Wednesday, March 2, 2011
It was perfect night for a stroll back to the hotel, calm, 68*, a rare cloudless Spring evening. The sun had just set around thirty minutes earlier,but there was still a faint glow out on the western horizon. Billy was in need of some company, he walked a short distance, and then he could hear the laughter and roar of intoxicated patrons that he could hear even from out on the street.
He entered the well lit "Pub" that was enormous for a neighborhood bar. He surveyed the area, there was a bar that was shaped a giant "staple”, with both sides being much shorter than the front, most patrons standing and drinking in the front section. The two wings of the staple had bar maids coming and going with trays to accommodate the rest of the tables that were filled with talkative, well lubed patrons.
A quick glance indicated that most, men and women, were enjoying a "pint", a tall glass of local "brew". Many seemed to prefer the light brown colored ales, but, there were a good portion enjoying a lighter color, perhaps a Lager or maybe a Pilsner. Billy would find out later that the ones who did go for the lighter brews, usually drank these with a spot of lime. Not a fresh lime that we are use to seeing, more typically with Mexican beers, but, the lime one uses to make, say a "Tom Collins", the syrupy kind of sweet /sour lime.
Bender decided to "belly up" and join the noisy crowd that insisted on standing, “what do you have mate?" the bar tender barked at Bender. With all the noise, and Billy not accustom to the accent, he couldn't hear what he was being asked. Next to Bender was short ,stalky man wearing a soft, floppy, dark colored hat; he turned to Bender and yelled” What Do You Have Mate?" Bender bent down lower to tell the man "a beer". The near sized gnome of a man slapped Bender on the back and was bent over so far Billy could only see the top of the floppy hat. “Chrrrrist", the man exclaimed "You’re a bloody Yank!" “Ha, good on ya mate!" Billy stood nodding his head, not knowing if this was a good thing or not. The hat wearer yelled “my shout mate, good on ya Yank, what do you have"? Billy was thinking this was maybe the most difficult beer he had ever ordered in an English speaking country. “What ever is good," said Billy, and with that, a large glass filled with an amber color liquid appeared. Billy's new friend clanked glasses and told Billy he was drinking "Nectar", Lions double brown, the best drink in the world , assured his new friend named Clifford, his friends called him simply "C".
Upon the announcement that Billy was in fact a Yank, others further down the bar came over to Billy just to make sure he wasn't "dry", pat him on the back or shoulder, and say "good on ya Yank", your money is no good here, " My shout". Bender wasn't clear about some of the terminology, so he asked his new buddy "C" what in fact was a ”shout ". Clifford explained that usually in Pubs, there is such a roar, and a crowd, that one needs to shout at the bar man in order to get a drink, and thus a "shout". When somebody says "my shout", that means they are paying for the drinks. Upon hearing this, Billy had been working on "pint" # 3 when he turned to the whole bar and screamed "MY SHOUT", the pub erupted into clapping , whistling, and screams, "Good on ya Yank", came from all corner's in every direction. Just then, appeared right in Billy's face, two lovely Lasses, both laughing and giggling, the two women who were in their late twenties each had reddish, glassy eyes, and huge smiles. Billy was trying to decide which one was more attractive, when he heard " why don't you come talk to both of us mate, we love your accent", Billy felt two hands under each of his strong , hairy arms being led to a table at the far end of the bar, by two giggling, adorable, kiwi women.