Wednesday, July 04, 2007

chinese rice crackers and mucho beers

HERE on WoS we have a little thing we call the Initiation ceremony. And Wathanovski (the p*ss artist formerly known as Wathan) had to endure his welcome to the team yesterday. Of course, it just happened to co-incide with Boozeday Tuesday, but that can't be helped.
The reason Rosey's replacement is called Wathanovski isn't particularly clear, although my sources tell me he once managed to drink his way through a working trip to Moscow. He apparently stayed up until something approaching five in the morning, regaling a group of fellow west Walians with colourful tales of his Neath heritage, at the same time downing the odd vodka or 15.
For this reason he appeared to be the perfect candidate for a job on this rather modest newspaper, stickability being the name of the game.
Four hours into the job, it's one o'clock and Roberts can wait no longer. Twirling his umbrella ferociously with the zeal of a latter day Zorro he announces: "Come on Wathanovski - pub!"
I am delayed by a bit of blogging, but join a seriously large Boozeday contingent at The Yard just over an hour later. Not only are the Prince of Darkness, his new apprentice Danny Boy (the poipes, the poipes are calling), Roberts, Wathanovski and the Wonderful Withers in attendance, but so too are some of the new boy's old cronies - the legendary JK, Son of Bono and the Dazzler (who unfortunately was once wrongly dubbed Wetcock in our sister paper the Echo and has never really lived it down).
Also, looking totally perplexed by the whole Tuesday afternoon drinking tradition, was Westgate's French temp Audrey, who was spending her last day in Wales before leaving for Toulouse and a welcome home party.
Quite a number of people to sit around a smoking table for four I think you'll agree, but at least the weather was dry for a change.
The beers began to flow along with the banter and the first sign that the initiation ceremony was working came when Wathanovski teetered on the way back to his seat and just managed to avoid falling through a plate glass window. "It was the sun in my eyes," he complains.
Withers, meantime, warns that he can only have a couple of pints because he leaves on holiday for Trieste in Italy at 3 the following morning. He then proceeds to order another Brains SA.
The next sign of Wathanovski's tired and emotional state comes when he returns to the table with some Japanese rice crackers - the munchies have started.
By now even Roberts has deserted us. He has been scared into going home by the fact that all he had to say to Funny Girl behind the bar was "a pint of..." and she finished the sentence with "Amstels, three Carlings, and an SA."
So now it is just myself, Danny Boy, Withers (I'm not staying long) and the new boy.
Finally Wathanovski himself admits defeat and wobbles off towards the bus stop. A poor show after the tale of his games of Russian Vodka Roulette, but he'll learn.
Danny, though, is proving to be a chip off the Prince's coffin. The Prince has taught him well. "Come on, let's just have another pint", he suggests, before trying to get away with a freebie plate of Japanese rice crackers only to be informed that they, in fact, cost £1.50. Withers, having forgotten totally about his 3am alarm call, readily agrees to continue the drinking.
Finally, pints empty, we decide to head for home. But passing the City Arms on the way we decide on one for the road. Hell, looking at my phone I realise it is 7.30. Some Boozeday sesh, it's like the old days. When we finally leave I think I can hear the Prince's prodigy singing. "Danny Boy, the poipes, the poipes..."

I wake at 1.45 in the morning. I'm fully dressed, I've missed two calls from Wren and my TV is blaring out. Sadly, I had put a Simpsons DVD on but hadn't had the energy to actually press play, so the opening bars of the theme tune have been playing repeatedly for the last six hours. Doh! The only thing that makes me feel better is the image of Withers (I'm not staying long) rolling out of bed, head spinning, and trying to pack his case for the trip.

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