Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Alex, Alistair and the Gin Pixie


The phrase "lost in translation” usually comes to mind towards closing time in the pub. 
This is when the regulars prove that in extra vino there is no extra veritas but only whatever the latin is for bullshit.

It started off well last night with views being offered and sought on Scottish independence. With Kings Cross and Euston Station both nearby, the pub claims a special relationship to the far North.

Indeed the builders and the boat people claimed to have known someone who knew someone who had been beyond Manchester. 

All agreed that the BBC had stuck to its democratic remit by showing the “eyebrows-at-ten-paces” on the TV. Indeed they agreed that they too would have watched Alex versus Alistair if Sky had not put Liverpool versus City in at the same time.

As the night drew on, the glasses and their owners were filled and re-filled leading to the miracle of new languages.

According to Acts 19:6 (or maybe some other Acts), it took the intervention of the Holy Ghost to help the faithful “speak with tongues”. Last night it was the intervention of pints of beer and whisky chasers which had the same effect.

The future of the United Kingdom and the constitutional position of Scotland seemed to have been forgotten. Instead the constitutional position of Manchester United seemed to have taken its place as early reports of a drubbing emerged. 

Was Louis van Gaal a synonym for Alex Salmond ? Was MK Dons a synonym for something else? By now several different people were having several different conversations with themselves.

The Spanish bar staff were digging deep into their knowledge of colloquial english to guess what was being ordered. Memories of Fleet Street’s “gin pixie” came flooding back...

A sub-editor on the Daily Mirror, the pixie actually drank whisky but by 8pm every evening was unable to pronounce it and swopped to more pronounceable gin.
(He had difficulty getting home because of his condition and friends would hail a black cab and pour him in for the journey home. This worked until the night the cab drive asked him where to go to and the pixie replied: “None of your f***ing business”.)

Meanwhile back in the pub the American with the pugs had intervened to confirm every prejudice about him, his dogs and his country. The pub, in its nod to the 20th century, adds to its usual libations a “real ale” which obviously differentiates it from the other rubbish being sold.

Usually named after some obscure body part of a Cornishman, it is advertised on a blackboard to demonstrate its uniqueness.
In many pubs, apparently, these chalk boards are used by the short-order chef to advertise his dish of the day.

As the pub’s chef is Tunisian and the bar staff often Spanish, a pint of couscous cannot be ruled out.

The American ordered a half.