I stayed at the Olde King’s Arms for a lot of reasons but amongst those was that it has WIFI available in the rooms; however, the signal is so weak it can’t be depended upon unless you go down to the bar. With a backlog of pub reviews to dump on the blog, I made the sacrifice and headed down to the lovely, old rooms. I had a Spanish lager which was very good but a bit pricy and started to systematically dump the notes and photos here.
A tall Irishman with a Mohawk (they say, “Mohican,” here) staggered in holding up another fellow who was in quite desperately bad shape. They ordered up some food and had a very loud, drunken conversation — all swaying and slurring and absolute comic gold in a Punch and Judy sort of way. Soon after, another fellow came in and sat near them; not nearly so hammered he was fairly indulgent.
It turned out the new guy knew the non-Irish guy and said, “oh, yeah, we used to play on the team together! We were the shit, back then.”
“Yeah,” answered the sot. “What was your name?”
The new guy told him, “Mark Jones.” [I’ve changed it, here.]
“Yeah, you know I used to play on the team,” drunken guy answered.
“I know, I was just looking at some old team photos and rosters this weekend.”
“Grand. What was your name?”
“It’s Mark Jones.”
“You know what…” pause, pause, then look up again and “…I used to play on the team.”
“Yeah, I remember that. We were the bollocks, then.”
“That’s right. What is your name?”
This was the cycle for 2 minutes and poor Mark patiently stated his name at least 8 more times. In the meantime, I drew the attention of Dave the Mohican who wanted to talk about music. After about 5 minutes he asked where I was from but had no clue where Atlanta is. We compared notes on Army experiences as two 51-year-old veterans (he was safe in the Falklands but on the night Bobby Sands died he got shot in the leg in Belfast). We compared notes on physical therapy for a broken shoulder (his happened falling into the street “right there…sponsored by Strongbow”) and clumsily showed how far his arm extensions were coming along.
Mark’s mate was sleeping heavily and he came over and we had a nice talk about the pubs in the area and the building trade. He’d been down the Old Bell most of the evening watching Arsenal beat Borussia Dortmund in a Champion’s League match that I caught the first half of during dinner; so, he’d already had a few by now, too, but the scale of devastation was nothing compared to Dave and his mate (who used to play on the team).
Awesome pub. Say “hi” for me when you visit.