That's everybody else's holidays - not mine. When you live as I do in a popular tourist area, one tends to sigh with relief at the end of the season and the mood in one's local boozer changes more than somewhat. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent...
It has been a quiet week here in Polpott. The Emmet harvest has finally been gathered in and stored in the Midlands, and life has become a tad quieter for the local populace. Weary B. & B. propietors assemble nightly in 'The Pastie Maker's Arms' to swap stories of the season's doings over foaming tankards of gin and tonic, and the air is heavy with the heady scent of overworked barmaid's armpits. Old Denzil sits in the corner and pontificates. He is hurriedly escorted from the room and Ron, the landlord, manages to clear up most of the mess ....
Big George, who is generally considered to be the richest farmer - if not actual person - in the area, tugs at the baler twine which keeps his coat together, then orders a pint of Byle. Big George is extremely hirsute as well as being tall and stout, but despite his chubbiness has a sharp little nose, and eyes that are set quite close together. Unkind people in the village say that being spoken to by Big George is like being addressed by a rat that is peering out of a bear's bottom (or words to that effect), but, being generally as prudent as they are churlish, they do not say it to his face.
"One pint of Byle's best bitter coming up." says Ron, taking Big George's Tankard down from where it hangs on the beam, and drawing off a foaming mugful from the spigot. "Any food tonight, Big George?"
Ron is extraordinarily proud of his food. A large sign outside the pub proclaims 'GOOD FOOD. Today's Special:' at the top and 'PUB GRUB' at the bottom. The area between the slogans consists of a square of blackboard paint onto which Ron chalks news of the day's offerings. Ron is an amiable soul despite being a tidge hen-pecked, but grammar, syntax and the use of the apostrophe are not his strong suits. As a consequence some of his culinary offerings seem a little bizarre at first glance. A local wag set the N.S.P.C.C. on him recently when the sign read: 'Sunday Lunch - Roast Pork and all the trimmings: £2.95. Children £1.50 including pudding".
Big George twangs at his baler twine (or 'farmer's weld' as it is known locally), hefts the waistband of his jeans back over his gut then nods in the direction of Sylvia, Ron's wife, who has just entered the bar bearing a laden tray. "Wha's that? I might 'ave some o' that" he says.
Someone has put money in the Juke-box. A song blasts out at ear shattering volume. Ron hastily dives under the bar and fumbles with unseen controls until the decibels drop to a comfortable level.
"What's that bloody racket?" enquires Old Denzil, who has just come back from the Gent's.
"That's a Bonnie Tyler is that." says Sylvia, who secretly fancies herself as a bit of a singer, back-combs her long peroxided hair, and is much given to wearing stonewashed stretch-denim jeans and high-heeled white boots.
"Ar..." replies Old Denzil, "It might be able ter tile but it can't bloody sing. Give us another Pernod and cider Ron, will yer?"