I am handed my bar tab.

The Well-Spoken Barman passes it over with an apologetic look. The envelope seems particularly thick.

I like my bar tab. It is very useful for those of us without local cash machines, and with interest rates being as low as they are at present it is really just another way of saving money. Plus I can cry ‘put it on my tab please, barman!’ in a jovial voice, which is a good way of being manly.

I note the total with alarm. I appear to have saved a great deal this month.

Short Tony and Big A look awkwardly to the floor.

I check the amount. Then I check it again. Then I check that it is not George Best’s. Then I check that the Well-Spoken Barman hasn’t accidentally handed me the entire inventory list that the brewery leaves behind with them. Then I check the exits.

They have included the individual till receipts from each evening. Reluctantly I conclude that they tally with my visits.

“Hang on!” I cry, spotting a major discrepancy on two till rolls of a particular long nature. Each roll has to be signed off by me at the end of the night. These two have a different signature!!!

“Was this you?” I demand sternly of Short Tony.

“No!” he denies.

“Or you?”

“Absolutely not!” says Big A.

Doubly-reluctantly I conclude that I’d been in there on those nights, but had been incapable of writing my name.

I give a long sigh.

I quickly glance about the pub to check that the LTLP is not about to leap out from behind some curtains. I hand over our joint credit card.

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