Why choose this pub, with its bare boards, real ale, hard white light, and stink of pork scratchings? Why make love here?
They arrive through a side door in a swirl of strawberry-scented vapour, interlinked and unable to stop staring at each other.
He is in slacks, leather jacket, slip-on shoes, and sockless. A chipped tooth gives his smile some extra flavour.
She is all dangling bracelets and earrings, hair teased high and fixed with spray – a proper Going Out get-up.
They loudly order drinks, lager and white wine, and lean upon the bar, still tangled together, her hand up the back of his leather jacket, his in her waistband. They whisper to each other over the mostly empty pickled egg jar on the counter and laugh dirtily.
The bearded man behind the bar looks startled. His wife looks startled. The regulars look startled.
The dog doesn’t care.
“Hey, babes… Babes…”
Leather Jacket points at the shelf.
“Do you want to play Connect Four?” he says, somehow suggestively.
She goes to the toilet while he sets up the blue rack and sorts the red and yellow counters. She emerges with pupils dilated, blinking and bright, and speaking twice as fast.
They play as if nobody can see or hear them, as if they’re Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen locking souls over a chessboard. Eventually, she wins, and they clink glasses in mutual appreciation.
Then, the game having got them going, they have to get going, linking together again and heading for the door. They stop on the threshold as cold air floods in around them.
Blowing kisses, he shouts, “Goodbye! We love you all!”
She yells: “We’ll have the KY jelly out tonight, I tell you that much!”
And then they’re gone.
The landlord blinks. His wife blinks. The regulars giggle.
The dog licks at an elusive Mini-Cheddar crumb trapped between the floorboards, pursuing his own love affair.