Das Title

Das Ist Normal
Part 1

"Hmm, maybe a bit but you've seen the last of me in a dress!"

Those words were bound to come back to haunt me! The last week as Nena had had its lighter moments but now it was time to get back to normal and normal means trousers and Chris! Now in case you missed what happened last week, here's a quick recap. My name is Chris Hornby, yes like the model railways, I've not heard that before, and I work for Global Holidays as a host on their coach holidays. To satisfy a bet, I spent last week in Austria as 'Nena', thankfully that's over and I can put that episode down to experience!

Monday morning, as usual after a week away it's laundry time, except instead of boxers and socks I've got panties and tights! Not normal! Whatever, I put the washer on and selected my usual cool wash, looking at the labels that should do the job okay. Whilst the machine did it's stuff I sorted out my paperwork, trip receipts, tips, tea money, Mr. Taxman would want his share, which is how the whole thing started.

Half an hour later and I was sat in a state of shock. I certainly underestimated last night, the tips came to a hundred and twelve pounds and there was seventy- eight quid in the tea float. How we work it on Global, I have total responsibility for the refreshments, buying raw materials, selling; Global just set the prices so that everyone charges the same. As far as the tips go, the host and driver usually pool the income then split it down the middle, my contribution is generally pretty small, but not this week! Lastly, the trip money, like the tea money, all comes to me, I have to 'hire' the bus and driver, the driver gets a flat rate, the bus is charged by the kilometre. It's not often you can make much on the trips! This all sounds like I'm rolling in it but the wages are pretty crap, most of us have a second job when we're home.

The buzzer on the washer disturbed my reverie and I busied myself with getting 'my' small's hung out before getting ready to head over to my colleague and nominal girlfriend, Julia. Supposedly today is a day off but it's expected that we take the accounts and stuff in sometime today, I generally cadge a lift off Julia over to the depot.

I got myself organised and got as far as the door to my flat before I remembered Nena's hair! Damn, I hunted round and found a baseball cap then spent five minutes hiding as much of my currently white blonde hair as I could before setting off for the half hour walk to Julia's. It was one of those bright days; warm but windy with white cotton wool clouds scudding across a backdrop of blue. At least the hat kept my hair under control!

"Hi Chris, kettles on, what's with the hat?"

I took it off and let my blonde locks loose.


"I think you look cute as a blonde"

"Well I don't," I said making the coffee.

"Aah, poor Chrisikins"

"You said you'd dye it back this morning" I mentioned

"Dang! I clean forgot"

"Jules!" I whined

"Look, I'll nip down the village and get some dye now, it won't take long, you want anything fetching?"

"No thanks"

"Be back in ten" she pulled the door closed behind her, then I heard her little Polo splutter into life and take off with an asthmatic whine! I sat and read through the local free paper while I waited.

The door opened and a slightly flustered Julia dumped a carrier bag on the table.

"Here" she chucked me aMars bar and settled on the sofa next to me.

"You get it?"

"Well yes and no"

"It's either one or the other"

"Well they didn't exactly have much choice, seems everyone round here want to be blonde!"

"So?" I prompted

"Well unless you fancy being a red head, the only stuff I could find near your colour is only a temporary wash in job. Sorry Chris"

"It'll have to do I 'spose"

"We can stop off in town after we've been in to work and get some from Boots"

"Come on then let's do it"

Now then, let this be a warning! Brown wash in hair colour used on white blonde hair comes out khaki! I'm not sure what's worse.

"Oh come on Chris, stop moping, we'll sort it out later."

She was right I guess.

We drove the fifteen miles over to the depot, arriving just after two.

"Hi you two" Maureen on reception chirped, "good week?"

"Great thanks," Julia dug into her bag and produced a box, "here's your perfume"

"Thanks Jules, Bill's inside"

"Okay, come on Chris"

We walked through to the accounts office to find Bill.

"Chris, Julia"

"Afternoon Bill" I returned his greeting

"You both have good trips?"

"Not too bad, at least the weather was good"

"Who's first?"

"Go on Chris, I want to have a word with Gloria in reservations"

"Looks like it's me then"

"Shut the door Chris"

Oh dear, this doesn't sound good. Although we're on first name terms, Bill is actually one of the partners who own Global and although he does the accounts, he also does the hiring and firing.

"Have a seat Chris" this was way too formal, not Bill at all.

"What's up Bill?" may as well get it over and done with!

He was obviously a bit unsure on how to start.

"Firstly, I'm glad you've recovered okay"

"Recovered?" oh shit I'm sunk good and proper

"From the food poisoning that made you come home, funny you didn't let the office know?" his look meant I was in real deep doo doo.

"Several passengers rang from Austria and more this morning to see how you were. What could we say? That we didn't know anything about it?" I collapsed back into the chair.

"And then there were the other calls."

"Other calls?"

