The regulars were all in bed by 2 o’clock and I was left alone with The Voice of Peace radio station. “No more war! No more bloodshed!” were its mantras. During George Benson’s, “I swore long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadows”, the buzzer went. I delayed answering till I heard the line, “They can’t take away my dignity.” The buzzer sounded again.
From the intercom I heard, “D’ya ‘ave any roomsh?”
“What?” I answered restraining my giggles.
“D’ya ‘ave any roomsh?”
“Oh, rooms. You’d better come in.”
A female Brummie staggered into reception laden with excessive luggage and half empty bottles of booze. There is only one thing worse in the English speaking world than a Brummie accent and that is a drunken Brummie accent.
“You speak English?”
A damn sight better than you, “A little.”, and that was all she needed.
“’Ave I had the biggesht dishaster ever? My hushband’s just been arreshted by the police at the airport. We jusht got off the plane, right, went through cushtoms and they collared him. Shomething about a shtolen car, but…..”
She continued in this vein needing only an occasional nod from me to keep her going. It is a well-known fact that ‘sympathy’ comes between ‘shit’ and ‘syphilis’ in the English dictionary, also, there was something in the bits of her story, that I bothered to listen to, that did not ring true. Unable to bear no more of the self-pitying, I did what all English people do in adversity, “Would you like a nice cup of tea?” anything to escape. I took a night’s rent from her, and, with Chucky’s words ringing in my ears I was very ‘careful’ in placing it in my pocket, smugly breaking a commandment.
“Darling, I’d love a coffee, black, 2 shugars.” Who is she calling ‘darling’?
When somebody gives you their complete life history on the spot it has to have been well rehearsed. This was no exception. Sometimes she would lose track and talk about her son’s problems in school and those dreadful teachers, but mostly it was of her adulterous affairs- every sordid detail. Her tone became warmer, her voice softer as her body heat grew. This vamp had me in her sights and I needed rescuing. I was not falling into her web to be eaten alive afterwards.
I was just about to tell her that I had some dishes to wash when I heard footsteps approaching. Relief! As the person entered the room there were squeals of “Steve!” and “Nicole!” complete with hugs and kisses and, “What are you doing here?” etc. I wondered how she could have missed this handsome Irishman from her list of conquests.
Morals are each individuals own right, and although breaking the 7th commandment would not have been a new experience for me, the fact that her husband was helping police with their enquiries made a difference. My conscience lived with me every minute of every day. Hers rattled around like a skeleton masturbating in a biscuit tin.
She was not unattractive. Her large, droopy dark sad eyes were a perfect match for her large, droopy dark sad breasts. I thought it rather unfair that Dave always hummed ‘Swing Low Sweet chariot’ when she was around. “She’s got TB.” He piped.
“No, tits on belly.”
“If we tied rags to them she could sweep the floor as she goes.”
Many a good tune is played on an old fiddle, I kept telling the younger females. For example, when Nigel Kennedy, that animal with the Mockney accent, wants to play the Four Seasons he does not chose a brand new Yamaha 250, he goes for a mellow Stradivarius. They never listened to me that is, nor Kennedy.
Life is full of surprises and Chucky actually came up with a good idea, not even I could disagree with it. “Hey you guys, why don’t we have a football match?”and the next Saturday the Gordon was to take on the No 1.