I have a mate. More than an acquaintance, but not a friend. He’s also an erstwhile drinking partner. In this latter role, he is a danger to shipping. Mad, bad, and dangerous to know, as was famously said. Was it about Byron? It matters not much.

He will not take no for an answer when he asks if you want a beer. He just won’t. I’m usually a bit blurred at the edges after some time with him. I know, I know, he doesn’t hold me down and waterboard me with strong drink, it’s up to me. But if a drink appears, it’s a bit ill mannered to say, ‘Oh no, not for me, thank you.’ It’s a bit late bit then.

I have actually done that, and I have actually gone, ‘That’s it I’m full to the brim.’ But I have a more stealthy way of getting back at him.

I usually see him in the hotel he stays in, which means he has his room key with him. This has a big keyfob, not far off the size of his mobile phone, which is in turn about the size of a tenner.

He suffers from mild OCD. He puts his key, his phone on the bar, and cash goes alongside. Notes, and change neatly piled in the exact middle of the notes. The notes, his phone, his keyfob have to be precisely aligned and exactly evenly spaced. It drives him mad if he has to pick up the phone and disturb the neat alignment.

I’m sure you can see where I’m going here. You’re all intelligent sentient human beings, and you all have a pretty good idea of how I operate, and of my sense of fun.

We’ll be talking the usual bollocks that blokes talk when they’re having a beer. But I’ll surreptitiously move something, disturb the equilibrium and symmetry,

It drives him bonkers. He notices all is not well, and he has to correct things. Now. Immediately. It cannot wait.

Makes me laugh every time. Fair play to him, though. He finds it amusing too.

But he still has to move things back to their rightful place, even while getting the joke.

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