"Yes we've had twenty three calls praising one 'Nena' who apparently filled in for you in your absence. Seems the young lady was quite a hit and according to a couple of passengers 'a right looker'."

"I'm dead aren't I?"

"Well I have to take a firm line, you left the tour without contacting us here, that in it's self is a sacking offence. Then the mysterious Nena replaces you, we don't know who this person is, and all we know is that she filled in for you and did a good job. Have you got any explanation?"

Choices! I can come clean, tell him the whole story and get not only me but also probably Den and Julia sacked as well. Or shoulder the blame myself, say it was all my idea, resign and hopefully end it there. Either way won't look good on my CV!

"Before you say anything, I've already spoken to Den this morning"

Damn! Looks like I've little choice.

"Okay, if you spoke to Den you know most of it already. I knew it was a bad idea when Mandy suggested it. Look I'll quit if that's what you want, just leave the others out of it."

"Quit!" he looked genuinely shocked by my proposal, "why would I want you to quit? You might not have done it by the book but finding a suitable replacement at short notice, and one so capable. No, I don't want you to quit."


"Yes there's a but, I would like to have the same staff for a whole tour. If you fall sick again, ring me! I know that compared to the girls you get a rough deal"

"I ah"

"Word gets round Chris, I know you work hard and from what I've seen you are the best host we have. But the girls get all the big tips, the punters don't mind if they don't get a running commentary and I have to admit they could just sit at the front looking pretty and no one would complain. You on the other hand work your butt off. It is appreciated and you know we get lots of feedback praising you but I also know it would get me down, so much for sex equality eh?"

I simply nodded.

"What I'm trying to say Chris, I don't know how to say this really. Look, if you want to take a week off and get say Nena to cover for you that's fine by me and Russ (the other half of the partnership!) as long as you give us a warning before hand" he gave me a wink.

"What about Den and the others?"

"How many people outside this room know about last week, I mean on Global?"

"Five? Six with Russell"

"Well I don't see any reason to increase that do you? As far as the rest of the staff knows, you managed to get a college friend to fill for you who may or may not work for us again. That okay?"

"I don't think she'll have to do that anytime soon"

"That's up to you. You know where I stand. You've always been a credit to Global and I know you'll continue to be. Now that's done with, lets sort out the money."

We did the tour accounts and I finally got to leave Bill's office

"Find that girlfriend of yours and send her in. and leave the door"


I tracked Julia down to reservations.

"Bill's ready for you now"

"You were a long time, is there anything wrong? When I saw the door?"

"He knows about last week"


"S'okay it's all sorted but expect an ear bashing, I'll fill you in later"

"Best not keep him waiting I guess"

I walked through to the tour office to find Russ.

"Hiya Chris, you finished with Bill?"

"Er yeah, sorry about last week"

"Just let us know in future eh? And that bird you got in went down a treat"

How much had Bill told him? For that matter, how much did Bill know?

"What have I got this week Russ?"

"Well as you're here first you get to choose. We've got Brittany, the Algarve and Eifel Experience"

Looks like a no brainer, I hate the heat and my French is not that brilliant.

"Looks like the Eifel then, that's a nine day yeah? Who's the driver?"

"Yeah, they're all nine this week, Den's doing Germany."


"Pick up your tour pack Friday, leave the depot at six on Saturday"

"See you Friday then"

I left to go get a cuppa while I wait for Julia.

"I got a proper chewing out!" Jules mentioned as we drove back to her place

"It wasn't exactly a picnic for me"

"So what did he say?"

"Ring in sick next time"

"About you know who stupid"

"He said as long as he knows beforehand Nena can take another tour. As if!"


"It is not! I told you it was a one off"


"Well nothing, Chris Hornby and not Nena whatsername works for Global. Final!"

"Okay, keep your hair on"

"Hair! Damn I forgot about that"

"Well it's too late for the shops now"

"I guess I'll live till tomorrow"

I think I mentioned that I've got a second job, nothing very cerebral I'm afraid, I work behind the bar in the village pub. And guess what? The regular barmaid, Beth has broken her wrist so who gets roped in to work her shifts all week? Yep me! Not bad I hear you say, yeah extra money great but also no chance to sort out my hair. I've not got a phobia, honest!

Julia came by the Oaks on Thursday afternoon, it's all day opening and I've got the two to eleven shift.

"How's it going Chris?"

"So so"

"At least that horrible brown has washed out"

"Well that's good at least" I mentioned sarcastically

"What about the tour?"

"What about it?"

"Well, will you get a chance to do your hair before?"

"I doubt it, I suppose I can put up with it, I've got used to it"

"I reckon you like being a blonde"

"It's only hair!"


"Okay I admit it, I like being blonde. Happy?"

"Don't be like that Chris"

"Well it's not like I got much say did I?"

