Beer and Ciggies
We are sitting in the snug. It is very noisy and smoky. The fire place has had another log placed on it, another round of drinks have arrived and the tourists are running for cover as the tiddlywinks are tiddlywinking all over the bar due, in part, to the drink - lots of drink. So it's Dave's turn to tiddle and he's got into position. The left eye shuts and the tip of the tongue is just visible between the front teeth. The right hand has the large tiddle placed on the small tiddle ready for it to be winked into the centre cup. Dave's concentration is now at its height; every fibre in his body is tuned, honed in on placing his shot!
Les has been standing by the fire getting a light for his cigar out of the fire. He draws on the cigar, blows the smoke out into the centre of the snug, then draws another just to make sure the cigar is alight. He looks at Dave who is still concentrating on the tiddlywink, then blows a lung full out at Dave. The smoke drifts across, into Dave's face and into the opened right eye making the eye stream water and the owner of the watery eye cough violently! The right hand - due to the involuntary actions of the body it's attached to - tiddlywinked the tiddle, which disappeared over the top of the snug.
'We've Won!' I shouted.
'F*** Off! I want that Tiddle again!' coughed Dave looking at me through his only good eye.
'B****r off!' I said. 'You ain't going to play nothing again, cus We Won Fair and Square!'
'B******S' said Dave as he slinked off towards the bar. It was his round of drinks again too!
I noticed that Dave took his time at the bar. 'Sore loser' I thought as he returned with the beer.
'Another game?' he said with a smile.
'Nope, I'm having five minutes.' I said.
'Les, fancy a game?' Dave said holding up his tiddlywink.
'Sorry, mate, I'm not in the mood.' said Les. Dave was miffed at this and he showed it by shouting.
'Since when do you need to be in the 'mood' for tiddlywinks?'
'Since you got the hump!' said Les laughing out loud! The rest of us joined in laughing at Dave. Dave was not in the mood to let this go and this time he got the hump bad! Les started to have a go, which was unlike Les as it's usually the other way around with Les being on the end of Dave's sharp tongue.
'Ok, Tinkerbell' said Les with a smile. 'It's about time I showed you how to play the game called Tiddlywinks and, if I say so myself, I could tiddle with the best in my time.'
And so a game was made ready. A hush fell on the ensemble; a warm-up was watched with interest, the bets were placed and the odds were chalked on the wall next to the fire place as was dictated by a long tradition. I had a fiver1 on Les as the odds were long. I will always go with the longer odds.
The game was about to start. Dave won the toss and decided to go first which, with gift of hindsight, might not have been a good thing to do. But still, he tiddled his wink. The wink flipped-up, guided itself into a graceful arc and tumbling end over end, still climbing ever higher. I looked at Les. He was sporting a large smile. I looked at Dave. He was wearing a look of anguish as his wink left the earths' gravitational pull, headed off towards the fire and then into it. It was at this point we all started to laugh. Dave was ranting about now but it was too late as it was Les's turn to tiddle a wink. The bloke was outstanding as he 'pinged' and 'tiddled' right into the centre of the cup (which is the target). Now Dave stepped up once again and, once again, he didn't have the touch!
Well you can guess the next half hour was riveting entertainment as the game swayed to and to - not fro because it was a little one-sided in favour of Les. Also Dave was a bit najjery which erupted into a full rant over 'people getting drinks when it was his turn to tiddle'. Because of this, every time it was his turn tiddle someone got up to get their round of drinks. A vicious circle was then set up and Dave took it badly - so badly that Mike, the Landlord, was called over by the viccar sat in the next snug who was offended by the bad language and many references to the Great God Almighty. But just who was that with the viccar? His niece? His daughter? So another bet was opened up on the wall of the fire place. I had a fiver on that, too. The odds were quite short but I like the viccar and there was a family resemblance.
The game ended in an enquiry as we all thought it would. Dave fell over citing that he was tripped up by my dogs (GOD BLESS'UM) and the game should be replayed. He had no chance. Les won by a mile - well, 4 winks in fact. All the bets were paid out and boredom quickly set in till we hear some giggling coming from the next snug. Is it a young 'niece's' giggle? We all look at each other. Then we hear it again. The odds chalked on the fireplace wall suddenly shorten (me thinks I was lucky to get the money on when I did) and then some more odds are chalked up on the fireplace which are a quite tasteless and uncalled for. I have a couple of quid on anyway cus they're quite long. Then some more giggling comes from the snug next door but just how are we going to find out? Well, who she is - the girl with the viccar? Then the idea strikes me. Buy them a round and see what she drinks. Looking back, now, it was a silly idea but, when your belly is full of beer and your head is addled by it too, it becomes a sensible, feasible idea. Also, when you have five of your mates in the same condition and not really thinking just how stupid it is trying to sneak a peek at her over the top of the snug like some school kids, and also talking so loud that the 'other snug' can hear what we're planning and the odds, too, it was bound to fail before it really was started!
'HOME NOW!' I hear a voice. We turn and there stood in the doorway of the snug is my missus. Next to her are the partners of my drinking mates all with a look that could melt steel at about a mile. The pub went quiet. We got up, finished our pints and placed the glasses on the table.
'I could just, ooooOOOooooh, get home!' she said with a growl. As I looked at her. There was something strange about the vision of loveliness which I couldn't place it at first. I cast another glance while she growled on about me being a grown man and acting like I've never grown up. She also said something about whatever she had seen in me in the first place. My gaze stopped at her feet - and there it was! Her slippers! In her haste to get me out of the pub she had placed them on the wrong feet! A priceless vision - it made it all worthwhile! Thank you GOD!