Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Ray of Sunshine Fails to Lift Mood

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Ray of Sunshine Fails to Lift Mood

Article excerpt

Byline: By Bob Cuffe

Bumped into the most unpleasant of species recently. The last person in the world you'd want to see.

The expatriate. The smug, tanned, gobby expatriate. I was in a pub just before a Boro match. I was stood in a quiet corner. A group of Teessiders stood by me. As I'm fundamentally a frustrated stalker at heart, I eavesdropped. Their conversation was, I'm sad to say, what you'd expect. It was light on poetry and existentialism.

They were thoroughly enjoying a pint with their mates. Until an unexpected visitor popped in. The expatriate. Who was home for a quick break. He had tracked them down, due to the fact that they always drank in the same pub.

He came in, mouth first. "Evening lads! I knew you'd be here ( always the same with you lot ( creatures of habit!"

The group were clearly overwhelmingly underwhelmed to see him. They, as befits a group of blokes going to a match, were dressed like tramps. They'd all put on their comfortable clothes. Their lucky clothes.

He was dressed like a sports casual catalogue model, straight off a golf course. He was, of course, very pleasantly tanned, and, because he has money but no class, a considerable assortment of jewellery.

His 'friends' all tried to retreat into their clothes. One bloke had a big padded jacket on ( he was able to almost disappear, turtle like, into it. His head only came out to sup beer. The others, and most unusually for Teesside blokes, all offered to get the beers in. Any excuse to get away from the Tanned Mouth.

One lad won the battle, two offered to help him. The group was down to three, including the Hermit Crab. The Mouth asked: "How's everything going then lads?"

The summary of the replies was that life was pretty much exactly as when he'd emigrated, excepting for an assortment of accidents, illnesses and deaths. There was nothing good to report about the last three years. Except for a divorce, which seemed to amuse them all immensely, what with the way that Charlie found out and everything.

The lads came back with the beer. One of them asked the inevitable: "So, how's life with you? …

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