Wednesday, January 18, 2006

29 November
Southampton were playing at 12:30pm, which is far too early for pub-visiting, but what with the new 24 hour licenses, it is our responsibility as British citizens to now drink in pubs at inappropriate times, because we can. Anyway, I could have just drunk coke.
Arriving at the ‘Walkabout’ pub slightly past 12:30, the game had already started. I walked in still wearing my woolie hat that I had just bought, enjoying the feeling of having hair. I don't mean my hat felt or looked like hair. It’s just that to the outside world, whilst I wear the hat, people are unable to identify me as a de-haired person, thus, I allows me to enjoy brief moments as a person of hair.
I walked to the bar to order my beer or coke, I forget now. The screen above the bar was showing the football, but it meant I had to slightly arch back from the bar to see what was going on. As there was a rather competitive queue, each arch back to catch the exciting action lost me valuable 'It's my turn to order' authority.
I decided to place more priority on the bar and take the risk missing vital football action. I didn't want to waste too much time so I leant right forward on the bar. The bloke next to me, who looked like a cross between Noel Edmonds and H from Steps, also leaned forward in a somewhat aggressive manner, unmistakably signalling his intention to take me on in a ‘Serve-Off!’
I rotate my head quickly to the barmaid and smile and nod in an appreciative praising way with regard to her pint pouring (Should have taken off my hat)
Noel Edmounds does that glance at watch and look like he’s been waiting for years move. (Aggressive opening play. A serious competitor)
Under pressure I place my elbow on the bar with my hand pointing up in a my-turn manner. (Simple, elegant)
Noel mirrors my move but has a fiver in his up stretched hand. (Showing currency at this stage could really pay off for Noel.)
Noel’s elbow slips on the bar slightly and moves back, I edge towards him, thus slightly blocking his return. This gives him 18% less leaning forward range. (A knock out punch?)
The barmaid looks up, but my last move has really taken it out of me. Noel reacts first and shouts ‘I’m next’. (Desperate, no dignity, but ultimately effective in this contest, His pint is poured).

Finally I get my pint and find a suitable television to watch the game. There are about 30 Tvs in the pub and about three of them have the game on. A group of about fifteen of us gather around the best option and start watching the game.
The second half thunders on, but then the football disappears and on comes a picture of a bald ex-rugby player talking about the England V Western Somoa game that will start in about 30 minutes. With the sound turned off and Wonderwall playing on the stereo, his message is somewhat lost.
Bemused, the Fellowship of the Saints fans wander off to seek a new TV. Another one is found, but five minutes later the picture changes to the same bald ex-rugby player appears, (he really should consider wearing a woolly hat.)

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