Tales From the Pub # 1
I am sipping a drink. Staring out the window across the valley. Grateful of the opportunity to be Not Thinking for a while.
Across the bar from me are three men.
You know the type. They were probably born in The Pub. Fifties probably. As broad as they are tall. Too many shirt buttons undone. No neck (Darwinian – that beer has to reach the stomach VERY quickly). Bald. Red face.
Pub Man1: Had one of theym fuckin’ phone calls last neet. [Adopts Jim Davison-style Asian accent] ‘Hello my name is Nigel. Could I speak to the person who deals with your utilities?’
PM2: Awwww. Haway.
PM1: Ah naw. Telt him to fuck off.
PM3: They’re not really called Nigel ya naw. Bah. Get paid a few foosand a yar and they want to fuckin’ BE us.
PM2: Sleepin’ giant.
PM1: [He is obviously the ringleader and voice of authority] Sleeping Dragon he means.
PM2 remains silent, clearly embarrassed about his lack of knowledge regarding world affairs.
PM1: [Warming to his subject] Aye. China like. We’ve given them a taste. Mistake. They’ll want the lot soon. [Drags on cigarette] Aye. They’ll tek us ower. Ya naw [leans forward in a conspiratorial manner] if all the Pakis in China jumped up and doon at the same time………THE BERLIN WALL WOULD FALL DOON!
His companions nod sagely at this astonishing piece of information.
I struggle to pop my eyes back into their sockets. And prevent my brain from doing cart-wheels and escaping through my ears.
I stub out my half-smoked cigarette.
Pub Man begins explaining to his companions that ‘the blacks’ are destroying this town’s economy and that he suspects ‘the Italians’ are involved.
Or ‘the Poles’. I forget which. I was in a hurry to be somewhere else.
I finish my drink and leave.