A lot of these stories seem to be starting in pubs or bars or just involve drinking to some extent. Which suggests I must drink a lot, but that isn’t really the case. Being of ‘a certain age’ I’ve mostly lost the appetite (or ability) to hurl down the loony soup with n’er a thought to the future. I’m a two-pints-and-home man, mostly.
But on a weeknight evening last week I found myself in a pub with a fire in the grate and hipster broken furniture and a bunch of other men of a certain age all congratulating one of us for living another year. (I won’t give him a name as I’ve noticed that people actually read this guff and might recognise him.)
He was pretty drunk. But he’s that kind of posh, mutton-and-gout childish drunk that women don’t seem to mind. He found some Italian women in a corner and admired their child and told them that his girlfriend was Italian, though he couldn’t quite remember where she was from or why she wasn’t there.
He introduced me to his friend: ‘He’s a weed farmer’ he explained very loudly. Which was probably not cool because it turned out the guy was a weed farmer with a nice little set-up in Cornwall and in town to shift some product – the agronomic details of which he then told me about in very compromising detail for abut 20 minutes. The profits are immense but the workforce can be unreliable, was the gist of it.
So I got another round in.
Then JJ arrived and that was exciting because I hadn’t seen him in 10 years, probably, and in that time he had: married the Swiss Miss, tour managed a band for a few years during which he misplaced the Swiss Miss, acquired a Polish equivalent, bought a ruin in Poland, turned it into a 7-bedroom hunting lodge and had two daughters.
So, another round. And maybe a whisky or two.
And then some other chaps arrived and there was some shouting, I’m afraid.
And then the girlfriend rocked up and she was, indeed, Italian, and as bats as all his other girlfriends so that was reassuring.
And then the other Italian women came over and joined us, intrigued by the noise and having palmed off their kid who they claimed to have just been minding for a while and somebody (it could have been me) bought them drinks and then one of the fellas of a certain age gave the other fella his birthday present so we all had a little nip of that and then the girlfriend explained how she hated when Englishmen talk about ‘Birds’ because it means ‘Cock’ in Italian and that sparked a huge amount of interest in the Italian language and the rudest things one could be taught to say when drunk and then suddenly it was closing time.
And then Uber.
And then home to a warm bed and a hot wife.
I should go out more often.
The F Bloke would prefer to remain anonymous to protect his sources.
He lives in London and works globally. He is very married.