I looked at the clock: 7.30pm.
I looked at the wife.
I left the table, went into the lounge and set the DVD to record a TV documentary about water buffalo.
On returning to the table, I again looked at the clock: 7.32pm.
“Well, I’ve never heard of it,” said the wife, sitting opposite. “Have you heard of it?”
If Bluto didn’t call soon, I thought to myself, I was going to be in trouble.
“Are you listening?”
Part of a satsuma hit me in the ear.
“Did you just throw a piece of half-eaten fruit at me?” I asked.
“Because you weren’t paying attention.”
“Paying attention to what?”
“Me!” she shouted.
“I haven’t paid attention to you for years”
“I asked you if you’d ever heard of it.”
“Heard of what?”
In utter disbelief, I looked at the old moose. Maybe I’d misheard, “did you say cunnilingus?”
“Yes. It’s here in the book I’m reading; a woman says to her friend that she’s going out to enjoy a performance of cunnilingus. I’ve heard of an airline called something like that, but I think she’s talking about an opera or a play.”
This was going to require some tact. “Do you remember the last time you were drunk?”
“When was that?” she answered aggressively.
“Let me think.” I said.
“I reckon it was about forty years ago, so that would make it 1971,” I suggested after a few seconds.
“What’s that got to do with anything?”
“Do you remember that night when we were on holiday?”
“Sort of,” she hesitantly replied.
“Can you remember what I did for the first time that night?” (Actually it was the last time, too).
She didn’t answer. She just looked at me.
“Well,” I continued, “that’s what they call cunnilingus.”
She got up, hurled the book in the waste bin and thumped me. Fortunately, the phone rang. Still glaring at me, she picked it up.
After a moment or two, she told me that the lovely Bluto (I’ve previously explained Bluto’s effect on women) had broken down on the motorway 150 miles away and urgently needed a lift.
“Tell him to fuck off,” I said, “it’ll take me three hours to get there and three hours to get back.”
“How can you do that to Bluto? He’s a lovely, lovely man who needs help. He’s your friend, for God’s sake!”
“Oh, alright, tell him I’m leaving now.”
Ten minutes later, Bluto and I were sitting at the poker table in Biffy’s house, waiting for Blinky and Narky to arrive.
Shortly, there was a knock at the door. Biffy opened the door and Narky came in, “eez! Bluto!”
“Narky!” Bluto and I replied together.
Narky fell to the floor, not moving.
There was another knock at the door and Blinky walked in, “eez! Bluto! Biffy!”
He stepped over Narky and placed five bottles of whisky in the middle of the table, “how long has Narky been on the deck?”
“About a minute,” replied Biffy, filling glasses.
From a career point of view, Narky hasn’t done too well in life.
At the last count, in over forty years he’d applied for more than seven thousand jobs, but had only been employed three times.
He’s not very good at interviews.
At his last interview he head butted the interviewer and broke her nose.
In his brief spells of employment, he’s run over a managing director with a fork lift truck, paralysed a chef and set fire to a factory complex.
However, he always has a few hundred pounds with him for a poker night.
Narky woke up, said hello to Blinky, sat at the table, emptied his glass and then went face first into a bowl of salted cashew nuts.
“Biffy,” I said, “as a doctor, do you think Narky’s condition is getting worse?”
“Difficult to say, eez. Narcolepsy’s unpredictable. A narcoleptic can go for days without making a twat of himself and then he can have twenty attacks in an hour… is it the same rules tonight for Narky?”
“Think it’ll have to be, by the looks of it,” replied Blinky.
We all agreed with Blinky; Narky would get a maximum of two minutes to wake up, after that his hand would be considered as a ‘fold’.
Narky woke up and we started to play poker.
Biffy looked at me and said, “I think you’re putting on weight, eez. Has the wife started cooking again?”
“Nah, she still hasn’t done a thing in the kitchen since the dish washer incident.”
“How much did that kitchen cost?” he asked, as though he’d forgotten.
“Piss off, Biffy.”
“£23,000.00, wasn’t it?” said Blinky, entering the conversation.
“It was nothing like £23,000.00,“ I told him.
“Yes it was. It was £22,899.00. Your missus told me.”
“That’s a lie!” I shouted at Blinky, “my missus hasn’t spoken to you since you shot your load in her face!”
“She must have told me before that, then. But it definitely cost £22,899.00.”
“eez, what did you just say then?” asked Narky.
“Did you say that Blinky wanked on your wife?”
“Yep.” I replied.
“That’s not true!” shouted Blinky, “I just had one of my moments. And it was you holding me in front of your wife!”
Getting the upper hand, I said, “Blinky, do you deny creaming my wife’s face?”
“Well, no, but…”
“Leave it there, Blinky,” I said. “You’re making a fool of yourself.”
Narky fell off his chair.
We retuned to the poker.
Blinky looked at his cards and his right eye started to blink rapidly.
