smutty british expression?

Kieren Diment diment at
Thu Feb 13 08:26:41 GMT 2014

On 13/02/2014, at 7:00 PM, Sue Spence wrote:

> I wish I could get fish for 4p now.

"Six pints of bitter," said Ford Prefect to the barman of the Horse and Groom. "And quickly please, the world's about to end."

The barman of the Horse and Groom didn't deserve this sort of treatment, he was a dignified old man. He pushed his glasses up his nose and blinked at Ford Prefect. Ford ignored him and stared out of the window, so the barman looked instead at Arthur who shrugged helplessly and said nothing.

So the barman said, "Oh yes sir? Nice weather for it," and started pulling pints.

He tried again.

"Going to watch the match this afternoon then?"

Ford glanced round at him.

"No, no point," he said, and looked back out of the window.

"What's that, foregone conclusion then you reckon sir?" said the barman. "Arsenal without a chance?"

"No, no," said Ford, "it's just that the world's about to end."

"Oh yes sir, so you said," said the barman, looking over his glasses this time at Arthur. "Lucky escape for Arsenal if it did."

Ford looked back at him, genuinely surprised.

"No, not really," he said. He frowned.

The barman breathed in heavily. "There you are sir, six pints," he said.

Arthur smiled at him wanly and shrugged again. He turned and smiled wanly at the rest of the pub just in case any of them had heard what was going on.

None of them had, and none of them could understand what he was smiling at them for.

A man sitting next to Ford at the bar looked at the two men, looked at the six pints, did a swift burst of mental arithmetic, arrived at an answer he liked and grinned a stupid hopeful grin at them.

"Get off," said Ford, "They're ours," giving him a look that would have an Algolian Suntiger get on with what it was doing.

Ford slapped a five-pound note on the bar. He said, "Keep the change."

"What, from a fiver? Thank you sir."

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