When Billy Bouncer was born he looked very odd indeed. The doctors called him a miracle, his parents called him a freak. The problem with Billy was that instead of having a head, he arrived with a suitcase attached to his shoulders, exactly where his head should have been. At birth, it was about the size of a normal head, but over time it would grow to become almost twice the size of Billy's body. It was blue in colour and even had a small lock attached to the handle on the side. The head surgeon believed that he could operate and give little Billy a normal head instead of a suitcase, but after much thinking he changed his mind, saying the operation was just too dangerous. Billy's parents discussed, at great length, what to do with him. They thought about building a dungeon in the basement where they could chain him to the wall and hide him from the world. They also wondered if they could open the suitcase and somehow fold the rest of Billy into it. Then they could carry him around by his handle and nobody would notice, everyone would simply think they were going on holidays. But in the end it was all too much for them. It was during Billy's second month on the planet that they gave him away. They put him in a big box and left him on the orphanage doorstep.
As Billy grew he realised quickly that he was a very different boy. The other children didn't treat him very well at all. Sometimes they would paint a target on the front of his case and throw eggs at it. Other times they would write rude messages on the back of his case, messages like 'oversized luggage', 'Headcase' or 'fragile, handle with car'. This hurt Billy very much and he spent much time hiding under people's beds with other suitcases, that way he couldn't be found. Sometimes he would just stare out the window and watch the birds buzz around and the airplanes fly high in the sky. Billy had always wished he could fly and often dreamt he could just jet away from it all.
Since Billy didn't have many friends he spent a lot of time alone, and because of this he developed many problems. One day when he was coming out of the shower Billy accidentally stepped on another boys foot, the boy looked at him and politely smiled. This made Billy very happy, but also lead him to believe that whenever he met someone he should step on their foot, that way he might get a smile. This created some very difficult situations. Another day as he was taking off his school trousers, the school mistress came through the door. When she saw Billy she quickly screeched and ran out the door. Billy then came to believe that whenever he didn't want to see someone he could simply pull down his trousers and they might just run away. Sometimes when Billy would be introduced to somebody he would step on their toes, and as they shouted at him he would then pull down his trousers. The doctors said it was a strange case of 'obsessive compulsive disorder' and it became quite a big problem for poor Billy.
When Billy was 17 years old it was time to leave the orphanage. He tried desperately to get a job but nobody would give work to a person who had a suitcase for a head. Billy was forced to sleep on the street. This was not easy for him as his suitcase was not waterproof, so he was forced to wear a bin liner over it whenever it rained. When an old policeman saw Billy in a sweetshop he became suspicious as he thought he was a thief. He shouted 'freeze' and took out his baton, but instead of freezing, Billy just pulled down his trousers. The police man arrested Billy for 'indecent exposure'.
At the police station, the policeman asked many questions, but in the end felt sorry for young Billy and let him go. When Billy informed him that he had nowhere to sleep, the policeman explained that they lived in a wonderful country and that there is lots of money for useless people like Billy, he said it's called Government Benefits. He explained that if Billy was really smart he could convince the government that he had a disability, that way he would make more money than any hard working man, and would never have to lift a finger. Billy was very happy to hear this, so happy that he stepped heavily on the policeman's foot and soon found himself in jail for another night.
Some years passed and Billy was living happily on Benefits. He had more money than he had ever known, the government gave him a house with a garden and a he could park his motorbike anywhere he liked. But by the time he was 40 years old he had become very lonely and depressed. He would walk on the street and see couples holding hands and kissing, friends playing in the park and groups of people drinking beer and laughing. Billy knew he would never have any of that. But one day that all changed.
One of the conditions of Billy's Benefits was that once a month he had to go to a mental hospital to see a psychiatrist, as they believed having a suitcase for a head could cause mental problems. One day in the hospital waiting room, a woman sat down beside him. She was a large girl, maybe 250 pounds, but she had the prettiest face Billy had ever seen. Billy was always nervous around girls and quickly turned his suitcase the other way. But the woman started talking to him anyway, she told him that her name was Assumpta and she was there because she was 'anorexic' and also had a condition called 'random screaming disorder'. Billy didn't know what anorexic meant so he decided to ask, but first he had to introduce himself. He slowly put out his hand and then stepped on the woman's foot, she quickly screamed, and with that Billy pulled down his trousers. It was not the way Billy wanted it to go at all. As he began to pull up his pants Billy noticed that instead of two feet, the woman had two red bricks. Could it possibly be that another person could be as deformed as him?, he thought.
Billy and Assumpta soon decided to move in together and because they were both on benefits, they had lots of money and free parking. Billy had to walk slowly with Assumpta as her bricks were very heavy, but he didn't mind. It was also sometimes a little embarrassing as she would randomly scream at passers by. Billy also had to spend a lot of money on food because of Assumpta's eating habits. She would start in the morning with a large fry up and then she would eat a three course meal followed by ice cream for lunch and an eight course meal for dinner. Billy Knew that this was because of Assumpta's severe anorexia, a condition he never dared to question, knowing it was a very sensitive topic for Assumpta to discuss. Overall he was just glad to have the company of the woman he loved. Every day they would get up and watch the sunrise and, because neither of them ever had to work, they could sit in the garden all day counting their free money and drinking apple cider.