Thursday, November 20, 2008

When the nutter goes in the pub, does he sit next to you? He sits next to me, and on far too many occasions for my liking.
I suppose I was asking for it when I was running pubs but the best bit about that was that I could cheerfully ask them to leave if they began to get too strange.
But nowadays I have to keep chanting the mantra 'Not my pub, not my pub, not my pub' over and over to remind myself not to get them into a headlock and use 'reasonable force' to get them out of the building.
Mind you, having a local loony tunes establishment just down the road has given me plenty of blog fodder in the past, (and I'm sure it will continue to do so) and living in a part of London which has been defined by The Oxford English Dictionary as 'Lunatic Asylum' gives me enough material to write a sitcom, like what happened the other day.
The ex-partner-in-crime and I had popped into my 'other local pub' which is mostly extremely unexciting and generally patronized by the older generation of Irish gentlemen.
We'd settled in some seats in the main bar which are arranged into an 'L' shape, which means that there are several seats on the benches surrounding four tables so that up to about a dozen people can sit around them at any time. It was rather quiet in the place so we were the only two sitting there and with the ex sitting at the end of the bench, I had plenty of space to put my large furry coat next to me as well.
We went outside for a ciggy and began discussing what to have for dinner later and as we reached a decision, a chap we hadn't seen before came out of the pub and stood right next to us forming the third point of a triangle as we spoke to each other. I found this rather rude of him as he was intruding on our space and it seemed the epic did too as we both finished our smokes and turned to go back in. As we opened the door, the bloke asked the ex in a deep East European accent if he'd like a drink to which the ex quickly replied, 'No thanks!'.
We went back to our seats and settled back down to reading; the epic a newspaper, me a comic called I think Take a Break.
A minute or so later the East European bloke came back in the pub, went into the back bar, came back with his drink and a bag and sat down right next to me and I had to quickly grab my coat to stop him sitting on it.
The epic and I swapped 'Oh, here we go again' glances and I tried my best to pretend that he wasn't sitting there, despite his coughing and trying to catch my eye.
Another ten minutes or so passed uneventfully until the bloke stood up to leave the table, but before he walked away he bent down and in a quiet voice told me to be careful not to touch the bag while he was away as it had a bomb in it.

As you can imagine, I did not think his comment particularly amusing and after he'd asked around for a cigarette machine and was told there wasn't one, he left the pub and walked off in the direction of the off licence.
I told the epic what he'd said and we had a quick look at the bag. All we could see in it was bread and a newspaper, and nothing remotely like bomb paraphernalia, but being on the safe side and figuring the manager would like to know there was a thundering loony in his pub before anything really nasty happened, I went and told him what the nutter had said.
We both looked at the bag and the manager picked it up and went to find the freak to give it back to him.
The other customers looked bemused so I told them what the nutter had said, which caused plenty of jokes and laughter.
The manager came back and was warned to watch out for exploding sausages that could take your arm off, and on no account should he try to peel any of the bananas as he still had the bag with him; the nutter had not been found.
We went back to our drinks with wise-cracks still causing chuckles, but the fun stopped when Mr East European Psycho of the Year came back into the pub.
He walked back over to me and looked around for his bag.
Not finding it, he asked me what I had done with it so I calmly replied that as he'd told me it was a bomb, I'd informed the manager and he now had it.
The manager saw what was happening and with the bag beckoned the nutter outside.
The nutter gestured to the manager that he should come back in to talk and for a while there was a stand-off before the nutter gave up and went out the door.
I kept an eye and ear on what was happening and when the nutter began to pretend that he hadn't said anything, I went out and said that 'Oh yes, he had!'
That sent the fruitloop off on a rant. At first he told me that it was a joke to which I replied that for anybody living in London, that wasn't much of a funny, so he tried to explain that he was a soldier and knew what he was doing, but then changed tack and said he was a Christian which made everything he did alright.
I gave up trying to talk to him then and went back in the pub.
Unfortunately, the nutter refused to believe that he'd been told to leave and take his 'bomb' with him, and came back and sat down right next to me again, this time ranting on about how I was a stupid woman, and I'd made a big mistake by making him angry.
The epic made no attempt to move (I knew he would have if the psycho as much as touched me), so I stood my ground as well as the git ranted and raved until the whole pub stopped to watch.
I think the fact that everybody in the pub was being very quiet whilst simply staring at him unsettled him somewhat and at last he ran out of vitriol and stormed out of the pub.
We all stood there in silence as the door re-opened and the nutter came back in again. This time he quietly collected his bomb and left.
We haven't seen him since, but he must be out there somewhere. I can only hope that next time he tells someone he's got a bomb in his bag he tells an off duty police officer, and I wish I could be there to see what happens.
Aim for the bull !