Where we got to in the story...
Can you trust a guy (called Guy) who drinks shandy? Nels thought, as she pulled apart the bag of scratchings and inhaled the salty fug of putrified fat. She was starving, a consequence of drinking strong cider.
"You said Matt was being a bit silly back in '82. Why?" said Guy, crunching a segment of pig trotter.
"One day he chucked a guitar amplifier out the window of the Torpid Emancipator. He was paranoid, thought we were hiding from him," said Nels, chuckling, "too much Coke."
"Well, I suppose, 1980s, cocaine, all the rage in the rock world, I bet," said Guy, sounding even uncooler than the blazing open fire.
"No, not cocaine, Coca-Cola. Matt was on at least 8 cans a day. When he chucked the amp, he was on a sugar rush. Big time. Totally manic," said Nels.
By now Nels was desparate for a fag, her leg restlessly jiggling; but she didn't want to move away from the warm bar to the windswept, umbrella enclosed, courtyard area full of smoking builders. Anyway, she was in her 50s now - although no one believed it - and should really think of giving up.
Nels continued, anything to take her mind off cigarettes: "We looked out the window and the falling amp had caused a couple of teenagers to dive for cover onto some old geezer's car. Smashed up the bonnet. The oldster was giving them a hard time, so Matt invited them up to watch us rehearse. I remember asking Matt if he really wanted people to see us - 'Hair Tom' - in a bloody mess like this. And when the kids arrived it was like a scene from 'Let It Be'."
Guy looked kind of confused. He took a big glug of shandy, primarily to wash away the chemical taste of the pork scratching, and coughed as a bubble went down the wrong way.
"Am I boring you yet?" said Nels.
"Oh my God! No!" said Guy, "I, I'm just amazed, that's all. I thought you were such a strong unit"
'Unit' thought Nels. Guy sounds like he's on 'The Old Grey Whistle Test' or something...she shuddered, then realised that it was the pub dog, not Guy, rubbing her leg.
[to be continued - Me and Duggie are back next time!]
[Mr Stickleback says: Just wanted to say, Steve, that I'm really enjoying the blog. It's starting to reel me in (my word, I'm a fish saying things like that!)
Loads of others in the river are reading it, too. Trout was a little confused and Pike spluttered and coughed a bit after I read it to him - well, you know what a stick in the muddy riverbed he is! The Newts are well into it, as is Toad. Thing I'd like to point out to readers is that we're all in this for the long haul. Each blog kinda connects. If you don't get something, look at earlier posts. But don't try to make total sense of it all...let's face it. Life isn't that easy.
One thing, Steve. Could you, maybe provide some descriptions of things like the 'Torpid Emancipator' and the prog-rock movement: 'Sound of Torpidity'? Also a short biog of 'Hair Tom'? See ya!
Steve says, in reply to Mr Stickleback: Sure. I might just do that...let's get Duggie and his mate back into the story and I'll see what I can do. Thanks for reading, Mr S!]