Pub Life: Vapeman Against Humanity

A small pub with dark walls, swirling with psychedelic rock, and swirling also with sweet cherry-scented vapour.

Four men are gath­ered around the bar, three of them play­ing ‘Cards Against Human­i­ty’.

They all have the build of night­club bounc­ers but one is dressed in heavy met­al den­im; anoth­er like the croupi­er on a Mis­sis­sip­pi gam­bling boat; the third in tat­ty bik­ing leathers; and the fourth, dis­ap­point­ing­ly, in jeans and train­ers. The first three have dif­fer­ent vari­eties of osten­ta­tious facial hair; their less showy friend is clean-shaven.

No, his flair is not sar­to­r­i­al; rather, he is gen­er­at­ing his own fog with an illu­mi­nat­ed sci-fi e‑cigarette. Clouds and clouds of it. He is too drunk or too dis­in­ter­est­ed to join the game, or per­haps just con­cen­trat­ing too hard on his art.

Croupi­er reads from his card: ‘“What do old peo­ple smell like?”’

Bike Leathers slaps his thigh: ‘Oh, I’ve got the win­ner right here, my friend… “Sneez­ing and fart­ing at the same time”!’

Every­one cracks with laugh­ter, except the Vaper. Though the Vaper isn’t play­ing, he is think­ing hard about the ques­tion, eyes nar­rowed and pink, fixed on a far­away place, or per­haps a dis­tant time.

Heavy Met­al begins his turn: ‘Right – “What do old peo­ple smell like?” The answer is obvi­ous­ly, “My balls in–”’

Decay!’ declares the Vaper sud­den­ly, and loud­ly, killing the chat­ter in the bar. ‘Decay, isn’t it? That’s what they smell of. Decay. Impend­ing death. Like…’ He gen­er­ates a serv­ing of par­tic­u­lar­ly goth­ic grave­yard mist. ‘Like their bod­ies are break­ing down even though they’re still… Their eyes are still…’

Silence falls. Vapour churns.

Anoth­er round of these IPAs, lads?’ slurs Croupi­er, slap­ping his cards down on the table. ‘Or is it time to move on to that impe­r­i­al stout?’

Every­one cheers, except the Vaper.

Vaper just vapes, intense­ly.

5 thoughts on “Pub Life: Vapeman Against Humanity”

  1. How does the croupi­er on a Mis­sis­sip­pi gam­bling boat dress? All I can think of is a DJ, but that does­n’t seem near­ly spe­cif­ic enough.

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