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‘Birds are like the Chinese army.....’

Story Name - Briefer Encounter Author - Ewan Morgan Premise - At Heathrow Airport, 1999, after flight delays Wayne Norris is all to fly to the Antarctic via Argentina when he gets chatting to a Barman.  Wayne's pleased that he can inspire someone so young and give him the benefits of his colourful life and make him re-think his choices in life. .
BRIEFER ENCOUNTER BUSY HEATHROW AIRPORT BAR AREA 1999 Wayne Norris orders another drink from the airport lounge while on his mobile phone WAYNE: Same again then squire, one more for the road, don’t want to get too bladdered, else they won’t let me on the plane. (He raises back up his mobile back to his ear) WAYNE: So Bram, I’ll see you in Buenos Aires, yeah you too son, I’ve got your CD’s as well. (He puts away his mobile phone and looks at the Barman) WAYNE: So where were we then? BARMAN: You were telling me that you don’t get home much. WAYNE: Oh that’s right, I’ve been a bit of gypsy you see, you know staying here for a bit, staying there.  I was in Germany in the mid-eighties, the Artic, Spain, Holland, Portugal, Australia, all over the place, at the moment I’m living in Greece.  Well, it’s cheaper inint.  Five bedrooms, a swimming pool, just a little out of town, not too far from the beach and it’s your Crème Dela Crème of women there.  Has its down sides mind, it’s a bit convenient for the family when they want a cheap holiday to come and stay.  It can kill the atmosphere when you’re on the pull, bringing back some sexy Greek goddess, only to turn the lights on to the house to find you’re sitting room covered in tellytubbies, kills the atmosphere as you’re trying to undo the back of her dress, you know what I mean? BARMAN: So how come you’re flying off to Argentina? WAYNE: Well I ‘m actually working in Antarctica but you have to travel to Buenos Aires to get there.  It’s a shock to the system after you live in Greece I can tell.  There’s a great big research centre on there, I’m Pipeline Radiographer, which sounds a lot posher than what it is but it gets you travelling. BARMAN: So the money’s good? WAYNE: Well I’m not going there for a suntan mate, I mean.  I have to confess that in my life, I might not have been one of life’s best savers, ‘Live for the day, play hard, play fast and enjoy yourself, your only young once’, that was my motto, screw the rest.  When you’ve had an expensive divorce, the tax man chasing you, you’ve had your own business and then lost it; it’s not easy getting up again. BARMAN: It must get lonely? WAYNE: It’s not that bad.  It pays for me staying in Greece for a quarter of the year and things have changed as well working in these places.  You’ve got a pool table, you can get the internet, if it’s working and it’s a far more working opportunities for the opposite sex to show that they can work just as equally as any man can in these frozen conditions which is something I’m all for.  I mean put it like this son, some of the women there are sexually frustrated, married but frustrated, bound to be aren’t they?  There they are, all lonely so I’m only too eager to offer them a hand, or two in comfort and satisfy their requirements, well it’s my duty son, I’m what stops them from going mad, getting frostbite and getting eaten by a Polar Bear, I’m their counsellor! BARMAN: So are you married? WAYNE: I do hope that’s not a proposal Simon, (Pausing) Three times as it happens but not anymore.  I didn’t make a very good husband, I’ve been tried and tested and failed. BARMAN: Kids? WAYNE: Three of them as well, but I don’t see any of them.  I didn’t make a very good father either.  One of them, Steffan, loved him, he was from my second marriage with Christa in Germany, that was great, for a while, she had a triffic family, great times, I met loads of good friends in Germany that gave me opportunities.  I went into partnership with someone with a chance that I couldn’t resist, you know how it is son, I could have been a multi-millionaire and then we sold the company for a tidy profit after three years. BARMAN: So you don’t see this Steffan? WAYNE: No, I write to him when I get a chance, I send him cash, he’ll be sixteen shortly but Christa re-married, I think he’s forgotten me. BARMAN: You must have been young when you first got married then? WAYNE: Young and dumb.  