“Women!” I repeat breathlessly.
“Women!” I repeat breathlessly again, concentrating on not falling off the pavement. Short Tony nods in agreement.
“It is just so unusual to see women in the Village Pub,” I elaborate. “Especially young ones, who look like they look after themselves a bit and know how to dress.” There is another nod.
“I am here, you know,” snaps Mrs Short Tony.
I try to explain that my comment was not meant to be in any way derogatory of the regular ladies that we hang out with, but it comes out a bit wrong, as abuse. Short Tony chips in to be conciliatory, but it is less like pouring petrol on the flames than chucking the petrol, the flames, some fireworks, a British seaside pier and Richard Reid the Shoe Bomber into a large hadron collider and switching it on to see what happens.
“To be honest, I wouldn’t know how to talk to one these days,” I continue sadly. “It is a shame that Big A left early. Although it might have been for the best.”
“Do I take it that the LTLP’s been away a couple of days too long?” enquires Mrs Short Tony, sarcastically.
“The thing is, although I am there in the Village Pub, I am really more of a metropolitan sophisticate type,” I ruminate, as I wee into a bush. “But they are not to know that. I should have said ‘hello’ and introduced myself.”
“Are you coming round for a bite to eat then?” demands Short Tony.
Although I have already planned a dinner, this is admittedly a Bombay Bad Boy Pot Noodle, into which I was going to dip a cold leftover lamb chop.
“Yes please,” I agree.