Phillip has to rely on his own creative talents when graffiti artists gatecrash his daughter’s birthday party.
The doorbell rang. Twice. Phillip marched along the corridor and opened the heavy front door for his guests.
“Miranda. Lovely to see you. Come through to the garden and meet the other children. You can leave the gift on the table.”
The girl in the pretty party dress ran through the house, leaving her parents behind. Her father grabbed Phillip’s arm.
“Did you know there are two lads outside spray painting your garage door?”
“What? No! I’ll go and sort it out. Please join the others. Karen is there somewhere.”
“It’s a huge cock and balls,” said the mother as Phillip brushed past them.
He ran across the gravel drive, the crunching sound alerting two youths wearing hoodies and jeans that hung precariously on bony hips.
“Hey! What are you doing?”
The boys dropped cans into khaki shoulder bags and were ready to run.
Phillip raised his hand and shouted.
“Stop right there or I call the police!”
The boys stared at him.
“Aren’t you the new Principal?” said the taller of the two.
“You go to St. Stephen’s?” said Phillip.
“Yeah. We’re the ones you ain’t expelled yet,” sniggered the other one.
“What do you think you are doing, defacing my property with a huge…?”
“Nah, nah, nah. The cock and balls ain’t us. We was jus’ tagging it,” said the tall one.
“Tagging it? What do you mean?”
“Tagging. Just saying we was here and like the work. That’s not our cock. This is ‘Rage’.” He touched a tag.
“Rage. The artist what done it. I think you expelled his sister in the first week.”
“If anyone should be called ‘Rage’, it’s me. In any case, you’re still defacing my property. I’ve got twenty, eight year old girls arriving now for a birthday party and the last thing I want to greet them is…this.”
“We can just go. Sorry about the tagging,” said the shorter boy.
“Oh no you don’t”, said Phillip, tugging the bag on the boy’s shoulder. “You can fix it.”
“Fix it how? We don’t mess with other artists’ work. It ain’t done.”
“Change the cock into something …nice. I’ll pay you.”
“That’s so establishment,” said the taller boy. “Not interested in money. It’s about breaking the machine.” He fist pumped the other boy.
“The machine? Food then, how about food? Is that too establishment?”
“What you got?”
“Everything. Cake, jelly, ice cream.” Phillip could sense disappointment in their faces.
“We’re more savoury.”
“I have that too. Sausages on stick, nuts, beer! Maybe not beer.”
The two boys looked at each other and nodded. Another fist pump.
“What you got in mind?”
Phillip stood back from the huge blue phallus. “How about a princess’s castle? The Disney one? The main… shaft… can be the tower and the balls can be smaller turrets.” He fished out his mobile phone and found an image from the Internet.
The boys examined it.
“That’s cool. My sister would love it,” said the shorter boy.
“Fantastic. If you do a good job, she can come to the party.”
The boy frowned. “You some kind of perv? My sister is nineteen. Anyway, I see a problem.”
“Ran out of white doing the tag.”
Phillip lifted the garage door from the bottom, swinging it up and half open. He ducked under into the darkness, emerging a few noisy moments later with a canister. He pushed the door shut, shook the can and gave it to the tall boy, who examined it.
“This is shaving foam.”
“Shit,” said Phillip, snatching the can back and pinging off the lid.
“Ok, how about a colourful fairy castle at night with foam clouds?” He sprayed lumps of foam onto the garage door before standing back to survey the picture.
The warm metal door melted the foam and it began to slide downward. The short boy howled with laughter.
“It looks like it’s coming!”
Phillip was alerted to the sound of crunching gravel as another family arrived.
“Good afternoon. Fairy castle,” he called. “Clouds.”
The puzzled look on the parents” faces told him they were unconvinced and somewhat embarrassed. They hurried their daughter into the house.
Phillip found an old bucket full of rainwater and threw it over the door, washing the foam off in white rivulets.
“You’ve got twenty minutes, tops. Give me fairytale.”
The boys dropped their bags onto the ground and started delving for canisters. Phillip had just reached his front door when he heard the sound of more footsteps coming down the path behind him. He turned to see a two families standing staring at his MPV parked by the fence.
A prettily dressed girl carrying a beautifully wrapped parcel looked puzzled.
“Daddy, what does “WANKER” mean?”
Her father quickly pulled her away by the wrist towards the house, followed by the other huffing parents. Both girls started singing, ‘wanker, wanker’, losing their tethers and running indoors.
“Sorry about that,” said Phillip as the adults brushed past him. He turned and walked over to his car. The huge purple slogan covering both doors bore the same tag. Phillip shouted across the driveway.
“Hey, you! The tall one. Come here, please.”
The tall boy pointed at himself and strolled over to the car. He examined the damage.
“What you thinking?”
Phillip walked up and down the length of the car, examining the text. He knelt down to touch the new paint, a violent, contrasting imposition on the cool metallic green canvas. He stood up and placed his thumb under his chin.
“I’m thinking…. “
His finger traced letters in the air.
“Flatten the second spike of the ‘w’ and turn the third into an ‘i’, make the ‘a’ into a ‘o’, capitalize the ‘k’, turn the ‘e’ into an ‘i’, the ‘r’ becomes an ‘n’ and just add another ‘g’.”
“Lion King! Nice!” He fist pumped Phillip. “And tomorrow, if you like, we can come back and deal with the ‘TWAT’ on the front gate.”