Tuesday, June 01, 2010


The slow moving traffic is afforded a grandstand view from which to inspect proceedings, as Darren leans over the railings outside The Saracen's Head [my apostrophe] and vomits onto the road.  I wait patiently, watching the last of the sun glint on the tower of the Abbey.

It is, I reflect, early for vomiting.

The floodlights from the Recreation Ground are already on, lighting the sky to the east, and adding to the overall disorientating trial of drinking since two.

Disillusionment and debate followed our meeting, and were invited to join us in an early boozer appointment. The meeting had been chaired by a man from Resources, there to discuss our 8% paycut. Discussion in the form of a non-negotiable announcement, you understand. No, he tells me, I do not get to go home 8% earlier. A union representative gave a meek "hey, you still have a job!" smile, to which one can’t help but respond "harrumph".

We love our jobs. Not just because they give us money, not solely because it keeps us off the streets where we’d just cluttering the place fetching old ladies out of trees and helping cats across the road and all of that, but because – and we would never say this out loud, not for fear of sounding self-important, but because we are too cool for school – we think it matters, we think we help. We don’t want a creeping worry about our bank balances to govern what we give back, we don’t want to have to give over our standards and our moral code for a wage.

"Certainly not because of some bizarre American housing bubble with a hearty dash of economies based on invisible money, caused by some smug fuckwits somewhere wearing those cocking contrast collar shirts (or some cocking deck gear from Hackett's if it's the weekend), braying about how clever they were to be born with a silver spoon in their salivating rah gobs. They let their greed do this before you know, with the South Sea Company in seventeen, seventeen something or other I think, but they hadn’t quite managed to tie up the entire population’s finance into their endless pursuit of the wealth gap and their smarter-than-thee financial showmanship. None of which, you should know, I quite understand,” I said, and downed my beer.

"I can’t believe you are still angry about global finances," Darren had said, sensibly resigned. "Come Christmas, are you going to start getting angry about the Gulf of Mexico?"

Outside, Darren straightens up and I point.
"I told you there were sultanas in that pudding," I say, indicating towards the splatter of the puddle.
"What’s your beef with sultanas? Let sultanas be," says Darren, wiping his chin.


Shane said...


The expression, 'cocking deck gear' was used quite a bit back then, too.

Brennig said...

I used to drink in the Saracens Head after a hard day in the orifice. But I liked the 'go home 8% earlier' line. :)