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Uke, pronounced ook, was short for ukulele. Though in point of fact Uke played the banjo ukulele. Life was like that. For Uke, at any rate.

Uke was short of nothing. Officially, he wanted for a home, security of tenure and a societal role, but he didn't need them. Not really. Not any more. Uke had music. Uke had numb down sunshine in his pocket. Uke had an audience. Uke had a smile. A smile that started in his boots and came out of the top of his head. Uke's head smile swept over you before you even recognised Uke's face. You always recognised him of course. His banjolele stuck up from behind his back, announcing his presence and his head state. Strapped on: eye smiley. Nowhere to be seen: Johnny Cash dead.

Eye smiley. Uke would wax lyrical over the differences between country roots, folk roots or just plain roots roots. The ukulele or the banjo ukulele (aka the banjolele). The difference was huge. Bit like Uke. When he was eye smiley friendly, he was the man. When he wasn't, he wasn't. He'd wane darkly in the corner. His Johnny Cash dead face on, eating crisps or rolling a cigarette. The long smooth nails of his right hand. The bitten ones on his left. His visage a blank cheque, uncashable, every pun intended. His fullsome prism blues. An inward looking stare that revealed the paranoid recesses of inner space, if you knew where to look. Few did. Though not British military intelligence. Apparently.

I hear that train a-comin'. It's a-rollin' round the bend...

Story by:

Phil Doran

submitted at 8:42pm

9 May 2009

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