There are three men sat in the corner booth of the Dog and Morrow. One is old, a full beard white as snow covering wrinkled skin that hangs loose on his jaw. One is comfortably middle-aged, carrying his extra tyre haughtily as he seeks to increase its size with a further few pints. Finally, the third man is quite young. His beard is patchy, affectionately referred to as bum fluff.
They raise their pints of Hopping Mad ale to their lips, take long draughts, then place them back on the table that is so desperately in need of a wipe-down. The barmaid, however, is far too busy checking her phone behind the bar and our three men are, truly, just not that bothered.
“‘Ere, Kev,” The middle aged man says, “‘Ave you ever ‘ad an oyster?”
The older man looks down at his pint, looks across to his companion, then back at his pint. “No.”
“What about you, Davey? You ever ‘ad an oyster?”
The young man simply shakes his head. He’s drumming his fingers on the table and looking shyly at the barmaid who is still far too engrossed in her phone to notice.
“Me neither. It’s just, I ‘ear they’re all slimy like, and a bit weird.”
Kev wipes the back of a gnarled hand across his face, displacing the crumbs of his latest pasty and the foam of the ale from his beard. “I heard they get you all worked up. You know, in your nether regions.” He lets out a loud belch that finally garners some attention from the barmaid. Unfortunately, the attention comes in the form of a glare. Kev and Malc sit completely unfazed. Davey goes bright red and becomes suddenly very interested in his pint. “I don’t think Davey needs any. Look at him. Need a cushion, Davey?”
“What? Me? No, I’m fine.” The young man is fidgeting again, shifting side to side in his seat. “No problems here. Are we having another?”
“Slow down, lad.” Malc clicks his neck and stretches his arms. “We clocked off a bit early, remember? We’ve got stacks of time. Young Sally isn’t going anywhere.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
Kev ponders for a moment, then speaks up. “Malc, what got you thinking about oysters then?”
“Well, you know we made Davey eat the bag of peanuts we found at the back of the cab…” Davey retches slightly at the memory. “Well, I was wondering why we choose to eat what we do. It’s a bit weird really, innit?”
The three men raise their pints to their lips, take a deep draught, then place them back down.
“We dared him to.”
“Yeah, but… ‘Ow did we discover bacon was tasty?”
Kev puts his little finger in his ear and swirls it around. “Malc,” he says, withdrawing the finger and inspecting the remains with care, “I really don’t give a shit. Right then, Davey, I bet you won’t eat this one?” He wipes the ear gunk onto a cheese and onion crisp, and holds it out to the young lad. “I thought you did anything you were dared to?”
Davey looks at him for a moment, then takes the crisp. “I hate you sometimes.Why do I tell you anything?” And he places the crisp in his mouth.
The three men raise their pints to their lips, take a deep draught, then place them back down. Only Davey picks his back up and takes another, trying to purge the taste of ear gunk from his palette.
There are three men sat in the corner of the cave by the beach. One is old, one is middle aged and one is young. The old man is holding out half of a shell, nestled inside which is something slimy. He seems to be encouraging the young man to eat the slimy thing, which he does so with reluctance.
They pick up their rudimentary containers of fermented milk, take a deep draught, then palce them back down. The young man picks his up again, only to pause and look quizzically at the half shell. He looks approving, then takes another drink.
The Idiot in Tin Foil