Pub Life: A Glass of Water

Low resolution image of a glass of water.

He enters the pub hesitant and blinking, muttering to himself, and completes a circuit scouting for empty seats.

When he finally approaches the bar he moves sideways, one nervous step at a time, apologising with his body language before he says a word. “A glass of water, please,” he barely whispers.

He is served without question, and in fact with a smile.

He circles again, gauging threat levels, before deciding to sit next to us, with a half-voiced, “Sorry, can I…” With a faint rustle of anorak he folds into the space and closes in on himself.

A sip of water first, then to business: on to the table from his old army bag he tips a pile of small change, which he carefully sorts by denomination, and then counts. Job done, he puts the coins back in his bag.

He sips more water, rises, and tiptoes away to use the toilet.

On his way out of the pub he pauses to look at a bowl on the bar. It is full of cubes of cheese. His eyes dart — could he…? Would it be OK if…? He takes one piece, and gets away with it; then a second. With a quick jerk of his hand he throws them into his mouth and blinks furiously — an expression of pleasure, perhaps.

Finally, he slides through a mere crack in the door, not wanting to trouble anyone with a draught, and is gone, leaving no trace but a half-empty glass.

6 thoughts on “Pub Life: A Glass of Water”

  1. You could do a nice Kindle release that’s a 50-60 page compilation of these little snapshots snapshots (assuming you have the material). Lovely bit of writing!

    1. Thanks, Andy. We enjoy writing them (here, on Patreon, and occasionally even on Facebook) and the thought of compiling them in some way, perhaps with the same amount of completely new entries, has crossed our minds.

  2. Also irritating are those who march into a pub to use the toilets and afterwards leave without so much as glancing at the bar, let alone obtaining anything from there. Such people believe they are entitled to use the toilets.

  3. I’ll use Wetherspoon toilets without any problem as they know the score and it doesn’t hit their bottom line.

    But any normal pub or bar? I’d always ask and perhaps at least offer to buy some crisps. Mind you they come in at over a quid these days. Bloody key keg Golden Wonder crisps no doubt 😉

  4. Interesting. If I was a far greater nerd of pub licensing history, it might have been expected that the washrooms were available to non-customers. There is an underlying public service aspect to the public house.

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