Written by Big M.
Foodge had decided to step up to the plate, as the Americans say, on account of Mr Merv being away on ‘family business’, so had thrown himself into cleaning the coffee machine. “Bloody filthy.” He muttered to himself, suddenly realising that a pin striped suit wasn’t ideal for such a job. “Merv should have a filter on the water inlet, no wonder Pigs Arms coffee tastes like pool water.”
“How did you learn to overhaul a coffee machine?” O’Hoo was enthusiastically purging air from one of the beer lines.
“When I was training to become a barrister I accidently went to a barista’s course.” (I know, this joke never gets old).
“So you’re a barrister /barista?” O’Hoo now had a steady flow of Trotters Best.
“Yes, there’s probably a televisual show in that.” Foodge now had coffee grounds all over the bench. “I’m going to have to get new seals and a filter for this.” Foodge ignored the brown stains over the front of his white shirt and took off.
“You couldn’t pull me a pint of one of those, couldja love?”
O’Hoo looked up from the taps to gaze at one of the strangest looking women he’d ever seen. She was tall, well muscled, may have once been quite attractive but the broken nose put pay to that. She was wearing an odd get up, gold boxing shorts, a pink singlet with ‘Barmaids do it standing up.’ Scrawled across her ample bosom and dirty running shoes. She reminding him of someone, but couldn’t place her. “Christ yer a beaut lookin’ sheila!”
“Christ yer a silver tongued bastard. Now what about that glass canoe?”
O’Hoo nervously pulled a pint which resulted in more head than beer. “Move over, love.” She expertly pulled two pints, pushing one along to our inexpert friend. “Cheers!” She downed the pint like Bob Hawke at a cricket match. “What’s yer name, handsome?”
“O’Hoo, but most people call me O’Hoo.” O’Hoo downed his pint. “ I don’t normally drink before ten!”
“Well, it’s passed five somewhere in the universe. I’m Mervette, but me friends call me Merv.” Mervette pulled a second round of Best. What the feck has happened to yer coffee machine?”
“Foodge, our resident barista is halfway through servicing it. Went orff to get spares.” O’Hoo felt a warm glow, not just from the alcohol, but also in his nether regions. “Anyhoo, what are you doing here?”
“I’m from the Inner Cyberian Bar Staff Agency. A woman named ‘Granny’ rang for help.”
Almost on cue Granny emerged from the cellar, pointing a bony finger. “You must be Mervette, we spoke on the electric telephone.”
“Hello Granny, yep, you can call me ‘Merv’! Do you want a sherbet?”
“I don’t normally drink before ten, but it must be after five somewhere in the universe.” Grinned Granny. “Do you like wedges?”
“I feckin’ love ‘em!”
The two women sat down to a bowl of wedges and another round of beers while Granny discussed her own range of beers, as well as the usual brewery -bought stuff such as Wretched Pilsener, Three Ex Bronze, and so on. Suddenly the back door slammed as Foodge re-appeared with a bag of coffee machine bits. “Who…what…Merv in drag?”
“Ah, that’s who she reminds me of.” O’Hoo nodded sagely. Hoping that no one had noticed his stiffy.
“Oh, Mervette, this is our resident barrister, barista and the love of my life, Foodge.” Granny blushed.
Mervette stood up and delivered a finger-crushing handshake. “Call me Merv.”
“Merv it is, then.” Gasped Foodge.
Me and Granny really hit it orf…