Most people would be concerned to find their inebriated doppelgänger dancing erratically to Peter Andre’s Mysterious Girl in their Nan’s living room. And Bradley was.
That afternoon a sudden blast of Andre’s finest shook Bradley awake, followed by some even louder “shooosh”s coming from downstairs. It very obviously wasn’t Nan. She was more of Radio 4 or Megadeth kinda gal. Besides, she was out. Bradley lumbered pyjama laden down the stairs into the hallway. He grabbed her trusty cane from the umbrella bucket, fully prepared to beat the crap out of the intruder with the ferocity dear old nan would be proud of. Muffling a pained “argh ye fu-“, he learned quickly to tip toe around the smashed ornaments that sprawled across the floor as he crept toward the living room. The unwelcome visitor continued to bellow off-key through the door. Bradley lifted his grip, as Nan had taught him, on the walking stick. “Always leave room on the bottom end of the stick, Bradley,” Nan would stress, “you’ll get a better impact. Hob nob?” Memories of Nan’s unorthodox and not-particularly-legit training stirred bubbles of biscuit-hunger in Bradley’s belly. If the pyjama’d warrior took down this burglar, surely the deed would warrant a nosey from the sacred biscuit tin. He placed his other hand gently on the door. From within, a something smashed. Bradley pushed, leaping with furious enthusiasm into the room.
“FUCK me!” shouted the worse-for-wear edition of Bradley as he fell backward on the edge of the sofa and lazily ricocheted to the floor. Another Bradley. In the flesh? This required at least a minute of gormless staring and guppy-mouthing to compute Dirty giggles erupted from behind the newly stained coffee table. As cheated as Pyjama Bradley felt by the heroic act ripped from him, this “two of me, no mirror” scenario was almost just as overwhelming. Dropping the cane, Pyjama Bradley resolved to creep towards the shoddy semblance of himself. Other Bradley was drenched in deeply choking cocktail of sweat, Sambuca and Lynx Africa™. The warmth of this aroma hung like his own personal o-zone layer, increasing in pressure the closer you got to the planet’s surface. Suffice to say, Pyjama Bradley didn’t fancy getting too close to it. Him. He hadn’t wanted the shower gel/ deodorant when it was gifted to him at Christmas for the 6th consecutive time, let alone in its newfound pissed-up concoction that floated around his “other”. Instead Bradley (the vertical of the two) silently advanced upon the now Flava-blaring CD player and turned the beast off.
“Oi! What’re you doin’?” The top of a scowling head emerged over the coffee table.
“Turning this rubbish off”
“S’not rubbish! That spent a wh-week at no.1 in 1996-”
“-jus’ after the Spicesh Girls…” continued drunk Bradley with surprising clarity. His head flopped back to the floor.
Sober Bradley waited in the horribly thick silence.
The rosey head popped up again. “Wha- ah fuck, it’s you again…” he sulked. “…what happened to Peter Andre?”
“I turned it off-“
“I know you fuckin’ did, Geesuss…”
“Bra-bradley,” burbled the sober one in a desperate scrambling for the right question to ask first, “how did…what the…”
“Oh, fuck off.” The glowing red head slumped down once more.
By this point, OG (Original Generation) Bradley had had enough of his own steaming shit:
“Oi, you fat lard. Get over your yourself and your underwhelming dick and just fucking listen!”
The drunk Bradley’s head shot up immediately:
“Wha d’you say about-“
“We both know it’s true,” retorted OG Bradley, feeling like a smug Cumberbatch Sherlock in ASDA nightwear. “Now that I have your attention, can we talk about…this?”
2nd Gen Bradley scowled, a nerve not so much touched but tasered. Nevertheless, he purchased himself on the coffee table, grabbed some of the pot pourri from the bowl, and hurled himself (much more successfully this time) onto the sofa. Before the OG could stop him, 2nd G shovelled the handful into his mouth. Shortly, the contents were eruptively spewed back onto the table. “Fuck’s sake, Nan,” he spluttered into a cough, “why put it in a bowl on the table if you CAN’T BLOODY EAT IT!”
“Actually that one’s not bad…” He leaned forward, carefully selecting the stick-looking one, and sat back crunching on it happily. “Right. What did you want?”
What Brad the First couldn’t comprehend was why this situation, the “this could be but probably isn’t your twin you’d never heard of” scenario that was playing out here didn’t seem to phase his miserable-looking counterpart. Well, disregarding the fact that the man was pissed as a Parisian post.
“This morning-“ Bradley looked at the clock, “-afternoon, I get awoken by what seems to be a really bloody drunk version of myself doing karaoke in the living room which is, BY THE WAY, an absolute freaking mess-“
“Freakin’?” mocked Lord Sozzled on the sofa. After a while: “Why don’t you schwear?”
Bradley wasn’t expecting that oddly psychiatric probing. “Because…Nan doesn’t like it.”
“Nan’s not here?”
“No, she’s out.”
“Then WHY I’m not allowed to lisssten to Natural I DON’T know…” replied Steamy B in a very pointed tone, avoiding eye contact.
Again, Bradley did not enjoy being put into the position of speechless parent to a sassy man-child. His “other”, very much satisfied by this one-up-man-ship, rose from the chair. Suddenly, the smile melted away from his face. Bradley watched as the atmosphere in the room suddenly flipped from tense to panic stations in a very long second. The feeling was all too familiar. Slow motion. Echoes of 6th Form benders on the Heath flooded to Bradley in waves of White Lightning. The doppelgänger was about to vom.
Thus began, in 7 swift movements, the less conscious of the two’s evacuation from the living room. Grab the man. Semi-hoist him up. Avoid pressure on the stomach. Guide him across the carpet littered with pizza boxes. Tread in an open pizza box. Squirm out into the hallway. Steam through the shattered ornaments. Swing open the door. Drop the Brad. Lift the loo lid. Leave him to it and let the chunder commence.
Having given up entirely on the novelty of second Bradley’s existence, Bradley plodded vacantly into the kitchen. The muffled sound of pizza dough chunks mercilessly bombed the toilet in hefty spurts. Running the tap in the kitchen, Bradley realised that it had in fact taken 11 steps to evacuate the living room. Disappointing. Nan could do it in 5. He stared blankly out the window.
Half a Mighty Meaty™ lighter, the intoxicated mess leaned back on the door and waited to be “definitely done”. Heavy breathing. Slow. Steady. A little congested, but a few snot rockets sorted that out quickly. Through the door, the novelty doorbell sang Chim-Chimney. It went unanswered. Twenty seconds later the arrival patiently rang again: this time, with a tinny rendition of Fleur De Lis. A third tune, the mono Jurassic Park theme, politely indicated that the visitor was not going away. Bradley irritably pulled himself up from the floor. Nan had left her bloody keys again. Entering the hallway, the Slipknot keychain hanging on the hook by the door confirmed the theory. He grabbed it off the wall. “Honestly, Nanna” Bradley carefully chose his words as he unlocked the door and swung it open, “we moved them by the door so you wouldn’t forget-“
“Bradley!” a soft and kind voice exclaimed in a hushed tone, “You look-“. The girl hesitated. “I just wanted to pop by and see…how you were doing…”