1998 I think it was. A pub in Bristol. Can’t remember which one. I was having a couple of pints with my great friend Thos. Smoking, too. You could do that sort of thing then. I did. A shabby gent, unwashed and hedgehog-chinned, charged up to us and tried to clamber under our table, eyes darting around, hands constantly wringing, a pervasive smell of something unusual and chemical in the air around him.
“Hide me: I’m a bank robber.”
He was clearly no such thing, unless a very unsuccessful one. The only thing he had probably stolen recently was the tube of Body Shop Hemp Handcream which he was perpetually rubbing into his hands like Lady Macbeth doing her out-damn-spot routine, flecks of the stuff spattering everything within five feet of him. We had a brief chat about his career as a professional drummer. This seemed perfectly natural at the time.
A member of the pub bar staff approached, asked him to leave.
Having clocked her, he turned conspiratorially toward us.
“You see that woman?” He leered. “If she stirs her teabag clockwise, she’s ANY man’s.”
You can’t argue with that sort of thing.