Saturday 16 June 2018

'A Lexical Guide To The Bulldog Breed' by James Burr

     I sit in the pub, the flames of the fire reflected in the curves of my glass, glaring at the young man, spiky hair thick with gel, year-old Aston Villa top hanging off his thin spotty frame.  I can hear his voice from my seat, at the other end of the pub.
     "Caned", he says.
     "Inebriated."  He smiles.
     I glare across the bar at him, his loud voice making my head ache.
     "Well-oiled, slaughtered, lashed."  The man pauses to down his pint, his friends finding him one of the greatest wits they had ever met.
     "Half seas over."
     "Tanked up."
     He pauses to think.  His face wrinkles as he does so.
     "Under the influence."
     "Monged".  "Arseholed."  "Tiddly."
     "Hammered".  He raises an eyebrow.  He's obviously remembered a beauty.  "Bacchic", he says proudly.
     But then he notices me watching him from across the bar, and shouts at me, "What's your problem, then?"
     I stare at him in silence, as the man shrugs his shoulders then says to his friends, "Ah, he's only jealous 'cos I'm a drinking man."
     He is, of course, wrong.
     But I would have been impressed - had I not known that Eskimos have twenty-nine words for snow.

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