What I didn’t tell you is about the little darling with the football. Awww bless. NOT.
There I was sat enjoying the sounds of nature in the deserted enclosed beer garden reading my newspaper and drinking my beer. Eventually a family of undesirables arrived and sat at the table by the door to the beer garden. There was mummy, daddy, daughter, daughters daughter, daughter 2, daughter 2s daughter, little daughter and the dog. There were possibly others but I couldn’t see them, possibly son of mummy and daughter of son and his wife. Now I’m only assuming that some of the daughters daughters were daughters, they may have been concubines or sons daughters. Or cousins of the daughters daughters sons mothers aunties nephews pet dogs owners neighbour. But you get the idea. This was a biggish family, possibly without a TV or other method of birth control.
An icy stare from me was ignored, but I expected that as it was unlikely they could see my eyes through my dark reactor lite spectacles. Regardless, there I was my peace and quiet shattered like a test tube in GCSE Chemistry. The shards of my peace were then further stomped upon as little brat, sorry darling, was encouraged to go into the enclosed beer garden and play with her football.
Let me describe the beer garden. Its a small…erm….yard out the back of the pub, possibly at one stage used to store barrels. It is about 10 ft by 10 ft surrounded by high barb wire topped walls and containing about 3 or 4 pub table benches with umbrellas. It has huge over hanging trees and a small rockery for
rats to live in ambience purposes. Maybe I should describe the Albert too…OK the Albert is a late Georgian drinking hole refitted to look Victorian. At one stage in its life it would have been a hotel. It has a grand sweeping stair case, fine (vandalised) wood cut panelling, beer sodden tables, half chewed chairs, an average bar waiting time of 10 minutes (more if it is busy), dirty dirty toilets (complete with mystery white powdery residue on the cistern possibly Vim but more likely to be cut Charlie), strange ex rugby player looking types (battered noses, missing teeth) and one or four mystery shapes in corners (possibly deceased drunks or stoned smack heads). Not the most salubrious surroundings but compared to the Masonic (Chav central), the Parkfield (old lags and murderers), Sudo (students pretending they have no money when they actually have £10k+ in the bank), 52 (overpriced Hollyoaks favourite) or Marantos (shit beer), its alright really, as long as you ignore the scum and mess. Besides they do good beer.
I digress. There I was, peace shattered by a family of families, their loud incessant gabblings about “Our Mark” (who possibly had been sent down for 3 years in Fazakerly Prison that day and they were out celebrating), and their little darling with a football.
Now ok, toddlers are not Ian Rush (see that’s my football knowledge there, Ian Rush! He’s the only player for Liverpool I could name mainly because I had 5 stickers of him when I used to collect stickers in primary school, no fucker ever needed him so he was impossible to swap) so you know what’s going to happen next almost immediately. Yep. I am officially a football magnet. Where ever I go and there’s a football being kicked about you can pop down to William Hill and put a £1000 bet on that ball hitting me or landing in my vicinity, doing so will net you a large wad of cash. Yes the ball kept coming over to me.
Ok now first off. Its a tiny beer garden, not much room to disguise a fart never mind play with a spherical object that’s like 4 times the diameter of a child’s head. The Anti-Waltons family just looked and smiled as the ball headed in my direction.
So I’ll move yeah that’s a good idea, I’ll move to another table allowing the little brat a few more inches to dribble and kick the ball about.
No that’s not a good idea.
Little brats sister-mommy comes into the yard then. Looks surprised to see me then decides to play bouncy bouncy with the ball.
“Go over the wall!” I prayed.
No such luck. But it tried. Yes it tried to go over the wall behind ME.
Course it bounces and narrowly misses my head. Now I’m starting to get a bit agitated. I cant go to the bar and complain because the bar staff in the Albert are as much use as cheese cement. So I grin and bear it. I got microsecond of an apologetic smile which dissolved into a gurn. Bitch! But she obviously realised that the ball was annoying me so she takes it inside the pub, leaving the little brat to play with the ciggy butts on the floor.
Enter daddy Munster. Shell suited up to the neck. Baseball cap. More bling than Snoop Dog, Beyonce, P Diddy and Goldie Looking Chain put together. Fingers kipper brown from all the joints he’d no doubt rolled and years of not washing hands. Pock marked drawn face with eye brows down to the floor if not further.
“Come ‘ed Chantelle ya little shit”
Surely he must be talking to a hallucination
“Don’ play wi’ dem der dirty”
Ripe coming from you Mr Pristene. Maybe if you spent as much on soap as you do bling then you can talk about dirty!
He then tries to pick up the brat who then starts an ear piercing scream. I mean it even the garden lights adorning the lichen covered walls started to pop! I quickly removed my spectacles in case they shattered with the frequency and I ended up with an eye full of lens. Shouting and name calling ensued from the table where the Anti-Waltons were sat, mainly from mummy, then in comes Granddad while the Dingle Family Robinson carry on their altercation.
Granddad was like something out of an old Dixon of Dock Green episode. Typical gangster looking hard case that had softened with age. His knuckles adorned with the words “Love” and “Hat” (missing finger, missing “e”; either that or he’d sold his E to some stoned clubbers to make money…i dunno) Granddad, who had obviously seen it all before picked up Chantelle (the little screaming brat) and shushes her down while carrying her round the beer garden. On seeing me he raised his eye brows as if to say “At it again tut! You should hear them at home” whereas I glared my bestest “Thanks But can you fuck off now please” glare.
Then the weeny barman arrived to collect glasses.
“Sorry but you’ll have to go. He’s barred.” he said pointing at the 11 year old looking son
And in a waft of the wind they had gone. All of them. Like a fart in a hurricane.
Leaving me to my pint, my Echo and the retreating sound of the family arguing in the street.
Sometimes I wonder if there’s something I could put in the water….