Friday, March 28, 2008


Once bitten...

An illustrious setting for the fraternal reunion: Murphy's bog-standard Irish bar in the armpit of Osaka. When I finish my Guinness, Joe offers to show me one of his fruity barman tricks: the chuck/catch glass behind back.

"Bet you don't believe I can do this, Danny boy," he announces, standing up and readying himself.

I maintain what I judge to be a non-sceptical silence, watch him perform said trick, then recommend as tactfully as possible that he go and get a dustpan and brush from behind the bar. Off he troops, comes back and sweeps up the broken glass with well practised action.

He takes the dustpan back. I go into the toilet. When I come out, there is a fresh layer of broken glass on the floor. It seems that Joe downed the remnants of his pint and had a second go at the trick whilst I was in the loo, with what success I may readily judge from the evidence scattered on the floor.

"Not a word," he says, heading past me to fetch the dustpan again. I maintain my I-am-cursed-with-an-absolute-twit-for-a-brother silence. It differs from my non-sceptical silence in some key areas, but I won't trouble you with the details right now.

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