"Quite a few years ago", Scrobs was telling his old friend, Elias Sagtrouser, in 'The Bells' with a pint each of Shep's 'Buggerit' I.P.A. 9.6 ABV, "I had a strange experience"!
Elias stared for a moment at his rapidly emptying glass mug, and waited for the next gasp of words.
"I was tasked with attending a large property convention in Cannes, known as 'MIPIM', which was a March-dated collection of the world's piss-artists, and many others as well. I had to join my boss and several colleagues on a marathon of excessive partakement of fine wines, Bolly, Joe Bolais, and any other slop which was available in a place called the Cafe Roma, which was an establishment right opposite the entrance to the underground bunker, where the convention was actually being held"!
(Scrobs explained that he was in his element here, being unavailable when non-alcoholic drinks were around, and arriving panting, when the alternative imbibement menu was on offer)!
"My best friend, Andy and I were just getting over the flight down, after many jars at Gatwick, a couple on the flight, a taxi from Nice to our rented apartment, a sharpener somewhere or other, then off for a pizza and a bottle of red, before we started 'work'".
Elias stared at me in wonderment (for once), and asked whether he should consider arriving at The Bunker during the proceedings, next year, and maybe involve himself in the luxuries I'd described. He was on his own at this particular moment, without the delectable Gloriette, who was visiting an expensive nail bar to repair her talons, and also pick up the gossip, from Becky, who knew everybody and everything, what they did, when and how, and whether anyone found out!
"So what was this experience then Scrobs"? Inquired my friend.
"Well, it's a long story", I started, and Elias tipped his trilby hat back another five degrees, looked at his watch, sighed, and suggested that I got on with it, while indicating to the bar-lady that there were two thirsty men standing bereft of sustenance, and could she possibly leave the attentions of the two blokes lusting after her, and attend to the value of the ten-pound note he was proffering.
"Andy and I prepared to leave the pizza joint at about 10:30pm, and while we were still in a jolly mood, the rooms back at the apartment didn't seem all that enticing, so we wandered off along La Croisette, which is a long sea-front location, well known for many bars, hotels, gorgeous ladies, rich old men and much more besides. We passed several friends, all jolly, as well as pissed maybe, and arrived at the far end, from where we decided that it might be a good idea to stroll back, before we reached the border with Africa, or somewhere"!
"Such a long walk creates a strong thirst, and the bottle of red had receded in the metabolism more than somewhat, and we felt in need of replenishment! Half-way back to the main area of the bars and cafes, we passed one of those restaurant seating areas, with canopies and over-head heaters, and which opened up right onto the pavement. Lo and behold, standing next to a table, laden with all sorts of delicacies, such as oysters, champagne, French canapes etc, was a very pleasant mutual friend, together with several of his chums from the same company, and a few of his clients"!
Elias cocked his ear to the word 'clients', because it meant money, and Elias likes money, such that he continuously searches for ways to make more of the stuff, so that Gloriette can use it to buy clothes and accessories when she wants to, and also he can buy his friends ales and spirits with a clear conscience!
"Anyhow", I continued, "Andy and I were immediately ordered over to join the throng, which we did with some alacrity, as we'd worked up a serious thirst, what with all that walking, and staring at the skimpily-dressed girls parading with whatever beau they'd decided to ravish that particular evening".
Elias became more interested, especially as he knew that Cannes was in France, and all these places for refreshment meant meeting more people, although he was maybe considering that they might not want to meet him if he had Gloriette on his arm, or maybe they might!
"So", I went on, staring at the fourth pint of Buggerit which had appeared from nowhere, "Andy and I prepared ourselves for a few delectable communications with the guests and our friend, whilst partaking of the generosity of his company! The evening continued until the early hours, and several people were away, with either the fairies, or with a selection of available ladies, who had been with them when they arrived, or hadn't been, but soon would be"!
"Now, Scrobs had never in his short life, had an oyster! The stories of rampant lovelies, energetic discussions about Uganda, fevered panting, as well as severe upheavals in the lower-regional areas etc., were all known attributes of that particular mollusc, but these issues were all lost on a timid, spam-eating Scrobs, as he'd never had one! Andy was an expert, and downed several over a few minutes, declaring the quality to be excellent, such that more arrived, and he started to reduce the mound pretty quickly! I had about four, declaring them a delicacy beyond my wildest dreams, (they were - definitely), and Andy was in his element, as his wife had been a restaurateur and also knew all about these comestibles"!
"Now, Elias", I said, "Can you imagine what happened next"?
"I have to admit, Scrobs", he replied, swirling his beer slowly, "I haven't really got a clue what you're talking about, because I sell building materials to builders and the public! I don't need to talk too much to people, unless they demand conversation to ask for advice, and then I wonder how much money I'll make from that particular discussion"!
"My good friend,", I replied, "That's all a load of bull, and you know more about getting a fifty-pence piece out of anyone using the correct five-sided spanner, so I'll finish the story"!
"What happened, was that as it was very early in the morning, and the streets were emptying rapidly, Andy and I decided to try and find the apartment, which we did, after some confusion as to the address, well, the district, in fact the whole bloody town, but we eventually arrived home! Anyway, when we got upstairs, we were met with the disgusting snoring of the three other chums with whom we were sharing the apartment, and one of them had conveniently chucked all my stuff into the main sitting room, where there were beds at each end. Andy had one, and after a grimace, I took the other, and we were eventually drifting off in an alcoholic stupor, with just a few stomachial rumblings here and there".
"After about half an hour, there was a terrible shrieking noise, like a burst lorry tyre, making a terrifying sound similar to a banshee in a dustbin! It went on for several seconds, changing key and finishing with a whimper of resentment at having to stop itself, and Scrobs awoke in a petrified sweat, and wide-eyed with fear"!
"Blimey, what was it then"? asked my friend, his beer mug halfway between bar and face!
"Hmmm. It was Andy breaking wind after all those oysters! I didn't get a wink of sleep after that"! I replied.