Tales From the Pub # 3
It is at least eleven years ago.
On this occasion, I am actually behind the bar. I am talking to Garry The Mental.
Garry The Mental is very drunk. I am not worried.
[As any good barman will know, there are drunks to worry about, and drunks to not. Garry The Mental was not. The drunks to worry about are not such a big deal. If they get out of hand, you remove them, and they are so drunk by this stage that removing them is not difficult because they are so appallingly drunk that even if they did lash out they would miss. You grab them by their upper arm near the shoulder and dig your fingers in. It would hurt like fuck to a sober man. A proper drunkard merely gets the message. You then steer them out the door. If they kick-off before this, you slip your arms under their armpits and lace your fingers behind their neck. There is not a lot they can do at this point. I have had to do both on more than one occasion and it scared the shit out of me each time.]
GTM: Don’t tell anyone. [Looks around, as if he could see anything] I was in the SAS.
GTM: I could jump out of your fridge at any time. Like Kato in the Pink Panther.
Me: I’ll look out for that. Would it be O.K. if I ask you to finish up now? Lot of clearing up to do and I’ve got to open up in the morning.
GTM: Yeah. You’re O.K. I’ll keep an eye out for you.
I had a look in my fridge that night just to be sure.
Several days later I am In The Pub with Sad Sack.
I do rather like Sad Sack. One of those men for whom life has just – well – he just hasn’t had one. And he doesn’t seem to mind too much.
And has the best record collection of anyone aside from John Peel.
I relate the Garry The Mental story. Sad Sack stiffens.
Sad Sack: I don’t like that.
Me: [jovial] I wasn’t too happy myself
Sad Sack: You know what I do for a living.
To explain. We lived in a fairly small city. It was unremarkable, but I liked it. It was a stones-throw away from the permanent base of the SAS. It wasn’t too far away from GCHQ. On the outskirts of the city, must of the work was from defence contractors, most of whom did work – indirectly – for the MOD.
Me: Erm. You work for a software design house?
SS: DO YOU THINK THAT? WHO KNOWS WHAT MY ALGORHYRIMS ARE BEEN USED FOR?? GARY THE MENTAL COULD BE A PLANT!! HE’S PROBABLY MI6!! HE'S USING YOU TO CHECK ME! I’VE SEEN CARS I DON’T RECOGNIZE OUTSIDE MY HOUSE! AND NOW YOU’VE SET GARRY THE MENTAL AND OBVIOUSLY MI5 ON ME!!! SHIT. SHIT!
Sad Sack called me the next morning and apologised. It was 1995.
I am fucking glad I do not frequent any pubs in that town now.
I finished my drink and left.