Sunday lunchtime in the King’s Arms: the Zapata-moustached landlord
spits, Well done for keeping the entire village awake last night. We’d
certainly tried our best. After lagers and tequilas down the Greyhound,
we’d upped the ante at Harry’s because his folks and siblings were away.
I’d guzzled a litre of 100-proof Southern Comfort in the time it took Harry
and his mates to cane his old man’s collection of double-distilled whiskey.
The night was warm so we’d played cricket in the field behind the garden,
with china that Harry’s mum was saving for charity: the crack of Willow on
willow cheered; a six scored for every direct hit on his sister’s rabbit run...
When I board the Smoke-bound coach at Colchester, I get my head down for
a kip near the back, only to be roused by a sick-breath, psychobilly greaser
who sparks up the skinniest roll-up and makes his opening gambit in my ear:
Alright? I’ve just come from Norwich – nicest nick I’ve ever been in. Lester
Piggott was on my wing. ’Scuse me for a sec, mate, but I gotta do an Eartha.
Which, while whistling, he noisily does; by the emergency exit, on the floor.