An unexpected beer (or two)

A jug of real aleThought I’d visit the pub for a couple of jars. ‘Just two,’ I said to myself. This was the height of folly because I’ve had more ‘just two’ sessions than I care to remember. The trouble is people don’t want me to leave while we’re having fun. Or something like that…

Actually I was serious this time. In, out and home. That was the plan. Ha ha; how the Universe likes to mock our carefully laid machinations. Not that I’m complaining because last night the Cornucopia spilled its goodies all over me. And we all like goodies don’t we?

The beer board looked promising. Elland porter (6.5% ABV) and Everards Sunchaser were both onboard to tempt me. And Burton Bridge Mystery Mild… Too many to list in fact. So I started in on the Sunchaser mindful of the next morning, and not wishing to wake up in the night with a mouth like the bottom of a parrot’s cage.

Two pints in something strange happened. People started to leave. This is very unusual but it’s a seasonal effect. Easter is approaching and people are trying to save their wonga for the bank holiday. Those long weekends in Rhyl don’t pay for themselves you know.

I was about to leave when kind hearted Sandra the generously boobed barmaid said, ‘Here you go John,’ and plonked another pint in front of me. Free beer! I really wanted to go, but I mean… FREE BEER!

Someone had decided to vamoose and it would have gone down the drain otherwise to feed the rodents. I supped it gratefully and got talking to this bloke about Vikings. I tend to attract such beings because I look a bit Scandy. Hardly surprising as all my ancestors (bar a couple of Midlanders) are from Cumbria or thereabouts.

It was a crazy conversation. The man kept repeating himself over and over… I think it was the Ellands porter which he quaffed like it was cherryade. You don’t do that! It’s best drunk by the half-pint. Or – delicious as it is – not at all if you want to walk out of the building.

I was about to leave for the second time when history repeated itself and Sandra (bless her socks) handed me another beer. What! MORE FREE BEER!? Yes, it’s true. Was this kindness or an assassination attempt? It’s hard to tell. I’m your basic man when it comes to beer: I like it but I know my limits, and I already felt tired. My limits were approaching faster than butter off a hot iron.

Halfway through a glorious pint of Abbeydale bitter (3.9% ABV) a young chap wandered over to me and the Viking Fanclub fanatic clutching a massive pizza. ‘Fancy this lads? It’ll just go to waste otherwise.’ It was as though people couldn’t face food or beer. Why was this? Martian spores? I bought a couple of beers after that having reached the tipping point, beyond which you think, ‘Sod it, I might as well.’

I don’t know, but I remember leaving the pub full of free beer and gratis pizza, slightly the worse for wear. I think I caught a taxi home, and I think the driver didn’t bother to ask where I live. We’ve met before, him and I.


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