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A Quiet Man

Page 2

Barry Revill

He made some circles in the beer on the bar. He ordered some chips. He drank his beer quick. He ordered another, then another. He ordered more chips. One of his feet slipped off the bar stool. He swore. I don’t like fat men who swear. Not nice. Should not be allowed. He scratched himself between the legs. Not nice to see men scratch themselves between the legs in public places. He ate his chips and then he made circles in the beer on the bar. Then he left.

A woman came in. She sat on a stool a bit closer to me. I ordered another beer. She had on a short skirt which she sort of hitched up when she perched up on the stool. She had on a nice blue blouse and her hair was brushed back into a neat bun behind her neck. She ordered a Scotch. I ordered another beer. The barman looked at me a bit funny. I gave him a wink and he walked away. I don’t like barmen who look at me a bit funny. I could see the woman looking at me in the mirror behind the bar. She crossed her legs a couple of times but I didn't take much notice. I’m not bothered with all that. I like to keep myself to myself, cannot be bothered about all this women business. She kept playing with the brooch near her neck. It was a pretty brooch and it sparkled a bit as it moved towards the light. I thought I could at least be a bit friendly, so I smiled at her. I smiled at her again. She moved away further down the bar. I needed another beer.

I called out to the barman. Nothing happened. I called again. He came along the bar and stood in front of me. He had a funny grin on his face. I don’t like barmen who have funny looks on their faces. I think he was born overseas somewhere. Should have been born here, that’s what I always say, and I told him so too. I told him I would like another beer. He grinned. I told him again. He grinned at me again. That’s when I tried to punch him on the nose. I missed, but he hit me square on the jaw and I fell to the floor, hitting my head on the bar on the way down. I got up and swung another punch at him. I missed again and he hit me in the eye. He told me to get up on the stool, stay quiet, and he would give me a soft drink.

A younger woman came in, I thought I’d seen her somewhere before. She looked nice. I sat drinking my lemon squash. My head ached, my eye was very sore. She moved towards me. She put her hand gently on my arm.

“Come on, Dad, time to come home now.”


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