I was going to The Greengate with the lads so we met at Hammer’s (his self-ascribed poker callsign) place and had a few beers first. I get a bit melancholy when I think on my myriad of Hammer-memories, as he is a great mate who’s now buggered off back to America.
We then piled into our designated driver Carrot’s car, with one fresh beverage each for the short trip. Handsome Phil was in the front passenger seat, while Hammer, Bolschy and I (not one of us under 105kg) were all crammed snuggly into the back.
Handsome Phil (to me) – “Cool Hand (my self-ascribed poker callsign), I have a confession.”
Me – “OH FOR F*CK’S SAKE HANDSOME PHIL. What?”
Handsome Phil (guilty) – “I may or may not have ashed in your beer when it was sitting on the roof of the car.”
Me – “WHAT??”
I hadn’t even sipped the icy-cold roadie in my hand. It was disappointing news.
Handsome Phil – “I thought it was the empty.” I noticed a subtle, conspiratorial smile between him and Bolschy.
I had a decision to make. My beer had been disgustingly violated, but if I didn’t drink it I was destined to go the entire fifteen minute trip refreshment-less! But I was now an adult and not an 18-year-old lad who’d drink just about anything. While hurling abuse at Handsome Phil, I put my window down to pour out my beautiful beer. It was only 15 minutes after all.
The first sip wasn’t too bad. I could definitely taste his ash, but it was a full beer so it was pretty diluted.
Then Hammer let out an anguished wail.
Hammer – “OH F*CK. My wife just text me about my son who’s on his P’s.”
He read it out.
Your son while reversing out of the drive, has put a big scratch up the side of your car. He’s a bit shaken up, so I’m driving now. He feels awful, but I’ve managed to settle him down and tell him it’s all ok.
Hammer was not happy. He loved that Jeep and apparently was always telling his boy that he reversed too damn fast.
Anyway, by incredible coincidence, we pulled up at the traffic lights right next to Hammer’s car, with his son sitting solemnly in the passenger’s seat.
Carrot, who had never met the kid, quick as a flash put down his driver’s window and signaled for Hammer’s son to wind his window down also. The boy had no idea what this guy wanted, couldn’t see his dad or any of us he knew in the back seat, so he wound it down.
Carrot – “MATE, YOU’VE GOT AN ENORMOUS SCRATCH DOWN THE SIDE OF YOUR CAR.”
The kid’s face went bright red and he just looked… deflated. “Oh…thanks” was all he could muster.
Carrot put up his window and we drove on, pissing ourselves laughing. There’s nothing better than sticking it to the younger generation.
I made my way through my ash-violated beer and I’ll be damned if the horrible taste didn’t seem to get stronger as I drank. I thought I’d get used to it. Finally I took the last swig and then gagged, coughed and nearly choked. On Handsome Phil’s… CIGARETTE BUTT.
I spun on him, trying not to vomit.
Handsome Phil (doing his best to not laugh at my pain) – “I didn’t think you were going to drink it! By the time I noticed you were, I didn’t have the heart to tell you.”
Time with mates is great for mental health, but sometimes not so good for your physical.
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