Friday, 20 November 2009

Behind the bar, a pewter bucket...

An ex-boss of mine, giant in stature, was also rather partial to a good drink. This was good news when you fancied an extended lunch hour, as you would just invite him along and he would happily stay there and buy the beers for hours! Not sure how I’d cope with that now, as too much beer on a daily basis is not a recommended regime for a diabetic! Back then were more innocent and carefree times, I guess. He had a peculiar method of hiding his bald patch – instead of a ‘comb-over’, he had a ‘comb-forward’ which meant that his hair was quite long at the back and then combed forward to give the appearance of a fringe. This was fine, if a bit ridiculous, but when the wind was blowing in the wrong direction, the hair would rise up and flail about. We concluded that this was his method of communicating his requirements across a crowded bar – a sort of follicle-based semaphore. Here is the Ballad of Dave Y, aka Mad Dog aka ‘The Bend’…

Tiny little baby, ten fingers, ten toes,
Lying still in blissful repose,
Awoke and screamed in baby words
‘That bottle you give me is quite absurd!

How can I grow up big and tough?
That bottle doesn’t hold enough!
There can’t be more than half a gill,
Don’t economise on the milkman’s bill,

If I’m to grow to six feet five
That much will barely keep me alive!’
The parents watched him rant and rave,
Astonished how his hair could wave.
‘We’ll have to order several litres,
Or else they’ll think we’re baby beaters!’

And so the milk began to flow,
And the lad began to grow,
He learnt to walk towards a pub
And lift a pint in his dad’s club.

He went to school, he learned to count,
And drink a rather large amount.
First in pints, then in yards
Without feeling too rough afterwards…

Then at a party down Canklow way
A challenge to meet or a bet to pay:
To drink a barrel down in one…
One deep draught and it was gone.

He travelled far, he travelled wide,
A giant thirst, a drinker’s pride
Offered beer, Mad Dog took it,
Behind the bar, a pewter bucket…

‘I didn’t say that!’ was his chant
‘I wouldn’t say that!’ he would rant
‘I promised nothing!’ he would plea
‘A pint for the lads, a bucket for me!’

Body language so profound
Communicates without a sound.
Wave his hair across the bar,
Follicle language travels far.

‘I’m sorry, you’re wrong!’ the man would snap.
‘What you say is utter crap!’
A bucket deep without an end
This is the man they call The Bend!

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