Spain 6

“I’m in with the in crowd, I go where the in crowd go”

Having got my beer I sat in the bar where the lovely people met and thought about what had brought me here and the more I thought about it the more I had a but feeling that all was not as it should be, but I couldn’t say what it was.

My peace was being disturbed by the jawing of some English toss pots at the bar with a group of scantily clad wenches.  I realised I must be tired having not noticed them – the girls that is- sooner as they looked like bonne temps filles as the French would say.

One of the blokes who was in his late thirties maybe early forties was giving it what for and he clearly had the eyes and ears of the ladies and was making remarkable progress in capturing other parts of their anatomy.  The bloke was about 6 foot 2 heavily built but not what you would call fat, but not fit either.  He had fair hair which was unkempt in that Chelsea salon way.  He had a face that was pudgey and not yet fat, but was on that road from too many City lunches. He was wearing Ralph Lauren Chinos and blue and striped shirt with classic English brown brogues.

I tuned into his conversation and he was waxing lyrical about being in Bosnia and what it was like for him and his men.

My old lugs went to full scan as chummy was clearly relating a story of do or die.  His volume dropped decibel as he moved on to tell them about what it was like in Ireland and Iraq.

I as aware of somebody beside me at the bar and when I looked it was a bloke of about the same age as myself salt and pepper hair and beard.  He had a pleasant smiley face and was well dressed but understated.  He ordered a whiskey in a soft well spoken American accent.  His drink arrived and the American caught my eye and raised his glass.  I reciprocated.

“He kind of likes the music he makes doesn’t he” said my new buddy amicably

I half laughed and smiled “Yes he does”

“What do you reckon?” He asked me

“To what?” I replied a little puzzled

“Our hero over there” he said giving a very faint nod of the head and took a sip of his drink.  I was sure I didn’t know this man, but then again he looked familiar, but I could not place him.

“I don’t know what you mean” I said quite genuinely.

The strangers eyes twinkled with a sort of serious merriment.

“Oh I think you do, you were locked in to what he was saying for ages before I interrupted you”

I grinned “Was it that obvious?”

“No not really, its just I meet lots of people like him and a few people like you” He said affably

“Sorry I am not with you”

“The guy at the other end of the bar, the one making out to be a one man special forces unit, do you think he’s for real?”

I shrugged “I wouldn’t know”

“Excuse me” he said and leaned across and took hold of my left wrist and pulled it so it was in front of me and looked at my watch. “That’s the give away clue”

I knew what he was talking about and smiled.  We both looked at chummy and on his left fleshy wrist was a nice flashy watch or should I say Chronograph.

I signalled to the barman for another drink and asked my new mate if he would have one. He accepted with a smile and slight nod of the head.  He was man of few words and those words he did speak were said softly and with consideration.

“Have you ever noticed how many guys you bump into who claim to be ex special forces and they will tell you all about themselves and what they did.  Like that guy over there.  So do you think he’s for real?”

“No” I said without hesitation.

The American smiled “And I will tell you why not, because he is stood in a bar in a foreign city, talking to people he doesn’t know so loudly  that at least two total strangers can over hear every word and he has no idea whose side we are on and whether we are Military Intelligence, Special Investigations or The Red Brigade.”

“Maybe” I said

“Ah yes but the watch gives it away.  You see guys buy watches as a symbol to show people what they want to be not what they are.  Do you know anyone that has a watch like his that actually uses the timers”

I smiled

“Of course you don’t, all you guys have watches that tell the time, dont break and don’t draw attention to you”

“True” I agreed

I looked at his watch it was an expensive swiss watch, but understated a bit like the man who wore it.

Our man at the the bar was now telling the honeys about Afghanistan and how he had done this that and the other wearing little more than a cod piece and his Gucci shoes or some such bollocks.  The ladies for their part were wetter than Grimsby in December by the way they were squriming about.

“We both know that the only time guys use the timers is when they’re barbecuing a steak”He said only half joking.

I didn’t disagree.

