“Early in the morning, late in the century, Cricklewood Broadway. At 06.27 hours on 1 January 1975, Alfred Archibald Jones was dressed in corduroy and sat in a fume-filled Cavalier Musketeer Estate face down on the steering wheel, hoping the judgement would not be too heavy upon him. He lay forward in a prostrate cross, jaw slack, arms splayed either side like some fallen angel; scrunched up in each fist he held his army service medals (left) and his marriage license (right), for he had decided to take his mistakes with him. A little green light flashed in his eye, signaling a right turn he had resolved never to make. He was resigned to it. He was prepared for it. He had flipped a coin and stood staunchly by its conclusions. This was a decided-upon suicide. In fact it was a New Year’s resolution.”


“I’m a Muslim,” said Samad, pushing a plate of pork away. “And my Rita Hayworth leaves me only with my soul.”

“Why don’t you eat it?” said Archie, guzzling his two chops down like a madman. “Strange business, if you ask me.”

“I don’t eat it for the same reason you as an Englishman will never truly satisfy a woman.”

“Why’s that?” said Archie, pausing from his feast.

“It’s in our cultures, my friend.”

Samad is a testy fellow.