It has been a long old week of trembling cold turkey for the 9am regulars at The Hoylake Lights, that fantastical cover-up name for what is our local Wetherspoons, the dismal outpost where desperately pathetic hope roughly elbows its gruff way past the pale shadow of broken dreams in the red-eyed race to the death.
When the musty oasis of doom briefly closed its forever-open doors last week, to finally wipe the salt off of the tables and maybe run a vacuum around the place (clicky), the indigenous wildlife found itself with nothing to do, nowhere to go, and nowhere to let them in.
With the Punchbowl still shut and the Anchor being…. well, y’know, the Anchor…. it was either head for The (Fiddle-De) Dee in That Place Down The Road With Better Shops (clicky), reluctantly inhale the deep-fried air of The Railway in Meols, marshall a car at gunpoint to Moreton, or finally admit the truth to themselves and up sticks to a tip berth in the north end of Birkenshed.
You’ve seen them on Market Street, shivering on their haunches, sandpaper-dry tongues a-dangling through parched jowls, displaying with despair the sort of delirium tremens that would make a row of shitting dogs proud.
Now though after a lick of paint and a splash of bleach in the bogs the Hoylake Lights to the blessed relief of daybreak bitter drinkers is miraculously back open as from Friday evening and the thirsty hordes can return to their watering hole…
Hang on a-bloomin’ hang-dog gosh darn minute!
GAD-RUDDY-ZOOKS BUGLERS!!!! I’VE GOT IT!!!!
Like the highways agency and the council and the people who hurriedly fix things like drains on Meols Drive and the idiots who never ever finish the Meols Bridge repairs and godforsaken Wetherspoons, it seems everything but everything is being done to make sure those happy Americans come and toss their hard-earned dollars into the Hoylake wishing well eight years after the last time they bent over backwards, lifted their soiled petticoats and asked the residents to look the other way while they did what they felt they had to do to look good in the eyes of the incoming Bores in Plus-Fours.
For the next two weeks expect to have a host of helpful local authority people armed with earnest faces and mutton jeff ears pretending they’re listening to you while really keeping their ears pinned sharply back, like nervous Mr Rabbit wary of Mr Obese Fox, for any nearby hint of a mid-Atlantic twang.
Expect the councillors you never ever see and the MPs who don’t ever knock on your door and that mayor person to beam over glasses of bubbly bought by somebody else – most likely you Buglers! – while tootling on about £75 million worth of so called inward investment that actually doesn’t happen at all.
And when it’s all gone in a fortnight or two like a giddy patch of scotch mist (clicky) watch the whole lot of them disappear sharpish before anyone asks if they could spare a bit of that mystical £75 million for Hoylake’s Christmas lights this coming Crimbo.
There’s more chance of finding a salt-free table in Spoons.
* Thanks a-muchly to Bugler nomansland for the email