Not diving into the open grave with Fat Mac the other day was worth celebrating, which I did in much calmer circumstances, with No Longer Grim Jim and the Tall Thin One, tonight, in two bars up town.
The following is in reverse order. You might need to concentrate in order to get the full jist.
OMG. How did it get so late?
“Shukran. Keep the change.”
The taxi driver who gave me a lift home was from Iraq. From an unpronounceable town somewhere close to Basra. Despite that fact, he had not ever heard of Wilfred Thesiger … (Marsh Arabs), (I checked twice), so we kept the discussion to non-literary topics.
Was the taxi driver Sunni or Shia? Well, he was definitely one or the other because I asked, and he told me, and I can’t honestly remember which one he was, and we didn’t discuss the merits of either, thank goodness, otherwise I wouldn’t have got a word in edgewise.
We ran through three thousand years of Middle East history in about thirty seconds (mostly me, actually), and got straight up-to-date with the fact that there are still suicide bombers doing their thing in Basra, recently. I didn’t know that. I thought it was mostly happening up in Baghdad.
The bearded President that they hung – thon Saddan Hussein chap – at least he kept order. There were far less suicide bombers in those days (mostly the taxi driver).
The Kurds – they are a people without a country. We agreed that the Kurds should get their own space.
He thought that the Shah of Iran was essentially quite a good guy at heart, which threw me off completely, because I thought we were talking about Iraq. Now I come to think of it, I may have misunderstood, due to the traffic noise, whether he came from Iraq or Iran (easy error). But it was definitely somewhere near Basra.
“So – I think that you are from Turkey?”
“Not too busy. Busy later, when the kids leave the clubs”
The taxis for hire are all going up-town. Why, Oh why, can there be six free taxis going in the opposite direction, and bugger all taxis going in my direction?
Well, that was an excellent night with No Longer Grim and the Tall Thin One. Thank goodness No Longer Grim didn’t buy another pint. We’re safe! No open grave tonight.
“Yes, so let’s get together again sometime soon. Certainly some time before next November when we’ll know the outcome of the Yes/No vote”
[NLG Jim] “Rods, I don’t know how Lindsey puts up with you, quite frankly.”
OMG – It’s cold out tonight.
[Bar man} “Time to go home, boys”
“Rods! That’s the most expensive round for three people I’ve ever bought. Why can’t you be a normal person and drink normal beer?”
“So, you threw away the first issue of Spiderman when you were 16? Really?”
Does her husband have a lot of hair?
Natalie Portman isn’t tall.
So – all three of us had different complexes in our formative years. Jimmy thought he was too short, Leslie thought he was too tall, and Roddy thought his hair started to fall out when he was too young.
So these academics have done a study of why people like different sports. Some people like watching a sport where they KNOW who is going to win – like with Usain Bolt. Some people like watching a game where the outcome could go either way. Some people like the anxiety of watching England play cricket. Golf is the only sport where there’s no contact whatsoever with the opponent. Golf is therefore completely in the mind – even more so than cricket.
So, that’s the final innings for the Little Master!
Why there will not be an independent Scotland in our lifetimes.
That’s better. This place is a lot quieter.
“Rods. That’s on the list of things we are NOT to talk about, tonight.”
“Well, Jimmy, the one consolation for if there’s a Yes vote is that three years later the economy will be shot, no-one will have any money, so you’ll be able to get into a pub and get served straight away and also hear what you’re saying.”
What? WHAT? This place is heaving. I can’t hear a word you’re saying. Let’s go to another bar after this pint.
Hi Jimmy! Hi Les. Fit like? Yes, a pint of lager please, since you’re asking.
Thanks for the lift, my loveliness. See you later.