By Daz Trei
Squelch, squelch, squelch, splatter. Splatter, squelch, splatter, squelch.
“No Mr Knight, stop slopping the mop about!” Becky shouted in an increasingly irritated tone, “Squeeze out the mop to remove excess liquid, then wipe it across the floor!”
“Dave!” Daz shouted with his hand protecting his beer, “Stop spraying that air freshener about will you? You’re ruining my ‘Hags Wobbling’!”
“Hags Wobbling?” Helen enquired.
“Yeah, well we had to change the name a bit….copyright problems, product placement and all that bollocks,” Daz replied.
“Oh, very wise….bloody bureaucrats,” Helen concurred as she drank her pint of Strangebow.
“I can still smell the Purple OAP shit though!” Dave shouted back belatedly.
It was two days since the purple OAP saga, but Dave was right, the smell was still lingering, despite the numerous mopping sessions. Maybe it was through innocent pride, or shear blissful ignorance, but the protagonists of this story simply hadn’t acknowledged that it was probably them that was stinking. They’d been stuck in the pub for almost a week, without a wash and with the dreaded beer sweats.
“I’ll have another pint of Hags Wobbling please Dave,” Daz said.
“No!” was the simple, if not a little blunt, reply.
“Come on Dave, let’s not mess about. I’m sorry about shouting at you, I realise you were only trying to make the place nicer with your inane air freshernering,” Daz splurged in an attempt at an apology.
“No, you don’t understand, the Hags Wobbling has run out, you’ve drank it all!” Dave revealed, to a dramatic reception.
The obligatory cue ball leapt from the pool table, a pack of cards flew into the air, and Daz was in a state of mental shock.
“Will you fucking stop it!” shouted the man at the end of the bar, as he got back onto his stool.
“We didn’t write that!” Helen shouted as she approached the bar.
[No it was me! I wrote it! It’s funny.]
[Now get back to the sad story.]
“Fucking writers,” the man muttered as he climbed back on his stool.
“Daz, you’ve got to grieve mate, let it out, there’s no shame in crying,” Helen said with a dry snigger, while Daz quivered and slumped into the bar sobbing.
“Don’t know what you’re sniggering at, there’s only one pint of Strangebow left and you’ve drank all the posh bottled cider,” Dave told Helen.
“FFFFFFuck! Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!” Helen shouted as tears began to well.
“Oh man I can’t believe this shit,” Daz dramatically wailed through sobs and snot bubbles.
“Here lad, have a blow,” The Knight said, handing Daz a tissue. With a gurgling thrust and a comic farting sound, Daz was now able to smell again.
“Cheers mate. Oh no! What’s that bloody smell?” Daz shouted, whilst sniffing his own armpit. “I haven’t had a shower in a week! It’s me that stinks!”
Everyone else in the pub had a sneaky smell at themselves too, even the Knight Before Christmas was smelling under his chainmail.
“This is serious now, this is very serious!” Daz was on a dramatic slightly camp roll, “Beer’s run out….the pork scratchings have run out, we’ve eaten all the crisps and nuts. I’m completely bloody sick of this. I’ve had enough! Fuck those Purple OAP tossers!”
Daz slammed his glass on the bar in a childish strop, before running to the back door. As he passed The Door, he shoved it open.
“And you can fuck off an’all!” he shouted into the darkness, before ramming open the back door for his escape. To his dismay, he was met with an unexpected scene. There should have been the smoking area, with maybe a few Purple OAPS slumbering around. Instead, there was an Olympic sized swimming pool full of beer. This raised a dry smile and even stirrings elsewhere, excitement was high, then he realised something was wrong. To the right was a huge diving structure with various levels, and at the top was a diver looking down to see what had disturbed proceedings.
“Yes, I’m gay, so what!” he shouted down, as a crowd of spectators on the other side of the pool began to hiss and boo.
“What the fffff,” Daz began to mutter, but he was stopped in his tracks as he noticed something peculiar. It was a a mouse, doing a backstroke along the frothy surface of the pool with tinsel water wings and a very small gin and tonic.
