Tales from a barfly
The “Accrington Stanley” contingent
Last week, I recounted the tale of a certain group of northern gentleman who kept Mobi’s bar open until the very late hours. On that occasion, I was fortunate as Lek and I were able to call it a day at around 2 a.m. and hand over the reins to Auntie and two other girls who had succeeded in staying awake at such ungodly hours.
Those particular customers did not depart until well after 3 am. and the next evening, they were back again for yet another very late night session.
They chided me for not downloading the music they had requested on the previous evening.
I expressed my sincere apologies, and promised to have all their requested songs on the Mobi- playlist for their next visit, should they deign to return again after I had transgressed so badly…
I should add at this point that these gents all hailed from Accrington in Lancashire, in the north west of England.
So what their broad Lancashire accents, the loud background music at the bar, and my long-since damaged ear-drums, I was experiencing severe difficulty in understanding anything they were trying to tell me
When they had requested their favourite singers on the previous night, I had insisted that they write down the names of the artists, as I had no idea what they were talking about.
The same went for much of our fractured conversation – and we often resorted to writing on pads, which were handed back and forth, to clarify points being made or questions asked…
We were truly a bunch of Englishmen divided by a common language.
As regards my failure to download their music, the truth of the matter is that I never dreamed that they would come back again so soon. Their requested song tracks – Morrissey, James Morrison, The Smiths and others of similar ilk were not exactly high up on my list of personal favourites.
So I breathed a sigh of relief when the foursome told me that they wouldn’t be keeping me up too late as they were all tired from their earlier exertions – whatever that might have meant – and they would be having an ‘early night’.
They were sort of true to their word and called it a night at the ‘early’ hour of 1 a.m., and we able to close the bar soon after.
As they left, one of them promised one of our ladies that he would return the next evening to continue where he had left off – smooching and…. you know….
Their third visit on as many nights was probably the most memorable.
It was the 30th September, and I had much to do when the bar closed. I had to draw down month end reports, re-set the till computer for the start of the new month, initiate the end of month stock check and much more besides.
I wasn’t relishing the prospect of sitting there all night waiting for the last customer to go home before I could commence my end of month tasks.
The foursome arrived early and ordered their Heinekens. (Yes, strangely, they all drank Heineken beer and had already drunk us dry of that particular beer brand on their two previous visits.)
(I wonder if Heineken tastes like Accrington mild?…)
The girls had long since christened them the ‘Heineken gang’ and as they once again settled in for the night, the gentleman who was on a ‘promise’ with one of our girls, grabbed one of our girls to sit with him within seconds of his arrival.
He ordered her a lady’s drink, and everything was soon getting quite steamy yet again.
There was only one problem. The lady sitting on his lap wasn’t the same lady who he had promised to continue with on his previous visit.
Did he know she wasn’t the same girl as last night? I wondered. After all he was pretty pissed.
Or there again, maybe he had decided to try something new..
My question was soon answered when he caught my eye and shouted:
‘Mobi! – trouble t’office over’ere… can yer coom an’ ‘elp me oot?…’
‘What’s the problem Steve?‘ I asked.
‘Is this same girl I ‘ad last neet?’ he asked me, in his broad Accrington-speak
‘No Steve she isn’t. The one you were with last night is sitting over there,’ I said pointing to the corner table where all the girls were sitting.
‘Ee, ah thought sommat weren’t reet’, says Steve, ‘ can ee call ‘er over?’
I beckoned to the lady of the previous evening to come over and Steve made the two of them stand side by side, and then immediately sent the new girl packing and put his arm around the waist of the old one.
He didn’t buy a fresh lady’s drink but insisted that the late-comer finish off the previous girl’s drink before ordering a new one.
Everyone, girls included, thought it was hilarious, and the evening was off to a fun start.
By the third day I knew they were going to become regulars, so I had downloaded all their music and proceeded to play their requested tracks, one after another.
The music bored most of us, but it delighted the Heineken Gang from Accrington.
The beers continued to flow and the gang became ever more inebriated.
At around midnight, one of my favourite customers – the infamous German gentleman known as ‘Raro’ arrived, and he immediately fell into discussion about rock music with one of the foursome.
Remarkably, Raro’s German English seemed to be more comprehensible to the Accrington foursome than Mobi’s real English, and a lively discussion ensued – without the need to resort to writing pads.
Two more of the gang had now coupled up with two of Mobi girls and by 2 a.m. the three had paid their bar fines and were anxious to be gone – back to their rooms for more fun.
The only problem was that gent number four was still in deep conversation with Raro and had no intention of leaving. He also happened to be the keeper and driver of their single vehicle.
At 2.30 a.m. I asked Raro if he was going to order any more beers, and when he replied in the negative I gently persuaded him to settle his bill. We now had only one bill outstanding – the keeper of the car. But would he pay up? No way.
He was determined to continue his discussion with Raro and was telling him about all his experiences and personal involvement with some famous rock bands through the years.
Raro – who is a completely crazy about rock music, and is even a budding rock guitarist, was all ears.
It went on and on…
The three gents and three Mobi’s ladies sat waiting – patiently and drunkenly -for the fourth member of their gang to pay up and go.
I should add that I have never known Raro to stay so late – and I have doubts whether he received much of a welcome from the redoubtable ‘Mrs Raro’ when he finally made it back home.
We waited and waited…
Finally at well past 3 a.m. all the Heineken bottles were empty and the last drinker reluctantly decided to ‘check his bin’.
Thank the Lord!
Although we had tried to work around the late-nighters as much as possible with our month-end chores, there was still much to do, and it wasn’t until around 5 a.m. that we finally hit the pillow.
Unfortunately, after less than 3 hours sleep we both had to get up at 8 a.m. as we had some urgent business in Pattaya, and by the time we got back home in the late afternoon, I felt as sick as a dog.
I didn’t make the bar at all that evening….
Such is the life of a bar-owning ‘barfly’.