Bernie wheezed his way into the pub. He looked over and saw his pal Jamsie sitting at a table in the corner with a half drunk pint of lager. A full pint awaited him. He walked over, slumped down and gulped his drink.
“Don’t laugh!!” He panted.
Jamsie was trying hard not to smile.
“Are you allergic to them?”
“May I enquire why a wasp renders you hysterical and screaming like a little girl whose Barbie has been violated by her brother’s Action Man?”
Bernie fidgeted in his seat. His face reddened. He finished his beer in two large gulps.
“Just leave it will you. I just don’t like them. They can sting you and it’s nippy sore!”
He took his empty glass up to the bar and ordered another two pints.
Jamsie waited until the barman had poured the drinks and shouted across the room, “Give him a Vapona chaser will you!!”
Bernie turned around and gave him the universal sign of ‘The Wanker’.
He brought the drinks across and sat back down. Jamsie could see by his face that he’d better let it go. He smiled and shrugged, “OK, that’s plenty. But you should probably see someone about that.”
Bernie screwed his eyes up, “What? Like a doctor?”
“No. I was thinking more of a psychiatrist you phobic mad bastard!”
“Are you not going to let this go?”
“Anyway, you should’ve seen the size of it! It swooped on me like some big bird. You could actually see its sting! I could hear it’s wings flapping. It honed in on me, I swear it.”
Jamsie began to laugh but decided to change the subject.
“The last two pubs were a bit dead.”
“Aye, the whole town is dying. Fucking useless council bastards. They wouldn’t give you the courtesy of a reach around if they were fucking you up the arse.”
“Talking about our elected useless pricks…Are you voting? The Council Elections are coming up soon.”
Bernie snorted, “Am I fuck! As far as I am concerned, they are all paedophiles, thieves or liars. And if they say that they are none of above, then they have just proved that they are fucking liars.”
Jamsie nodded, “We could do with a dodgy looking guy with a back pack.”
“We’ve got them, that’s those Parking Attendant cunts.”
“Aye and they fuckers give you mair grief!”
“Aye, sure I got a sixty notes fine for assaulting one of them. It was a miscarriage of justice.”
“Don’t start on that, you didn’t even have a car. In fact, you can’t even fucking drive!”
“Fair doos. But he just had one of those faces that you wanted to nut. Smug prick!”
“…Alright, to try and keep the conversation flowing, what about Trump?”
“I’ve no comment.”
“Well we went through the Ronnie Ray-gun years so who gives a fuck! He didn’t manage to blow us up the senile old bastard. Anyway, everytime I see him, I want to listen to ‘A Flock Of Seagulls’ and that suits Turnberry cause the last time I was there a seagull shit on me.”
“What the fuck were you doing in Turnberry?”
“I was heading to Girvan to get a fish supper and needed a piss so I got out and had a piss up against a big blue helicopter and that was when the seagull shat on me.”
“Jesus Fuck… Let’s change the subject…Again! did you enjoy the Olympics?”
“Are you watching The Special Olympics?”
“That’s terrible! Do you ken whit those folks go through? The dedication! The single-mindedness! The sheer will to win, you really are a cunt! Why are you no watching them? Come on you O-phob…Why no?”
“My tellies fucked. Can I come round and watch yours?”
“…So tell me then, tomorrow is Saturday, what’re you up to?”
Bernie began to grin, “I’ve got a date.”
“Well don’t sound so surprised.”
“Come on, the only chance of you getting your hole is if you were dead and Saville was still alive!”
Bernie stood up and pointed at his friend, “That’s not fucking funny! He was a sick bastard!”
Jamsie leaned back in his chair, “I know that! The whole bloody world knows that! Even the Catholic Church knows that! And while we are at it…Westminster is still acting on that!! But I am emphasising a point about your luck with women lately.”
“That’s alright then…Wait a minute…”
Jamsie decided to talk over him and try to bring him back from the ‘cream puff’.
“Look, I’m only saying, I mean that last lady, she was no spring chicken…More like a winter Dodo.”
Bernie slumped down, “I know. But you’ve heard the saying, ‘Many a good tune played on an old fiddle’?”
“Well I thought that but I must be tone deaf, she was shite.”
“Fuck off! It’s your round. And since you’ve been such a tit to me, get the chasers in!”
Jamsie laughed as he headed over to the bar. He returned with two lagers and two double whiskys.
“Here get your gums around that. Now tell me, who is the lucky lady?”
“You know her.”
“Well, enlighten me.”
Bernie drank half his hauf.
“That Michelle that works in despatch.”
“I know her, the pretty girl…She’s a lot younger than you.”
“Go on, get it over with.”
