Time Gentlemen

There’s this chap in a bar who’s always on his own, nursing a whiskey and water gazing into the middle distance in the middle of the day, in fact not just the middle of the day but anytime of day it seemed. I’d seen him in the same spot every time I’d visited the Flamenco Bar opposite the old church. One slightly peculiar thing about him that I had noticed was his frequent, sudden and urgent exits. He would return after a very short period to once again attend his glass. I had assumed that he was visiting the Men’s Room or maybe having a smoke outside. However, yesterday when I arrived he was not outside smoking, his glass was sat at the bar. I needed a piss and so I went to the Men’s, he was not there either. When I returned to the bar there he was back with glass and catatonic stare. So I sidled up to him and asked how his day had been and he replied wearily: “Same old thing, you know, same old.” So sensing he was not in the mood for chit chat I left it there, then about an hour later I was feeling a bit more confident and thought I’d ask what he meant, but just as I was about to do so he looked at his watch put down the glass and shot out the door. So I spun around on my stool turning my attention to the barman and asked: “Something I said?” The Barman: “Oh him, no, no, you see that church over there in the square, he’s the bell ringer, he’s been doing that routine for over thirty years.” With the bell ringing Four O’clock in my ears I left. Nice job, not for the tardy.

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