Thursday, August 22, 2013
I approach 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.
Slightly Attractive Barmaid: What can I get you?
Me: A pint of Strong Drink, please.
I’m not 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?
SAB: You don’t like the chalices?
Me: No. I’ve quite small hands and the weight and balance feels weird and I always end-up spilling some.
She glances at me with professional polite dis-interest. I ‘up my game’.
Me: Plus, they look gay.
SAB: [Giving me a contemptuous look] I’d have stuck with the ‘small hands’ story were I you.
Me: [Warming to this now, resting my elbows on the bar] Well. You know what they say – ‘small hands, small…...’ Ah. Erm.
She gazes at me blankly and places my drink in front of me.
Me: *sigh* 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.
Me: [Startled, slopping Strong Drink everywhere] Christ. Yes. Sorry.
Transaction complete, I return to the table of old friends – who have thankfully been out of earshot – and put my drink down.
Old Friend#1: [Cheerfully] Alright, then?
Me: Fuck off, will you?
I go outside for a cigarette. As I close the door I hear: