They met up at a local pub; Clive was already at the bar halfway through a pint of ale when Jimmy arrived.
“Hey Jimbo” he said as he looked around “what’s this all about and why all the fucking secrecy it’s been driving me crazy all day!”
“You go find a table, I’ll get the beers in and then I’ll spill the beans, pint?”
Clive raised his eyebrows and was about to speak when Jimmy said “Another couple of minutes isn’t going to hurt.” He got a scowl back but Clive went to get a table shouting over his shoulder “Yeah, a pint and crisps or nuts!”
Jimmy brought over the drinks with a bag of cheese and onion crisps and a bag of dry roasted peanuts clamped firmly between his teeth. He put the glasses on the table and tossed the bags at Clive with a flick of his neck.
“There you go you greedy bastard” he said with a grin.
“Cheese and onion?” he replied with a look of disgust.
“I wanted you to get at least one of your five a day vegetables!” chuckled Jimmy.
“Ok smart arse, cut the crap, what’s going on?”
“Sammie’s moved out.”
“Left, gone, fucked off!”
“With the boys?”
Jimmy could feel a lump in his throat and was struggling to hold his act together then Clive said. “Thank fuck for that! You had me worried for a while.”
Jimmy glared at him “WHAT!”
“Well.” said Clive grinning “I had a short list of three things you wanted to talk to me about. First, you are a cross dresser and your missus came home early and caught you wearing her clothes. Second, you got caught flashing old ladies on the ferry and third the police found out it was you stalking Cliff!”
In spite of himself Jimmy burst out laughing. “You wanker! Thanks a lot! And why, for fucks sake do all our conversations always end up with Cliff Richard?”
“Because he’s a legend!”
“Yeah, I guess. Anyway I only phoned him twice and the second time was to tell him I had returned the underwear I stole from his laundry!”
Now it was Clive’s turn to break into laughter. “Sorry man.” he said “It looked like you were losing it there and I just wanted to make you laugh.
“I was and you did, thanks I needed that!”
“My pleasure.” said Clive still grinning. “Ok spill the beans.”
Jimmy told him how Sammie had left, eventually taking the boys and how he had moved in on his own and was now starting to feel lonely.
“You guys getting divorced?” Clive said with a mouthful of nuts which he sprayed liberally over the table.
“Nice one piggy!” said Jimmy with a look of disgust “I said we could wait two years and dissolve the marriage but she wants it done as soon as!”
“Got a solicitor?”
“No.” said Jimmy with a frown. “Didn’t think I’d need one, we are going to work things out amicably.”
“Listen, you are going to need one and buddy I hope you’ve got a bit tucked away because they aint cheap! It doesn’t matter how amicable it is now, you just need one little thing to kick off and next thing you’re left with nothing, trust me I know! I’ll give you the name of mine, she’ll look after you.”
Jimmy went to the toilet and returned to find Clive eating the peanuts he had previously spat over the table.
“My ex is bleeding me dry and a man’s got to eat.” He said hiding behind his middle finger. “Hey, if you’re lonely why don’t you just go out and meet a new lady? I know you’re not an oil painting but there must be some women out there that like that look.”
“You sure know how to make a bloke feel good about himself.” Jimmy said with a wry smile. “There is no way I could come to a place like this and chat up a complete stranger.”
“Why not? Lets give it a go now?”
“You are joking, right?”
“No! How ‘bout that bird at the bar?”
There were two people at the bar one of whom was definitely a man; the other looked like neither man nor woman. Jimmy had seen her/him come into the pub and had trouble not staring. He had thought, hair by wigs r us, make up by coco the clown! She looked a bit like a grizzly bear in a dress and it was amazing to see her shuffle to the bar with her knuckles scrapping across the floor. Jimmy was sure she had hairy palms! She was sat at the bar, her elbows on the counter and her head resting on her hands. She was wearing a flimsy pink and white gingham frock which, as she leant forward, had slipped down to reveal a huge hump at the top of her spine!
“Her!” he asked incredulously.
“Why not?” grinned Clive as he got up from his chair picking up the empty glasses in one hand. “Another?”
As he got to the bar he turned to Jimmy, winked and slapped Mrs Bear hard on the backside. The slap reverberated around the pub and Jimmy was out of his chair like a rocket expecting fireworks. He wasn’t up as fast as Mrs Bear who now had a face like thunder until she saw who did it then said, sounding a lot like a talking bear. “Hi Clive.”
Jimmy sat back in his chair gently shaking his head from side to side not believing what he had just seen. When Clive came back from the bar he only had one drink.
“Where’s yours?” Jimmy asked.
“Not having one. Ginger over there is my neighbour, she’s going to give me lift home, might be a nightcap in it as well, if I’m lucky!” He winked.
“Wait till you’ve been single as long as me!” then leaning across the table Clive said. “If you can’t go out and meet women why don’t you try an online dating agency?”
“That stuffs for losers, isn’t it?”
“You’d be surprised. Have a look, see what you think, you might find you like it, wish me luck.”
“You’re going to need it.” Jimmy said from behind a smile. “And Clive, thanks!”
Clive waved from the door. “No worries man, no worries!”
After Clive left Jimmy had a large pull on his beer, decided he wasn’t going to sit there on his own then left for home.
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