When the bell rang for last orders, Colin still had over half a pint left. Drinking through a straw, he just couldn’t compete with the others, and they were already two pints ahead of him. He knew there was no point going to the bar himself, he had already tried that and the barman had refused to serve him. So he gave Brian two pound notes and told him to get a can of beer to go and a pack of cigarettes. Mike, Stiggy and Twiglet then decided they didn’t see the point all of them joining the scrum around the bar, so they too gave Brian their orders.
Brian returned a few minutes later with the drinks cradled precariously in his hands and plonked them down on the table. He reached into his leather jacket and pulled out a can of Colt 45, then rolled it across the table to Colin. Colin placed his hand on top of the can to stop it rolling onto the floor.
“Where’s me fags?” Colin asked. He picked up the beer can and studied it. “Fucking lager?”
Brian tossed him a pack of cigarettes and shrugged. “They didn’t have no bitter in cans,” he said. “Anyway, the bloke behind the bar said it were strong stuff, and that’s what counts, right? If you don’t want it, I’ll have it.”
“I never said I didn’t want it. Just that it’s fucking lager.” Colin put the can down and opened the cigarette pack. He took one out and lit it.
“No fucking way,” Mike said, staring at the beer can.
“What?” Twiglet asked.
Mike pointed. “There’s a picture of a deformed punk with a massive cock on the side of it.”
“Yeah, right.” Twiglet leaned across the table and peered at the can. “Fucking hell, it has too! It must be beer for fucking nob-heads.”
“Or birds that like deformed punks,” Mike said, grinning. “There’s hope for you yet, Col. As long as you’ve got a massive cock like that, anyway.”
“It’s a fucking stonker, but it’s not as big as mine,” Twiglet said.
“What, you’ve compared cocks with Mr Pink Straw over there? You dirty fucker.”
“What? No, fuck off. I mean the one on the can’s a fucking stonker.”
Colin picked up the can and spun it around in his hand but couldn’t focus his eyes on it well enough to make out any detail. “Where’s this cock then?”
“There!” Twiglet pointed at a small red blob printed on the side of the can. Colin squinted at it and put a hand over one eye, but he still couldn’t bring it into focus.
“Let’s have a look then,” Brian said, snatching the can from Colin’s hand.
“Oi, get off you cunt.” Colin made a grab for the can, but Brian was too quick for him. He spun around on his stool and turned his back on Colin.
“It’s a fucking horse, you daft bastards.”
Mike stood up and bent over to look at the can in Brian’s hand. “Is it fuck. It looks nothing like a fucking horse. What’s that sticking out of its head then?” He tapped the top of the picture with his finger.
“That’s not its head, that’s its arse. And it’s a leg that’s sticking out of it.”
“What, and it’s got a mohican growing out of its arse?”
“That’s its tail. It’s a fucking horse.”
“Is it fuck, it’s a bloke.” Mike pointed at the picture to emphasise his points. “Look, there’s two eyes and a nose under the mohican. And some pubes between his legs, look … and if it were a horse its cock would be at the other end, up there.”
Brian gave the can a quick shake before handing it back to Colin. “It’s still a fucking horse. That’s why it’s called Colt 45. Colt is another name for a horse.”
“Nah, a Colt 45 is a gun. Like a pistol. And a Sex Pistol is a cock as well, so it must be a punk with a big cock. Stands to reason, doesn’t it?”
Brian shook his head and sighed. “Yeah, whatever.”
“Crack it then, Col,” Twiglet said. “I want to see what this Cock 45 stuff tastes like.”
“Nah, I’m saving it for the bus. I’ve still got this to drink, yet.”
“Best hurry up then,” Brian said, picking up his beer. “Last bus goes in about twenty minutes.”
* * *
Continued next Friday.
Punk Faction by Marcus Blakeston is also available in paperback and ebook if you don’t want to wait that long.