He’s done it now ! He’s really done it now !

Well, Colin’s gone and done it now!  It’s one thing to rip your shirt off and shout “You’re all cheats!” after losing a game of dominoes, but no one could have guessed where next  Colin was going to  show his charm.

The evening started as a fairly quiet affair. Three of us; Colin, Steve Bishop and me, chatted our way through a few pints of Bishop’s Pizzle in The Black Bull. Colin seemed on fine form. Then

“Right,” he shouted. “Three more of these and then we’re off for chips.”

“Three !” I spluttered. “I can’t manage three Colin, let alone one. I’m a little out of practise.”

“Poof !” Colin barked. “You’re as bad as Trevor. You’ll be on Sherry soon as well.”

“I think that’s a bit harsh Colin. We’ve had four pints already and I’ve told you I’m trying to save some money to impress a lady.”

“You’ll impress nowt in Yorkshire lad,” he said. “You’ve gone soft !  I’ll order – you start drinking and I’ll finish them.”

I looked up.  Steve had gone.

“Bastard!”  I thought.  I should have seen it coming and joined him, but like a fool I stayed.  It was cabaret time.

“I’m not going to manage any more than two then.”  I protested.

“I’ll get the chips delivered.” said Colin.  “We can eat them here.”

“Colin, for starters no one from the chippy is going to deliver chips to us here in the pub, and even if they did, there’s no way the pub would want us to eat them here !”

He slammed down the first of the six pints he had ordered and started the second.

“I’ll phone.” he said.

Colin then phoned Sheila Foggerty at Foggy’s Chippy.

“Chips please Sheila !” shouted Colin.  “We’re wait for then here in The Bull.

I’m not sure he needed the phone as they could probably hear him the three doors down, but he repeated himself anyway, and a little louder.

“We’re busy Colin.”  I could hear Sheila.  “It’s 10 o’clock and we’re chocca.”

Colin sank the contents of the next pint.

“I’ll clear the shop then !”he  howled.  “How’s that?”

There was no reply.  Colin threw the phone down on the table and lifted the next pint.  He finished it in one and I just knew what was coming next.

He stood up on the bar stool and took of his shirt. He then removed his shoes and his trousers.

“Right.” he said. “Chips!”

And with that he left. There was no way I was going to want to see what happened next.  I put my glass down and went quietly out through the pub back door; through the beer garden and home.

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Derek and The Dominos

Wade insists on losing his shirt

It should have been a quiet end to the night. The World Cup Final had played out in the public bar of The Cross Keys, Sprodlington and in the corner of the saloon bar, with a few World Top’s already consumed, Wade the crop sprayer sat with the rest of us. He had just lost every game of dominos.

I couldn’t work out why he continued with his bizarre tactic of trying of offload all his 3’s first; I’ll never understand.

“You’ll take the bloody shirt off my back” barked Wade, jumping up from his stool and scattering the dominos.

“Wade, we’re playing for a couple of quid a corner,” I said. “Now sit down.”

“You’re just a bunch of hustlers,” he continued “and you want the sodding shirt off my back.”

“Oh for God’s sake, here we go!” predicted Colin, having seen Wade do the same routine at least seven times in the last 12 months.

And so there we sat, and watched Wade stand on his stool; take off his shirt like a footballer who had scored the winning goal in the World Cup final, and swing it around his head before releasing it across the bar.

Now sit down” we all said.

Mrs Griffiths’ Gate Latch

Last night on the way home from a rather late stay at The Cross Keys, where I shuffled a few hands of dominoes with the local history teacher Colin; fish monger Carl; and Wade the crop sprayer, I saw Mrs Griffiths’ gate latch hanging off her side gate. Naturally I stopped to take a look, but found it rather difficult to focus following a few tall glasses of World Top. It came off in my hand, so I quickly left it on the floor and continued home.

This morning in my very own Templeton’s hardware store, the clanking bell at the top of the door which either announces the arrival of a customer or a gust of wind (perhaps from the customer) sounded and in walked Mrs Griffiths clutching the broken gate lock.

“The lock on my side gate has broken.” she said.

“I know.” I replied and quickly bluffed “I can see it in your hand.”

“I don’t know how that happened.” she continued, but able now to look at me in my rather bloodshot eyes for the first time.

“Just old and weathered I expect. Can I help you with a new one ?”

And so I managed to reap the rewards from my slight accident and £7.95 sat warming itself in my till.