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A Homeless Woman Offered To Wank Me Off And I Said Yes

My Grandfather told me that opportunities for charity could come in strange forms.

He became a big believer in karma after meeting a Korean Monk in 1957. That same Monk taught him Tonglen, which helped him turn his life around after killing several people during the war.

He also told me that karma was a two-way street and that people can get karma greed always wanting to give, give, give. But those who know karma know it’s important to let others give and, to do that, you have to take and not be one of those dickheads that feels shame about allowing someone else to foot the bill.

I was at the local IGA supermarket getting some more Voltaren and Epsom salts to soak my rotator cuff, which I had aggravated in an incident on an aeroplane.

On the way in, some dickhead in a suit accosted me selling subscriptions for a damn seagull charity or something. There was a picture of a seagull who had gotten its head stuck in a jam jar. It wasn’t an ordinary jam jar. It was one of those long French jam jars. The bastard was obviously trying to get a taste of the sticky raspberry conserve still at the bottom. Who could blame it? That French jam is delicious. Now the fucker looked like a bloody deep-sea diver or something.

“Have you got a few minutes?” the suited man asked in a polite, mildly European accent. I felt sorry for the guy. It’s a dumb opening line because all you have to say is no, and you win. But it’s not like he can say, Excuse me, sir, do you like seagulls? Because, honestly, who is going to say yes to that? Those fuckers are always nicking chips and screaming at each other in that deranged way like it’s an episode of Real Housewives of Beverley Hills.

I didn’t even say no to the guy. I just smiled at him with one of those lips pressed together smiles which tells someone you’re not even interested enough to show them how yellow your teeth are. But I felt guilty because although seagulls are bastards, I still want the best for them. That poor feathered prick with the jam jar helmet. FUCK. If rebirth is a thing, any one of them could have been my Grandfather. So I made a spiritual commitment to accept the next charitable opportunity that came up, regardless of how much it cost.

A woman was sitting on the ground outside the IGA

She had a moustache and a wispy beard, and the teeth she had left were rotten and brown. She was smoking a cigarette with her canary yellow nicotine fingers and looking up at me with squinty fucked up eyes. I wondered if she would ask me for cigarettes or cash. I was hoping it was cash and preferably an undisclosed amount since cigarettes are fucking expensive in this day and age.

“Excuse me, Sir,” she said. “I’ll pull you off for a sandwich.”

I sincerely hoped she was using some sort of turn of phrase which meant, will you buy me a sandwich?

“What did you say?” I asked.

“I’ll wank you off for a sandwich,” she said. This time she used the word wank, confirming the worst. It felt like truly rotten luck that this woman appeared after my oath, either that or some sick cosmic joke. I thought about what my Grandfather said about allowing people to give and how he used to beat me with his shoe if I broke a spiritual commitment.

“Fine,” I said. “Let’s go.”

“No, sandwich first,” she insisted. “Sandwich FIRST.”

I headed back into the supermarket to the deli, where they made fresh sandwiches each day.

There were only a few left — ham and cheese, chicken and mayonnaise — there was one egg and lettuce, but it looked dry as a camel’s cock. Plus, the egg layer was so thin. It was essentially a lettuce sandwich, and the egg was a condiment. One thing was for sure. It wasn’t good enough to justify wanking a stranger off. I considered asking the girl behind the counter,

Which of these sandwiches do you think is most wank worthy?

But I was afraid she would misunderstand me and think I was making some obscene gesture.

I bought the ham and cheese and headed outside. I handed the homeless woman her sandwich, and we went around the back of the supermarket into an alleyway that smelt like arseholes and rotting fruit.

“Well, here we are,” I said like I was about to lose my virginity.

In a way, I was. I was fairly sure I had been wanked off in an alley before, although I couldn’t remember when exactly, and I had only paid for sex once in my life.

But I had never paid for sex with a sandwich before.

Obviously, I don’t mean sex with a sandwich. I mean the sandwich is the currency — anyway fuck it.

The woman was ignoring me and eating her ham sandwich. I coughed to get her attention. I didn’t want to be a prick, and it wasn’t like I was looking forward to having her stinking canary fingers wrapped around my knob among the warm scent of rubbish and piss. I just wanted to get it over with and get the fuck out of there.

“OI CUNT” came a voice behind me. I turned around to see a part man-part marsupial in a trenchcoat holding a knife out in front of him. He looked like Adrien Brody with a meth problem.

I felt both relief and fear simultaneously. The woman had set me up, which hopefully meant no wank but also meant I could die, and sure, this would be an incredibly embarrassing way to die. I could hear the eulogy already.

Frank died doing what he loved. He was stabbed by a marsupial in a stinking alleyway while attempting to purchase a wank from a homeless person.

This would be far more humiliating than even Steve Wyatt’s animal deaths.

“GIMME YA FAKIN WALLET CUNT”, the marsupial said in a husky tone that suggested he was either a prolific smoker or a Bryan Adams impersonator.

“A wallet?” I laughed. “What year do you think this is? 2018? No one carries wallets anymore, my friend. Do you take EFTPOS by chance?”

“DONT LAUGH AT ME CUNT”, he said, his eyes filling with fury like Will Smith at the Oscars. “I don’t believe you. Empty yer fackin pockets CUNT”.

I emptied my pockets and showed him my iPhone and house keys. I noticed his disappointment.

“But look,” I said. “I’ve got this bag of quality Epsom salts here. Perhaps you can return them and get $25 back. Or, maybe you and your lovely wife here might want to share a relaxing bath together? A few candles and — “


I breathed out a long sigh. I was trying to help this bastard but I’d rather have my junk cut off than give up my phone. Who robs people of their phones these days? By the time he was halfway up the street, I would be at home on my laptop, turning my iPhone into a brick. This man needed to smoke less meth and read more technology blogs.

