Karaoke night at THE VITREOUS ENAMEL, to celebrate Olive Lamp’s good fortune. The assembled miscreants are merrily warbling away; the latest of which is the local vicar – always on hand in case there’s a marriage afoot, following ‘love at first fight’- is grinding out an old Punk favourite “I’m gonna rip out yer ‘eart and send it back on Valentine’s Day.” Meanwhile, Sunlight, helping her mum out behind the bar, is flitting and mooning over Phil ‘Dettol’ Emin – one of the Bleach twins. However, Olive knows better…
Phil Emin was at that moment dragging his latest paramour across the carpet, and they were attached at the mouth as though they were trying to devour one another. The signs had no ambiguity, even for the lovelorn Sunlight. She went dull before running out to the back room, foam already forming in her previously sparkling eyes. “C’est la vie.” Olive said philosophically as she followed Sunlight out, picking up a large towel and her book of commiseration cliches she’d bought recently from Dick Enzer’s Old Furiosity Shop.
Over in a corner of the pub, just out of gunshot of the karaoke, Jock E Millstone was throwing what could be the final dart in his Paternity match with M T Mescrotum. The lads were playing for the privilege of paying child support for Marge Yamac’s little bundle of joy; the existence of whom the two participants no idea of until tonight. Neither knew that little Oedipus was in fact the issue of a night of poisson and chips, Pat and one Jack Ladd had endured just ten long months ago underneath that very dartboard.
Olive’s mopping up duties for Sunlight, who’s sun had set – she looked like night – were abruptly interrupted by a panicking Gill O’Beer. “Olive, love, sorry to butt in but we’re out of pork-scratchings.” Olive, although feeling great sadness for Sunlight, was taken further aback. “We’ve never been out of pork-scratchings in this pub since the war; how can it be? ‘Ave yer looked in the stockroom?” Gill blurted out that she had, but all she’d found was Dougie Emin doing the beast with two backs with the Pork- Scratchings delivery woman.
As Olive left Sunlight to sob herself into insensibility, she and Gill were surprised just outside the gents – and not for the first time. As if by magic, up popped Dope on a Rope. “Yeah, andyou won’t be getting any, anymore.” “How would you know you little git.” “Frew Saga owns all of the outlets that serve this pub, so you’d better get used to ‘aving no pork-scratchings, and no booze as soon as you run out of what you’ve got now.” He tried to laugh like a villain but his hernia prevented such behaviour, so he merely sniggered maniacally.
Just then, Olive overheard Sunlight, among her gut-wrenching sobs, exclaim: “I hope it’s not his.”