Many years ago in my local pub in Clapham, a large, young, Irish headbanger called Mick approached me and I was informed that he was starting a band, and could I play. Following a gig when I was 17 in which I was almost booed off -I sort of play the bass- I decided that I’d spurn his offer, but mentioned my mate Jamie who is a veritable guitar hero. The two were put in touch and went on to become one of the most popular metal acts in the UK.
Well, not really, Jamie and Mick played together for while, the latter under the guidance of the former who eventually went off to form his own band.
This is why I found myself in fucking Croydon of all places on Friday night with Jamie watching Mick’s band, Infiniteuem, or something. I have to say after a shaky start they weren’t half band, one of their screaming ditties actually being quite good, but that was about as good it was going to get in the pub.
Jamie and I had already had a couple of pints in the Tooting local before opting for a cab ride to the chod bin of sarf Landan. In addition to the few pints I had when we were in the venue I was still extremely unnerved by the arrival of 5 very unpleasant looking skinheads, especially when the peanut-brained ‘leader’ gave his crew a full on Nazi salute on his arrival. This Broadmoor of bollock heads were fucking bad news ladies and gentlemen. I was therefore delighted when after the band had played to discover that they’d N effed off back to their cave.
I began chatting to an ex-member of the band and his wife. I couldn’t help but voice my disapproval of some young cunt goose-stepping around a pub, yelling across the bar and making possibly the most offensive gesture in the history of the world. Turned out the ex-members wife knew them, she’d lived in Croydon all her life and apparently, they were okay.
I went to the bar and returned, to my horror one of the SS had come back into the pub and was chatting to the ex-members wife, he was the biggest of the crew by far, a huge chrome-domed moron with a head like Stewie from Family Guy, or if you prefer, a rugby ball on its side. As the Fuhrer wasn’t around I slipped into ‘mildly-concerned’ mode, rather hoping she wouldn’t inform him of my earlier comments, and carried on chatting to the ex-member (a nice chap) and as his wife seemed okay too, so by default this shaven ape of a man must be, despite everything, at least ‘alright’.
Jamie and I decided to nip off for a smoke; we were just about to set off when Jamie said, ‘where’s your pint gone?’
I looked about, one minute it was in front of me, the next it’s vanished, gone.
‘No idea,’ I said catching Jamie’s eye. Jamie stared at me and gestured with his eyes to Attenborough’s mate who was quite casually drinking my beer. He was also staring at me, intently.
I couldn’t just ignore this; pretend it was perfectly acceptable to have another man taking your drink at your expense and indeed, humiliation. Having said that, I didn’t fancy having his fists and boots pummelling my bones into flour…
‘You’re drinking my pint…’ I heard myself say.
Two bulbous eyes gripped my vision.
‘Nah, this is mine…’ the beginnings of a kicking appeared over the hill.
‘It’s not yours, it’s mine…’ I said, shocked at hearing my voice again, his mouth turned down, ‘oh shit’ I thought, and I so wanted children too.
Out of nowhere a short girl grabbed the pint from his meaty fist and offered it back to me smiling sheepishly. I politely told her I didn’t want it and briefly deliberated the option of loudly announcing I was HIV positive and riddled with syphilis and leprosy. I looked back at the skinhead who was frantically texting someone, it wasn’t rocket science who so I calmly suggested to Jamie we go and have the cigarette, we walked out the bar and straight into a black cab, in 15 minutes we were back in the local. It was rather like being in heaven, metaphorically as opposed to actually, with my face all smashed up.
On Saturday morning we both awoke with mild hangovers and had some breakfast with Saturday kitchen providing excuses to be silly. Jamie left at 11 to be replaced by a Myfwt at 12. We had a date with the family in the dark Surrey countryside to celebrate my bro’s birthday. We set off in the car and within 15 we were totally and utterly grid locked due to some incident on the A3, we attempted to turn round but this made the situation even worse. After an hour, which we’d completely wasted, we managed to get back home via some creative navigation and dump the car, get the bus, then the train to arrive at hour destination about 2 and half hours late.
It was a jolly afternoon, lots of giggling and idiocy, my parents are like two big kids, we ate and drank, played with my niece who wasn’t sure if she was in a good mood or not and nattered away until the evening. My bro his missus, Myfwt and I took the train back to London, Myfwt and I went to the pub to sit by the enormous bonfire and watch the fireworks until midnight or so when we returned home full of good cheer.
On Sunday morning Scrapheap Challenge was undertaken in bed as the hangovers drifted off into the ether, Myfwt went out for the afternoon and I wrote, casually watching Jamie at Home on TV. Inspired I went shopping and got some stuff for dinner and made pork chops with roast potato which was served with cabbage, peas and leeks, a wonderful combination but the icing on this culinary cake was the gravy I made with a roasted onion, chicken stocks and seasoning. Bye bye Bisto.
We spent the evening reading in front of Top Gear and The Long Way Down which seems to have lost it’s way, ironically. Check for a review on Watch With Mothers due shortly; go on, the links on the right ——————>
This is for the skinheads. (The original version isn’t available; this will have to do, which it does rather well. Bless)