Friday brought the official opening ceremony of the pub next door.

(I should recap for new readers – my next-door neighbour, Short Tony, has converted his dining room into a pub).

(I should elaborate on that. It’s not really a pub as such. It’s a dining room with a couple of pub-like trappings, like a dartboard and some ‘toilets’ and ‘opening hours’ notices. As a pub, it’s a bit like when you’re a kid and get a Batman costume – it makes you look like a kid dressed up as Batman rather than literally turning you into Adam West, the caped crusader. But it’s fun, and you can play at being Batman, especially if your dad’s got a black car.)

Big A turned up with a sign he’d got made up. ‘The Short Man – Free House’ it read. The image showed a ‘Usual Suspects’ style lineup image, with our heads superimposed on the three male models that had posed for the original picture he’d nicked it from.

My head had been done too large in proportion to the body. I was cross about this as it spoilt the sign completely, but I didn’t like to ask him to redo it or to point out that it made him look foolish as actually I have quite a normal-sized head.

It is very handy having a pub next door, but I felt a pang of guilt as I popped in to the real Village Pub for a pint. I haven’t been in there for ages, mainly due to illness, and they have definitely missed me, as they have moved my usual stool.

I made a resolution to go in there more often, for the sake of the community. I must use it or lose it.

Even though the Short Man offers me free drink, darts and bags of peanuts that when you pull them off the rack gradually reveal a scantily clad lady.

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