WARNING – SPOILER ALERT!
It is recommended that you read the novel first before enjoying
the content of these pages.
It is my hope that the deleted scenes below can give the reader additional insights into Hugo’s and the other character’s lives and minds, as well as some insight into the creative process of writing a novel. Here are a brief selection of scenes that could have made it into the final book, but was cut for one reason or other.
ADDITIONAL CARTOONS ON THE WALL AT THE TICK
The idea with the cartoon on the wall of the bathroom stall at The Tick was originally a bit different. I first envisioned it as an avant-garde artist, having as his idea to do bathroom stall art, replacing them periodically with new Generation X-themed comic strips. In the original drafts there were two more cartoon strips. Ultimately, the idea was set aside as the themes of the cartoons had been covered elsewhere in the book and were at that point mostly repetition.
Cartoon no. 2:
The two now familiar stick figures sat at a bar.
Number One said: ‘Nowadays you have studied, had a career, travelled and had a meaningful long term relationship by the time you’re thirty-five. You have spent so much time and energy on self-fulfillment that there’s nothing to do for rest of your life.
Number Two answered: “Maybe kids? Live your life through them instead.”
Cartoon no. 3:
This one appeared as a normal paragraph rather than dialogue meant to represent the actual drawing on the stall wall. Hugo’s reflection of the cartoon is also included.
The new comic was titled ’To get your disillusions confirmed’ and showed how one of the stick figures had travelled back in time to meet his ten-year-old self. The ten-year-old self said to him ‘What happened to all the dreams we had. How could you let me turn into you?”
Hugo thought about what his ten-year-old self would have said to him if they ever met. Probably something similar. Wouldn’t all ten-year-olds say that to their adult counterparts? Almost nobody realizes dreams of becoming astronauts, movie stars, pop stars, magicians or whatever it could be. Sad, really.
The character of Maya (Lardy’s employee at The Tick) was developed further as she engaged Hugo and his friends in conversation towards the end of the book. The themes of her dreams gave the character some depth but were ultimately already covered in other parts of the book and were cut for that reason.
When he came back out they actually had changed the subject. Maya was sitting with them and was regaling everyone about her plans once she had her degree.
“I want a job where I get to travel a lot,” she said.
“But what do you want to do?” Nella asked.
“I don’t know. I just want to travel.”
Hugo smiled to himself. Back when he was at the university he heard the exact same thing from countless fellow students. Mostly from girls. They all had a completely romanticized idea of what working life was all about. Travel, flexible working hours, freedom, exotic working environments. None of that exist in real life, with the possible exception of travel. But when you travel with work there’s nothing exciting about it. Just conference rooms, airports and hotels. There’s definitely no glamorous or exotic ingredients and absolutely no romance.
Exotic environments? Does it matter if you shuffle papers in New York or Cambridge? It’s the same shit anyway.
Hugo never met any students who mentioned anything about the monotonous pile of boredom real working life was all about. He was about to say something, but decided that for now she could keep her image of working life as something fun where you would get to travel a lot. She’d be disillusioned soon enough.
THE POLISCI SEMINAR
Towards the end of the book Nick and Hugo are debating in a much more literal sense the values of individualism and liberty. It provided some perspective on Nick but as a whole it came dangerously close to speechifying and the dialogue was somewhat academic in nature, which in the end didn’t fit well with the style of the book. Hugo’s libertarian outlook on life is never explicitly stated, but quite obvious from the context.
The discussion slid into a debate about young people. Ironic, Hugo thought, since he was only a few years into his thirties and didn’t consider himself old enough to complain about youths. Sure, time had run away from him with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, he had to admit that. Those were sites he rarely if ever visited and he certainly wasn’t active on any of them.
”My grandfather’s generation,” Nick started. Everybody groaned. “Seriously,” he begged. Hugo jokingly threw a chip in his head, but he had to admit that when he got going it was interesting.
”Three generations are alive at the same time now, thanks to everyone getting older and older,” he said. “For my grandfather’s generation there was social status in being. To be a farmer. To be a craftsman. To be something was desirable. Sons went in the father’s footsteps and that was admirable. Next up was the baby boomers. For them it was desirable to have. To have a house. To have a nice kitchen. To have an academic degree. Baby boomer wanted to have the things the previous generation didn’t. But it wasn’t about egoism, it was about equality. Everyone should have things. Not just a few.”
