Tuesday, 3 April 2012
Saturday lunch time proved to be a more than interesting occasion, as I was just passing the open door of 'The Bells', when I saw the back of a trilby hat, which suddenly turned into the front of a trilby hat, under which was a wide grin, and a beckoning finger.
It took me all of several seconds to realise that I had been summoned to the court of Sagtrouser, and it was an easy decision to make, especially as I felt in need of a pint of beer, which was placed in front of me before you could say 'polished brass spigot coupling'!
My good friend Elias Sagtrouser, 'Purveyor of Building Necessities and Accoutrements' was standing at the bar with his ever-loving wife, Gloriette seated next to him on a bar-stool. She is a gorgeous lady, with plenty of acreage in the various attributes, and a very infectious giggle, which causes a double-wobble, and then a 'hoot', rather like my good chum Jan does when she becomes helpless with laughter, (See Scrobs passim).
After the normal 'hello's, and a passionate hug of very pleasant scented squirms from Gloriette, Elias waited until I had sunk two windows of ale, and began one of his stories, while Gloriette fiddled with the cherry in her violent pink coloured drink.
"Did you hear the dog story then"? He asked me.
"Er, Elias, er - which dog are we talking about please"?
So he began the yarn, which looked as though it was going to be a two-pinter, and another port something-or-other for Gloriette.
It went like this.
Elias has a thriving business premises, which stocks all sorts of things to do with building and plumbing, as both readers know by now, and he has a stupid, but likeable son, Meccano, who helps him behind the counter, and for most of the time is stone deaf from listening to his Ipod all day. There are also some peripheral goods in the shop, like fertilizer etc, and at one end of the warehouse, near the pallets of peat, there is a big stack of industrial sacks of dog biscuits, because Elias has a couple of evil looking alsatians which roam the yard at night, and keep ill-wishers well away. He keeps these packs in the dry, and also high up and away from the dogs, because if they got a sack open, they'd eat the lot, and lie down for a snooze, and never catch any infiltrators.
Elias has one particular customer, whom everyone calls 'Burma', as his chosen mode of transport is a very old and rusty BMW car, with the boot always full of bags of cement etc, and the reat seat covered with bags of compost as he does a lot of garden work. He thought that it was pronounced 'Burma' when told that there was a 'Bimmer', going cheap at the car breakers, and it had an MOT which was valid for a few months.
So Burma enters the shop, and goes to the back of the warehouse section, where all the gardening kit is kept, and a few minutes later, emerges dragging a bag of peat, and also a big bag of these dog biscuits.
Now Burma has two facial expressions, one which is just bloody miserable, and another where he offers his version of a smile.
This smile is rather like having a large crane insert its hook in the side of his mouth, and lifting the corner about an inch. It also means that Burma is lifted bodily more than somewhat, so everyone talking to him has to lean slightly sideways. If the immediate circumstances determine that it is a funny occasion, the communal lean may even reach 5 degrees, which is dangerous for larger persons such as Elias, and indeed, Toniatteline, who is Meccano's ever loving girl-friend, and inclined to to topple over. In fact, Gloriette could well do the same as she was in the shop that day, and because the spring sun had not yet reached Majorca temperatures, she was wearing a puffed up sort of jacket, which increased her forward pointing acreage beyond the view of the computer key-board, so she had to type standing up, and leaning forward as well.
So with Meccano and Elias staring at Burma at 5 degrees, and the two girls leaning in various directions, there was a distinct lack of verticality in the shop at that particular time. The moment was exacerbated when Toniatteline decided also to lean forward and reach under the front counter to retrieve a box of forms for the printer, and in doing so, made a mockery of all the red-blooded blokes' indications of eternal love to their sweethearts, and that the displayed acreage was well worth deciding to make a few exceptions, two in fact...
(Meanwhile, while this story was emerging, Gloriette was blowing bubbles through the straw in her purple drink, and Elias was beginning to warm to his subject, mainly by placing several pints of ale in front of the assembled throng in 'The Bells').
Meccano, in his limited wisdom, and with one earphone dangling over his 'S & B' windcheater, said to Burma, 'Oi Burma, I didn't know you 'ad a dog'!
So the crane lifted Burma's lip another fraction, and he started to explain.
"No, Meccers my son", he spluttered, "I'm now on the 'Pedigree' Diet"!
Meccano began to re-elevate himself to near vertical, and enquired, "What the hell's a 'Pedigree Diet' then Burma"?
Burma began to explain, amongst the fumes of a rapidly gathering crowd of customers, with a distinct air of 'Drum' tobacco and a smell of something like creosote.
"The 'Pedigree Diet', Meccers my son, is all about food intake. I am overweight at twenty-one stone, and to alleviate this large body grossness, I now buy these dog biscuits, and pop a few into my mouth during the day whenever I feel hungry. They are very nutritious and fibrous, and full of the all sorts of chemicals which makes all animals grow fit and well, and also, they're very cheap here, so I buy a big bag which lasts me nearly a month! I also regularly lose weight, which has happened on numerous occasions, except the time when I ended up in intensive care..."
At this, the whole shop went silent, and someone coughed over near the nails and screws. Burma had the floor.
"You ended up in intensive care from eating dog biscuits, Burma"? Meccano smirked through a slack jaw, as well as a lean to the right. "Why the hell did did you carry on eating them if you'd already been ill once"!
Burma's crane hook gave one final lurch upwards, then forwards, and his whole face creased into a huge grin.
"It wasn't eating the dog biscuits Meccers, it was just that I bent round to lick my bum and put my back out"!