It was a cold, bitter October afternoon (leading to a hypothermia-laden night) and the text message in my shitphone (i.e. any smartphone that doesn’t bear the Mark of The FruitBeast) read: “get yo’self to Budgie and the Toad”.
And I sez to meself: Ok.
So, once the time was drink o’clock, I made meself scarce from the ‘orrible office and strutted my way to the Budgie and the Toad, a nice little pub down by Integral Road.
It was the dead of night (9 PM, only 2 hours ’til last orders) and while the atmosphere was pretty good, I was a little bored. Two fellas dressed as Apache Indians were playing the bongos and I decided to talk with them for a while.
The problem with taking some prescription medicine is that you can’t drink alcohol. Although you’re a not imbibing any of Bacchus’ intoxicating delights, you might get a kick or two from the funky chemicals spinning like minarets in your bloodstream. The Apache Indians turned out to be in a band called Parched Injuns and they were a delight to talk with.
They said they were from Limbo. This was around when the medicine started to kick me in the shins. Their faces and accents morphed into a million different forms. It was entertaining, to say the least, and they did leave me with a few blotters of acid and their email address (a compuserve one, yeah, you read that right, they are THAT hardcore).
So there I was, nursing a bottle of J2O (the green one, natch) while these two Apache Indians we’re drenched in sweat on the stage, rocking out like there’s no tomorrow. Then comes into the joint this pal of mine. Let’s call him Lanky Larry (Or Slim Stripey Steve, due to his clothes), and we talk a few moments. Just general chit chat about the night. Nothing to write to the blog about.
ANYWAYS, Slim Stripey Steve (Lanky Larry for us in the know) informs that this night is a special night for Budgie and the Toad, as Blender magazine (no, not that Blender) was giving a few awards that night. To the unsung heroes of the Sheffield music scene, their cohorts and the relentless staff from Low Store that sells them black and grey clothing and jimmies them into their pointy shoes.
Why should I know this? I’m dosed up to my (eye)balls in antihystaminics and painkillers. It’s all a big blur. Who says homeopathy doesn’t work.
Lanky Larry buys me a pint of coke with the corpse of a lemon floating reyt on it. I’m enjoying this sugar rush, yes, I am. I ask Lanky Larry about an episode of Red Dwarf (curry monster!) and his answers are always a homespun yarn of great stories.
A fellow reviewer comes round for a spot of chat. Her name is Janice and she’s always writing about everything music related, 24/7. Hardly a day passes without reading on her twitter feed about this or that band or about the zillion and a half things she’s baking. Or about cats. I like tweets about cats.
She convinces me to have a drink proper. I try to say no, but she has convincing arguments. Which were pretty much shoving a glass of gin and black currant juice with ginger ale foaming in it in my hand. Not bad. Could do without the maraschino cherry, though.
Lanky Larry’s band doesn’t win any awards, but he’s happy enough, he seems to be having a good time and mentions a future gig in a little known bar on Manchester Road. He’s keeping me up to date. Or maybe he’s just plotting to do something. I know he is an evil genius. A red squirrel in Dartmouthshire Green told me so.
Man, that maraschino cherry sure tasted like a popper.
After a while, Lanky Larry and I are talking about shit no one cares about, i.e. retro stuff, old cartoons and shows from BBC 2 in the 80s. Comes the moment that he tilts his head a little bit to the left and ponders about the awards. Just general, philosophical stuff. Sometimes makes me wonder about him dropping everything and just starting his own religion.
The emphasis of his little monologue to me are the shape of the awards. They look like a blender. In fact, I’m pretty sure they all are functioning blenders, with just a cheeky vinyl sticker on the side identifying them as a “Blendie 2010 : The Year we made musical contact” award.
Lanky Larry’s eyes do shine, like Hades’ ears at the sound of Tenacious D’s oevreu. I already hear a plan bubbling malevolently in his brain. Can’t wait to hear it.
He does need a patsy. This is important.
“Say, those are some pretty nice awards, right?”
“Yes” I agree while finishing my intoxicating, sweet concatenation. I feel light headed.
“And they are by the window, right?”
Again, I nod.
“Would that be something that sounds good to me?”
“The current physical location of said pile of awards, currently unguarded, fetching a price of a ‘alf a tuppence on Castle Market, near a slightly old and weakly-hinged window”.
“Sorry, mate, I don’t follow”.
“Well, you know. Shiny electrodomestic. There. Mexican. You. Window. Tom Baker in The Seeds of Doom”.
Shit, it’s my calling, I guess. I was bored stiff anyway. I put my Mexican scarf, yell the lyrics to La Cucaracha and go for it. I ran towards the table, while Lanky Larry has this pose that just screams “all too easy”. Sadly, I trip over one of the guitar cables, do a few negative backflips and end up tangled up in a couple of daisychained Danelectros. As security comes to get me, I manage to untangle myself and grab a couple of Blendies and try to break through the window.
Sadly, the window was escape-free and plasticised with one of those protective films, so I ended up like a cheap decal, sliding down like Officer Dibney in that episode of Top Cat where they go to Hawaii.
The morals of the story are:
- Don’t drink while medicated.
- Don’t follow the advice of a bass players with an agenda of world domination.
- Don’t accept drinks from journos of competing websites (unless you have a remedy for it)
- And most important of all, don’t take homeopathic medicines. They suck.
About the author: Maybe it was the expired Wagon Wheel…