He smiled and took another sip of his drink.  “I didn’t mean to intrude” he said

“No not at all” I said

“Its just I dont get a chance to have a quiet drink in a bar and make small talk” He said.

“Do you have a busy schedule or something” I asked

“Yeah you could say that and I don’t really get the opportunity too much, not that I am complaining”

I became aware that the gobby oaf at the bar had shut up and when I looked across his little group were hushed and staring at us and whispering.

“Oh great the end of my evening” said my companion.

I looked back at the group with my best gamma death stare.  They all blushed and looked away including the trained killer

“You know” Said the American “I have heard the expression if looks could kill, and nver really took it seriously, but you know I think I have just seen it in action properly for the first time” He finished his drink.

I said nowt.

“You here for long?” He continued

“Don’t know, it just depends”

“On what?”

“Oh lots of things, actually I am looking for somebody who is supposed to be here, its nothing really”

“I hope for his sake it isn’t, because you seem like a nice guy, but I don’t think I would want you looking for me if it was something” He stood up and extended his hand ” Nice to meet you…..”

“Norman” I filled in

“Norman” he said shaking my hand

“And…” I asked

He looked at me and smiled in a really pleased and friendly way.

“George” he said

“Well George if you’re in London look me up and we can get a beer chew the cud”

“I will, hey Norman do you have a card?”

“As a matter of fact I think I do”

I dug out a business card and gave it to him.

He looked at it and then looked at me and then at the group who were whispering again.

“Contractor?” He asked quizzicly

I shrugged “Its catchy don’t you think?”

“Well yeah I suppose, but what…..” He stopped short as one of the yuppie blokes started to walk over to us and there was something about the manner of his approach that gave me cause for concern, or was it that I sensed the man next to me tense and  did I detect he felt threatened.   The approaching yuppie didn’t look like an obvious threat, but nonetheless I moved slightly and effectively shielded the American and at the same time bladed my body left side on to the approaching man, hands and arms slightly across my abdomen

The approaching man stopped just short of me and I looked him in the eyes.

“Excuse me” He said slightly hesitantly and looking down at the floor “But erm er could I have your autograph?”

“My autograph” I said “Why would you want my autograph?”

He flushed and looked at the floor again and then reluctantly looked up at me “Actually” He said “I was talking to ….Oh he’s gone”

I turned to see George leaving the room.

“No you can’t” I said

And that was that, but I wonder if George Clooney dinned out on the story of how he first met Uncle Norman.

I knew I had seen him somewhere before.

4 Responses to “Spain 6”

  1. Bendy Girl says:

    Oooh, I’m so jealous I’m swooning here! Glad you’re back safely even if only briefly. BG

  2. havingmycake says:

    Bugger, Im sure it said Add 10 and 0 but I seem to have got the answer wrong! It must have been the subject matter because Im wetter than Grimsby in December just at the mention of his name! Nice to hear he’s a good guy in the flesh… so to speak 🙂

    Going to try again with the maths now. Wish me luck, Im going in…

  3. dl says:

    Brilliantly told!

    Must admit, I didn’t see the punchline coming. And, like you, I probably wouldn’t recognise him if I bumped into him in a bar.

    Dead right about flashy watches btw.

    Best wishes,
    D.

    PS We’ve mislaid one of our Afghans. He went walkabout and hasn’t come back. We think he was spooked by the immigration processes, so the silly boy has now gone underground and blown any chances of a favourable reckoning. NOT the one that S was emailing you about btw; he’s rocksteady and knows which way is up.

  4. Uncle says:

    BG – Nice to hear from you, hope you are OK, will drop by in the next day or so as I have some time on my hands, he was a Nice bloke, though have to say he doesn’t make me swoon.

    J – That bloody anti spam thing is a pain apparently but my man says it keeps us free from all sorts of crap.

    DL – I was just not concentrating and he could have been anyone. It was a nice chat and very easy company.

    Shame about the Afghan, not an easy one to call, but glad the other is OK.

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