Barty charged into the bar, had a quick look around and decided that the almost lifeless body on the floor was the cause of all the problems.
He picked up my eldest son and threw him through the double doors at the entrance of the pub; I was somewhat relieved that it wouldn’t be me paying for the replacement doors.
“Barty,” I said, “you’ve just thrown out my eldest son from this pub.”
Barty looked at me. “Sorry, eez, but you appointed me as head of security. I had no choice.”
“Barty, I don’t run this boozer anymore. I’ve told you before that you are no longer my head of security.”
“Fuck that, eez! I gave you my word that after all you’d done for me and my dad, I’d always be there for you.”
At this point, Katie fell over. Gertie looked at me questioningly.
“Nothing to do with me, Gertie. My suspicion is that she’s had too much breakfast.”
“eez, she’s living with you; you are responsible for her.”
Barty looked at me with admiration. “She’s living with you? You’re shagging this little beauty? Not bad eez, not too bad at all. Any chance of me having a look-in?”
Gertie picked up the next available bar stool and rammed it into Barty’s face.
Barty put a hand under her armpit, lifted her off the ground and asked, “Why did you do that?”
With her feet at least three feet off the floor, Gertie replied, “That’s my daughter, you oaf!”
The back door of the pub crashed open and Snouty, the retired police drug-sniffer dog and new pet of Gertie and Katie, bounded in and launched himself at Barty. Barty caught the hound with his left hand and lifted him, too, in the air.
I walked back behind the counter, poured myself another large whisky and looked at Barty, with Gertie in his right hand and Snouty in his left hand.
Getting fed up with being held aloft by his throat, Snouty started to eat Barty’s left forearm.
I watched as Barty formed a crucifix with a dog at the end of one arm and the best giver of blowjobs at the end of the other arm. I wondered how long he would be able to hold the pose; by my reckoning, he had 180 pounds held at arm’s length to the right of him and 70 pounds held at arm’s length to the left of him.
Barty’s neck and shoulder muscles began to bunch, but, as always, he didn’t seem too bothered by anything.
I was about to give him some advice when my son charged into the pub.
I felt rather proud that, despite the beatings he’d received that day, he was still ready to face an adversary.
“Dad, where’s the bastard who threw me outside?”
“He’s the one holding the dog and Gertie.”
My eldest lad looked at Barty. He didn’t have to say anything. I knew exactly what was going through his mind; Barty is simply huge and, as mentioned before, the UK’s biggest vegetarian. My son looked at me for a moment and then turned round and hit Barty with all his strength in the stomach—which was as high as he could reach.
Barty looked down at the man hitting him in the stomach.
To further complicate matters, Katie jumped up and, with a fiendish scream leapt at the back of Barty. His shirt gave up the fight and fell from his body.
Snouty, with bollocks like grapefruits still swinging to and fro, stopped eating Barty’s arm, Gertie stopped trying to kick Barty in his right side, my son took half a dozen steps back and lowered his arms, and Katie got back to her feet, still holding the remnants of Barty’s shirt.
I’d never seen Barty without a top and I’m fairly sure none of the others had, either:
The muscles in his ‘six-pack’ were bigger than my calf muscles; his pectorals could have been used as balls in a game of American football; the lumpy bits on either side of his neck—I don’t know the name of those muscles—were the size of my biceps; and his biceps were twice the size of my thighs.
Katie appeared highly impressed. “For God’s sake, mum, let go of the poor man!”
Barty looked at me, and I nodded. Coughing and spluttering, Gertie dropped to the floor.
“eez,” Barty asked, “what should I do with the dog?”
“Whatever you want to do, Barty.”
“Well, he’s kind of cute, I suppose, but he has been biting me. Perhaps I should hit him?”
“It’s not my arm he’s eating, Barty. Do what you want.”
Barty considered his options for a while and then, with his right hand free of Gertie, brought his fist down on top of Snouty’s head.
Snouty went motionless…and started to snore.