“Fold,” I said.
“And me,” said Biffy.
“Me too,” said Bluto.
We waited for Narky.
He got back on his chair just in time and said, “Here’s your fifty quid and I’ll raise you another fifty.”
His head was beginning to jerk, but Blinky managed to say, “I’ll put the lot in.”
Blinky ran to the loo.
“Bloody hell, guys! That’s not fair! Why didn’t you tell me Blinky was going cranky?” cried Narky.
“Be quiet with your whiny-arsed moaning and tell us what you’re doing.” I told him.
He threw his cards away, poured himself another drink and sat muttering something about fuckheads.
Blinky, stuffing toilet paper into his trousers, returned to the table. “Sorry about that. What’s happening?”
“The pot’s yours,” said Narky.
“What did you have?” I asked Blinky.
Narky jumped up and roared, “Three queens? I had a full bloody house! You didn’t really have a seizure then, did you? You made that up!”
“I didn’t make it up!” Blinky shouted back.
“You bloody did! You’ve never gone stupid over three poxy queens before! You’re a fucking cheat!”
“I saw a woman undressing in that window over there!”
At this point, Bluto, who’d been quiet all night, left the table, opened Biffy’s window, looked out, walked back to the table, grabbed Narky by the throat, returned to the window and threw Narky outside.
“The woman’s still there,” he said.
Biffy and I ran to the window for a look. The woman was brutal.
I turned to Blinky and asked, “you pumped one out just from looking at that beast?”
Blinky, not looking at me, said nothing.
“Christ, Blinky, she’s hideous.”
“I didn’t think she was that bad,” he said.
“Blinky, I’d rather shag a rodent’s corpse, than give her one. But, I suppose we should make allowances. It can’t be easy being a fifty six year old virgin.”
Suddenly, Biffy fell to the floor.
I looked out at Narky motionless on the lawn. I told the others that Narky was bleeding.
Bluto looked a bit concerned. “Do you think we should get a doctor?” he asked.
“Wake up Biffy?” Blinky suggested, “He’s a doctor.”
“Unfortunately, Blinky, he happens to be a doctor that faints at the sight of blood.”
“You go and have a look then, eez. You’re the oldest.” He said.
I went outside.
A few minutes later I dragged in Narky.
Bluto picked him up and threw him on the table.
“What’s that sticking out his head?” Blinky asked.
I looked. “I think it’s a thorn.”
“I thought he’d clear the roses. Sorry,” apologised Bluto.
“Never mind, mate. We wouldn’t have been able to throw him any further.” I consoled him.
“Hey, Narky’s phone’s turned on. I know it was turned off earlier. It must have turned itself back on when he hit the ground,” remarked Blinky.
At that moment, Biffy came to, “what’s happening?”
“eez…eez!” called Blinky.
“Look at this text message.”
I read it. “Everyone out! Narky’s wife’s found out! She’s on her way round!”
“It gets worse!” Blinky screamed.
“Don’t be daft,” Bluto told him, “it doesn’t get any worse than Narky’s missus.”
“She’s got eez’s wife with her!”
“I’m out of here.” I announced and ran for the door with Bluto and Blinky following.
“You can’t leave me here!” cried Biffy.
“You can fuck off! We’re going.”
“Some friends you are!”
“Biffy,” I said, “you know the risks involved with holding a poker night. We’ve all gone through it. Now shut up and take it like a man.”
“Bluto! Come on Bluto, mate. Why don’t you stay here with Narky?” he pleaded, “when the women come in, just tell them you’re looking for a bit of three in a bed action. They’ll go straight upstairs with you!”
Personally, I didn’t think Bluto would rise to the challenge. If Biffy had suggested the same thing maybe an hour or so later, after Bluto had drank a bit more, then he probably would have got away with it.
“Nah, sorry Biffy. I can’t face it mate,” answered Bluto.
“It’s a king-size bed, Bluto. You’ll be alright!”
We left Biffy to face the music and jumped over the fence into his neighbour’s garden.
“Do you think we should have stayed with Biffy?” asked Blinky.
“Fuck him,” said Bluto.
Two minutes later we watched as Biffy put something on his door and jumped over the fence to join us. “You’re a bunch of arseholes,” he said. “What about loyalty and friendship?”
“Shut up, Biffy, the women will be here any time now.” I told him.
“I can’t believe you lot left me,” he continued.
“He’s still unconscious on the table. It’s okay, though. I’ve put an empty bottle in his hand and pinned a note on the door saying ‘Narky, I’m on an emergency call. Back in two hours. Game of chess later. Left a bottle of whisky out for you’.”
“The women will never fall for that, Biffy,” I said.
“Doesn’t matter, when they find the underwear I’ve put in Narky’s pocket, they’ll forget all about poker.”
“Biffy, you can’t do that. You’re a doctor! What about the oath you took to preserve life at all times?”
“I’m preserving mine. Be quiet.”