Saturday, March 12, 2005

A string of disappointments

A string of disappointments plunge me into a low mood: BT bill for £87 for just six weeks (don't know why yet); a stereo we found after the street market doesn't work any longer (after one hour of good performance) and we went out to buy speakers for it too; the Brighton and Hove beer festival finished yesterday, and not today as I thought, so I missed it.

So I lay on the floor and worried about money, and how we'll live next month for a while, then played playstation followed by three pints in the Cricketers reading the Sunday Times.


Monday, March 07, 2005

Tzar Bar

Plastic glasses start my spider-sense tingling, so I look around suspiciously as I sip my pint of Kronenbourg at the back bar of the Tzar Bar. The wife has moved on to Rum and Coke after the last pint took a long time to go down. Price, £5.60.

It's busy already and we're incredibly lucky to grab a seat near the front bar with a view of the dancefloor, table, and everything. We settle back and watch the young and the beautiful enter.

We take another pint.

'Dark rum?' The barmaid asks.

'Um, okay.' I say.

'That's £6.20.' She smiles sweetly.

I figure that dark rum is more expensive than what we had the first time (I wasn't asked).

Back at the table a crazy-eyed, multi-tattooed man comes over to our table and does a rap in my face. I don't remember the whole thing, but it went along the lines of,

'Fat women, thin women, blonde women, tall women, short women, brown women and white, I want to f4ck them all.'

This rap was positively shouted into my face as the man made all the correct rap-esque gestures. It is difficult to know what to do, exactly, when someone raps in your, in a pub, face out of the blue.

He finishes and I say, 'Great rap man.'

He looks at me suspiciously, 'Really?'

'Yeah, really good.'

He turns to his friends and tells them, excitedly, 'He thinks my rap is really good, he told me, eh, eh?'

I gesture yes and his friends nod indulgently. I bang fists with the rapper as he mutters, 'I used to be a rapper you know.'

'No,' I say, holding his eye, 'you still are a rapper... You still are.'

He brightens up and wanders off.

Third pint.

'Dark rum?' The barmaid asks.

'Um, no, white.' The wife says.

'That'll be £6.90 please.'

I go and find the manager, who listens to my rum-price story and asks me pertinent questions about white vs dark rum, barstaff and times, then punches up the drink on nearby till. He frowns, looks at me, and gives me two pounds.

'Thanks,' I say, staring at the coins.

'I know what's it's like,' he tells me, patting me on the back.

I don't know what he's talking about. Perhaps he thinks I'm really poor. He's right of course, but that wasn't the point.

Back at the seat the wife goes to the bathroom and a young, tough-looking guy wanders over to me.

'You, out of that seat, now.' He says.

'Sorry?' I say.

'You, out of that seat, now.' He says.

I stare at him for a moment and say, simply, 'No.'

He stares back.

'[mumble] ... from the Manor?'

'What?' I say. What is he talking about?

'Are you from the Manor?'

I think about this, and say, finally, 'I have no idea where the Manor is, so, no, probably not.'

He frowns. 'No, no, the Manor, you know, it means like this area - are you from around here?'

'Oh, I say,' feeling like a loser, 'ah, yes, I live just up the road.'

'Oh.' He says, shakes hands with me, then leaves.

The wife returns and it's time for pint four.

'Dark rum?' The barmaid asks.

'The cheapest, please.' I say.

'That'll be six pounds please...'

Before we leave a man that looks like Rocky out of the Rocky Horror Picture Show movie appears. He is sporting meal wrist bands like you would expect gladiators to wear. He fiddles with them self-consciously. Maybe he just bought them.

'You should go to the gym,' my wife tells me as she stares at his huge biceps.

'Hmm.' I mumble.

On the way home I get progressively drunker until I can hardly stand by the time we get to our street. This is confusing, like I'd been slipped a mickey in the bar. By the time we get upstairs I've blacked out and remember nothing until the next morning.