So there I was, in the Steambucket, or whatever it is called this month. All the locals still refer to it as ‘the grot’. The brewery, ungrateful for our patronage, try a new name and a sign or two every now and again, but it’s still ‘the grot’, and it always will be.
I have to say the 2L was particularly tasty last night. If you are unaware of the brew 2L is code for double laxative. Again that is implicitly understood by the locals if not entirely encouraged by the brewery. It’s their own fault. Keen to push it as a trendy brand during the eighties heyday of the rave scene they tried launching a bottled version with the tagline ‘It keeps you going’.
Anyway, the bowel-loosening property of the fine dark and nutty ale is a benefit when one suffers from the chalfonts, and it remains my favourite. For how much longer remains shrouded in mystery. A brash new brand, 3L, is now pushed in most of the ‘theme pubs’ in town, so less and less outlets have my preferred tipple. I’m preparing for the fight!
Ossie is the landlord of ‘the grot’, and a good job he does too. His real name isn’t Ossie, he’s just a Chelsea fan and we’ve called him that for so long nobody can remember his real name, least of all Ossie, who is not the sharpest pitchfork in the barn, if you catch my drift.
He does however have the benefit of a first class cook who has been largely responsible for the building of a steady food trade. Ossie, bless him, thought yesterday to be a remarkable day when fielding numerous calls from potential diners. ‘There was something very odd about the calls though’, he confided in us last night. ‘Must be some new fad. Everyone wanted to know if we had Barnsley chop on the menu’.