Wednesday, October 05, 2011

His Party, He'll have it where he wants to

Fred Nerk was a constant pain for staff. Retired, he'd spend as much time in the pub as his pension allowed. He seemed to have no interests, not horse racing, football, discussion of the day's front page, not anything.

Except drinking. If ever staff attempted to brighten his day by speaking with him, he'd repay them by pressuring them to give him free beer.

He was a snivelling no-account, and had been one all his life.

It was hard work to serve him a beer. Very quickly we grasped that unless payment was visible on the bar beforehand, it was going to be painful getting the money.

He'd try to slip it in with a nearby shout, or suggest that his drink had been paid for by someone "the night before" & now he was here to claim it. He'd claim that his mate/son/whoever was on their way down to drink with him, they had his money & they'd pay "when they arrived". etc etc etc.

Ever cunning trick in the book he tried, every day. It was tedious. He even claimed illness. He'd been diagnosed as terminal, & "surely that's worth free beer?"

Turned out his diagnosis was a fact. Possibly the only truth he'd ever told. He'd disappear for several days/weeks at a time, for chemotherapry, or radiotherapy, or something.

One of his sons came in one day, & asked could they hold "dad's wake" in the front bar. We hadn't even heard that he'd passed on.

It is called a "public" bar for a reason. There is no need to ask. People hold wakes in pubs all the time.

On the appointed day the next week in shuffled all his sons, some friends, people who'd known him, several hangers-on, & anybody else who felt like a drink.

Something didn't seem right. Yep. Right there in the middle of the group was Fred Nerk himself. Still alive.

It transpired that he'd decided to hold his wake the week before he died, so he could enjoy it too. Indisputably he was very crook, as during the wake he didn't ask us once for free beer. Then again, plenty of others were shouting.

Somewhere between 7-14 days later he'd passed on.


missred said...

characters deserve their oats, hops etc. stories like that enhance the atmosphere no?

Dave from Tacoma said...

"... that enhance the atmosphere ..."

Missred, no, those dickheads DON'T enhance the atmosphere. The rule in bars is, basically, anyone who is a dickhead to the bar-staff is also a dickhead to all the other customers in the place. Anyone the bar-staff hope and pray would disappear is also someone the rest of the bar also hope would disappear.

Ellie @ Kitchen Wench said...

What an odd character. But I have to say that I like the idea of holding a wake before the event - kind of like a final chance to spend some time with everyone and say goodbye.

As for his badgering for free tipples, the way I see it, anyone who asks for a freebie doesn't deserve it (unless it's asking for compensation for a legitimate wrong - such as finding a piece of cling wrap in a bowl of soup). And even then it should be within reason...