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The Lockdown Diary - DAY 79

Posted 11th June 2020 at 16:43 by Cormack

Without looking back, it's been around two months since the last and still quite short (I can go positively nimbus sometimes) but I've grown accustomed to my face and wouldn't mind the one less worry, so off it went.

Have had a bit of a slump this week, been a bit listless so let's see if it helps my mood.

The only other thing to report was Mum had a phone call asking for my brother. She replied he'd gone the shops. The guy at the other end asked if he'd ever been in the Army, to which she replied 'not in any real sense' (he'd been a Toffee Apple) at which point our caller said 'oh, sorry, I think I've got the wrong number'. The tumblers dropped at that point and Mum asked 'Can I just ask, is your name....' and it was. Our man was asking after Dad, obviously oblivious to his passing getting on for eight years ago now.

The bloke was my old man's best mate in the Army, lives on the Wirral but they only ever saw each other a couple of times after demob, the most recent being comfortably after they'd both retired. He's 88 (Dad would have been 87 December coming), a recent widow who was going through paperwork, saw the number and instantly knew who it was so gave a ring. Had a gab to Mum for an hour or so and so she had a good and bad day in differing measures.

The story I have of them (and I may be the last person alive to know this as it is Dad's story) is that after doing a labour-saving turn for a brass hat in Egypt, Dad was invited to act as a drinks waiter for an event in the evening and if he could bring a second? He naturally chose his mate, they'd get an easy evening and get a couple of bottles for personal consumption for the job of mingling with trays, keeping everyone suitably watered and chugging the odd one on the sly.

That's not at all fatal, is it? My old man maintained he was the drunkest he ever was in his life (and he had hollow legs) and somehow, at the end of the evening, they got separated. He had no idea what happened to the sauce they were given but he had an idea; walking(...) back to the billet, a bloke stood in front of him, blocking the way. He went to go by, the bloke continued to block. He went the other direction, more blocking. My old man wasn't one to start a fight but as far as he was concerned, the fight was underway and whereas he mightn't start it, he wouldn't shy away from it if drawn in and he set about this bloke. He wrecked his hands, no idea what happened to his grog as he waded into this bloke for a fair while until when obviously, his eyes became accustomed a bit more to the gloom, and even in his state he recognised that he couldn't win a fight with what was an actual tree that he kept walking into.

He got back to sleep it off, woke up in the morning and asked where his mate was? "He's in lockup". What? "They took him in last night". He went around to the guard house to enquire. "Pte X was arrested, drunk in charge last night". My old man explained what had happened, the chosen status they had and all settled, he was released, no further action. His hair would take a while to grow back, though, as they'd skinheaded him. Hard to say which of them looked worse, mortally hung over, one with bloodied mitts and the other bald as a penny.

Recommended listening - Andy Fairweather-Low, Wide-Eyed and Legless


Stay well
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