After a trying day at the Bar (big B) Pete decided to pop into his favourite Wine bar (small b) for a drink before setting off home. The Wine bar was home to barristers, lawyers, judges; his chums.
(This story appeared more than 3.5 years ago in the Dorpskoerant. My apologies to those whose memories work better than mine)
Now that Pete had passed the prescribed retirement age he still did some pro bono work which helped to keep his Wine bar (club) membership paid. He surveyed the assembled legal eagles while he ordered a scotch. His old chum Jamie spotted him at the bar (small b).
“Pete, you old lush”, said Jamie as he weaved extravagantly towards Pete. “I’m three sheets to the wind, I’m afraid”, he added as he hove to alongside. “Been here long?” he asked.
“No, just arrived actually”, replied Pete.
“You missed all the fun; Lady Agatha Kneetrembler threw a spectacularly noisy tantrum. Gave the Lord Chief Justice what for with a rolling pin”, he said.
“How stylish”, said Pete.
“You could say so. Mind you the Chief Justice had it coming, he was busy deflowering Mylady’s secretary in the kitchen”, chuckled Jamie.
“Good grief” said Pete, “you mean right here at the club?”
” ‘Fraid so – I was reliably informed by the Sous Chef after the fracas” replied Jamie.
“So what are you up to now old sport”, asked Jamie, “are you still shacked up with the ghastly tart I saw you with at the Bumbleberry’s bash”, he asked.
“Sadly no”, Pete said, “she fell off her horse and impaled herself on a pitch fork”, he added with a sigh.
“Frightful mishap” said Jamie as he threw his arm around Pete’s shoulders, “chin up old chap”.
“Listen here Jamie”, said Pete, “I’m working on establishing a group of like minded fellows; you know, fine wine and loose women and all that”, adding “need to fill the gap left by the ghastly tart”.
“Damn fine show”, said Jamie, “that’s the spirit; count me in” he added.
“Got anyone I know in mind ?”, he asked.
“Well yes indeed. Porkie Postlethwaite, Jumbo Cramps and Duckfart Carruthers for a start”, said Pete.
Jamie gave him a rheumy stare. “How on earth did old Duckfart get his name?” he asked.
“Damn funny story; he was invited to a wine tasting run by some frightfully knowledgeable wine wallah wearing a bow tie, a rather hairy chappie from South Africa. Carruthers described the show piece Bordeaux Blend as having the bouquet of a Duckfart”, said Pete “and the name just stuck”.
“Well sounds like we have a quorum; let’s get the show on the road”, said Jamie.
“Not so fast there Jamie”, said Pete, adding “I want to make sure that we are all focussed on our core principles – fine wine and rampant rogering, and we must be discrete”.
“Quite right old sausage”, said Jamie with a gut wobbling guffaw, “don’t want one of those tacky Fleet Street hacks getting wind of our doings and spilling the beans” he said. “It would give dear old Pater a nasty turn if he read a headline ‘Sir Jamie Pinkwhistle caught in flagrante delecto at members only club’, probably cut me out of his will”, he added.
“Good grief no, Jamie, you’re absolutely right. It would definitely scupper my chances of a call to the Bench”, said Pete.
“OK, enough of the foreplay”, said Jamie “what shall we call ourselves”.
“Well”, said Pete, “I’ve been toying with a few ideas and I think I have a spiffer”, said Pete. He paused for effect “How about ROB”.
“ROB, ROB?” exclaimed Jamie, “have you lost your marbles; what on earth does that mean?”
“Thought you’d never ask”, said Pete. He was feeling quite smug as he continued; “Picture the scene, there we are at our inaugural shindig, the anticipation palpable. The lights dim, there’s a roll of the drums, a spotlight bursts into life revealing a huge cake. Suddenly a naked Playmate bursts out of the cake with a banner stretched across her wobbly bits proclaiming – ‘Welcome to the Rambunctious Order of Bacchus’ ”.
Originally published in ‘Parrots, Witches and Call Centres’, a collection of short stories.