by Gareth Tildesley, Becky McGrory and Philip Gilbert

I was knackered. Working four closes in the pub had done me in. I kept getting on at Trev to help out a bit more, but he’s a lazy bugger; always chatting with the barmaids, rather than changing the barrels. Typical bloke. I’m sick of him, to be honest.

Anyway, I was knackered that night, and couldn’t really be bothered to go to the party. I knew they’d try and get more free booze out of us, and I’d already donated all of my spare stock. They always want something’ for nothin’, these country folk.

Anyway, we went. Trev put a shirt on for the first time in forever, and made a b-line to Mick as soon as we got there, to see if he had any tips for the horses at the weekend. I could tell straight away that something was wrong. Mick is usually a pretty put-together guy, all suits and la-de-da posh accents and that, drinking his overpriced gin and sending his bratty kids to that private school down the road.

Well, that night he was slurring his words, can of Stella in one hand and the other propping him up against the bar. His face was pretty screwed up – like that YouTube video where the baby eats the lemon – and he’d turned this bright red colour, like the cherry sours we have at the bar. I could’ve sworn he’d had a barney with Trev; I mean, I thought he was squaring up to him if I’m honest, but Trev reckoned it was something to do with that wife of his, Stephanie. Apparently Mick had seen some texts on her phone, from that good looking farmer lad – Jack – and Trev was stirring the pot. I mean, I’m not one to gossip, but this was golden, I love a bit of drama.

Next thing I knew, Jack walked in, completely unaware of what was happening, and went over to the bar to get the drinks in. Mick had lost it by this point, and tipped his entire can over Jack’s head, wobbling as he tried to slur out expletives. Jack looked shocked for a second, and tried to steady Mick’s footing, but by this time he’d already started falling and was flailing his arms around looking for a surface to cling on to. He reached out and got hold of the tablecloth, which just so happened to have all of the party cakes on it, waiting to be cut. With one swift movement he pushed over the entire thing, pulling Jack down with him. Without anybody being able to intervene, the entire tray of cakes slid off the table, landing on Jack and Mick, who were by this point rolling around, attempting to throw weak, drunken punches on the floor. There they were, a mass of cake, testosterone and cheap beer!

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