"Alright it's all my fault, I admit it"

"I didn't mean it like that Jules"

"So you enjoyed being a blonde bimbo?"

"I was not a bimbo!"

"Ha! So you did enjoy it!"

"I never said that"

"You didn't deny it though"

"It was okay"

"Just okay?"


"I bet you wouldn't do it again then"

Where did that come from?


"I bet you wouldn't do it again"

"What the hell for?"

"Well if it wasn't a big deal you wouldn't be bothered"

"I'm not bothered!"

"Prove it! Do next weeks tour as Nena and I'll be your sex slave for a month"

"Give over!"

"I'm serious. You do another tour as a girl and you get me however you want for a month. Otherwise I can play hard to get"

"This is stupid"

"Stupid huh" she pouted, "hey Rodg (the manager of the pub), would you wear a dress if I offered you sex for a month? Hypothetically of course"

"Hypothetically of course, where's the frock?"

"Well I just offered that to Chris and he's turned me down"

"Chris lad, put on the dress!" Roger told me

Now I'm in a corner! If I say no it looks like I don't want her when I do. If I say yes I have to become Nena again! It's a no win situation.

"I'm not saying yes, but if I did that's it right?"

"If that's what you want"

I thought it through again as Julia sipped on her orange juice. Ah well, in for a penny.


She leant over the bar and gave me a hug.

"I'll ring Bill for you, I'll pick you up later and we can let you have an advanced sample of the sex!"

Now that I can look forward to!

I worked the ten till three shift on Friday and Jules picked me up.

"You going like that?"

"Why not?" we're only picking up paperwork so my shirt and jeans were okay.

"Blondes! If you're going as Nena tomorrow we need to get the paperwork sorted and you need a photo id."

"Can I change my mind?"

"No way Josť! Bill's expecting Nena and Nena he's gonna get!"

My goose was already cooked! We eventually arrived at Global just before six thirty; a freshly plucked, shaved and enhanced Nena Ziegler followed Jules into reception.

 Nena reappears
I wasn't really that thrilled by the outfit Jules had me wear!

"Hi Maureen"

"Oh hi Julia, who's this then?"

The first test.

"Oh sorry. Maureen meet Nena, Nena, Maureen. Nena is covering for Chris this week"

"Hi Nena, Chris not ill is he?"

"No, he's fine, family or something" Jules filled in, "Bill in?"

"I think he's in with Russ in traffic"

I followed in my girlfriends' wake.

"Ah Julia, come for your pack?"

"Yeah and I've brought Nena here to sort out her paperwork"

"Hi Nena, you covering for Chris again then?"

"Ja, it is okay?"

"Great, at least he followed channels this time. Here you go, float, tickets, itinerary, I'm sure Julia and Den will see you alright."

He really didn't know

"Thank you"

"Have a good trip, both of you"

"Come on Nena, let's go see Bill"

"One down" I muttered as we walked through to Bill's office

"Oh hi Julia" he glanced up from his paperwork, "what can I do for you?"

"I've er brought Nena, Chris's stand in?"

He looked up and did a double take.

"The mysterious Nena eh. Well I can see what Den meant now."


"He said you were a looker and, no offence mind, you're a cracker!"

What would you do? Me I turned bright pink.

"Let's get this paperwork sorted, oh and you need a Global uniform. Jules can you sort that while we do the rest?"

"Sure. See you in a few Nena"

"If I didn't know" he shook his head

Forty minutes later we were back in the car, we'd even checked our buses over. I was now the 'proud' owner of a Global blouse, skirt and scarf, full picture id in the name of Nena Ziegler and an order for a dozen bottles of wine! Of course it couldn't end there could it. Oh no. Jules insisted that I get some 'supplies' from the supermarket and then to my eternal shame we stopped at the Oaks.

"Hi Julia, no Chris tonight?"

"No just us girls, can you fit us in?"

"No trouble ladies"

"Oh this is Nena"

"Nice to meet you, I'm Rodg"

"You must be Chris's boss?"

"That's me, you related, you have the same eyes"

"Cousin on her mothers side" Jules supplied

"Well enjoy your meal girls"


"Well he didn't clock you" Jules mentioned

After eating we went by my place to pack my, well Nena's stuff then we hopped over to Chez Julie, it's what we usually do the only difference was that I wore a night-dress to bed! Women! Not that I'm complaining, Jules was like the proverbial rabbit and it was after twelve when she dropped off leaving me to my thoughts.

'Do I really want to do this? What the heck am I thinking? Passport! I still have Ingrid's, just hope no one looks too carefully!' I drifted off into a fitful sleep.

Maddy Bell 21.03.04
Photo's © Maddy Bell 2001,2002
© 2004

Pictures of Nena have been generated using Ania's 'Cherie' Fkiss doll on Angy-Chan's template and are Copyright 2004. They are used with permission, if you'd like to see more go to www.acharsi.prv.pl

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