When The Towels Come Off
Posted on 17th May 2021 by Daniel Picave
Been ages since we have been to the pub, you, me and me Dad. We walk down Victoria Crescent and you and me Dad argue about football. Dad always says that visiting Anfield is like going to church and you say Bumpers Lane is church. Dad talks about superstars and heroes and the fussball meister, Jurgen Klopp. You always laugh and say at least Matty Hughes will say hello when you bump into him in Tesco’s on Sealand Road.
“1885 is the name of the ground not the price of the pint” you always say and Dad always groans as he has heard this joke a thousand times before. I always laugh though because you always laugh. When we get to the suspension bridge over the river, you always take my hand. You say it is because you don’t want me to accidentally fall in. Dad says it is because you are getting a bit unsteady on your feet. I don’t mind whatever the reason, I like it. It makes me feel safe.
As we get off the bridge you always point to the ice cream kiosk and say we will get one on the way back. We never do because you are always a bit squiffy, that is Dad’s word for it. He says you have spent a little too long sharing your glass with a Cheshire Cat. I never really know what this means but you laugh and me Dad laughs, so I laugh.
Your stool will be empty when we get to the pub because it always is. Sam behind the bar says it has been your stool since his Dad ran the pub and his Dad lives in Portugal now or is it Portsmouth?
Been ages since we have been to the pub, you, me and me Dad. We sit in the snug not the bar. Sam moved your stool into the snug when I started going as I am not allowed in the bar. You sit on your stool and me Dad and me sit at a table next to you. Dad says it is like you are holding court as people keep coming in to say hello and shake your hand.
Dad says everyone buys you drinks when you are there so you never have to buy one. Then he always grins and says, “maybe just once, the old bugger would buy me one”. I have crisps and lemonade and sometimes when Dad is not looking, you put a splash of your beer in my glass. I don’t really like it but I always drink it because it is our secret.
Been ages since we have been to the pub, you, me and me Dad. Dad says it is because of lockdown and that the pubs are closed. I know school is closed so I am not complaining. Dad says when the pubs re-open we will go down like we always do and everyone will raise a glass to you. Then he says there is a different pub just near our house with a garden and maybe we will start going there instead and take Mum.
I love going to the pub with you. You, me and me Dad. It is three generations of our family in step you always say as we walk along the riverbank. We never are in step but we are together. Always together.
I hate that me Dad talks about the things you used to say but never the things you are going to say. I hate that me Mum hides her face from me when you are mentioned and reaches for a tissue. I hate that you are not going to be there when the towels come off…
Note: The UK Government allowed pubs to welcome customers back inside from today. At today’s date, Corona Virus has claimed over 128,000 lives in the UK. It is tragic to know those lost souls will not be there when the towels come off.
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