Archive for the ‘Africa’ Tag

The Doctor Will See You Now…

stanley_meets_livingstone“Dr Livingstone I presume?”


“Great heaven’s man… where the hell have you been?!  A short sabbatical your receptionist said… just popped over to the Dark Continent… save a few souls amongst the natives and he’ll be back for the winter rush of consumption she said… have you any idea how hard it’s been finding you since that accursed woman insisted I needed your signature on my repeat prescription for Boots the Chemist?!”


The Man At The End Of The Bar (comic relief)

He’s of indeterminate age.  He resides in every pub and bar in the land.  An everyman with a pint glass.  He doesn’t appear to have any friends… unless they’ve all used the excuse of going to the toilet.  He’s a self-regarding oasis in an ocean of anomie.  This man is an island… He’s most definitely not a peninsula.  If he were the butterfly wings of chaos Sinking a pinttheory then heaven help what’s happening on the other side of the world.  If there really is six degrees of separation to Kevin Bacon – then he’s number seven.  If all famous rock bands have an unlucky early member who leaves prior to them making it big – then it wasn’t him.  If he had a makeover no-one would notice – because no-one would remember what he originally looked like.  His sole purpose in life is to make comment on conversations he isn’t involved in; to people he doesn’t know; while delivering his wisdom to an audience of none.  He offers his opinions regardless.  Without thought.  Or fear.  Or favour.  Or reason.  His only obvious social skill is setting a tumbleweed of indifference adrift among a desert of silent disbelieving looks.  Who said that?!

The Man at the end of the bar


“What’s that?  What you on about?  Do something funny for money?!  What kind of bloke do you think I am?!  You want anything like that then I suggest you go down the Lord Nelson pretty damn smartish!  He casts a blind eye to what goes on down behind the barrels out the back I can tell ya…  Oh; you’re collecting for charity!  Sorry ’bout that…  Yeh, I’m a giver.  No, I’m not one of those thinks charity begins at home – if I thought that I’d be asking you for a drink.   I’ve got a big heart – a grand compassion for my fellow man.  Ask Debbie behind the bar.  What she’s just blanked you?  Sorry; she finds it a bit tough at the moment – she’s got a thing for me and the only way she can deal with it is by ignoring me.  You know how it is…


I remember as a boy… I was always putting money in the collection boxes.  There was one in particular outside the Co-op: it was a life-size model of this poor little crippled boy.  He had a slot in his head… that wasn’t his disability!  No; that’s where you put the money in.  I thought of him as a friend… every week shoppin’ with me mum I used to go and see him.  I called him Nobby – after Nobby Styles: Nobby Styles – the footballer?  1966 and all that?!  How soon our heritage is forgotten… anyway I used to feel sorry for Nobby out in all weathers.  I asked mum to knit him a jumper but she cuffed me around the ear and told me to get a grip.  I never liked the RSPCA dogs… dogs always seemed to attack me when I was a kid and their models were too big for my liking.  I was frightened they’d bite my hand off if I put money in the slot!


Dave had a lifeboat on the bar once but that got filled with peanuts.  I used to think they ought to give all those poor little kids in Africa – and the ones in care here and on them sinkin’ estates – slots in their heads; then it would be easier to contribute on a daily – or more personal basis…   Anyway, what you collectin’ for?  Comic Relief?!  I’m not givin’ money to old bloody comedians!  Most of ’em can’t tell a joke these days in any case: it’s all that observational comedy.  Long-winded stories that go on forever… no laughs and no sense of… timing.  Oh what now?  Give money for Red Nose Day… you takin’ the piss?! Go on… get out of here!  You bloody chancers!  Hmmph… Put another one in there will you Dave?”

The Killing Floor


Yes!!!  Get in there!”

“Someone’s happy?”

“Oh yes… Just had a great result on those commodity prices…”

“Another flaky African republic bites the dust, eh?”

“Left eating it you mean!   We’re like a proactive branch of the Foreign Office here…”

“Why make a packet out of a crisis?”

Because we can!!!” 

“All this talk of dust is making me thirsty… fancy a coffee to celebrate?”

“Only if we go to that little shop around the corner – they do a lovely ethically-sourced Ethiopian blend.  All fairtrade and above board… You know me.”

“Yeh, you’re all heart…


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