18 Apr 2005

There is a time and a place for doing a back flip whilst holding a pint of cider. Yesterday, at about four in the afternoon, outside the Dog and Vomit on Mutley Plain was perhaps as good a time as any. I mean, perhaps it should be asked whether or not there is a good time or place to do such a manoeuvre, ever or anywhere, but quite possibly, outside the pub, basking in the sunshine, surrounded by a baying crowd of inebriated Sunday revellers and being watched by the city-wide CCTV system is as good as it gets. Patrick certainly thought it was.

Patrick had been telling Joanne, Meg, Tilly and myself about how, in his younger days, he used to be a gymnast. I do not have a picture of Patrick to illustrate exactly how hard to believe this statement was. All I can say is that Patrick looks to have the sort of body that had started larger than most and then actively decided to take the title of being the most squat and large and barrel-like ever. I can reveal, although I probably shouldn’t, but I will in the spirit of sordid British tabloid journalism, that one time when Patrick was very drunk and morose he confided in me that he had never been able to see his own penis without the aid of a mirror. I had to assume then that what was now a mobile beer gut had once been a tubby teen and before that a big, bouncing babe. As the four of us expressed our general disbelief in Patrick ever having been able to do a back-flip with a chorus of,”Bollocks!” I did consider the great Samo Hung, someone who must always be described as portly at the very least and yet is someone who can bounce off walls throwing in the odd back-flip, front-flip and such kung-fu-kick-to-the-balls-have-that-ya-bastard moves that would put most much more lithe martial artists to shame.

“Right, I’ll frigging show ya then!” and so saying Patrick started to turn around in a circle making some space amongst the crowd. A big fat man with a t-shirt that says,”Fuck Off Yu TwAT!” on it waving his arms about tends to grab your attention. People started to turn to see what the commotion was all about. Just as they were wondering what was happening Patrick informed them. “Okay, I am about to perform *hic* what is commonly known as the Muscovite back-flip, as was performed by the late and great Molivinia Crackmeritupavitz in the Olympics of 1913!”

People stopped talking and turned to watch. Patrick stood with his feet together and his eyes shut and began to bend at the knee, up and down, preparing for the spring that would launch him backwards and over and to everlasting Dog and Vomit fame. When the crowd started to realise that this big, fat drunk man was serious about attempting a back-flip the circle he stood in grew considerably larger. Some people started to clap and cheer. Patrick opened his eyes and I could see they were now full of complete intent. I noticed he still had his fresh pint of Addlestone’s cider in his hand and quickly darted forwards towards him and asked if he wanted me to hold it. He replied,”Bollocks Bruce. Watch this, mate.” Without further ado Patrick did a back-flip with a pint of cider in one hand.

I say ‘back flip’ and ‘pint of cider’ for only a moment as that is how long they lasted. What started as a back flip ended up as a moaning heap and what started off in the glass ended up over Phil “Bleeding” Simmonds and his pit-bull Sooty.

Later on, after the girls and I had plonked the remains of Patrick in a taxi to take him home we sat outside the Dog and Vomit and reviewed the afternoon’s events. ‘Bleeding’ is so named because he does, as well as cause, much of it and although Patrick is a big guy Bleeder is a flipping nutcase and would square off with Tyson given one half chance and one half pint. It looked as if Patrick had received mild injuries, mostly sprains and grazes, from his aborted back-flip and the crowd as a whole were expecting these soon to be added to by breaks and gashes from the boots and fists of Bleeder Simmonds. Bleeder had stood there in the sun, dripping, with a look of mild surprise on his face as Patrick groaned on the pavement. All eyes were on Bleeder to watch the transformation from calmness to ferocious violence and were surprised to see Bleeder still standing still and with a smile on his face as Patrick’s first screams erupted into the sunny afternoon atmosphere. All eyes darted to the spasming heap that was Patrick and the dark blur of teeth and terror that was Sooty. You see, as it turns out, Sooty is fruit intolerant and being covered with the juice of brewed apples sent him mental.

I got a call on my mobile from Patrick this morning. He told me that he’d be working on his back-flip for a repeat and more successful performance and that if he saw Sooty he was going to rip the canine’s nuts off with his teeth.

This had me laughing for a good five minutes. I know people like this, replete with T-Shirt. That, is fucking priceless, and you should have videotaped it.
Never a goshdarn camera crew about when you need one but if you get caught short at a DJ Hype night at the Melkweg in Amsterdam and are forced by the pressures of necessity and bladder to have a snidey slash on the back of the stage, wrapped in a big red curtain, and, OH YES, there's a fucking camera crew catching all of you in all of your forthcoming glory!


Yeah, a camera to catch the big man's moment of questionable glory, that would have been good.

I read a few of your blogs, and they were a great hoot. The tone and "voice" of them really came through to me, as if I were listening in on a bleary-eyed recollection, rather than reading off the computer screen. Well done. (I suspect that I misconstrued the accent, shifting it more toward Irish than English, but that's probably mostly to do with the fact that I live in Utah, USA.)

Having several of my own stories of wild, ill-advised drunken acrobatics, being named Patrick as well, and having a somewhat barrell-like shape, I found that the tale resonated. Also, your previous posting that outlined the nature of a "Domestic" was quite fun. Cheers.
London is on CCTV? Man, I thought the U.S. was leading the world in making 1984 a reality. Oh well, at least you know someone out there has a tape of Patrick.
Yo. Mr. Grim. Appreciated. The accent is the Queen's English diluted over the years since school with several rural tones and a bit of Norf London although I've always wanted an Irish lilt.

Monsewer Matt, The Dog and Vomit is found on Mutley Plain which is in the city of Plymouth, down the bottom of this isle. Yeah, man, it is crazy; there are sometimes two different cameras at the same point. I can only imagine that one is for the police and the other for Reality Cop shows or the ilke.
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