As you know, I spend a lot of my life in a condition of bafflement, and one of my favourite phrases is ‘What the FUCK?’ It’s usually just annoyance at stupidity or sheer bloody minded recalcitrance. But this tale is different, and I genuinely am mystified.

I rocked into one of my watering holes today. It was a bit early, but it’s always gone midday somewhere in the world, isn’t it?

Barmaid* said, ‘Stella?’

‘Yes please.’

‘You’ve got two in.’

‘I have? How so?’

‘Jamie’s mum. She put them in.’

‘Do I know Jamie’s mum? I know him, obviously, but I’m not sure I know her.’

‘She knows you. She left you two pints in.’


Helen the landlady chipped in.

‘She said you were kind to her.’

There’s a result. I was nice to somebody, and got a couple of pints out of it. But I still have no recollection of what I might have done to be nice. Or who she is.

*Sorry, I still think of barmaids, not ‘servers’, and all the barmaids I know agree with me.