I have just reconnected with a long lost Blighty pal. His name is Andy and, nowadays, he’s someone awfully important in local government. We first became acquainted many moons ago at a drunken trivial pursuit work shindig. We were on opposing teams. I was the captain of my team which I called Kings and Queen. His team was called Gail Tisley’s Chin. The chin won by a nose. We got chatting afterwards over a tankard or two and thereafter became pals. Andy is a Barnsley lad with thick accent to match and a call a spade a spade Yorkshire charm. I was a cynical old pro and he was the new kid on the block at the tender of just 21.
Andy is irrepressibly heterosexual and so secure in his sexuality he isn’t fazed by mine in the slightest. I dragged him around the gay fleshpots of Soho. He didn’t flinch from the lecherous shenanigans. He assumed the role of my bodyguard protecting me from the wanted attentions of the dive bar boys, much to my distress. He used to drink in Earls Court, a gay mecca in those far off days. He isn’t bi-curious. It was the only place to get an after hours drink back then.
Andy decided to get hitched and held his stag do in Blackpool. A bit of a cliché but great fun nonetheless. It was thirty straight lads and me. I was the little gay mascot. I got chatting to one of his unsuspecting northern mates. ‘I hear a poof’s come along for the ride,’ he said. ‘That’ll be me,’ I replied. Despite the macho bravado from the boisterous boys I was the only one who actually got a ride that weekend.
Eventually Andy moved on to a better job and we lost touch. It’s an all too common problem for the transient workers of London. He’s still married to pretty little Jill and a proud father of two boys. They’ll grow up happy and well-balanced. Andy will make sure of it. I’m looking for a trip down memory lane when I’m next back in Blighty.