It was painfully obvious from very early on in our travels that Fat Shite and I were never going to be the greatest of friends. Having spent all of his life at home on his doting mother's sofa, funding his pointless existence of Playstation games, meals at TGI Fridays and the odd venture as far as the cinema with his social welfare cheque, this relocation to Australia was his first sole escapade. Sour Puss was in similar circumstances, so was equally unprepared. It wasn't their lack of ability to function in the real world that bothered me (I myself still don't fully comprehend the various machinations of a tumble dryer), but their utter lack of desire to learn anything about it.
Sour Puss landed a job as a sandwich hand in a cafe the same week I started my own job. She was fired within two weeks, her manager citing her “bad attitude” as the basis for this termination. It seemed her very namesake was proving her unpopular with the customers, so Sour Puss tried her hand at hairdressing. Unfortunately, she was hired as an apprentice and since the company was too small to offer her a more long term visa, she had to pack that in as well. Finally, she was confined to a kitchen over a restaurant, where she chopped carrots and baked pre-mixed muffins for a paltry 10 dollars an hour. We were all glad that she'd finally settled somewhere, though, because Fat Shite was having no luck.
He coached aspiring teenagers in the art of soccer Tuesdays and Thursdays, and at weekends, he himself showed off his “skills” in an effort to prove himself worthy of the clubs first team. One memorable evening he regaled us all with a flowery tale about how the team's manager and owner had been driving along the highway, stopped the car suddenly mid-traffic-flow, turned to Fat Shite and apparently said, and I quote; “I know how good you are, YOU know how good you are. Don't doubt it, mate. You're just what the club needs.” Despite these rousing assurances, four weeks in, Fat Shite still hadn't made the first team. And inevitably, he feigned an ankle injury and blamed its ongoing healing process for his lack of progression through the ranks. Jobless, and now apparently out of health, I was greeted every evening by the ghastly sight of his sizeable greatness sprawled all over the couch, beer in hand, toenail clippings littering the floor at his propped-up feet.
It seemed there was a direct correlation between his periods of doing nothing and the enormity of his lies.
He told us he had gone for job interviews, gotten said job right there and then, but had to turn the potential employer down flat because the money wasn't to his standards. Sour Puss was working from 4 in the morning and returning home at 4 in the afternoon to his requests for dinner and many a dramatic intake of breath every time he heaved himself up from his well-worn couch groove. His manager at the club offered him some paltry paint job on his own house, which he did and then hobbled back to our house with a six pack under his arm, declaring that his boss had offered him a beer on the job so he figured it would be acceptable to take half a dozen from the fridge and bring it home for his evening of slothfulness. The Boyfriend got a work vehicle and a fuel card. Suddenly, Fat Shite was claiming he was entitled to similar benefits and that the club was looking to buy him a new car and a work phone. He had no job, but he was pulling in a grand a week. I bought a washing machine and said they could pay me back when they could. He went and bought an internet package so he and Sour Puss could Skype home every couple of hours that weekend for 80 dollars, but couldn't pay me back the 100 dollars until I'd asked for it the third time, the following fortnight.
The lies were unending, and getting more and more far-fetched. He told us how he was going to bring his entire family out here and how they were all going to live here forever off Fat Shite's generous but non-existent income. I was getting angrier by the day, unable to hide my disgust.
And then, he took our chicken.
The chicken had been in the freezer a couple of weeks. The Boyfriend and I had never got around to defrosting it. Fat Shite and Sour Puss had enjoyed a full roast chicken dinner a couple of nights before I discovered our own chicken was missing.
That was the turning point. It set the tone for everything that was to follow. To this day, I think it would have ended in a more civilised fashion, had he not been so greedy and deceitful. ChickenGate cemented our relationship.
This. Was. War.