After doing some banking business today I decided to visit Mathers Bar
for a quick beverage. This is a traditional workingman's Edinburgh pub.
I was sitting down, enjoying my pint and reading the Scotsman when in came a customer. He was wearing a pink baseball cap and some earrings. Don't get me wrong - I've got no problem with that kind of attire but there are some places where it could cause one to stand out from the crowd somewhat.
Mathers is such a place.
Bizarrely, Mr Pinkcap was also wearing a US flag tied round his neck. He addressed the barman in peculiar strangulated RP vowels reminiscent of the late Edward Heath.
"Do you serve any Scottish beer," he asked.
"Aye, Tennants," replied the barman.
"I'll have one of those then. Oh by the way, there may be a bit of a problem, I don't seem to have any cash. Do you take debit cards?"
By now one or two eyebrows had been raised ever so slightly.
"No cards, only cash."
"Well, pour my beer and I'll be back with some money."
"I'll pour the beer when you come back," replied our host.
Amazingly, our visitor returned and handed over a tenner.
"And don't give me any English money in the change. I don't want any of that"
"It's all money to me," replied the barman, but Pinkcap seemed happy with his change.
He then announced to all and sundry that, "You've had your final warning, you know."
We looked at one another.
"Yes, 9-11, it was your final warning. And don't think they aren't here in Scotland. Remember Glasgow Airport."
The local dry wit kicked in.
One customer replied: "They can blow up the whole of Glasgow and both of its football clubs for all I care. There again, perhaps I'm only saying that because I'm a Jambo".
"Hey pal, got any of that spare English money?"
"Has anyone got the number of the NHS Helpline?"
"The Festival's starting early this year, Jimmy."
"Did you get yon cap in Jenners, son?"
"What's this on the floor? Has anyone dropped a loose screw?"
Mr Pinkcap downed his pint quickly and left. The barmaid came back into the pub after her cigarette break and tells us, "Some nutter was almost run over by a bus as he ran across from here into Ryan's Bar."
Truly, the Festival has arrived early.