The Wit and Wisdom of – Graham Harris

Finishing drink means 20 miles or “Don’t say boo to a Maureen”

It was a normal, unremarkable Saturday night post-match (which of course the Strollers won), with the bar awash with spilt beer, the air heady with the aroma of stale sweat, the stories getting even more and more unlikely in the telling (you can’t score a try from more than 100 yards out) and the usual gaggle of Strollers either propping up the bar or resting on the floor.

Then came the time for the arrival of the sainted Maureen Harris to pick up prop Graham and pour him into the car for a well-earned snooze and drive home. At first things were as normal. Maureen advanced into the clubhouse, was enthusiastically greeted by various Strollers and gave them all the usual Strollers ladies’ response of a tight-lipped smile, well hiding the thought “when are you lot going to grow up?”.

Then the usually mild mannered obedient Graham went off script. He refused the crooked summoning finger of Maureen and insisted he was finishing his pint.

Big mistake. In no uncertain terms he was told that if he wasn’t coming NOW he was welcome to walk home. Well he’d heard that one before hadn’t he and wasn’t going to submit in front of his mates.

Even bigger mistake. Calmly Maureen wishes everyone good night and exits, not pursued by Graham. Graham can read Maureen, he knows when she’s bluffing, she’ll be waiting outside in the car park for him so finishes his pint.

Biggest Mistake of all. On rolling into the car park Graham can’t find Maureen and it slowly penetrates his beer addled brain that this time she wasn’t bluffing. No matter it’s a fine night so he’ll walk home.

20 miles and 6 hours later as the sun rises over Clitheroe he has pause to reflect. Perhaps he shouldn’t have finished that pint…