Jet-setting Jen, Just Boring and Tu-Jin-Su all live within a hundred yards or so of the Wheatsheaf so it’s their local. It means they can nip home to adjust the cooking while they are having gin.
Mad Lucy was at the round table in the red-curtained bay window looking onto the road. ‘Nice view,’ said Just Boring, pointing out at a dirty white van. She tipped the remains of last week’s kitty out of the kitty sock. We peered at the few manky quid coins suspiciously. God knows why we trust her with our crisp tenners, she’s probably out on the town with them every night.
We got the drinks in. Pint of Guinness for me, gin for Tu-Jin-Su, Just Boring and Jet-setting Jen, Vodka for Mad Lucy. The table is enormous. It would work well for Hearts, Forecast Whist, or Crib. Who needs cards though when you can talk about sex?
Four bespectacled blokes were embroiled in erudite argument at the bar. Four lads were strutting their stuff at the pool table. A couple were snogging up against the wall. I peeked out at the deck. Only half-five but three tables were already groaning with locals. The Wheatsheaf is a really popular pub. I guess all the Barrels Down Lane people just roll down the hill. It’s also the first port of call for Rye Street and Lindsey Road dwellers on a night out.
Just Boring told us the pub used to be dark and so packed you could hardly get in, but now it’s been done up: it smells of fresh paint and instead of sticky carpet there are gleaming boards. We got another round in and started talking about orgasms, (might as well start with orgasms as they are bound to feature at some point), Mumford and Sons and The Joy of Sex. These last two go together according to Jet-setting Jen; it’s to do with the beards.
Despite it being boiling hot, (or maybe because of that, who knows?) it started pouring down outside. A swirly brown river rushed down Northgate End. Thunder rumbled. Water ran in gurgling sheets down the windows. Hmm, even we knew that was a gutter problem. The landlord came to shut our window as we were getting splashed as well as smashed. He told us he’s doing three years and then he’s promised his other half he’ll give it up, have a normal life, do normal things. We told him he had a gutter problem.
The rain slammed even harder at the window. We got all excited: ooh, you never get bored of the weather in England, do you? Then we noticed it was raining, hard, inside, in the bar area! We found this so funny that we got even more rowdy than the boys and canoodly couple in the pool area.
We talked about Marina Coils and their occasional disturbing migration to other parts of the body, the exciting use of the parasitic worm Fasciola hepatica as a cure for Type 1 Diabetes, blow-jobs, (we always have to talk about blow-jobs), stirrups (? Yeah, you’d better ask Just Boring; apparently it’s nothing to do with horses), and a play called Hand Jobs that Tu-Jin-Su read out loud with her book group. ‘There were too many parts. We all had to double up,’ she said.
‘Fnarr, fnarr.’ We choked on our fourth gins. Evidently we have reached a new low.
We thought about having a cocktail. I said if I was going to create a cocktail I would call it a Vajazzle and serve it with a bejewelled furry umbrella and a clitorally suggestive olive at the fork of a two-pronged stirrer. Just Boring claimed to have had a Hanky Panky and a Flirtini but never a Vajazzle. She’s discovered a new cocktail called a Slippery Nipple. I imagine it adorned with a peeled lychee. She got so pissed on them that she asked her mother-in-law if she had shlippery nipples. LOLZ. Must get the recipe off her. Oh – she says it’s Bailey’s and Sambuca. No lychees. Someone’s missing a trick there.