The wonderful Withers of WoS has returned from his travels with a tale of animal cruelty so gross that I imagine weirdos from all over the country will be declaring war on one of his pals. The story came about during the wonderful One's rather strange decision to spend a fortnight travelling through the lesser known holiday resorts of Croatia, Montenegro and Albania, to name just a few.
Now, you would think that the mere presence of this motley crew would be a precursor to a new Balkans War and, by the sound of it, that nearly did come to pass.
The story begins with Withers and his gang climbing into a taxi in Albania and demanding to be taken to the border with Macedonia. No sooner have they done this than they find themselves shooting along potholed roads, heads bouncing against the roof with seat belts nowhere to be seen.
Hanging on for dear life to anything they can, they suddenly find themselves screeching to a halt in the middle of the road to avoid... a rather large tortoise.
The driver, who doesn't speak a word of English and has been prattling on in his mother tongue, only breaking off now and again to cackle insanely at his own Albanian joke, abruptly jumps out of the car, runs down the road and picks up the jaywalking creature. He returns to the car, smiling from ear to ear, and thrusts it into the lap of the Wonderful One's ne'er-do-well mate Sharpy.
With that off they go, their heads once again bouncing against the roof as their Albanian driver picks up speed again.
Suddenly, from Sharpy's seat, there is a loud squeal, followed by a curse. The next thing everyone knows is that the driver is ranting uncontrollably at him in a language Sharpy fails to understand... and this is a man who lives alongside the incomprehensible accents of Glasgow folk when he's at home.
What Withers and his other pal do know, however, is that their guide is a very angry man.
When the others come to their senses they look in the front seat to see Sharpy with a wet patch on his trousers... but no tortoise. It swiftly dawns on them what has happened, though Sharpy is keen to explain.
"It pissed on me so I chucked it out the window," he says rather sheepishly as Albania's version of Travis Bickle gives him a murderous stare, his bloodshot eyes protruding from their sockets.
Meanwhile, I am back at the Screws a day early this week. I set off at 5.30am this morning, unfortunately waking a bemused Scooby in the process, so that I could arrive at 10 and help out because of a shortage of staffing numbers during the holiday season.
It was a pretty uneventful weekend, really, however. Having only arrived back at 1.30 in the early hours of Sunday morning, Mrs Rippers and I spent the whole of Sunday lazing around watching the last five episodes of the Wire Second Series. And very good it was, too.
I did manage at some stage to cook Spanish chicken and roast potatoes for lunch (but I've already imparted the recipe earlier in this blog so won't be repeating it).
On Monday, after Mrs R had headed off to work, I sorted out a few necessary chores before meeting Jarhead for some beers at Las Iguanas in Mill Lane. We couldn't resist for long, though, and finished off the night in the new old O'Neill's. A good night was had by all and the head was pounding a bit next morning.