And so, there I was, looking for some elusive quiet time, when an unexpected message wings its way to me. G.I.Joe wants to meet up. What’s occurring? I ask this in my best Barry accent as G.I.Joe is an infrequent drinking companion these days. The sort who tends to only get in touch when at a loose end, or in need of some sort of favour Still, amiable, intelligent, company-there’s not many drinkers you can chat to about the Ludendorff Offensive. He was last seen being hauled up before the local beak for slapping his neighbour in their long running boundary dispute. And I wanted to see where he was up to now. So that’s why I gave up on finding world peace and headed down the pub.
His battlefield of choice was Wyldes, the Holts pub in the centre of Bury. Not bad for a first stop, as if you must have Holts, I find it’s best to get it out of the way first. It’s very difficult to go back to it after having anything really decent. At least they serve it cool here, as warm Holts really is hard to stomach. The place was still quiet, as it tends to be on weekdays-lunchtime excepted. It’s interesting to note the differing clientele from Spoons next door. It’s not posh-Holts are cheap places by most standards, but there’s a better vibe and service is better than next door. Unfortunately, the beer can let it down. And so it proved today. The Mild was (yet again) under par, but at least the Bitter was drinkable. G.I.Joe will drink most things put in front of him, so he got stuck in. Turns out though, he does share my amazement at the fact that people actually drink Holts lager.
So a few pints were sunk as an aperitivo and then we moved next door, me more in hope rather than expectation. But, sweet mother of Mary, what was this on the bar? Could it possibly be Stones IPA? Apparently so, they had a second barrel lurking in the cellar and had decided to put it on. A hot flush seized me and I quickly purchased two pints. G.I.Joe was somewhat taken aback “Bloody Hell, what’s this you’ve got me?” After quickly explaining, although leaving out the strength (no need to spook him), we settled in for the night.
And the wondrous Stones soon had him crying (metaphorically, naturally) on my shoulder. Seems there’s been a bit of a domestic with ‘er indoors. She thought they should share more; tell me what you’re thinking. You can tell me anything etc. Oh, how cruel the fair sex can be. Has the woman never seen A Few Good Men. You can’t handle the truth! Anyway, being a simple soul (i.e. a man), he took her at her word. The gallon of beer he’d had beforehand was possibly a contributory factor. Now I’m no Marjorie Proops, or even Dear Deidre, but I think I know where he went wrong. When she proposed this sharing exercise, she probably didn’t envisage him suggesting a threesome with their neighbour. Not the one he slapped, obviously, but the girl on the other side. Now, to be fair, I’ve seen his neighbour and he’s not wrong, but I can see his missus point of view. Anyway the only solution I could suggest for this faux pas (as with most problems), was more beer. Drink until you need to grip the handrail with both hands to get to the toilet. Which, with Stones, comes sooner rather than later.
This sad tale of domestic misunderstanding brought to mind the words of those great poets-Charlie and Craig Reid.
“Dear Deidre can you tell me
Where I'm going wrong
I'm following your advice
but my wife's still gone
She left me for my girlfriend
The four faced cows
We had three in a bed
But there's only two now”
Don’t say you haven’t been warned…