the bar of the ale-house I have met some old friends in, slightly giddy with
the odd experience of being neither in my office nor my home and of being
surrounded by people I have a genuine fondness for.
Attractive Barmaid: What can I get you?
Me: A pint
of Strong Drink, please.
entirely sure what ‘banter’ is. It seems to have a bad reputation. However, I’m
feeling a bit excitable so decide now is the time to give it a whirl.
Me: Oh, and
can I have it in a normal straight glass and not one of those vases?
don’t like the chalices?
I’ve quite small hands and the weight and balance feels weird and I always
end-up spilling some.
at me with professional polite dis-interest. I ‘up my game’.
they look gay.
[Giving me a contemptuous look] I’d have stuck with the ‘small hands’ story
were I you.
[Warming to this now, resting my elbows on the bar] Well. You know what they
say – ‘small hands, small…...’ Ah. Erm.
at me blankly and places my drink in front of me.
Sorry. Forget that. It didn’t work. I…erm. Thanks.
I turn to
walk away with my drink.
SAB: [To my back] THAT’S
THREE POUNDS FIFTY.
[Startled, slopping Strong Drink everywhere] Christ. Yes. Sorry.
complete, I return to the table of old friends – who have thankfully been out
of earshot – and put my drink down.
Friend#1: [Cheerfully] Alright, then?
off, will you?
outside for a cigarette. As I close the door I hear:
Old Friend#2: He hasn’t changed.