Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

Another day. Another Christmas do. Well, two technically. Definite déjà vu today. The last working day for many was the perfect excuse for those canny drinkers who knew last Friday would be busy everywhere. So it was we had an early lunch kickoff in the Trackside. Not too many on yet and what there was tended to be dark and strong.

First out of the hat was Ossett Treacle Stout. This was very rich, with liquorice coming through first, followed by the inevitable treacle. But not too much to overbalance it. Still, not really to my palate. Wickwar was next with Old Arnold. This was also dark, but not as sweet, with some fruit in the mix. Phoenix Navvy is usually a friend, but seemed a bit tired and lacked its usual hop bite.

There followed a (very slow), crawl of Bury until, seemingly inevitably, once more I found myself stuck in the Knowsley. Apparently “it’s convenient for the bus station.” Hmmm. After forking out £2.75 for the St Edmunds, I decided I wasn’t paying over the odds for that rubbish again, so went on orange juice instead. Which turned out to be a wise move, as it kept me in the game for later.

For just as things were winding up, I received a message from Eddie, the eager, legal beagle. He’d finished work and wanted to discuss the impact of existentialism on the paintings of Willem De Kooning. Really I should have gone home and saved myself for tomorrow. But...who can resist the chance to discuss the work of De Kooning? Not me. So it was back to the Trackside.

Luckily the board had been filled up in my absence. Coach House Credit Crunch (3.4%) was listed as a no 1 in colour, so I was expecting a light Mild. Seems Robinsons (they can’t distinguish gold from copper), aren’t the only colour blind people around. For the record, Credit Crunch is dark copper in colour (No 3 on the scale) and easy going, if a little thin. However, Ossett Silver Link was light and very palatable. We had to try Piston & Broke again, as it was fresh on. Some of Saturday’s impressions proved correct. It is a strange beer-citrus notes followed by sourness, with a dry finish. However, it seemed to (just), about carry it off.

As we know, time and tide waits for no man. How true, as Eddie soon discovered. Now he and the Manx Minx are always in constant communication-him telling her how much he loves her smoked kippers, she full of adoration for his tweed underpants. But as the night drew to a close, her last call had more of an admonishment tone. Seems Eddie was in the doghouse. The in-laws were due tomorrow and he was supposed to be cooking French onion soup and preparing potted crab. Not covorting in the Railside. I don’t know exactly what was said, but I think castration was mentioned. He got the message anyway and bounded off home to do his Jamie Oliver duties.

Personally, I can’t see the problem. Everyone knows the best way to prepare food is to get pissed first. That’s a well known fact.


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