28 September 2013

Drunk for a Tuppence

I went down for my now occasional rather than regular swim this morning and was unsurprised to see a drunken Dane collapsed poolside. He was sprawled half on and half off one of the sun lounges and was surrounded by cans of beer and an empty bottle of Smirnoff Vodka.

I had risen early as my body clock has been destroyed by a whirlwind trip to Pakistan where I think I spent as much time in the air as I did on the ground. The time that I unwillingly lost crossing three time zones was returned to me on the flight back to Singapore - but my body does not seem to have received it yet.

I am somewhat battered.

I was unsure whether it was my psychotic neighbour Jens who was collapsed next to the pool or if it was his equally mad identical twin brother Dag. I poked the Dane gently with my left foot to make sure that he was still alive and was relieved to see one blood-shot eye open.

“Are you Jens or Dag?” I enquired.

I received only a groan in reply.

“Hvad hedder du?” I demanded – and I poked him again.

I have been learning a little Danish from the crazy twins. It is useful for communicating with them sometimes and I enjoy making the guttural noises that are required in speaking the language

“I am Jens Skeepy” the Dane moaned.

“Have you defecated in the pool Jens?”

“Wheesky” was his response.

“Yes sure Jens. I always carry whiskey down to the pool for my swim. It is seven o’clock in the morning you Danish fucker.”

“Modderfokker” was his weak reply.

The blood shot eye then closed.

I put my towel on a sun lounge that was the furthest from the drunken Dane as I did not want it to be soiled by his rancid breath or a sudden stream of projectile vomit. I then did a perimeter walk of the pool carefully checking the water for ponies. A pony is a poo. It is a term that some of the English use and I have explained its origins in previous articles that I have written so I will not repeat myself here.

Suffice to say that I like the term and I have adopted it as my own.

The dirty Dane Jens has been guilty of doing a pony in the pool before – or at least he remains the primary suspect. I was a witness to the discovery of the pony in the pool and a part of the subsequent police investigation – but again I have written of this abhorrent act before in an article I appropriately titled ‘The Floater” – so I shall not recant the horror of the incident.

I have no desire to re-live the moment.

When I was satisfied that the pool was pony free I put on my swimming goggles and floundered my way up and down the pool thirty six times. I would like to say that I glided through the water with powerful strokes doing impressive tumble turns at the end of each lap – but that would be deceitful. I was once a reasonable swimmer but age and flubber is mine enemy – and the best I can manage is a pitiful & ponderous paddling.

Pathetic I know - but at least I am trying.

Jens had not moved during my swim and whilst I was toweling myself dry I wandered over to his prostrate body and I again poked him with my foot.

This time I used my right foot.

I appear to have suddenly had a preponderance of word's beginning with the letter 'P'.

I don't know why.

My poke extracted another moan from the Dane and he rolled onto his back on the sun lounge and I could hear it creak under the weight of the man. Jens is a very big unit. He is well over six feet six inches tall when he is standing and he is unhealthily overweight.

I cringed a little at the sight of his hairy distended belly that was now exposed through a stained and mostly unbuttoned shirt - and I was further disgusted when he reached to his groin and gave it a vigorous scratch.

He is a most repulsive man.

I was about to voice my repugnance to Jens when I felt hot breath on my neck and I was startled by a dulcet voice.

“Good Morning Mr. Peter”

“For fuck sake Mr. Tan how do you do that?”

“Do what Mr. Peter?”

“Appear from nowhere”

Mr. Tan is the Manager of the Building complex in which I live and he does this all the time. He just appears. I rarely see him coming.

Mr. Tan ignored my question – as he often does – and replied:

Is everything alright Mr. Peter?’

“I think so Mr. Tan. Our good friend Jens has been on another all night bender”

“A bender Mr. Peter?”

“A bender Mr. Tan”

The origin of the term ‘bender’ is English and it is strange and obscure – like the English themselves. The phrase he has been on a bender’ can be traced back to the middle of the nineteenth century when a coin called the sixpence was referred to as a ‘bender’. It was thus named because it was made of silver and could be easily be bent. In those days sixpence bought a lot of booze – and drinking sixpence worth of beer guaranteed a severe state of drunkenness. A quite common sign that was posted out the front of many taverns of the era was “Drunk for a penny, dead drunk for tuppence, clean straw for nothing”

I am not sure whether the ‘clean straw’ bit of the sign referred to a soft place where drunk patrons could have a bit of a lie down or it was an absorbent material for their vomit.

Nor do I particularly care.

I explained all of this to Mr. Tan and he nodded with interest but his face was impassive and his emotions are often difficult to read.

“Shall I call the security guards to remove Mr. Jens Mr. Peter?”

“Nah just let him lie there and sleep it off” I replied.

Even though I am very fond of the two Rajs, the security guards of the complex in which I reside - I did not want to deal with their incessant saluting at this time of the morning.

It drives me mad.

The conversation between Mr. Tan and myself must have roused the drunken Dane and he moaned and groaned again and then he dragged his great bulk into a sitting position. Mr. Tan took two dainty steps backwards when this happened. He is quite afraid of the Danish lunatic. To my great revulsion Jens then let loose with one almighty fart.

“You are a disgusting pig Jens” I said.

“Ja ja skeepy modderfokker” Jens grinned at me.

Then he leered at Mr. Tan

“Good morning Mr. Jens” Mr. Tan said nervously.

“Jeg elsker dig” the Building Manager added.

Jens looked alarmed and I had to stifle a chuckle.

A couple of weeks ago I told Mr. Tan that he should remember the Danish phrase “Jeg elsker dig” and say it to Jens whenever he saw him. I told Mr. Tan that it was a polite Danish greeting that would possibly stop the aggressive snarls of “modderfokker” that Jens tended to utter at everyone - but it was a bit of a fib.

“Jeg elsker dig” is Danish for “I love you”.

The big Dane made as if to rise and the look of alarm of his face had been replaced by one of anger.

I don’t think that Jens is used to being told that he is loved and he does not know how to properly react to it.

“Steady on you big Danish fucker” I said.

I held my hand up as I said this to both reassure Mr. Tan and in an endeavour to keep the big Dane in a passive seated position.

“Don’t be concerned Mr. Tan – Jens is a harmless dipsomaniac”

I turned to explain to the little fellow that a dipsomaniac is a person who has an uncontrollable urge for alcohol but he had disappeared as suddenly and as mysteriously as he had appeared.

He is most definitely a man of shadows is Mr. Tan. His ability to appear and then disappear is thaumaturgic.

I have thrown the words ‘dipsomaniac’ and ‘thaumaturgic’ in for the more articulate readers – of which I suspect there are few. I have provided the definition of ‘dipsomaniac’ and I take some small amount of perverse pleasure knowing that some people will now be clicking onto their online dictionaries to look up the meaning of ‘thaumaturgic’. There is very little joy in my life nowadays.

I take it when I can.

I then once again told Jens that he was a disgusting drunken pig and suggested that he should retreat back to his apartment before the two Rajs came to get him.

Jens is as afraid of the two Rajs as Mr. Tan is of him - and he once more looked a bit panicked.

I grabbed my towel and left the pool area and as I departed I gave the Dane a cheeky  “Jeg elsker dig”.

“Modderfokker” he smirked back at me.

Then he farted again.

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