I’d arranged our weekly get-together for eight pm. Her Royal Highness had already arrived – punctual to a tee and had already quaffed her customary half-pint of ale before complaining of a little gas. She was currently, and quite appropriately, in the throne room – stinking the place out I would imagine.
Sherlock was the next the arrive – through the window! Claimed that someone was following him. He comes out with some real nonsense sometimes. I’m pretty sure it was Watson again. He’s been a bit off lately since Holmes turned down his advances the week before. Since then he’s taken to following Sherlock through the streets. Skulking from shadow to shadow.
We had just started on our second pint when you arrived. Honestly, it was just like a scene from a western. You’d somehow managed to unlatch the other door and then flung the double doors open so that they slammed against the wall. And, c’mon – dry ice? Wasn’t that going just a bit too far?!
“Oi, shut that bloody door,” the barman bellowed, “it’s blooming freezing in here!”
Dutifully you turned and latched one door shut before carefully closing the other. You know better than to get on the wrong side of Mad Mick. That thug’s broken more than a few faces in defence of his precious pub!
“Where’s Queenie?” you asked as you sat down.
“In the karsi,” I said. “Got the squits again I reckon.”
“Never could take her ale, the poor dear,” interjected Sherlock.
“True that,” you said – pure gangsta style. You’ve never been the same since you watched the whole box set of The Wire last summer.
“So, who’s buying?” you said.
“You mate,” we both said in unison.
“What? No way! Who bought those?” you said, pointing to the glasses in our hands.
“I did,” said a posh voice from the direction of the toilet. “And you’re too late, darling! It’s your round!”
We all looked up, just in time to watch The Queen floating gracefully towards us. That is, it would have been graceful if she hadn’t tripped over a mat just before she reached us and catapulted herself into your arms.
“Oh, Steven, you’re always there to save me whenever I fall, you little radish, you!”
I swear she was blushing as you set her back on her feet and then pulled over a chair for her to sit on.
“But it’s still your shout!” she said with a smile. “Now go on – get them in, young man!”
Of course, we talked about you while you were at the bar.
“You’d think he’d have more respect,” said Sherlock.
“Yeah, you’re right there, matey,” I said as I pounded my fist on the table. A rash act that earned me a glare from Mad Mick. “What for?” I said, after thinking about it for a moment.
“Well, Chester Bennington goes and tops himself and the whole world is in mourning, and what does sourchops there go and do? Put a message of sympathy on his Twitter? Write an article about the sad loss to the music industry on his web page? Nah, none of that! What he does is go out and release his latest music video featuring Bollywood dancers! Can you credit it!”
“And to make matters worse,” says The Queen, “they’re not even choreographed that well. It’s my opinion that Bharat Natyam dance moves in the song would have been more jolly than Bollywood. Well, when I say it’s my opinion, I’m not being entirely truthful. I have a friend in Kolkata who keeps me informed about these things. She’s a little darling and she’s very knowledgeable.”
“Whos’ that,” you say as you arrive back from the bar – tray in hand.
“Oh, nobody you know,” says The Queen as she takes her drink. “G&T – very thoughtful of you.”
“Yeah, I hear that the ale gave you the squits,” you said with a smile, and a momentary, and rather uncomfortable silence fell over the table.
“So, anyone saw the latest Selena Gomez video,” said Sherlock. “She’s a right little raver she is. I’d give her one!”
Holmes has been getting more and more objectionable since Watson came on to him. Trying to assert his masculinity I wouldn’t doubt. But getting rather too politically incorrect in the process. Still, can’t blame him in this case – young Selena is rather shaggable!
“I saw it,” said The Queen, “and I do not approve!”
“What’s that?” I said.
“Well, the young lady in question seems to be talking about paddling the pink canoe, and I rather think she’s going too far. I mean, we ladies have to find our pleasures where we can, but to sing about it in public!”
Me and Sherlock both had just taken a drink when The Queen said this, and unfortunately, you were the recipient of these mouthfuls as we both sprayed them in your face. Once our systems were cleared, we both burst out laughing. Once we’d calmed down, with the help of another fierce glare from Mad Mick, I turned to The Queen and gently said “I think it’s her previous single you’re thinking about, Queenie – Can’t Keep My Hands To Myself“.
“Yes, yes – that’s the one!”
“Sherlock was, and correct me if I’m wrong, mate, referring to Bad Liar.”
“It’s all a load of shite if you ask me,” you said – still mopping your face with your t-shirt.
“Oh do put that away, dearie,” said The Queen as she ogled your bare midriff with a smile on her face that said please don’t!
“What do you mean?” I asked?
“All this ‘pop music’,” you said, “it’s all a load of shite.”
I didn’t say a word. Since Porcupine Tree had split and you’d ‘committed yourself to your solo work’ you’d slipped quietly out of the charts, although admittedly your last album didn’t do too bad.
“Right, let’s get this party started,” said Sherlock suddenly, and he tipped his head back and poured the rest of his pint down his throat.
“Now you’re talking,” I said, and started to do the same. I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, that you were only a heartbeat behind me.
We slammed our pint glasses down on the table and shouted for Sherlock to get the next round in, and he did so joyfully if a little unsteadily.
An hour and a half later, you were dancing on the table. Seven seconds after that you were on the floor. Luckily one of the corgis broke your fall, but that was it for the evening for us.
As Mad Mick threw us onto the pavement, we all laughed for the fun of it and The Queen was the loudest of us all. As soon as she’d made sure her precious corgi was nothing more than stunned, she threw up her arms and proclaimed, in her most royal voice …
“Party at my place, lads – who’s up for it!”
And we all were!