The bar went quiet, and I wondered what was going to happen next. Gloriette and Elias were close, and for some reason, they both turned towards us at the same time. It was a seminal moment, and I felt considerable discomfort.
"Did I hear you say something Swedish"? boomed Elias with a big grin on his face! Gloriette giggled as she sipped a violent pink drink. He came over carrying a tray with four glasses and a bottle of champagne.
"Congratulations on the shopping centre, 'Q'", he said, "That's taken a helluva long time - you deserve this"! He poured the wine and sat down opposite us.
The room became very quiet, and if it were not for a trilby hat being removed from the shiny dome of a well-bronzed head, and gently laid on the table next to the bottle, there'd have been no movement either. Even Gloriette's acreages had ceased wiggling!
"Bit silent here!" said Elias, slowly taking his glass. "What's occurring please"?
"There's a good reason for that". Replied 'Q'.
"I heard you mention banks back then, 'Q', and so I cocked my ear so to speak! Bastards aren't they"! Elias looked up gravely.
I nodded, and 'Q' started to explain his quandary. Elias listened intently, nodding sagely when the bank's failures were mentioned, agreeing with a grunt when the revelations of the manager's incompetence was laid out and how he had to deal with some idiot in some godforsaken town - or foreign country, by phone, and finally, he sat back in his chair, grabbed the wine bottle and filled the glasses to the brim. He 'cheered' both of us in turn, and drank deeply.
"Bloody marvellous!" he exclaimed! "That is the best news I've heard all week - for many weeks actually! The Swedish guys have been chatting to me of late, about how things are going, and I always explain that it's so-so, and mustn't grumble! My bank have been bloody useless at offering any help we need to expand the business. They've been hounding some of the staff, and generally been getting on my nerves! Well it ain't anymore is it!"! He refilled the glasses with a huge grin on his face.
'Q' looked at him quizzically. "So what will you do about it, old mate"? he asked, twirling his wine glass.
"I'm going to move to your new bank of course! Stuff RBS, they can piss off"! Shouted Elias! His triumphal yelp caused the whole bar to go quiet and turn to see what the commotion was all about!
When it was explained to all and sundry, what was going to happen, Gloriette squealed in delight, and began to peck all the blokes - and a few of the girls, and created a certain amount of testosterol mayhem amongst the younger, more tender men present. The talk began to turn into a babble, and from then on in, a party began to develop!
The celebrations about 'Q's new scheme continued well into the night. Elias got on to his accountant and immediately made plans to change all his financial affairs and join the new bank, and, instead of just taking notes, the little guy with the calculator came round to 'The Bells' and joined in! It was an evening to remember! Even the lawyer bought a round!
The next day, word got out among the staff at Elias Sagtrouser's Builder's Merchants and suppliers of all sorts of brass things and concrete mixers, that they would all be in for a bonus soon, as 'Q' had decided that Elias would become a preferred supplier. He mentioned that if there were any problems with their old bank, Elias would take over and guarantee their situation, so everyone in the shop and the yard switched their accounts. All the subbies made new arrangements, again, these were guaranteed by Elias, (and actually 'Q' stepped in as well, for a few favoured chums who were in difficulties). One by one, they deserted the UK failed banks,
And it got worse; much worse, for the shredded bank, and also for the other publicly owned banks and the other rigging one as well.
Word got out in the small town, that they'd all lost several large accounts, and that they'd tried to bully some of the smaller customers even further. That caused a headline in the local paper, and the locals complained with much indignation. It was a good time to kick these charlatans where it hurt, and the public did so with much vigour.
This particular branch was forced to close, the staff were made redundant, and joined the furious locals in their vilification of the once liked, and now hated institution. The manager was moved to another post, but his reputation went before him, and it didn't take long before he was 'retired' early. He had to move his family away as well. Some graffiti kid had scribbled 'tosserz' on the empty building's closed doors.
The council became embroiled and caused a bitter row with everyone, because they'd wanted to take space in 'Q's scheme, and now, as their lavish budgets had been cut, they couldn't go ahead! They had to pay a huge sum in compensation, but 'Q' was delighted to re-let the prime space to none other than the Swedish Bank, and also he found he had several unused car-parking spaces, which the bankrupt council had demanded free, for all their staff.
And the sour smell of political, fiscal, financial ineptitude sank without trace, and one day, this story will come true...