“He didn’t mean it!” Dave shouted into the blackness behind The Door, before pulling Daz away from the back door, slamming it in the face of the approaching angry diving spectators.
“Come on mate, come and sit down. We’ve got smooth bitter, there’s plenty of that because no bugger drinks it.”
“Dave,” Helen said with a curious undercurrent, “who were you talking to when you shouted in The Door?”
“What door? I didn’t say anything,” Dave said, whilst coyly pulling a pint of crap bitter.
“Why was there a swimming pool behind the back door, Dave?” Daz asked.
“A swimming pool?” said Becky, as the pub looked on in puzzlement.
“Yeah, there was a swimming pool full of beer, a diver with sexuality issues, loads of angry people….and a mouse,” Daz replied.
“Give him pop Dave, he’s hallucinating!” said Helen.
“I’m not hallucinating, you go have a look, see for yourself!” Daz said confidently.
“Erm, no don’t do that, erm…” Dave muttered.
“Piss off Dave, I’m going for a look,” said Helen, as she barged past to the back door. She opened it and looked out for a good minute or so whilst the pub peered round, waiting for conformation that everything was okay. (Though they were all secretly wishing for the beer pool.)
Helen finally slammed the door shut again, walking back into the bar area with a slightly puzzled demeanour and mildly angry.
“Told you, big swimming pool, yes?” Daz asked as everyone sat up slightly in anticipation of a yes.
“No,” came Helen’s reply, as everyone slumped back down disappointedly. However, Helen hadn’t seen the smoking area that should be there either. “Erm, I think I’ll have pop as well Dave.”
“What did you see?” Becky asked.
“Oh, erm, nothing!” Helen replied, obviously perplexed by what she had just seen. Then, as Dave placed a pint of house cola on the bar, a strange noise came from outside. It was the sound of horses’ feet on cobbles, loud enough to attract the whole attention of the pub. Everyone climbed upon the seats to look out of the window.
“What the chuff is happening out there? That’s no swimming pool,” Becky shouted.
The scene was of something from the 1800s. A carriage rolled up the cobbled street pulled by big black stallions and the Citizens’ Advice Bureau wasn’t there. Instead there was a sack being winched into an open door on the second floor of an old building. Above, the sky was black with billowing smoke from tall distant mill chimneys and everything just seemed…..well, grey really.
Dave came from behind the bar for a look out of the windows himself. Climbing back down again, he shook his head with his hand briefly against his face. A large sigh followed before a stern clap of his hands. “Right, come on, get down, okay. Don’t look out there, it’s not real, you’re all hallucinating,” he said. He felt a little intimidated as everyone looked round at him through glaring, sobering up eyes. “Look, I’ll fix everything, just sit down, wait a minute okay?” Dave said with an err of desperation.
Maybe everyone was simply too confused or too tired to care, but they all climbed down from the seats and sat down as ordered. Meanwhile, Dave had opened The Door again and was talking with a stern voice.
“Look, the Purple OAP thing, that’s their problem, but cut the crap with the swimming pools and old horsey shit will you? Also, they’re getting cranky, we need more beer and snacks.”
As everyone sat sulking, a brief strange rattling sound could be heard from behind the bar, like a domino rally. Dave slammed The Door shut, before returning to his proud position behind the bar. Looking a little apprehensive, he pulled the Hags Wobbling pump.
‘Gurgle gurgle rattle.’
No beer, just a strange noise came from the nozzle, as Dave mopped his brow and tried again with the same….’Gurgle cough splutter’.
“Please!” he pleaded with the pump, before trying for a third time. This time the pump delivered a full pint of delicious Hags Wobbling. The other pumps sprang to life. A pint of golden Strangebow followed, then everyone else’s drinks, to much rapture and joy. Tucking into the fresh bar snacks and drinks a plenty, everyone seemed to forget about the swimming pool and the horse drawn carts. Dave was joyous, as the jukebox rang out ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ by Queen. Feeling proud, he filled his own glass and joined in the merriment.
To be continued…(when the holiday hangover subsides)