Sunday 12 April 2015

#104 Do whatever he tells you

Tears rolled down the face of the overwhelmed bride. A small boy, one of two children at the wedding breakfast, who had several minutes ago taken a pause from their game of tag, cheekily tagged his little girl friend again, who retained her composure and shifted contentedly in her sandals. Creaking open, wooden doors gave way to the party guests. A reactionary wave spread through them as they realised that firstly, the newly-wed actually seemed quite happy for some reason and then somehow, the drinks on every single table in the room had been topped-up. It simply wasn't possible. Everyone knew that the booze had run out so where the hell had it all come from?

Excitedly, the son emerged out from the upstairs bedroom window at the back of the house, clambered down onto the flat roof, lowered himself into the side passage and quickly jogged round to the the gathering at the front, rejoining his friends. The news was just about to reach them. He tried hard not to start crying himself, an emotionally fragile young man as he was. His self restraint did him credit as, through tearless eyes, he spotted the blackberry juice all over his own sandals, hurriedly tore them off and lobbed them onto the roof of the building. "What was that?" asked one of his mates. The question was quickly lost as the word spread about the newly materialised drinks on the tables. "Thank God for that" Paul sighed, relieved. "The thought of having to get through another one of these things without any plonk was getting to be a bit much". The son smiled inwardly and remained towards the back of the crowd as they dutifully made their way into the room.

"Well whoever pulled this off is a bloody miracle-worker" declared a thirst-quenched uncle. The son didn't hear this remark and was by this time sat back in his chair, dipping a hunk of bread into the olive oil on his table, trying not to spill any on his robe. As he chewed, he relished the thought of how it had all come together. It had been about eighteen months since his buddy Mark had given him that concentrated home-made blackberry jucie to try. He'd never really been a fan of the stuff but having been given a bottle as a gift, decided to take it home regardless. After all, times were hard. Times had always been hard and probably would be for another couple of thousand years. In fact even when times became less hard, people would continue to moan about stupid little things like the weather or the trains being late... whatever trains were.

The son wasn't exactly the smartest guy in the world. A tad naive. No university. His father hadn't been much of an intellectual and Lord knows what his own career path would end up being. Religious preacher maybe. Spiritual guru. They both seemed a bit weird and far-fetched but then he'd always had some basic people skills and they complimented reasonably well his underlying religious faith, which he had been known to babble about from time to time. He certainly was resourceful though. He had that combination of practical intelligence and inner strength that tends to be developed partly through a life of some external hardship, self-sacrifice and the right kind of parents although to a lesser extent, is available to anyone who really wants to look for it. 

On this particular day though, he'd mostly just been lucky. The pantry, around the back of the wedding venue, contained a jar of common carub syrup, which he thought little of comandeering (he could always replace it later). As he'd found out a few weeks ago, the syrup mixed remarkably well with the concentrated juice. This could then be diluted to create gallons of a sweet-tasting drink, soon to become the latest cool thing to drink at parties, at least until people remembered how much they enjoyed getting drunk and switched back to alcohol.

"Oi mushty" came a hushed voice from the seat next to him, "I knew you'd pull something off". The son, mouth full of bread, turned to his mother and gave her a big fat wink, with near-perfect timing. They both burst into laughter as the band struck up, the waiters came forward and the hundred or so guests settled happily to joke and gossip into the night.