EIGHT CUPS IN HELL
Tony being ... Tony.
The title is a bit of a misnomer because there weren't any real cups and it wasn't much like hell. They say that hell is sulphurous fires, everlasting agony and devilish torture and there were none of those things. And no cups as such, either. Confused? Well, read on.
Tony took me for a walk whilst our wives were out spending money. He believes in walks that add an element of pain and torture because he isn't so fond of parting with money and pain reminds him there are a few things worse.
So he took me for a walk along the banks of the local river after forcing a couple of pints of beer down my throat at the pub. The beer was good and there wasn't much forcing involved. Or maybe there wasn't any.
We talked of merry things over that beer, things like God and Heaven and Hell and all that nonsense and, like all good atheists everywhere, agreed with each other knowing with every fibre of our beings that we were right. We talked of the good old days before they put huge television screens into pubs, days when you went for the beer and the chance to solve the world's problems in the company of like-minded people. It was a decent conversation, and totally predictable.
Now for the vital bit.
I'd left my mobile phone at home (quite by accident and quite normal) and Tony had his switched off (again, quite normal). So we didn't know that our wives were on their way to join us, having exhausted their shopping opportunities. They tried to let us know, but my phone rang all to itself back home and Tony's was fast asleep in his pocket.
And in ignorance he dragged me out of the pub to walk home.
The walk was not much more than a mile, but it took ages. It was along what is probably (in different circumstances) a picturesque path bordering the River Maun, but it had rained just about all of the previous day and it was that miserable mixture of a quagmire and a slippery mess. And it ranged up and down and left and right and sloped here and there and everywhere. It was dreadful in that it harboured dangers in every twist of its journey along the edge of the river. Rivers, mind you, are wet things if your were to fall in, and there seemed to be every chance of that. Try to imagine an old fart like me struggling along with a wobbling tummy and fear etched on every line of my face.
The high road and the low road ... but which does an old fool like me take?
We had walked (no, not walked, struggled) for about half an hour when we came to the eight cups. Eight cups equals four brassieres (or bras) lying in the path to one side of us. There was a black one, a pink one, a white one and a flesh coloured one, and they all looked to be in pretty decent condition and I wish I'd taken a photograph of them. They provoked a discussion â€“ how did they get there, had some wild team of women, wishing to express their feminism, discarded them out of contempt for their own female bodies? Or had there been a wild party in the rain the previous day, with sex on everyone's mind and naked women dancing like angels venturing into the pits of hell to tempt to Necromancer into lewd misbehaviour? Why would four decent looking bras be cast off in the wilds and be left to rot in the undergrowth?
It was fun trying to work through the possibilities, and took my mind off the agonies of struggling along a path created by devils as punishment for mortals like myself. We carried on our long route and the underwear became forgotten as I found myself negotiating chasms and clefts in the Earth and leaping gracelessly over crumbled precipices.
Tony being happy enough.
Tony, though, seemed happy enough.