a bar called 1066
next door, a video store. a bakery, closed. butcher, ditto.
but inside this bar... an ant hill of activity.
i order a gin and tonic, take it to an empty table (plenty to choose from), and settle in for a spot of people-watching.
karaoke... two men sing their kindly but dull hearts out.
four specimens in sparkling pink twitter and flutter, shaking their child-bearing hips and flicking their pantene hair-dos.
bar maid (proprietor?) in yellow and black, teetering on uncomfortable heels. one of those top-heavy women. finds it hard to get a bra that doesn't cut into her shoulders. dyes her hair black, though the wrinkled throat gives away her age.
two men, strangers to each other, chat at the bar. one in a polo shirt and jeans, the other in bike leathers. with suspenders. his helmet on the bar beside him. he's sure of himself, yells good-natured (if rather bad-taste) remarks at the dancers.
sitting in a corner is a tall, thin man who once in a while gets up to give advice to the guy figuring out the cd player in the corner. when he stands he becomes a character from a b-grade western.his shoulders rounded, clothed in a crisp white singlet top, tight jeans, boots and moustache. he walks like a primate, stooped and languid.
the table next to me is occupied by an elderly man, he looks sad watching the 'youngsters' strutting their stuff.
we endure their painful renditions of classics by the likes of elvis, george michael, elton john. for some reason the guy who is singing keeps chucking out random comments like "ladies and gentlemen, elton JOHN!!" and "next up a wee number by..."
is that odd, or is it just me? surely he needen't introduce himself? luckily though his voice was pleasant enough. the highlight was YMCA, sung with gusto and badly orchestrated moves by the four hair-dos.
at irregular intervals the music is interrupted by the sound of a clattering avalanch of coins from around the corner [use of gaming machines prohibited by those under 18 years of age]. eventually our winner emerges... resplendent in an ocean of pink and white... hair and skin included. she waddles over to hubby, that awkward looking man alone at the table beside mine, mutters something to him and makes her way outside for a smoke.
i sit back and swig from my drink... having thrown aside those little straws they insist on sticking in womens' drinks. eventually a smile creeps on to my face, i relax into the mangy bar-stool and my gaze turns to the walls. ooh, a crossbow! and is that really a numbchuck? yes, it seems so.
deciding that i've seen enough, i finish my drink, smile at the bar maid, and make my way to the door, weaving through the gaggle of gyrating laydees, past the crooners, and onwards out into the night.
i grin to myself, and wander the 20 minutes home.