Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Pick a Pig Night

Ethan woke up with a start, tried to work out where the fuck he was. His head was banging and his mouth tasted of fags and stale lager. He was in bed, alone, in a strange room. When he tried to stand, the room pirouetted and his stomach lurched dangerously. Fuck it. He lay back down.

Things started coming back to him. The Blue Bell with Mark and Jimmy, down the road to Kebab Korner, then on to Mirabelle, stuffing their faces with pitas packed full of elephant’s leg meat and chili sauce, trying not to get grease on their clothes as they went.

Mirabelle: north east England’s premier night spot. Back in the 1950s. Maybe. Christ, it was a hole! But that was all part of its attraction. The clientele made it the perfect place for the first Friday after pay day: pick a pig night.

He’d copped off with a beauty this time. Even with his beer goggles on, this lass had a snout and trotters. Should be a law against birds that plug. Fucking ugly bitch. Speaking of which, where was she?

He took it slow this time, managed to get onto his feet. The landing light was on and he moved slowly toward the door. It stood ajar and, as he got close, he could hear her talking quietly. Sounded like she was on the phone to one of her mates.

‘No, man, he’s still here! He’s upstairs.’ She giggled. ‘Aye, we did it, like.’

Bragging about him! If only she knew. Mind, he was probably the best thing to happen to her in a long while.

‘What about yours? Mark, was it?’

Ethan had Mark beat. The bird he’d pulled looked like a bulldog chewing a wasp, but she was pretty compared to the pig he’d just porked.

‘Couldn’t get it up? Typical!’

Ethan was surprised; the lass wasn’t all that bad, not for pick a pig night. Must have been the beer.

‘Tracey’s one managed it. Jimmy, they call him.’ She paused. ‘I know, he’s not that ugly. Mebbe she just fancied him, eh?’

Ethan didn’t understand that one. He scratched his balls while he tried to puzzle it out.

‘Well, it was a toss up between my one and your one, but if yours couldn’t manage it…. You know the rules!’

Ethan took pride in the fact that he could always manage it, no matter how pissed he was or how ugly a bird was. Christ, he’d boned some hounds, but you didn’t look at the fireplace while you were poking the fire.

She laughed. ‘That’s one to me, then. About time an’ all. It’s ages since I won a pick a pig night!’

How the hell did she know?

‘Ta-ra, Shaz. See you later.’

She came back upstairs. Fuck was her name? Ethan racked his brains but came up empty.

‘Oh, you’re up!’

Christ, she was rough looking! But still, a shag was a shag.

‘Aye,’ Ethan told her. ‘Every time for you, pet.’ He reached out towards her and she ducked away.

‘Cup of tea? I’ll go and put the kettle on.’

He ferreted about on the floor for his skiddies and his t-shirt. Must want a cup of tea first. Oh, well, he could wait. Cup of tea wouldn’t hurt. He padded down to the kitchen and heard her mobile ring.

‘Oh, hiya, Tracey. Aye, I’m just making him a cup of tea.’ She laughed. ‘Oh, he’s keen, like, but once is more than enough with a lad like him.’

Ethan preened.

‘And I won pick a pig! See you later.’

Ethan lounged in the doorway. ‘How did you know?’ he asked.

‘Know what?’

‘Pick a pig….’

She shook her head, picked up a mug. ‘Milk and sugar?’

‘Aye, thanks, pet.’ He sat down at the table and drank his tea. One of his mates must have coughed to one of her mates. How else would she know about pick a pig night?


This story first appeared in Flash Pan Alley in 2007.


  1. Fantastic! Cruel, cruel and fantastic!

  2. Yup. Great little piece. MEN! Julie, you nail that male psyche so so well! Looking forward to more!

  3. Cheers, Paul! It may be a reaction to being called Morticia (which I didn't really mind) and Nana Mouskouri (which I did!) when I was a geeky little kid. :)

    Glenn, I can't believe you remembered these little tales. As for nailing the male psyche, I think I just spent too much time in the wrong bars when I was younger. All that talk about 'pick a pig' and 'grab a granny' must have just seeped into my brain...

  4. Fan-f&ckin'-tastic Julie! That was killer. Nana Mouskouri,too funny. I remember they used to pump her up on U.S commercials back in the day, along with Roger Whitaker, and Zamphir. They were the like the first generation of infomercials, and were so cheesy, almost comical.

  5. Glad you enjoyed it, Sean! It's hard to respect anyone who uses their 'celebrity' to push products, but cheerfully there can someimes be comedy value in it. (Although I had to Google Zamphir - I had never heard of him!)

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  7. Oops! Let's try that again shall we, and this time in English?

    LMAO! Reminds me of The Old 69 on a Friday night - ankle deep in broken glass and your shoes sticking to the carpet. Ah, happy memories!

  8. As I recall, there was an ashtray on the bar with a sign next to it that read 'When the floor is full, please use the ashtray'. Happy memories indeed!

    Glad you enjoyed the read - cheers, m'dear! :)