Tuesday, May 08, 2007

"Well, the clouds in the sky...are sadly a condition of life in this land"

"Well, the clouds in the sky...are sadly a condition of life in this land"

Undoubtedly planning a picnic for a May Bank Holiday was tantamount to asking the Gods for a downpour. Since the God of British Picnics was feeling particularly helpful, some high winds were also thrown in. Thus it was without much surprise that I didn't even get to undo my picnic hamper and instead found myself sitting in a pub.

For the first couple of hours I was good [on account of all the various medicines I am taking to combat my nineteenth cold this year] and stayed away from anything vaguely alcoholic.

Then the drinking games began.

And whilst I may be a lot of things when it comes to 'games' I do have an innate sense of fairness.

"I'd better go get an alcoholic drink, hadn't I?"

"Yes" comes the response in resolutely no nonsense terms. And then, after he has thought for a second, "You mean you've been this rubbish and you haven't been drinking?"

I stick my tongue out.

"Look, you've got to explain these games to the lowest common denominator and today that just happens to be me".

Drink purchased, we settle down to play "21" a fiendishly addictive (and impossible) game that involves, erm, counting to 21 but with the added addition of some rules along the way to mess things up.

"To my right - 1".

There is a silence.

M and I look at each other. We're both thinking the same thing.

"Erm, right?"

I catch the look. History Boy raises his right hand.

"I'll start again - to my left, 1".

And so it starts; soon (though not as quickly as you would expect from a group of supposed graduates) we get to the magic "21". Technically the person who says "21" has lost and has to drink alcohol. However, they also get to change one of the numbers in the chain for something else (be it a word or an action). Thus "16" becomes "Guinness", "8" a wave and "6":

"Wooooooo" I say whirling my hand. It is a pathetic attempt at meeting the rule that was created a couple of rounds ago.

"Shameful; you should drink for that".

I attempt to scowl at him but can't, I'm laughing at my own crapness too much.

I feel rather smug when it falls to History Boy to say "21" a few minutes later. He downs half of his pint, then, eyes glinting, -

"4 becomes 7".

There is a collective intake of breath.

"You are actually evil". I wonder why I have never realised this before. From the looks of the rest of the group it is clear that we will not being playing games with him ever again. On the positive side, this level of competitiveness is making me look like a normal, sane human being.

The game continues, slightly more stunted, as we trip over History Boy's trap. The sequence of numbers nears its end.

And then I know what is going to happen. What History Boy is about to contrive.

"18, 19, 20" he says, making it skip one person in the group and causing it to land:

On me.

"21" spills from my mouth. Just for good measure I add "You git".

He smirks. I down the remainder of my drink.

And, from that point on, everything becomes a blur.

1 comment:

Kay Richardson said...

Good ol' 21. Got to love it.