Midday, a busy pub but with conversation at murmur level, and subtle grey light on dark wood.
Enter The Mod, a stylish lad in his early twenties in designer parka and suede moccasins, carrying an embroidered carpet bag. He buys a pint and sits with his back to the wall.
A few minutes pass before The Big Lad makes his approach. His eyes are locked on The Mod as he steams across the open bar, clearly more than one pint into his session.
He stops a short distance away and points, just points, for an uncomfortably long moment.
“Fucking. Cool. Hair.”
He means it very sincerely, sounds almost emotional.
The Mod laughs awkwardly.
“Oh, right, yeah, ta.”
The Big Lad hasn’t finished.
“No, I mean it. It’s fucking brilliant. Absolutely mint.”
The Mod raises his glass.
“Thanks, man.” (Meaning: now go away.)
“No, listen, seriously… If I was as good looking as you, I’d go out and get that haircut today. The girls wouldn’t know what hit ‘em.”
Silence. Shifting in seats. The Big Lad’s wheezing breath.
Then, remembering his primary mission, he lurches away into the gents toilet, smashing through doors like a bulldozer.
The Mod exhales and slides down in his seat.
Everyone sitting nearby laughs, in solidarity and relief.
“Nobody ever compliments my hair,” says a bald man, and there is more laughter.
The the door of the gents flies open and everybody freezes as The Big Lad bursts out, still fiddling with his fly.
He fixes swimming eyes on The Mod.
Finger guns, a thumbs up, and he’s gone.
A nice relaxing pint.