On my recent trip to the old country, I arranged to meet some friends in a London pub on the lunchtime of the day I arrived (taking the early flight from Bucharest meant I was able to maximise my time spent imbibing some real beer for a change). Anyway at the appointed hour, I located the pub, and wandered up to it, lifting up an annoying piece of tape that was strung across the entrance to the small street it was in, and stepped inside. I breathed in the aroma of London pub, and then noted that the place was pretty empty - there were two staff and two blokes in suits, all of whom were looking over at me quizzically. London's a fairly anonymous place, so you don't usually get that "everybody stare at the new person" vibe that you do in smaller places, plus because London is so big you also don't get empty pubs at 12.30. So, with my unerring nose for these things, I surmised that something odd was going on.
"Errm, are you open?" I asked to generally in the direction of the four starers.
"No, it's not" replied one of the blokes in the suits, coming towards me, "and you've walked straight through a 'Crime Scene' tape" (so that's what that was). He escorted me from the pub and called over the two uniformed police standing at the other end of the street from the way I came in, telling them to gently eject me and to make sure no other wandering thirsty people followed my lead.
After I was safely on the other side of the "Crime Scene: Do Not Enter" tape (I actually bothered to read it this time round), I asked one of the aforementioned coppers what was going on , to which he (somewhat patronisingly I felt) responded "I can't tell you, but let's just say somebody is very very ill in hospital". I don't really know why he didn't go the whole hog and use the word "poorly" really.
It was a stabbing, I discovered later, which is not something that often closes down streets and bars in Csikszereda, I have to say. Especially not at that time in the morning. Swings and roundabouts, I suppose. We miss out on, you know, stuff going on and that, but we gain on the people not being stabbed that much front.
I did manage to spend the entire afternoon sampling delicious beer though, you'll be relieved to know. I imagine you may have been concerned.
Southport’s Summer of Discontent
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