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Merv and Foodge stare each other down

Merv and Foodge stare each other down

Story by Big M.

Merv and Foodge sat opposite each other in their respective places at the Gentleman’s Bar. There was a pint each of Trotters IPA in front of them. Merv was dressed in the usual gold boxing shorts and pink Pigs’ Arms singlet, reeking of body odour, Brut 33 and sweat. His Number two buzz cut created the effect of him being an escaped mental patient, or a thug. Foodge was trying to be upbeat in his short sleeved bone coloured safari suit, sans under shirt, with two top buttons undone to allow some grey chest hairs to salaciously peek out from behind the fabric. He looked a treat with long white bowling socks and sandals. The new barber had managed to recreate a Murray Whelan effect, with his hair swept straight back. His sartorial effort was wasted, as they were both heavy with melancholy.

Foodge had generated one court case from the ‘law at the Pigs’ thingamy. Manne had been charged with indecent exposure for taking a Jimmy Riddle behind the Council Chambers. Foodge had argued that he was caught short for a snake’s hiss. The fact that Manne was pissing into the door handle of the Mayer’s car was simply a confounding factor. In the end, Judge FitzSimmons, who wasn’t averse to taking a short cut between hotels, dismissed the case, no cost. He would have defended Manne for gratis, anyway!

Granny’s disappearance to Orkland played heavily on their minds. Who could have

Oh Granny...

Oh Granny…

known that Granny had a daughter in Kiwiland? What’s more, the daughter was the CEO of a thriving funeral directors. She was once rated as the finest post mortem make up artist in NZ. So, how come none of us knew?

Manne had found the whole thing fascinating, wanting to escort Granny and the kids. He probably shouldn’t have announced that he’d pay anything to pork one of them big, fat Nue Zilland girls. Granny wasn’t paying for no tour of Orkland brothels!

“Merv.” Foodge ventured. “All this stuff about you ‘n’ Granny…is it true?”

“What stuff?” Merv had two fresh canoes ready.

“Well, you ‘n’ Granny having a sexual relationship.”

Merv laughed so loud that a stream of ale flew across the bar. “Me ‘n’ Granny! O’Hoo’s brother made all of that up for his creative writin’ course. Even got it published on line. Some WordPress thing, you know, Facebook for old farts!!!”

Foodge visibly relaxed and he managed a little smile. “So there’s hope for us?”

Foodge in a previous life...

Foodge in a previous life…

“Hope? Fuckin’ hope? Of course there’s hope. Granny fuckin’ loves you. And I can see why, who wouldn’t love a snappy dresser like you?” Merv pushed a scotch glass across the bar. “Here’s to Granny!” Our intrepid lads drank the foul, bitter liquid, and then slammed the glasses down onto the bar.

“Thanks Mr Merv. Who are those folk with the big table in the lounge?”

“They are the nursin’ girls.” Merv pitched another nip across the bar. “Yvonne, Nurse Barbara, Hon Shades, H, Gregor, Big M and Mark.” They’ve just finished night shift, so dropped in for wedges, bum nuts and a few sherbets.” Manne suddenly appeared at Merv’s elbow with a basket of clean glasses, expertly sliding them into the refrigerated glass cabinet. Manne was still out of sorts, having missed out on some overseas action. “No wonder Neville Cole sent you back!” Merv shook his head.

“Ah, Merv, I think you will find that three of those are drinking in the Ladies Lounge

Big M comes home from work...

Big M comes home from work…

under false pretences.” Foodge pushed his empty canoe across the bar, hopeful for a frothy refill.

“Christ, Foodge, don’t be so fuckin’ suburban!” Merv swayed a little as he poured fresh canoes with rum chasers.

Foodge had no idea what suburban meant, except most folk in Australia live in suburbs. “So Granny’s getting back Christmas Eve?”

“Yes, mate, and I might need you to pick ‘em up. I’ve got a surprise for the twins!” Merv wasn’t keen to share the details with Foodge, as he was essentially unreliable with surprises, or anything, for that matter.

Just then, one of the nursing group approached the bar. “Gidday Mr Merv, could I please get three pints of Granny IPA, and four glasses of Shiraz, we don’t like to overdo it at breakfast!”

“Mr Merv tells me that you are all nurses.” Foodge ventured.

“Well, the ladies are all still nursing, Greg has retrained as a theologian, having recently written an exegesis of the bible Mark is currently working for Gordon O’Donnell, and I’m actually a midwife.” Big M stated as he transferred the drinks to a tray. “Any more wedges, Mr Merv? I’ve been up to my armpits in amniotic fluid all night!”

Foodge went visibly pale, then shuddered.

Happy Saturnalia to all of the Piglets!

The names Gordon, Gordon O'Donnell...

The names Gordon, Gordon O’Donnell…