You will recall, from previous posts, that a regular colleague at the hotel is Barrie. For those that don’t know him, a rough description, think combination of 60’s porn star and grubby Ewok. Following many insane debates, as is always the way with Barrie we settled on the French. Barrie you see is going to France to buy tobacco at the weekend. Barrie hates the french like you can’t imagine so giving them his tax £ rather than the UK seems rather odd.
It is rather good sport to keep Barrie’s debates raging for a while because he generally retires after dinner. But sometimes, as was the case last night, we push too hard. As Dave and myself returned to the bar Barrie paced on the phone like a stalking, overweight, aged tiger with a utility belt and a smokers cough. Eventually the drew in close and sidled up to the bar. It is here that you see the years of working together, the bond and knowledge, best deployed.
It was ‘cocktail night’ and Dave suggested that Barrie participated. An immediate rejection, to those that spend so much time together, is not fatal. You simply need to know what buttons to press, and we do. “you’ll get your discount” and we are there, the reward of a discount far outweighs any loss in the purchase after all. Discount negotiated Barrie selected first choice and it was duly mixed.
Now we all know that cocktails taste like soft drinks but kick like a mule, ok most of us know. Consumed in less than 2 minutes Barrie discovered the cherry (raspberry) and olive (blackberry). But, like a monkey in a cage he couldn’t quite fathom how to reach his treat. Desperate sucking on a straw wouldn’t tease it out and the cocktail stirrer was a poor spoon. We hit upon two stirrers as chopsticks and, after some practice, the ‘free’ fruit was dutifully consumed. Interestingly and perhaps tellingly there was no surprise at the actual fruits over the expected ones.
We are not quite sure how we persuaded Barrie to sample a second and definitely not a third but he did. We discovered, half way through number three, that there was a training gap. Apparently our bar staff had not been told to use a splash and was dutifully tipping full measures of every constituent spirit. Half way through number three Barrie stopped, swayed, clung to the bar and declared ‘their stronger than you think’.
The walk outside for a smoke was an interesting and entertaining assault course. And the head this morning indicated he had a lesson to learn. What is that made me us laugh so much last night? Its the character, Barrie can’t handle his beer but his nose for a discount won’t let him miss out, despite its overall cost. That on its own is funny but if you know him its funnier. Sitting on a summer evening with an ageing, Ewok porn star from the 60’s. Resplendent in winter work coat, every pocket stuffed with complimentary pens, as he sucks a cocktail down a straw.
Watching as words start to fail him, the glow takes over and he tells you that the pins and needles are starting. Laughing as he stabs his eye with a straw whilst trying to suck a stirrer. Just watching Barrie disintegrate under fruity cocktails. That’s enough to get a laugh out of those that know him, more so those that live our odd lives with him.
As a footnote, nobody was actually hurt during the making of this story. I know its frowned upon to tease animals or children but thank god Ewoks are excluded.