For Wednesday Write-in 68: Jello and friends in their second appearance. The original was written for a Christmas reading but rejected because it wasn’t really festive enough. But you can read it here if you choose to do so.
Man’s Best Friend
For a not-quite low-life East End villain Jello took pretty good care of his appearance. You couldn’t call him vain. Of course not. Call him vain and you’d feel the full force of his ire. And the full force of Jello’s ire is the sort of ire nobody should be subjected to. But you could always say, indeed you are encouraged to say, that he was looking good, better than most of his peers, better than, ooh, anyone else in the room.
It had always been so. From the time of his precocious childhood he always dressed better, worn the more expensive wristwatch, flaunted the latest fashion hairstyle, was always ahead of the pack. Always a style leader, although nobody used that sort of language in those days. How he managed, him being a not-very-well-off bovver boy living in a small terrace off the Old Kent Road (two bedrooms, six siblings, bathe in a zinc tub in front of the living room open fire once a week) is not fully proved although suspected by sundry retail outlets and the local bobby.
He officially entered the fashion stakes at the age of seventeen when he had the Mirror’s front page picture of our ‘enry tattooed onto his left shoulder. He said at the time, “Well, he’s the only geezer to knock Cassius Clay off his feet and he’s one of ours.”
Later on he had the twins on his arms, Ronny on the left and Reggie on the right, but when he heard about some of the things those two had got up to (slightly squeamish is our Jello at times) he had them covered up with Gilbert and George (the start of his culture kick).
Apart from his several gold necklaces and rings, he was never much into jewelry for himself (although he was a generous giver to the few close lady friends he had known over the years) so it was a big surprise to all when he sashayed into Noddy’s Nook, the upstairs room of the King’s Head, with the big smile on his face advertising the huge diamond in his front gnasher (top left central incisor, for any dentists who may be reading this).
“Cheez, boss… ,” started Lennie, reaching for the bottle – his usual reaction, but was interrupted by Roxie. “Hey, boss, that definitely ain’t a piece of lettuce,” and slipped a jeweler’s loupe from her bra in order to get a better valuation of the rock.
Jello looked pleased, “Proceeds of lasts week’s Bugmore Warehouse job. Thought I’d invest my share. What’s youse think?”
Lennie nodded wisely, “Yeah, good move, boss. Safe as houses, that. Just avoid them chocolates with nuts inside. You’se doesn’t want to be breaking your teeth now.”
Jello smiled. “And it ain’t just for show neither. Get a few more of these and I’ll be able to eat my way out if I ever gets sent down. Chew through any iron bars, these can.”
“Yeah,” nodded Roxy. “Diamonds! Man’s best friend.”