I got caught out son didn’t I, I got her pregnant, we’ll as soon as me family found out me Dad said to me, (Speaking elderly) ‘Wayne, for once in your life son, do the right thing’.  After consuming a bottle of vodka for courage to break everything off I ended up proposing to er, before I could say, ‘I Do’, I’m plonking a ring on her finger down at the registry office, I must have been bleeding mad, only in my early twenties. BARMAN: So she had the kid? WAYNE: Yeah, Wyman.  He was a shock to the system, the result of a perfect evening where I was talked into attending a Madness concert for free.  Surprising really, I don’t even like em but you go with the flow don’t ya, avoided the skineads and there I met Chrissie.  She was gorgeous, right up my street I thought for the night and before you can say, ‘It must be love’, it’s back to her Mum and Dad’s for a roll around her bedroom.  Nine months later out pops Wyman, I got caught short in the heat of the moment.  Bollocks’d that up. BARMAN: So it didn’t work out then. WAYNE: No, she was loud, boisterous, not really my type after all but I had to do the right thing, it least that’s what everyone else kept telling me.  It went from bad to worse, I got caught moonlighting, I got asked if I could put in a door for one of the neighbours which I duly did and before I get me measuring tape out she’s got her very delicate hands around me hammer. BARMAN: (Shocked)  You got her pregnant as well! WAYNE: Nah, I’d learned me lesson by then, keep a minimum of 6 Jonny’s on you and another one for breaking in emergencies you know what I mean!  I started seeing this one on the side, but then broke it up before Chrissie found out.  Anyway, this bird, Amanda, she didn’t take it very well and told her older brother all about it.  Little did I know that he was part of the West Ham Inter City Firm that would regularly engage most weekends meeting Tottenham supporters with a baseball bat in one hand and a broken bottle in the other!  It all got a bit out of a hand, windows were broken, cars vandalised.  I had to cough up to the wife.  Chrissie didn’t take it very well having found out and threw me out.  I don’t blame her mind, when a brick went flying through the window and nearly hit Wyman that was it for her and me.  I took Amanda’s brother’s advice and legged it out of London and went to Germany, the divorce only took five minutes.  It would of happened anyway, she wouldn’t let me breathe, ‘Where ave you been, who you been with’, she wouldn’t stop rabbiting on!  I missed the boy though, I used to put him in a cardboard box and pull him along the carpet floor, he loved that when he wasn’t busy peeing and crying.  Give her due though; she didn’t come looking for money or hand-outs, made it clear that she didn’t want anything to do with me, her family didn’t like me.  It broke my Mum’s heart though; it took time to forgive me for letting the family down. BARMAN: So you’re not recommending marriage then! WAYNE: Marriage?  It’s like an horror movie ain’t it!  You leave school with your mates; you all agree that you’ll stay single and then what happens?  One by one each one of them get’s married off until there’s one left standing just like a horror movie. BARMAN: Yeah but you’ve been married three times! WAYNE: That’s right, I’m a friggin Zombie mate! BARMAN: You enjoyed Germany then? WAYNE: Yeah it was a giggle.  Wall to wall Fräulein wherever you looked, you could chop my leg off, blind fold me and I’d still pull.  Off course, it did help as well that I was shacked up with 6 other Brits who when you walked in a bar with them made me look like Johnny Depp compared to the rest of em. (Wayne takes out a set of reading glasses from his jacket) WAYNE: I need these now to read, my eyes are not as good as they were.  Look’s like me plane’s finally boarding, ‘Chau Simon’, as they say in Argentina.  My final piece of wisdom to you is take your opportunities when you get them son, you only live once.  You don’t want to work behind there watching others go off on adventures when it should be you doing the adventuring, you know what I mean.  I mean, dare I say it; I’m in me forties now.  Still got all me own hair, I can still pull, still got me swagger, for you son, the world and women will be your oyster.  Gone are the days when all a caveman needed was a good solid club to pull a bird, with my accent, birds from around the world immediately think there on a date with Hugh Grant you know what I mean! BARMAN:  (Loudly) Look, I’ve got to tell you somefing man! WAYNE: (Smiling) I’m sure you do son, tell me in a couple of years when I get back.  