Some people have told me that they can’t make any sense of this blog.
Firstly, I can’t make much sense of it either. Secondly, to understand what’s going on, you need to start with the very first post.
The first post is called ‘Family’ and can be found in the month of February in the BLOG ARCHIVE section to the right. Read that and then read the next one above it. Continue doing this until you’ve either had enough or have reached the latest post…or you can go for a lucky dip approach and just click on any of the titles in the archive.
In order to refresh my pub skills, I’d decided to do a stint behind the bar.
Gertie had suggested that I should smarten up my appearance. I’d given my favourite banana-yellow suit a quick pressing and found my funeral/wedding tie.
Gertie would be staying with me as I took control of the bar area for the lunchtime session.
“Okay eez, are you ready?”
I gave her the thumbs-up. “Open the doors Gertie.”
Immediately, a man walked in. He, too, was wearing a suit. I thought his suit looked bland. He walked to the bar and put a folder on it.
“I’m the area licensing officer. Are you the licensee?” he asked.
“So, you are Mr Bhopinder Singh?”
“Close your eyes, try and imagine what someone called Bhopinder Singh would like, then, open your and eyes and look at me.” I answered in disbelief.
“Bhoppy’s had to go away for a while and I’m running the place for him.” It was an outright lie. I’d bought the pub at a knockdown down price from Bhoppy.
“Right, you’re not the licensee. Is anyone named on the license actually on the premises?”
I looked at Gertie. She shook her head
“I don’t know,” I replied, “is it important.”
“Why don’t you know?”
“I don’t know why I don’t know. If I knew why I didn’t know, I would be half way to knowing what I don’t know.”
Another guy wearing a suit walked in.
“Who’s he?” I asked the licensing Officer.
“I don’t know.”
“I’m a tax inspector for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. I need to speak to the licensee immediately. Where’s Mr Singh?”
The Licensing Officer and I both took a step back.
“Where is Mr Singh?” he insisted.
“Look, I want to speak to him right now!”
“Heathrow’s seventy miles in that direction.”
“Don’t get funny with me!”
“Listen, mate!” I shouted, “Don’t have a go at me. My wife’s already done that this morning, so you’re going to make fuck all difference!”
“I have the power to close down this business immediately!”
“I have the power to rake off your snout immediately!”
“Right, you will cease trading this very minute!”
“Fuck off, scrote!”
The licensing officer suggested that we calm down.
The tax inspector and I told him to shut up.
“I’m here on important matters, too, you know. If there’s no person named on the license that’s actually here, I could also close down the business,” he said, looking left out of things.
Things were getting out of hand.
I turned to the tax inspector and said, “How would I know? If you want to know if his wife has hairy nipples, ask him.”
“Oh, alright then, I’ll ask him.”
Looking at the licensing officer, I said, “the tax inspector would like to know if your wife has hairy nipples.”
“I said no such thing!” cried the tax inspector.
“Yes you did.”
“I did not. Why would I say that? Women do not have hairy nipples!”
He’s going to get a shock later in life, I thought.
“My wife’s got hairy nipples,” groaned the licensing officer.
We looked at him.
The tax inspector was the first to speak. “It doesn’t bother me that she’s got hairy nipples.”
“You’re quite at ease with his wife’s hairy nipples, then?” I asked.
“That’s not what I said! I meant that his wife’s hairy nipples are of no concern to me!”
“It’s okay. If his wife’s hairy nipples do it for you, who am I to judge? But,” I continued, “this is neither the time nor the place to tell this guy that his wife’s hairy nipples get Mr Stiffy up and at ‘em.”
“I’m not telling him that!”
“Well, I don’t think it will stay a secret for long, he’s standing next to you. It’s a bit late to say you’re not going to tell him. The husbands always find out eventually.”
The licensing officer landed a peach of a punch on the side of the tax inspector’s head, but, surprisingly, the inspector stayed on his feet and launched himself at the licensing guy.
As they rolled about the floor, I phoned Corky the copper.
“I’ve got two trouble makers here, Corky. I want them off my premises.”
“Can’t Barty do it?” he asked.
“Barty had a chimney land on him last night. When he’s not working here, he does a bit of demolition work.”
“Sounds nasty. Was it a big chimney?”
“About forty feet tall. It’s the one they blew up at the old steel works. He wanted to pick up a few tips. Reckon he got too close when they blew the charges.”
“Christ, poor Barty. Any idea when the funeral will be?”
“He’s not dead, Corky.”
“Why’s he not there then?”
“He’s at the hospital.”
“Is what serious?”
“Haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about, Corky.”
“eez, is Barty badly hurt?”
“Don’t think so. Has he had an accident, then?”
“Eh? You said a chimney landed on him.”
“It did…oh, now I’m with you. Barty’s fine. You know him; five tons of bricks aren’t going to dent Barty.”
“So, why’s he in hospital?”
“I let him have Mondays off. He likes to sit in the hospital and watch the ambulances come in and out. He likes the blue and red lights.”
“I didn’t know that.”
“Yeah, he’s been fascinated by ambulances ever since he had a fight in the Safari Park with a rhino. Now, what about the two guys that are trying to kill each other in my boozer, are you going to arrest them or not?”
“Well, eez, we’ve already hit our target for the month.”
“One of them is a tax inspector.”
“We’re on our way.”