Don’t Drink The Water.
Reg looked furtively around the pub then mumbled in a conspiratorial tone to his drinking partner, ‘It’s a plot.’
‘Y’mean, like a big bit o’land?’
Reg sighed. Conversations with this bloke were always the same.
‘No, Nobbler, not a big piece of land. I was referring to a conspiracy. Like UFO’s.’
‘I think,’ he said in a low, threatening voice, ‘that you better F.O. my friend.’
Reg’s eyes widened in surprise. Nobbler was not a nice person. Although it might seem like a contradiction of terms when Nobbler said, “I think,” you didn’t rub his sort up the wrong way. Reg held up his hands in supplication.
‘No, no! Not, you F.O. UFO. Unidentified Flying Objects. Flying saucers. You know, aliens,’ he added.
‘Oh, right,’ Nobbler nodded. ‘So what’s that’s gotta do with the price of…er?’
‘Eggs?’ Reg suggested.
‘Right,’ Nobbler agreed.
‘S’like me, innit,’ Reg continued, ‘I once took a couple of pot shots at the milkman and when they got me under lock an’ key they had me down for tons of other stuff.’
‘You shot the milkman?’ Old Ernie?’
‘Yeah!’ Reg’s toast rack chest swelled with pride at the memory.
‘What the bleedin’ ‘ell you go an’ do that for?’
‘They put stuff in the bottles, my friend,’ Reg tapped the side of his nose.
‘Yeah, I know. Milk, you arse’ole.’
‘No, no. Other stuff. To control your mind.’
‘Bullshit.’ Nobbler said dismissively.
‘Serious. What do you think those little birds are doing?’
‘Yeah, those birds that y’find sitting on top of yer milk bottles during winter. Y’know, when the cream freezes?’
‘Pecking ‘oles in the bottle tops for the cream, of course.’
‘Riiight. That’s what they want you to think. But really, they’re speci’lly trained tits that put stuff in the bottles.’
‘You’re the only tit, round ‘ere, mate. So, what other stuff?’ Nobbler asked.
‘What?’ Reg said.
‘You said they done you for other stuff. Like what?’ Nobbler insisted.
‘Kennedy, for one.’
‘Kennedy? That were Oswald,’ Nobbler scoffed.
‘Not it weren’t. Was me. ‘E lived right next door to our mam, ‘e did. She couldn’t sleep a wink wiv ‘im playing that bleedin tuba all ‘ours what God made. So I did ‘im.’
‘Oh. That Kennedy. Anyhow, wot ‘chew mean, you ‘did’ ‘im? ‘E’s still alive. Besides, ‘e plays the violin.’
‘Yeah, ‘e does. But he used to play the tuba, and he used to play it sittin’ down,’ Reg explained with a malicious grin. Then he shuffled off his seat and said. ‘I gotta see a man about a dog.’
Before he went, he picked up a beer mat, retrieved a pen from inside his grubby jacket and wrote something on it quickly, then put it on his beer glass.
When the door to the men’s toilet swung closed, Nobbler picked up the beer mat and read the note. Don’t drink this beer. I pissed in it.
Nobbler smiled, borrowed a pen from Big Dave, the barman, winked and scribbled a note of his own underneath Reg’s warning. Then he finished his pint and left the pub.
Reg returned a minute later and not seeing Nobbler, shrugged, then resumed his seat. Lifting the cardboard mat from his glass he noticed the unfamiliar writing, which he read out loud. “So did I, dick’ead.”