Oh wait a minute, (Reaching into his jacket he pulls out an envelope) can you post this?  It’s from one of my old mates from Germany, Barry’s his name, he wrote me tonnes of times over the years but I never write back, I think it’s his way of telling me that financially he’s doing better than me and I can believe that.  What I don’t believe right is that he’s pulled some gorgeous Russian bird in a photo that he sent me, either that or he paid for her online.  Now a Russian Shot-putter with a beard I could believe but not a model, not Barry. BARMAN: (Taking the envelope) Listen seriously, I’m not going to get another chance! WAYNE: Neither will I Simon if I miss this plane.  (Shaking his hand)  Have a good life Simon. (The Barman looks at the envelope and then back to the figure who’s disappeared into the crowds of Heathrow.  A fellow Bar lady turns up) BARLADY: God that was busy, so did you ask him?  Was it Ronnie Wood from the Rolling Stones? (The Barman shakes his head) BARMAN: No, it wasn’t.  I think he might off been my Dad! BARLADY: You’re Dad? BARMAN: Straight up.  He seemed to match everything that I heard about him, cocky, likes his clothes, playing his Stereophonics album very loud and full of himself on his CD player.  He mentioned my Mum and one of our old neighbour’s.  I’m sure that was my Dad alright. BARLADY: No way.  Well if it was it least you can say that you’ve met him. BARMAN: Can I?  There was no hug, there was no, ‘Well have you been doing for the last 19 years’?  I met Wayne Norris, listening to him he doesn’t sound like he wants to be a Dad.  After that I don’t know if I want to meet him, all he did was talk about himself. BARLADY: Well, maybe he did just see you as a Barman! BARMAN: Thanks!  He even got my name wrong, he kept calling me Simon! HEAD BARLADY: (Shouting) Wyman! BARMAN: Oh here we go! HEAD BARLADY: What are you doing now?  Stacey and I have has been run off our feet, Lee’s busy and you’ve just spent the last 10 to 15 minutes talking with that customer, I’ve was watching you. BARLADY: (She blurts out)  Wyman thought it was Ronnie Wood, from the Stones, he thought he could improve his chances of being signed as a DJ. BARMAN: Save you’re breathe Stace, it’s not worth it.  He was right though, I don’t want to be working here wiping tables, clearing tomato sauce stain’s from tables, I’m better than that. HEAD BARLADY: Don’t come at me like that, you’ve still got two hour’s left in your shift. BARMAN: (Snorts) No I haven’t, I’m following my dream, he might not have been Ronnie Wood but he told me what I wanted to hear, I’m going to be a DJ, the next time you see me, you’ll have to pay to see me. (Wyman walks away) HEAD BARLADY: (Shouting)  Fine, walk out why don’t you, we’ll struggle on without you. BARLADY: I think he’s upset. HEAD BARLADY: So am I Stacey, I’ve got to fill tomorrow’s shift and find someone else.  I could have told him that wasn’t Ronnie Wood anyway, looks nothing like him, that was Wayne Norris, I’d recognize that fancy footwear and clothes anywhere, he hasn’t changed in that department.  I thought I recognized him as soon as he came in.  When I was 17 I used to fancy him rotten.  He lived a few doors down with his family.  Unbelievably I lost my virginity to him. BARLADY: (Laughing)  What Wyman’s ……! HEAD BARLADY: My Mum and Dad went away leaving me in charge of the house in a trip to see my Auntie in Norwich.  He pops around one Saturday night with chocolates and Roses. BARLADY: Oh, very romantic! HEAD BARLADY: Not really, the chocolate was an Easter Egg. BARLADY: Well it least it was still chocolate. HEAD BARLADY: It was in May!  They were selling them cheap at the corner shop.  He helps himself then to my Dad’s lager, get me to rustle up some Chilli-Con Carne and then the next thing I know he’s put on my David Soul LP and he’s undoing my Bra! BARLADY: He didn’t waste any time. HEAD BARLADY: My Dad went spare when he got back. BARLADY: He noticed the Lager missing? HEAD BARLADY: No, he didn’t, he went spare because someone had gone and clipped off a dozen of his Rose Bushes!  Wayne Norris (She purrs), he’s got less hair, it looks dyed and he looks a bit stodgier!  You know Stacey, compared to how he used to look, he just looks really old now.