It was 1979, I was just eighteen years old and this was my very first time. People had told me it gets easier the more you do it, but I wasn’t too sure.
But how hard can it be… running a bar on your own?
My boyfriend’s dad George took me down to this old pub he owned in the Calton area of Glasgow. The ancient pub was on the corner of the main London road. It had a huge crumbling brown tenement above it and the walls on the outside of the bar were pretty dire. The whole place looked rundown.
The streets were so dark; there were a few jagged remains of demolished buildings on the other side of the road peering out through the last shafts of the dying sunlight. It was like being in a foreign land.
George took me by the hand into the pub, he opened the door that lead behind the bar, let a blonde woman out and locked me in and said ‘Goodbye’.
I tried to run after him but the wee wooden door was locked and I couldn’t fiddle with it fast enough, I saw him through the pub window. I was shouting “George don’t leave me here” but he carried on walking.
He got into his car with the blonde and drove off.
I slowly looked around the pub.
There were two really old men standing at the long part of the L shaped bar and one big fat hairy arsed biker slumped at the bottom on the counter, fast asleep.
I gulped and smiled.
I didn’t know where anything was, I didn’t know the prices or how to work the till. What the fuck was going on? I was only eighteen years old, I was scared.
The biker slowly raised his head and smiled a big toothless grin and slumped back down again. His enormous baldy head made a scary thump on the bar.
It shook his beer glass that lay next to his head and the liquid went foamy with the vibrations. ‘Well that was one way to get a head on your beer’ I thought to myself.
Just then a loud screech came out of the ceiling and a three legged cat leapt onto the bar and ran up to me, its hobbled gait was really horrifying and it was all scabby and tufty.
“That’s Tripod” said one of the old men “It’s because it only had three legs” then he threw his head back and his big gumsy mouth fell wide open and let rip a big raspy laugh. It sounded like a steam train slowing down in a station as his smoky lungs forced out a noise.
Then the two old men looked at each other, and then looked at me.
“Say press up” the smaller elderly man hissed.
The two old guys had faces like melted buckets, their chins were bent up towards their foreheads, and there were deep wrinkles all over their wizened faces. Neither of them had teeth, nor any facial bones by the looks of it. Soft squishy sock puppet faces, was all they seemed to posses.
“Say PRESS UP” the taller man shouted.
“Press up” I whispered.
The two old men fell to the floor disappearing behind the wooden bar counter. I had to jump up onto the bar to look to the floor to see where they had gone. The three legged cat jumped with me, its tail flicked.
The two old boys were on the floor doing press ups “One Two Three” they were shouting.
I was aghast. They must have been 80 years old a piece, they will die doing press ups!
“Stop!” I shouted.
Just then one of the old guys flopped on the floor and the taller one jumped up to his feet and ran around screaming “I won”
“Now I get a whisky” he yelled as he thumped his grizzly hand on the bar.
The biker lifted up his fat head and whispered “He wins, you have to give him a drink” and slumped back down again.
I gave the old man a whisky. The other elderly bloke was still on the floor; I was hoping he wasn’t dead.
Just then at the other end of the bar the biker sprang to life; he stood up and I noticed he was wearing really tight clothes. Either he was wearing the same clothes since 1975 and grew too fat for them or he just like wearing too tight clothes. His blue tee shirt was right up past his fat belly and his jeans were literally garrotting his waist!
“I am GAY!” he screamed. He threw his beer on the floor, he knocked over a chair and ran for the door, the three legged cat ran after him hissing! He kicked the main bar door open and ran into the street, the cat still in chase with its hobbled run.
At that moment, another scream came from the floor in front of me.
The old man on the floor sprung to his feet and wrestled his elderly mate for the whisky. They punched and struggled and ended up spilling the golden liquid over each other and fell back to the floor. Kicking and spitting at each other.
I was so frightened I didn’t know what to do next….so I ran and grabbed the old pay phone. I pulled a 10 pence piece out of my pocket and quickly called my boyfriend.
“Help! This place is mad!” I screamed as he answered the call.
“Let me guess, did two old boys do press ups and fat biker scream that he was gay?” He asked laughing.
“Yes, how did you know that?” I said.
“That’s ok, that’s a Tuesday” he laughed back “I will be down there in twenty minutes to help before the old boys start drinking petrol and show you their fire eating skills”
That was my first time. People are right; it gets better the more you do it._