“Again,” I told him, “It’s 2022, Mate, and there aren’t many people who will give up their phones to you even as you threaten their lives. It’s like asking someone for their gonads or equivalent.”

His wife couldn’t give a shit, through all this. She was enjoying the second half of her ham and cheese on multi-grain as if nothing was happening.


Slit my throat? Who says shit like that? This wasn’t a fucking Guy Ritchie movie. Who did this fucking skunk think he was? It wasn’t the first time I had been threatened by an anemic ferret with a drug problem. And the last one didn’t end well for them.

I heard a beautiful voice in my head. My primary school teacher, Miss Simpson, was possibly my first serious crush.

Use your words, Frank, she said in her seductive Lancashire accent. I nodded. I’ll use my motherfucking words, alright.


As I said it I shook my head. I was disappointed with myself for losing control. I saw his determination turn swiftly into a look of doubt and then immediately into a look of terror. I felt guilty as fuck.

“Look, I’m sorry, Pal”, I said. “I didn’t mean to shout. It’s a fucking tough world and — “

Now the bastard was crying. Fuck.

“ Look,” I said, shuffling over to him and putting my hand on his shoulder. “I can get you a sandwich too if you like.”

“I’M NOT WANKING YOU OFF CUNT”, he screamed. I had forgotten about the whole wanking thing.

“No, no, no,” I said. “No need for that. Chicken and lettuce?”

He nodded like a young child and melted my God damn heart.

I went round to the IGA again and into the deli. I looked down at the sandwiches, shaking, and through blurry eyes from the adrenalin. I squinted into the fridge, and all that was left was that crusty, stingy egg and lettuce. I asked the girl if she could make more, but she said it was out of the question, so I jumped in my car, went home, boiled some eggs and made the most incredible egg and lettuce sandwich on wholemeal.

It was the fucking Rembrandt of sandwiches.

The man and his wife were still in the alley when I returned

“Hey”, I said, panting for breath. “Here’s your sandwich.”

“You said chicken and lettuce,” he said. I said nothing. That ungrateful bastard. He took out the sandwich and scoffed half of it like he hadn’t eaten in weeks. He offered the other half to her, but she shook her head, so he scoffed the other half aswell.

“Slow down,” I said. “You’ll give yourself reflux.” For some reason, I was now giving him health advice like his God damn GP.

“I’m Frank”, I said, sticking out a hand. He nodded at me.

“Thanks,” he said. “I’m Gabriel. This is Bubba.” Then he told me that Bubba wasn’t his wife but his sister. He apologised for the scam, and I told him it was fine but that he should consider a different profession because you never know who you are sticking up in this world. “There are far too many Brazilian Ju-Jitsu experts these days who can choke you to death like a fucking boa constrictor. It’s not the eighties, for God’s sake.”

He said he couldn’t work in a job cos who would look after Bubba? He had been looking after her since they were kids, and now it was just the two of them. I felt like my heart was going to explode like a fucking hot dog too long in the microwave.

I went to the ATM and got $100 out for Gabriel and Bubba. I wanted to tell them it wasn’t for drugs, but I remembered when my Mum said that to me, and I spent it on drugs anyway. Also, I didn’t give a fuck. Why should I begrudge them a little satisfaction in this brutal land?

I left them there, sitting in that stinking alley with a dark pain in my heart because I knew they just wouldn’t last long.

About two weeks later, I ran into Bubba again at the supermarket

I bought her a sandwich and a can of coke, and I sat eating lunch with her out the front. She wasn’t a big talker.

“Where’s Gabriel?” I asked, and she started crying.

Fuck. I knew something was going to happen. I just felt it. The daft prick probably got choked out by some human boa-constrictor or stabbed by some bastard he was trying to rob.

She wiped her tears and swallowed a mouthful of ham and cheese.

“He got a job,” she said. It turned out Gabriel got himself a job cleaning toilets. Bubba seemed sad that he wasn’t around but she seemed more together than last time.

Gabriel worked for long enough to get him and Bubba into a flat

I stopped seeing Bubba outside the IGA, but I ran into her a year later, and she was like a new woman. She was at college training to be a hairdresser. She looked clean, with new teeth, and she had quit smoking. She told me that the state doctor had her on so many drugs that she could barely operate when I first met her. But now, she was off all medications, getting proper counselling and doing yoga and meditation. I couldn’t believe it.

“And how is Gabriel?” I asked.

She told me Gabriel was in jail for trying to rob a service station during rush hour and was busted waiting at traffic lights. But she didn’t cry, she laughed.

“He was always a bit of an idiot,” she said.

“Karma is like that,” I said. “It’s like the momentum you build up by moving in a particular direction, and the more you move in that direction, the harder it is to change. It can be like turning around a ship.”

I could tell she wasn’t in the mood for a sermon. Who could blame her? I instantly regretted my religious rant, delivered like a twenty-year-old celibate preacher with a yeast infection.

“He’s doing twelve months”, she said. “Then I guess I’ll be the one looking after him.”

There was an awkward pause and I wondered for a second if Gabriel would ever see the light of day again.

“Anyway, I’ve gotta go, Frank. I’m late for class. I’ll see you.”

I watched her walk away, took a deep breath and walked back to the supermarket. It was a beautiful day. I noticed that a new seagull salesman was sitting at his stand looking depressed. I walked up to him and picked up a brochure.

“Can you tell me more about these seagulls?” I said.

His eyes lit up.

Image: Wiki

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