I tend to be a creature of habit and like to get a stool in the corner of the bar. I don't like anyone at my back (it's all that secret spy/ninja training that's hard to ignore) and find that this is the simplest way to avoid that. I also get to be right by the TV and directly under a fan.
To ensure I get my pole position seat I have to make sacrifices and usually pitch up earlier than opening hour and have a beer with the staff as they set up. I get the beer, the guys set stuff up; it's a good routine that works best for all concerned.
This early bird/worm routine is unfortunately not without handicap for, on occasion, I seem to imbibe much more before it turns dark compared to most regulars, who arrive at a far more relaxed and sensible hour to be able to make it through the night without slurring. I rarely learn from my mistakes but sometimes that is not always a bad thing.
Tuesday was a really good night as I was treated to five back-to-back Dr Feelgood tunes pumped out at a rather higher volume than normal, I had a bowl of free, salted beer nuts, Chelsea were getting thrashed by Bayern Munich in the first half (1 - 3 at half time) and the Chang was flowing thanks to the undivided attention of both Khun Alix and Khun Win, who were a tag team in filling up my never emptying glass.
At some part of the night with everyone seated around the bar all having stimulating and convivial conversation and generally enjoying themselves, a chap walked up to the group and started a chat with Tommy. He gets this a lot and as always, he is patient, approachable and happy to swap words with whomever is vying for his attention.
I'd seen the guy around and at first he just stood a slight distance from all seated group but then he leant over and rested his arm on the bar, completely blocking me off from my beer and almost as if he wanted to blank me out. It wasn't as if he was stretching across to take his beer off the bar, that was still on his table, he intention was to simply lean in and continue with Tommy in dialogue.
I blame the Chang or simply the shock of such ill manners but I quite pronouncedly and vociferously exclaimed something along the lines of "Oi, what the fuck?"
The guy seriously didn't seem to grasp my exasperation as he looked at me with a puzzled face. I explained it wasn't cricket to simply barge in and prop up the bar, especially as I couldn't even reach mine with him in the way and then the penny dropped.
He did jump back and leave but I must have had some effect as the rest of the lads all pissed themselves laughing before confirming that they too would have done much the same thing.