(I appear to have underlined everything. Hmm. How to un-underline everything? It happened when I was adding the Latigo link above. Can any lovely tecchie person help?)
Update: Ha! Am genius! Fixed it myself.
Following a conversation with Mr. Latigo “Probably The Gloomiest Cowboy In The World” Flint, I came away feeling edified as usual because he is indeed awfully good at writing words down in ways I wish I’d thought of. But also – and I may be imagining this – I was left feeling well, slighted somehow; patted on the head and told to run along, sort of. You see, I think my friend Mr Latigo “Probably The Gloomiest Cowboy In The World” Flint doubts my ability to be an effective second in a bar-brawl! The cheek of that!
Just because I can make a souffle that’s lighter than air, a full roast with all the trimmings and melt-in-the-mouth billberry pie for guests who have telephoned just 30 minutes ago to say they’re popping over, and still appear looking polished and immaculate in every way … just because I have a “skill-set difference” with Latigo “A New Word For Fast” Flint does not mean I would not be superlative in any low-down hole-in-the-wall ruckus. I am a professional housewife who takes pride in all I do! (Although, admittedly, I don’t get paid.)
Needless to say, I took umbrage because it’s cheaper than taking more medication. I had a silent fuming think and this is what I thought: I thought I would outline the 3 certainly-very-useful assets I could bring to the brawl.
Fortunately, I am splendid in any bar-brawl situation. I have attended many, mostly recreationally but sometimes in an incitatory capacity and learnt a fair few things along the way. I feel I could ably assist in the following ways:
Firstly, it is not a difficult task to wound the pride of a man, although his relative woundability depends a good deal on his age and what he is drinking at the time – there’s actually a scientific equation on that, I think. Gin drinkers, for example, are notoriously even-tempered and not where a hopeful brawler should start. Whisky drinkers, on the other hand, are itching for confrontation; the older ones might not be as ready to jump to their feet but can be useful in further agitating the younger men to war (much like in the Middle East or indeed anywhere) It takes only a passing comment about a man’s hairiness relative to the other cowboys to put the explosive spark to the tinder-box that is the average desperado bar (I assume Latigo only goes to very good desperado bars). The jury is still out on whether hairiness is a good or bad thing in the low-life whisky-swilling world. Hairy could = manliness with hairlessness =ing womanliness. Or, so the other school of thought goes: hair is a disadvantage because it allows your opponent more purchase while grabbing you in a fight. Less hairy men are therefore more evolutionarily advanced and hairy ones are mere yahoos.
So, this I do. You’ve forgotten haven’t you? I almost did myself. So this I do: I pass a comment about hairiness; nobody present knows what they think about hairiness but they won’t let that stop them; the older men urge on the younger men and the tinderbox explodes.
The second thing I am very good at is standing about with a raised bar-stool and bashing any comical cowboys who might buffoon their way hilariously into my sphere of whacking. Indeed, I have found no other use to which this skill can be put, than bar-brawling.
Thirdly, if the Goddess of Bar-Brawls (Jennifer) looks like She does not that day favour us, I can be most useful in bringing things to a dignified close through the sheer force of my housewiffery:
Standing on the bar, I will bang my duck-headed umbrella on the taps and call for quiet. This will not be heard above the roar of of the fray, the scraping of the tables and the sickening crunch of bone against splintered bone. I will then repeat the call, more loudly. This will also go unnoticed and, just when I look like the most arrant idiot (heeheehee – what a mistake those men will make underestimating ME!) I will raise myself up to my full height, swiftly don a formidable bonnet and, in the manner of Mary Poppins, roar “WHEN you have QUITE finished!”
Brawlers everywhere will freeze in comical mid-punch attitude and turn to stare.
“Thank you” I will say crisply. Then, untroubled by the gaze of 100 (ish, maybe only 99 if it’s a very desperate desperado joint) bloodthirsty, yet astonished eyes, I will rap the nearest man on the forhead with my duck umbrella and demand that he help a lady down from the bar. Several ham-heads will rush forward to do this, unaccustomed as they will be, to see a lady in their midst, especially one in a wasp-waisted crinolene dress and apron (I’d wear my pinny for protection against the spraying brawler blood, you see. Preparation and foresight are a housewife’s best friends. And also Philippe)
I will stroll amongst the assembled brawlers asking random pugilists what their mothers would think of them if they could see them now. They will blush in shame. I will gesture sweepingly about at the disarray and posit “Who do you think will have to clear this mess up? Yes, you man! (fixing one pulpy-headed galoot with a hard stare, poking him in the chest and then wiping my finger in distaste with a lily-white handkerchief) Do you have something to say? A suggestion of any sort? No? I thought not.”
Then, wheeling round on one heel I will charge: “Somebody’s mother or granny or sister, that’s who! Some poor underpaid cleaning-lady who will be coming in at 2am, hoping against hope that the mess will be minimal tonight so she can get back home to look after her old Mama and Papa, the seven crippled children and in time to medicate the bipolar goldfish, (and we all know what happens when a goldfish doesn’t get his jujubes). And I expect her husband’s long gone – in fact, I bet he’s one of you!”
Somebody will no doubt mutter (for they always do) “Yeah Merv, that’s a sorry stunt to pull on your old lady, runnin’ out on her, what with all her troubles.”
Merv will say (he will be called Merv, they always are) “My Sarah’s an angel, she is, with all she has to contend wid’. She deserves better than me – ’swhy I hadda go! I felt like crap in the presence of such noble, yet never quite concealed, sacrifice. Day after day of bearing someone else’s noble sacrifice (shakes head) I tell you I couldn’t live with such an angel no more, guys, I just couldn’t.” Then he will spit out a tooth.
A muttering will arise around the room: “Sarah…blooming angel…too good for any of us…Shucks I feel bad now…shee-it, man…nothing like a bit o’ guilt to ruin a good brawl…I hardly feel like it any more”.
One by one, battered and bloody men will sit down and look glum and feel shame at the thought of weary Sarah coming in to clean up their mess.
“Come on then, spick spock”, I will interject, because that’s what Mary Poppins would say and not be being racist. “Chop chop, best foot forward! You find a dustpan and brush, and you – my word, that IS a lot of blood! I expect you’ll live. You man, pick up those tables! Get to work all of you, I want to see my face in the floor when you’ve finished tidying this almighty mess up.”
Chagrined, the former testosterone-charged burly ill-breds will fall to their tasks of polishing and sweeping and some of them will secretly like it. The amazed barman will remunerate us for my assistance in the cessation of the brawl, and you and I, Latigo, will proceed to the next bar and repeat. All who see us go will wonder and ask who we were. And we will run away giggling.
Later, after all the patrons have left, Benny, and not Sarah (who doesn’t exist) will come in to do his stint as a cleaner and will be delighted that all is tidy and agleam with the elbow grease of 50 cowboys. He will find that one rough cowboy (his name will be Bud, for it always is) has even folded the toilet-paper into a pointy bit in the bathroom, and left some pot-pourri by the urinal.
Benny does not deserve to be delighted though because he is, in reality, a pimp and “late-night-cleaner-man” is just his cover job; a reason to give the cops for being out all night. The delight of the abominable Benny is the only flaw in my otherwise beautifully planned night of bar-brawling and fun, but I am not inflexible and am open to suggestions there.
I think I shall wear my white evening gloves.
(But all my other posts seem to have underlined themselves too. O lovely tecchie person! Where are you??)