Story by Big M.
Foodge was angry. Not just umbraged, or endowed with a sense of ennui. He was fucking crazy ( I thought you didn’t like to use cuss words, Mr Foodge). OK, he was pretty upset. He guided the Zephyr carefully through the wall-to-wall automotive shag pile known as ‘Sydney traffic’. The Zeph wasn’t suited to this sort of work. She was more familiar with chasing through darkened back lanes, or twisty stuff on the Bell’s Line of Road, or even giving a Porsche 911 an automotive finger through the rear windscreen. Truth be told, the old Zeph was running a little hot. Our intrepid friends from the Hell’s Angles had blessed her with some Sydnie University Engineerin’ Magic, but had failed to update the cooling system.
Foodge’s temper matched the temperature meter on the dash. He pulled off to a side street, realising that he was within walking (ambling) distance of the Pigs Arms. Foodge carefully locked the beast, and gave AA (NRMA) a call, then, taking a couple of short cuts, found himself in the back yard of the Pigs. All was quiet except for Manne shovelling chicken guano (he called it guano, we all know it as shit) into the compost bins. ‘Hey, Manne, I thought you were supposed to be back in America to cover the election with Neville.’
‘Well, I would, but shovelling shit seemed like a better offer!’ Manne flashed a grin that was more gap than tooth.
Foodge quickly found himself in the Gentleman’s Bar. ‘A pint, then another, plus rye chasers.’
Didn’t sound right to Merv. The last time Foodge frank rye was the night his folks passed on, so he quickly poured a couple of pints, then waved a stoppered bourbon bottle over the top. ‘You OK mate.’ Merv never knew how to start these conversations.
‘No, I WAS alright, I had new chambers, new secretary, and new clientele, but my OLD secretary turned up, and fucked everything up!’ Foodge was moving on to pint number two.
‘Why beat yerself up? Circumstances beyond yer control.” Merv filled another couple of canoes.
“Mr Merv, I am desperate to make a contribution, to you, Granny, our mates.’ Foodge nodded at O’Hoo who was already sprawled across a table. ‘And society in general. I am not a bartender, cellarman, or tradesman. I am a barrister, and I intend to barrist!’
‘Well, mate, yer rooms, I mean, chambers fell through, but there’s still plenty ‘ere that respect yer, and would pay fer yer time or advice.’ Merv felt like he was throwing a deflated life jacket to a drowning man. ‘What about law at the Pub, you know, like philosophy at the pub, or religion at the pub, but law?’
Foodge sat up on the bar stool, swaying slightly. ‘Show me the money.’
Well, mate what I reckon you could do is present a case, you know, summit from the papers, present the pros an’ cons, say for a half hour, then invite folk for a chat.’
‘Mr Merv, you may be the smartest man this side of Lewisham!’