The Magnificent Seven
By David Griffiths
Location: Hare and Hounds pub, Shudehill
The Northern Rail rattler to Stalyvegas is late again and I’m early, so I decide to squeeze in a swifty at the Hare and Hounds.
I’m ordering a Holts at the bar when I notice this old fella staring at me. No change there – I’ve got one of those faces. People think I’m someone else, people think they recognise me.
But the funny thing is, I think I recognise him. He’s about six foot, with slicked black hair. His eyebrows and sideburns are grey and out-of-control like shabby Brillo pads. He appears to be smartly dressed, but when I look closer his suit is far too big for him – you could shoplift turkeys in it.
He lurches over from the other side of the pub as if we’re on the Good Ship Venus in a Force 10, his eyes fixed on mine. Is he pal of my dad’s? An old workmate gone to seed?
I try to catch the barmaid’s eye for an early warning nutter alert but she’s giving nothing away.
He stands next to me, reaches inside his jacket pocket and pulls out a folded piece of paper.
‘Do you know the actors who played the Magnificent Seven?’ he asks me in an accent that appears to be both Manc and German.
I’m thrilled. I’ve been waiting for this. Ever since I lost a pub quiz tie-breaker on this very question, I’ve been dying to answer it again – in a pub quiz, on a quiz machine, even from an old fella with a piece of paper.
He says, ‘I’ve been going round the pubs asking everyone this question for the past few weeks. Everyone’s got involved.’
Quiz me daddio, quiz me. Yes, he may be drunk, he may be a nutter, but this is just what I need when I’m trying to get the buzz of work out of my head. Quiz me daddio!