He took a sip of his beer and continued. “Young people today have a completely different attitude. For them it’s desirable to be different. To be unique. They look for anything that will make them stick out and as soon as they have found it they want it before anyone else has it. It’s the ‘I want to be something’-generation. It’s just me, me, me!”
After Nick stopped talking it was quiet for a while. Everyone had to digest what he had just said. It wasn’t often Nick had such profound things to say.
“You’re saying it as if there is something wrong with the attitudes of the young,” Hugo finally said.
”I think there is. They never consider anyone else but themselves. They never do anything for the good of society.”
Hugo suspected some of that was directed at him for what he was doing at FastCredit. It was an act egoism to do what he did. It is wrong to do what is best for yourself. That’s what Nick meant.
“You’re a little Marxist,” Benzo said.
“Do something for society?” Nella said sardonically. ”What does that mean?”
Hugo wasn’t completely sure she was joking.
“What society,” said Hugo? “There is no society. There are no common ethical grounds. There are no norms. Those ideas are just remnants from the good ol’ days. Today there are only individuals with diverse preferences. Mankind has to give up on the idea that there can only be one society that is best for everyone.”
Hugo follows through on his sexual encounter with Layla
The ending that is in the book is the original ending. I wrote a second ending where Hugo goes through with the plan to seduce Layla and get his revenge on The T-Rex by ways of adultery. In the end, the original ending fit better with the character of Hugo. It also fit better with the concept of Hugo slowly losing his mind when he can no longer separate fiction from reality. The book also had enough explicit sex scenes by this stage in the story. Sex scenes work best when they puncture and stick out. Too much and the story risk turning into bad erotica. It is also worth noting that the T-Rex's wife was a seperate character named Corinne at some point. She was later merged with Layla as the character of Corinne served no purpose by herself other than as means for Hugo's revenge.
He had it all planned out. First a bit of googling, a quick look at
her Facebook, maybe her LinkedIn, find out where she worked. People are
surprisingly public about things they don't think can be used against
them. Of course Hugo was going use the information to give her a couple
of, hopefully earth shattering orgasms so he really didn't think he was
doing something wrong.
Her Facebook was friends only, but her place of work was openly advertised. She was a Finance rat, just like Hugo. Worked as an accountant for Dwayne and Finn, a small consultancy firm catering to various financial institutions. Google Maps to find out where their offices were and a phone call to their reception to confirm she was in today and when she would be leaving. Then everything was set for arranging a random encounter.
Dwayne and Finn was in The City of London, just a few tube stops from Canary Warf. He didn't even have to leave early. The T-Rex would spending the rest of the day at Corporate so sneaking out was no trouble at all. Jess had moved out so he could invite Corinne to his place. Or they could get a hotel.
When he got to Dwayne and Finn he called their reception again with a fake errand, asking for Corinne to check that she was still there. She was. Then he went to the nearby Starbucks, got a coffee and sat down on the steps outside, waiting.
When she came out the door he pretended to bump into her. Then it was on.
"Corinne? Is that you?"
"Well, well. Hugo. Fancy seeing you here."
"Actually it's Hugs. My friends call me Hugs."
"Hugs. Cute. What are you doing here?"
He told her all about the fake job interview he had just had with another firm in the same building, how he was just catching his breath on the stairs after the ordeal.
"You know what I think?" she said. "I think you're just looking for an excuse to see me?"
She smiled and Hugo couldn't quite tell if she was joking or if she'd called his bluff. It didn't matter. He went with it.
"You caught me. I can't get that almost kiss at the FastCredit party out of mind. You naughty girl. You stirred something up and now you're paying the price."
"Oh, I can't wait."
The cocky-funny banter went on for a while. He was just about to suggest coffee, to get her to warm up to the idea of sex. He had a whole evening planned with clever incremental steps to get her more and more into it. Increased touching, eye contact intensification, the works. Then finally trying to angle it like it was all her idea to go for sex. It had worked well for him a few times. Sometimes all that isn't necessary. She beat him to it.
"You know Frank won't be home until late," she said and bit lower lip.
"Oh, you're naughty. Naughty. Naughty girl."
"I can be, if I like."
He took two steps closer, now standing just inches away from her. He could smell her perfume, her breath, with just a hint of office coffee.
"Are you suggesting what I think you're suggesting."
She didn't say anything. She just stood there looking fuck all sexy and seductive. He went for the kiss. A full blown kiss this time.
"Let's just get a taxi," she said.
