Football fans serving drinks to football fans at the football stadium before the football match. Good view of the pitch from the bar. The match starts and they close the doors and bring the shutters down over the windows. There are three screens on the wall. If the game was being televised we could watch it. They guess what the score is from the noise of the crowd. We eat tiny triangular sandwiches. Their guesses are confirmed by texts from people on the other side of the shutters. They talk numbers and money. It's not the big league. If it's not a draw they'll either win or lose. At half time it's two-one in a good way. The doors open and a gammon-faced man-cloud billows towards the bar. We've lined up fifty pints in preparation. We can't serve drink while the players are on the pitch. It's also a rugby stadium. They say the rugby crowd can buy drink whenever they like. They down four pints at once and have a special corner for dying in. By full time it's three-two in a bad way. They buy shots and go home.
Argos phoned for a catch-up. I'd purchased something and instead of it arriving when they said it'd arrive, what arrived was a voice, through a phone, saying there's been an error, and why not spend the rest of the week nailing yourself to someone who gives a fuck. So I did. Then I emailed to complain about the delayed arrival of the item and the tone of voice used to deliver the news of the delay, which I felt did not tickle my fancy nearly enough and sounded if anything delighted that I'd been catastrophically inconvenienced. So the reader of this email had picked up a big red phone to tell me how entertaining my whinge whinge bloody whinge had been, well done for writing most of it in lower case and would I perhaps accept a refund of the delivery charge and a tray of figs. I said I was embarrassed slightly, not expecting any kind of reply really, certainly not one so personal and after dinner. I wrote the email on a high horse in the library and was shooed out before I had a chance to remove all the bluster. So sorry about that, but I am still angry, but not at you personally, and did you say figs or fig rolls, because I find a fig on its own is not worth the effort. She said she'd check, and everything's alright, and she was also a fully-trained psychiatrist. Fully-trained, she said. Fully-trained? Yes, a fully-trained psychiatrist. It was Saturday night and I'd just found some lager in a bin. I told her I had absolutely no other problems at all, so all that fully training would be wasted on me. But can I tell you the story of the rug my housemate ordered and which right now my toes are enjoying, he ordered it from you, not you personally, last month, just by pressing the screen of his phone, and it arrived at exactly the time specified and was delivered by a vibrating man just happy to be alive. Touched the screen on his phone a few times, I said, and then made some coffee and chuckled for three quarters of an hour in his dressing gown, whereas I've had to use my legs to walk to the shop, fingers to find the item in the catalogue, voice and face to arrange delivery, buttons to transfer money, and still the only thing I've received is a knife in the arsehole. And she said well how about a ten pound voucher then, and I said yeah alright.