Sunday, 18 November 2012

A bar-room fantasy

A famous Leonard Cohen song has the line:

And all the rain falls down, amen
On the works of last year’s man.

After an experience last week, I know exactly what the Canadian singer meant.

Last Tuesday evening I attended a football (soccer) game and went for a drink with my 22-year old son in the pub directly across from the ground. Ryan reminded me it was my turn to buy the drinks so he sat down while I approached the bar.

Despite the pub being busy, I found a space at the bar and waited to be served. And waited, and waited. I repeatedly tried to make eye-contact with one of the four young women behind the bar but to no avail. I felt like the invisible man. Either side of me new arrivals were approaching the bar and getting served before me. Vexed, I stared expectantly at the nearest barmaid as she put cash into the till; surely I couldn’t be ignored any longer?   

A young man, with an ear-ring and bull neck, appeared at my shoulder and the barmaid immediately struck up a conversation with him, smiling and playing with a tress of her hair. Despite me waiting expectantly with my £10 note in hand, mouth open and fixed gape, she asked the young buck for his order.

“A pint of lager and a small coke, please” I interjected, loudly.

The bar quietened. The barmaid glanced at me, her face instantly losing animation. It was as if a vile smell had grabbed her attention. Grudgingly, she started to pour my lager (my son’s lager – I was driving) but continued to flirt with the young man at my side. So engrossed was she in the young buck, that she was handing my (son’s) pint to him, until her suitor pointed out her mistake.

Belatedly, I picked up the pint of lager and small coke (both in plastic glasses, for public safety reasons) and turned to look for Ryan. Inexplicably, I paused. An omnipotent impulse rose through my body, a desperate desire to wrestle back a morsel of dignity. In my mind, I sprung into action …

I turn and, with one sharp waft of my right arm across the bar, fling all the bottles and glasses onto floor. The tavern falls silent. I have everyone’s attention. I climb onto the bar-top and scream:
“I might be 53 but let me tell you a few things.
Drunken women have been known to make sexual advances at me.
I was voted the 3rd best-looking boy in class 6D at school.
My wife says I look a bit like Richard Gere.
Tina Cropper once said I was the best lover she’d ever had.
I was the captain of the Haslingden High School 2nd XI football team.
And I have a huge todger”. (That one was a lie, but hey I was on a roll).

But it was all fantasy. In truth, I skulked to my seat, handed Ryan his lager and proceeded, silently, to sip my coke out of the plastic glass. I consoled myself that my Leonard Cohen CDs awaited.  


I am participating in the Dude Write Starting Lineup this week where you can find some excellent posts by bloggers who happen to be dudes: