads
of links to free to enter writing competitions, please visit  


  1. Ha! Love that. Especially the last line. Orange, indeed. *grin*

  2. Great fun. Thoroughly enjoyable tale.

  3. Thanks, Linda. Maybe I should have asked for sponsorship of this story?

    Glad you liked it, Catherine.