Tuesday, 13 April 2010

CAN I BORROW YOUR TOOL?


London was pleasant, the train journeys aside. I always take WIP, things to read, but end up just sitting there moaning about a numb arse, asking whether we’re nearly there yet. My cunning plan of being armed with lots of beer on the return journey was almost scuppered by the absence of an appropriate bottle-opening tool. The kindly woman in the buffet car sympathised but assured me nothing she possessed would work. After noisy and failed attempts in the toilet, I headed back to my seat, disconsolate, resigned to my sober fate, until I passed a man supping on a bottle of topless larger. His posture oozed Do Not Disturb, backed up by tattooed arms the size of my thighs, a self-shaven head and hands that no doubt could tear phone books with minimum fuss.

‘Er, can I borrow your bottle opener?’
‘Ain’t got one.’ Beat. Scene now resembling the one where Richard E Grant faces up to the thug in Withnail: If you hit me, it’s murder.
‘Oh,’ I say, turning.
‘I use me teeth.’
Of course you do. ‘Thanks, anyway.’
‘Can do yours if you want.’
And he did.
‘Thank you,’ I said. Silence. Return to seat, wondering how long I can put off Beer Number Two.

The launch itself was great. Met so many writing friends, who until then, had been virtual. I didn’t win, but got to read a story, which, I think, went down well (see post below for childish double entendre).

And now I’m back in sunny Devon, resigned to the fact this novel is not going to be done and dusted by the start of the cricket season on Sunday.

8 comments:

Anna-Marie said...

Hee hee! The kindness of strangers, as you have previously observed. Hey, I watched Withnail after I saw a clip on your blog, so many classic lines...

TOM J VOWLER said...

Glad to hear it, AM. Now you just have to watch it another 14 times and you'll be able to quote them all.

Paul said...

Thanks for sharing some glimpses of your adventure. The teeth business is both fascinating and disturbing. Surely you can work it into your fiction somehow.

Tina said...

Sorry you didn't win. I love the story of your journey (both on the train and otherwise).

The Clean White Page

Mark said...

Your post reminded me of the tale, apocryphal no doubt, about that same method of bottle opening resulting in auto-frontal-lobotomy. Glad the reading and launch went well. The anthology has been ordered and I look forward to its arrival.

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Ah beer on the train, yum. I hope he obliged again!
Great to meet you, Tom.

Julia Bohanna said...

That was a bloody fine story you read at the 'do', as well. Got to get yourself into some more competitions. I love the idea of being out on the moor...if there is any place to push thoughts around your brain, that has to be close to perfect...

TOM J VOWLER said...

That story has been published, Julia. Glad you liked it.