29 January 2010
One Score and Four, Hour Thirteen: The Waiting Waiter
12:00am, 29th of January, 1891.
“AH, IT’S Lord Likely, is it not?” someone asked, their voice cutting through the hubbub of the crowd like a word-knife cutting though air-butter.
“Gug-gak! Yes! ‘Tis…’tis me! Eck-excuse me if I don’t get up,” I grunted, finding myself trapped beneath the hulking great form of Mr. Wallops.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you at last,” said a pair of black leather shoes next to my head. I craned my head slightly and saw that the shoes belonged to Sir Rhubarb Muddick, the press baron and host of this charming shindig. Which was something of a relief, for talking shoes were not something I was quite prepared to deal with at this juncture. “Come on, Wallops, do get up off of our guest,” Muddick continued. “You’ll have to forgive Wallops, he’s a little hard of thinking, I’m afraid.”
“No, no, not at all,” I said as I was helped back to my feet. “Nothing wrong with a little bit of exercise before a night of drunken revelry and debauchery, eh?”
“Precisely!” chuckled Muddick. “May I get you a drink, your lordship?”
“I’d much rather you got me several, frankly,” I quipped, although I was actually being deadly serious, for I was drier than a nun’s mimsy and wanted lots, and lots of BOOZE.
“Ha!” Muddick laughed, snapping his fingers to summon a nearby waiter. “Ah, there you are – could you get the esteemed Lord Likely here a…whisky, is it not?”
“Indeed! You know me well!” I nodded.
“Ha, well you have had many column inches in my news-papers, you know!”
“I have done no such thing,” I snapped, before realising what the fellow was talking about. “Oh, yes! I see. Yes, I suppose I have!”
Muddick gave me a hearty slap on the back, before turning his attention back to the waiter, who had decided to go precisely nowhere.
“What are you waiting for, waiter?”
“It’s my job, sir.” came the lightning-fast riposte.
“No, I mean…why are you still here?” Muddick clarified. “You have our order, now go and fetch it for us, you cretin.”
The waiter, who was rather a thin man with a thin face, a thin moustache and thinning hair, just smiled slowly, before dropping his serving-tray to the ground, and pulling a pistol from within the pocket of his apron.
“How ’bout this,” he snarled, his personality transforming in a flash. “You take OUR orders, and no-one gets hurt, right?”
I sighed again out of complete and utter dismay. When, when, when, WHEN was I going to get a cocking drink to-day?
- Lord Likely.