“No slagging, she seems to be a very pleasant young lady.”
“Are you emphasising the young?”
“No not at all.”
They both finished their whisky and began on the beer.
“…So what’s wrong with her?”
“Fuck off! I think she’s perfect.”
Jamsie spluttered into his pint, “Are you being serious?”
“Aye! So you can fuck right off!”
Jamsie looked at his friend. There was determination in his eyes and a flush to his cheeks. He looked constipated.
“OK Bernie. No fucking about! Fair doos to you! If you think she’ll be good for you, I wish you all the best! I’ll even toast you both if you go and get another whisky.”
Bernie stood rather dramatically and ordered another two doubles.
He returned from the bar, was given an approving nod and they both took a drink.
“So where are you taking her?”
“I’m making her a meal.”
“How very Fanny Craddock. I hope you remember the Johnny!”
“Very funny. There you go with your shite. You lasted about three minutes.”
“Ha! That’s longer than you will. Och, you know I’m only joking. What are you making? I’m not fucking about. I know that you can cook.”
Bernie was suspicious of his friend’s comment.
“Chicken. Roasted veg. Cheese sauce and roasted tatties.”
“Sounds lovely. I hope it is a free range chicken. You want to make her think you are sensitive!”
“I’m a delight. But no. I don’t want free range.”
“Why, is it the flavour?”
Bernie finished his whisky.
“No. Pure principal”
Jamsie followed his drinking lead and shouted over to the barman for another two drinks.
“You see, I was thinking. Everyone goes on about the chickens being happy. Well would you rather not be a depressed chicken if you were going to get deid? How cruel is it if you are a happy chicken, pecking your arse, generally enjoying life and then some farmer bastard wants to pull your neck. Oh no, give me a miserable chicken anytime. Oh and Capons, I read somewhere that they were castrated cockerels, well those poor fuckers probably don’t want to get out of bed, well nest, or whatever in the morning. They’re fair game too. And young deer. I think they all have mothers who’ve been shot, so they’ll be miserable too. Ducks, well they must get fed-up having a wet arse all the time, so they can be roasted as well.”
“Jesus Bernie…Don’t tell her that! She’ll think you are deranged.”
The barman brought over the drinks and Jamsie gave him a twenty and told him to keep the change.
“Fuck, you’re flush!”
“No really but he’ll keep serving us thinking he is getting another one! I’m going for a pish.”
As he went to the bog, Bernie fished into his pocket for some change and headed to the juke-box. Jamsie returned just as ‘The Girl Of My Best Friend’ started to play.
“Oh fuck! No Elvis! Jesus Bernie, he’s dead! Get over it!!”
“Don’t. This is my music, so respect it!”
“Fair enough…But that is another thing I wouldn’t do tomorrow night. Play something decent.”
“I told you not to fuck with The King.”
“I wouldn’t fuck with The King…His mother on the otherhand…”
“I’m warning you…Don’t.”
Bernie got up. He felt the angry heat in his face. He knew he had never got over 1977. Jubilee! Virginia Wade winning Wimbledon and the King dying. He straightened himself up and went to the bar. He ordered another two beers and two doubles and took them over. He swallowed the whisky. Jamsie rose to the challenge and followed the ‘swallie’.
Bernie glowered at his friend, daring him to say something as ‘In The Ghetto’ began to play.
Jamsie said quietly, “Actually, that is a cracking song!”
They both took a swig of beer. Jamsie shouted for another two whiskys. He handed over another twenty.
“Fuck, you’re flush!”
“Not really!! He’ll keep thinking he is getting us serving another one!”
Bernie studied him, “What are you talking about? Are you a bit pished?”
“No. I’m fine.”
“Did I tell you that I am making Michelle chicken?”
“Aye. You’re repeating yourself! That always happens when YOU are pished!”
Bernie knew that he wanted to say something but he couldn’t get a grasp of it.
The music began to play again. The first few bars of ‘The Wonder Of You’. Jamsie’s face lit up whereas Bernie’s darkened.
“Don’t you dare Jamsie!!”
“…When no-one else understands me…’
“…I SHAG MY MUM!!!”
He lunged at him. Jamsie was too quick, he ran out the door. Bernie followed, still holding his pint. He launched it at his friends head but missed.
“Watch out Bernie!! That fucking eagle with the pool cue is just above you!”
Bernie screamed, looked up, lost his balance taking a header onto the pavement. As he wet himself into unconsciousness, a flock of seagulls flew overhead. He hoped that none of them would shit on him.
…Jamsie stood over his friend. He heard the ambulance in the background. He reached down and took out Bernie’s phone and looked up Michelle’s number.
“…The way she walks…The way she talks…”
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