Tippler’s ‘Notes on the Back of a Beermat’.
Bar-related musings from Our Man in the Corner…
Caution: contains some rude words.
Well, it’s May all of a sudden and here we go with the Marching Season. OK, it’s not quite the same as those Orange jobbies that set the Paddies on edge - we go more for ‘rainbow’ in Brussels.
That’s a colour scheme covering a lot of bases (pink among them) and one that arguably pisses off more people than the Prods, albeit without the Great Annoyed feeling the need to grab sticks, knives, guns and other implements designed to make participants go ‘Ouch, ya bastard! That fucking hurt!’
Tippler’s mate Denzil is normally too preoccupied to give out more than a ‘Pah! Bloody ponces!’ when it comes to gazillions of guyliner-wearing gay boys, loose-limbed lesbians and tarted-up trannies gallumphing down the high street of a Saturday
Well, Easter has rolled around yet again, Spring is in the air and it’s no wonder the dust bunnies at Tippler Towers are breeding like rabbits. But bollocks to cleaning the living space - there’s so much more fun you can have with a feather duster.
That fat, lazy bastard Denzil, meanwhile, wouldn’t recognise a vacuum cleaner if it leaped out of the closet and tried to blow him off but, then again, my dear old drunken mate has never set much store by hygiene, personal or otherwise.
In between the perpetual struggle to find the rent/the beer at the back of the fridge/the way home from The Oirish, yer man has been known to venture forth and try a few different bars from time to time.
Sad times of late here at Tippler Towers. Not that the untrained eye would immediately have noticed any difference in my mate Denzil’s demeanour: pissed and confused is the look he wears to suit almost every occasion.
But even the fat fizzog of The Big D managed to register shock, dismay, anger and then numb acceptance (in the space of two swiftly downed pints) on hearing the news of the sudden and unexpected demise of our great friend Jezzer.
Yours Truly had last seen the Arsenal-supporting, puddleduck of a Softee Suvverner during a (for us) quiet afternoon downtown that consisted of a couple of beers - one each of which was provided by a local barman in return for penning a review on a well-known travel website. Jezzer never got around to writing his review - so, for once, he was ahead on pints. This all-too-brief soujourn was followed by some really posh coffee in a swanky beverage boutique just off the Brussels high street.
It’s not often that your correspondent will confess to even knowing a Philistine, let alone having one as a drinking mate. But that fat fuck Denzil has proper crossed the line, this time.
Ok, he’s previously been found in the corner of The Oirish Pub pissing himself laughing when he realised that the word ‘artisanal’, when broken into three, can produce the term ‘art is anal’, but we’ll let him off that one. This time, however, he’s proper bollocksed it.
Surprising as it may sound - and it does sound surprising - we were invited to a ‘vernissage’ at one of those swanky little galleries around the Sablon. Loads of piss-poor wines, unidentifiable and inedible snacks that Nigel Slater wouldn’t have fed to his cat and poncy, arty types who couldn’t tell a dollop of the shocking grub from Van Gogh’s sawn-off lug ‘ole.
The bars haven’t changed much in the 11 years your correspondent has been in Brussels - apart from the smoking ban malarky. What has certainly changed, though, is Denzil.
He was a chipper 34-year-old when an already raddled Tippler first got here but, somewhere down the line, Denzil morphed into a curmudgeonly old git who gets up early and grumpily from his bed each and every day - presumably because he’s shat in it.
This has resulted in eye-bags the size of Lara Croft’s knockers and a face that looks not so much lived-in as ransacked by squatters.