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Joanne Waugh
Joanne Waugh

Joanne Waugh is an English and Media and Communications graduate. She has been writing short stories for the past three years and has also written features and opinion pieces for radio. She enjoys writing comedy sketches and hopes to complete her first play by the end of the year. She has recently moved to London in the hope of finding work in the media industry.

Mr Pecks by Joanne Waugh


I work in a street that to most people would seem quiet and not filled with a lot of distractions. They fail to notice the entertainment possibilities of the same characters that constantly grace the pavement of my street. I found that hiding behind clothes rails and following people with my eyes was much a more effective way to help pass time on a slow day than messing up clothes on purpose so I could fold them again.

Mr. Pecks is a taxi man that holds a post at the taxi rank outside the clothing store where I work. I don’t know his real name but I have christened him Mr. Pecks as his pectoral muscles protrude unnaturally from his body. I have even persuaded myself that he had an operation to enhance his pectoral muscles as they are completely out of proportion with the rest of his body. He also folds his arms right underneath them so he resembles a thirteen-year old girl that wishes to squash her shape into something more substantial and flattering. Mr. Pecks wears the same variety of clothes day in, day out. A pair of light shade jeans, Addidas trainers and a light coloured sweater. These shades tend to bulk him up and give the allusion that he is double the man he really is.

He never waits for customers inside his car. Instead, he stands on the footpath beside the rank facing the side of his green Mercedes, admiring his own reflection and the shine he worked into the door earlier that morning. The gleam of the car’s exterior transcends into the interior. A dust buster makes regular trips to the leather seats and this twice daily vacuuming session may be the only action the back seat gets between customers as Pecks’ has too much pride in his upholstery to have it function as anything other than a comfortable seat. His car is kept extra fresh by a scented cardboard tree that hangs from his mirror. It is pink in colour, which shows his sensitive side.

Like the other taxi men, Pecks stands by his car as if she were his woman. He is territorial and rarely leaves the car alone. He is protective and will not let the other taxi-drivers smoke too close or flick their cigarette in a threatening direction.

When he does leave his post it is usually for a cup of over priced coffee from the nearby newsagent. I take extra delight in watching him walk, as it really is a spectacle to behold. He manages to strut without bending his knees and at the same time keeping his arms crossed. By not bending his knees he doesn’t disturb the ass clench that he has managed to hold for a good three hours now. Paying closer attention to his buttocks, I think it is possible that he may have gotten a two for one deal on his pectoral enhancement and popped the extra two at his rear end. From my view his ass resembles two eggs in a handkerchief, likely to fall and smash if he loosens his clench in any way.

His face is full of features that are specific to him and that all contribute to a fixed expression. His brow bones over shadow his eyes, and they slant downwards at the sides of his head in folds of tiny wrinkles. The eyebrows are tidy and it is possible to see an occasion grey one peeping out from the tinted mass of hair. His nose is upturned but not in a way that you can see the whole way up his nostrils. This face rarely changes in expression. Even when joking with the other taxi drivers or in greeting customers. Mr. Pecks holds his face as well as his clench in a way that he always looks satisfied. 

I had to wait about a month before I was able to hear his voice. The huge glass windows that encased me were pretty sound proof so it had to be timed perfectly that he was speaking while the shop door was swinging between visits. On the heels of a customer the voice of Mr. Pecks arrived into my store. He speaks with clarity but with the added attraction of a Scottish accent.

I imagine that this is a very exotic feature in the eyes of the women in Pecks life. He uses this as a form of stock that increases his value far above the other men that live on his street. Only for him do the local ladies compete to win his affections and attention every Friday night.
The date schedule never changes, the same Chinese restaurant followed by the same local bar, the same friends who every week will be introduced to the only difference, a new lady friend. These women are hopeful that they will be the one to tie Mr. Pecks to a new post but Mr. Pecks is happy with a one night only fling. He is, after all, married to a pristine twenty year old that only needs a buff, a hoover and an occasional wax to stay looking as good as the first day he laid eyes on her back in the dealership.



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More from this writer:

Short Stories
Blood stained boots
Licence to mourn
Mr Music
Mr Pecks

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