They made out in the cab and when they got to the T-Rex's place they fucked like rabbits in every room of the apartment. She was so hungry, like she hadn't fucked since the nineties or something. He lost count of how many times she came. When it was his turn he jizzed in her mouth. He just emptied that big Peter North load for all it was worth, kegeling hard to get the very last drop out on the face of his nemesis' wife. It was fucking awesome!
After they had showered they cuddled and talked.
"I know you're just fucking me to get back at Frank," she said. "He told me about the problems he has with you."
"Is that why you're so attracted to me?"
"Maybe. Do you care?"
"No. Question is, what is your beef with the man? Why did you fuck me?"
"Don't get me started. I've had it with that infertile whimp. We haven't had anything physical for years."
"We're in our late fifties. Do you see any pictures of kids here?"
"He lost all interest in me a long time ago. It's all hookers for him these days. In fact, he might be with one now for all I know."
"Sorry to hear that."
The age old story. Why do people chose to stay together under such loveless circumstances?
"You know, this is the first time I stepped outside my marriage," she said. "I'm glad it was with you."
They kept talking for a little while longer then she told him he had to get going. The T-Rex would be back soon. They both agreed that it would be just a onetime thing.
"Are you going to tell him?" Hugo asked.
"You are, aren't you? It's your way of getting back at him for what he did to you."
Hugo didn't say anything.
"It's okay. We're done anyway."
He kissed her one last time and got dressed.
"By the way," he said, “that heart shaped mold you have on your thigh next to your vag is the cutest thing I've ever seen."
She giggled. A genuine girlish giggle, the kind you rarely see women in her fifties do. Then he left, hoping he wouldn't run into the T-Rex in the stairwell. She was right. He was going to tell him. That was the entire point. But not here in the stairwell. He had a bigger spectacle planned.
The final scene of the story at FastCredit in this ending was a more
traditional showdown between
The T-Rex and Hugo.
Friday came and Hugo was called to a meeting with the T-Rex and the temp
boss from New York. One hour. That was how long he had left as an employee
at FastCredit. He would be asked to clean out his desk immediately after
the meeting was done. At least he would have the satisfaction of having
fucked the wife of his nemesis.
Benzo and Nella joined him, gave him reassuring pats on the back, telling him it wasn't all that bad to get fired and so forth. Nothing new, really. Hugo only mourned for his lost severance. They wouldn't give him a dime (or a penny in this country) after what he'd done.
They spent that hour down in the sofa in the main lobby. Just talking. About nothing and everything. Like old times. The hour passed, not as slowly as he would have thought. He wasn't nervous this time. He was beyond such petty emotions now.
He met the T-Rex outside the New York temp boss's office. The temp boss himself was in his room talking on the phone, blinds open so that he could see outside. The T-Rex leaned in closer.
"I hope you know, Hugo, that this is purely professional. Just business. I have nothing against you, but after what you did you have really forced my hand."
He held out a hand. Hugo shook it.
Just business! Ha!
"Don't sweat it," Hugo said aloud so that everyone could hear. "I fucked your wife so we're even."
"What? Hugo, really. There's no need for that kind vulgarity."
"Oh, but I did. I fucked her all over your apartment last night. In your bedroom, on your kitchen table, in your living room. Not a square inch spared from our sweaty bodies. She said she came harder than she'd ever done in her life. Then I shot my big fat load in her mouth. Something for you to think about the next time you kiss her."
"Hugo! Really! This is..."
"Don't believe me? She has a really cute little heart shaped mold on her inner thigh just next to her fun zone."
The T-Rex froze.
"That's right," Hugo said and gave him a
smirkiest smile he could muster.
"How would I know that if I wasn't telling the truth?"
The T-Rex swung. He hit Hugo square in the head,
busting one of his eyebrows open. Good. Eyebrows bleed like a son-of-a-bitch.
Looks much worse than it is. Hugo toppled over, fell into a plant behind
him. He just lay there. Didn't move. Didn't get up to fight back. It had
worked. The T-Rex's bipolar temper hand taken him down.
Benzo jumped in after what seemed like minutes. He pushed the T-Rex away so he couldn't continue his assault. The New York temp boss came rushing out of his office. The T-Rex calmed down. He wore the facial expression of defeat. He knew there was zero tolerance for violence at FastCredit. It wouldn't matter what happened next. He was done.
The New York temp boss kneeled beside Hugo and asked how he was. Hugo smiled and said only one thing.
"Now, who the hell put a plant there?"