Sunday, 1 June 2014

Wondrous ten-bob Slap-Up with Toast

The Lad Himself Crowned with Homburg Hat
Crowned with Homburg
(from the album: Memories of The Lad)

And a right royal occasion it was, all and sundry being gathered in the Dog & Duck where a television set had been installed for regular customers to view the coronation of the old Queen In Person. Present in the boozer on that august afternoon was The Lad Himself, a ten-bob note itching in his pocket and a spark of joy in his heart. Licensing hours had been extended to an all-day drink-in, and the only thing missing was some poor blighter ready with the loot to play footsie with the bill.

How it then transpired that The Lad Himself was able to stand treat to a smoking parlour fairly chock-a-block with clientèle who can say - except that the Hand of Divine Interference had shown its... hand?

The Sock Puppet spoke with Sid, who was there in person at the event,

TSP: So how come The Lad Himself put his hand in his pocket? Was he known for such munificence?

Sid: Oh he had previous, but not on the same scale. And this was, after all, tantamount to a miracle.

TSP: In your own words, could you describe what occurred?

Sid: Well, there was no flash of lightning as such. More like a wobble in the mains supply, which caused the screen to flicker just as the actual crown was being placed on Her Royal Majesty's barnet by that geezer in a long cloak. The Lad took this as a sign, “See that?” he says. “There's a proper ripple in the Time-Space Consortium for you! Now, if we were ancient Romans, we would all be whistling three times and tossing salt & sesame seeds over our left shoulders. Talking of which, I could murder a chish and fips. Anyone care to join me?” Very stream-of-consciousness was The Lad after he'd sank a jar or two. Well, he must have spoken up a bit voluminous as next thing the whole parlour had taken him up on his offer. And before he could qualify what he actually meant, a young lad who had been hanging around at the off-sales door trying to scrounge a few coppers for some empties was packed off to the corner chippie with an order for over a hundred cod, chips mushy peas & a scallop each.”

TSP: Blimey!

Sid: Exactly what he said.

TSP: How much would all that grub come to?

Sid: In the old money? You wouldn't have got much change out of a pony. Chips had just gone up to a tanner, a nice piece of fish was half a dollar plus your peas and scallop would be thrown in for a groat. No 'family specials' in them days

TSP: Phew! But how did he of slender pockets manage to pay for that lot with only a brownie in his trousers?

Sid: Search me! A bloody miracle if ever there was. The best thing about it, as soon as the packets of fish and chips started to arrive, he blurted out, “I suppose you'll all be wanting a pint or two to wash that lot down?” “Too right we will, Squire!” came the answer and the next thing everyone in the house was ordering themselves doubles on his tab.

TSP: Strewth, doubles?

Sid: Oh yes, they was blatant: two pints of this, two of that, Aussie Whites in schooners not docks, port and lemon by the lady's glass and bottles of Mackesons in fist-fulls. Pretty soon they were panicking behind the bar lest the place was drunk dry before the crowning was over and Her Royal Majesty was tearing back to The Palace in her coach and six.

TSP: Now that would have been a crying shame. Did they run out of sauce?

Sid: Did they wax! The Landlord was a crafy old so-and-so, putting rumours like that about. "Steady on," he shouts, "there'll be nothing left to toast Her with when She appears on the balcony."

TSP: What do you mean by crafty?

Sid: He said it while tipping a wink at The Lad Himself, who being caught off his guard, says, "A Toast?" in a questioning-like voice. Of course, all the savvy punters in there took it to mean he was offering another, so they'll all piped in with more orders.

TSP: You don't say!

Sid: I do!

TSP: This is a pack of lies, innit?

Sid: Suit yourself, mate!

TSP: I will, thank you very much. A black & tan with a packet of pork scratchings, there, please.

Sid: Put a sock in it!
sock puppeteer
Pull the other one!