I went for a pint last night.
The place was full of tourists, and they seemed to have driven the regulars away. I blame the sunshine.
Anyway, I sat outside on the bonnet of a brand new Land Rover Discovery that was illegally [and very badly] parked outside the pub, and enjoyed my pipe and pint as the evening settled in.
I was idly doodling on the paintwork of the Discovery with my car keys, when a couple of other smokers came over for a chat.
They were American, but apart from that they were a pleasant enough couple – Bill and MaryJayne from Lawnton near Harrisburg PA [or so they told me]. They chatted away and I listened. I missed Ron. Ron could be bloody irritating with his yacking on about web sites and football, but it would have been better that being told all the time what a wonderful country I live in.
They offered to buy me a drink. Things looked up. In fact they bought me a few.
Then Mick came over with the tray of drinks and said “there you go, Grandad”.
MaryJayne lit up. “Hey!” says she “Are you the guy who writes that Head Rambles thing? We love that. It’s so funny the way you rise us Americans.”
I admitted I was. I hate that. I like my anonymity. I cursed the odds that had placed them there. With odds like that I should be winning the lottery instead of having my ears bent.
They waffled on and on about how amaaazing it was to meet me and all the things I had written and wasn’t it a scream how I had invented this joke about shooting tourists.
“It is just a joke, isn’t it?” said MaryJayne and went off into shrieks of laughter.
I assured her that it was.
I offered them a lift back to their Bed and Breakfast place. They accepted.
As it happened, it wasn’t far from the landfill site.