Once again, our hero is in the right place at the right time
I had a few weeks of just hanging around town, but soon got bored with that and started doing casual jobs in Hunstanton beach again. Before long I was enjoying working hard and playing hard. I found I could pick up a casual date with no problem, and unlike when I’d been with Ruby, didn’t need to try to hide it. I’d be working on the fairground rides or the ice cream stand, and get into a conversation with a beautiful girl who was staying in Hunstanton for a week with her parents or a group of girlfriends. If it looked promising, I’d invite her for a drink that evening, and often they’d say that they really couldn’t get away, or that they had plans. I never pushed it, because there would always be another one along soon, and I scored enough times to keep me happy all summer, without any kind of commitment.
The summer had almost gone when Graham stopped by where I was working that day and asked me to meet him in the White Hart for a drink that evening. We had rubbed along OK when I used to work for him in the pub and doing up the cottage, but we’d never been drinking buddies or had the same set of friends, so I was interested to see that this was all about.
He bought us a pint, and we started chatting about the town and what we’d been up to this summer. He told me how renting hadn’t turned out to be the money spinner he’d hoped for, so he’d just signed a contract to sell the cottage to someone who wanted to paint in it. “Paint pictures, that is,” he helpfully explained, “he said something about the light being perfect, but whatever, if he pays the cash that’s all I’m interested in.” Then he paused for a moment, seeming to get serious, took a long drink and said.
“In fact, I’ve been thinking of using some of the money from the cottage to get myself a mobile food truck. I thought that the layby near the QE roundabout would be a good place to park it; lots of local traffic plus the holidaymakers all have to go past. I could sell hot and cold drinks, snacks, burgers and homemade sandwiches.”
“Sounds like a great idea,” I said, “I’m sure lots of people would love to stop on their way to the coast or back into town. I’m sure you’d do well.”
“Yea but I don’t want to throw money away on it either, I don’t really know what the trade would be like,” He replied. “I think it would be up to someone to make it a place people want to stop. I thought I’d look for some bright young kid to run it for me, not on a salary, but for a cut of the profit. That means, no profit for me, no money for them. On the other hand, someone who is a good salesman, and who didn’t mind putting in long hours and actually selling stuff – well, they could earn themselves quite a bit.”
I just nodded. I thought, or at least, I hoped, I could see where this conversation was going, but I didn’t want to jump in too quickly.
“I think you did OK when you worked for. I mean, you are a bit of a womanizer, but we all have our wild oats to sow when we’re young. I hear around town that you’ve been doing casual work and that you seem to be reliable and good at chatting to people.”
“Well yeah, it’s been OK so far,” I said, “here, you have an empty glass, same again?”
I got us a second pint and waited for the offer that I was sure Graham was about to make.
“You’re certainly a good worker if you can keep your pants on long enough.” He chuckled at his joke, and I smiled along with him. He took a sip of his new drink. “So, do you know anyone who might be interested in running the food truck for me?”
“What, other than me you mean?” I replied.
He smiled at that. “Great, I think you’ll work out fine,” He said.
We talked about what we could do with the van, what my cut would be, and then we shook on the deal. Within a few weeks, I was set up in “Grahams Food Truck” parked by the QE Roundabout every day, rain or shine.