Sunday, March 11, 2007

When Moose met McCrumble

Hello all

I was in Cambridge for a few days last week to help my marketing manager in a scientific context. Whilst there, I suggested meeting up with Mr Moose (see sidebar for link) as he lives nearby. I went along with Dr Booth, but I was forced to remain sober as I was staying some distance from town due to an administrative mix-up (I'm still getting used to not having Denise around). We met with Moose at a pub called the Mitre - a well known drinking hole in a part of town densely populated with eateries and drinkeries (is that a word?). It was about 7pm when we all met up. The conversation was a bit polite and stilted to begin with - after all we were all essentially on a blind date - but not long after the third or fourth pint it became clear that Moose and Dr Booth were getting along just fine. I, on the other hand, was becoming increasingly sober. I'm not used to being the designated driver, and I must confess that I had a hard time joining in with their increasingly random and pseudo-philosophical conversation.

After about 5 pints of orange and lemonade I was feeling a bit peckish, and suggested we go for something to eat. Neither Moose nor his drinking buddy seemed bothered, so I wandered off on my own (unwilling to eat in the pub whilst they bantered away on the relative virtue of organic vs local beetroots). I wasn't sure what I wanted, but eventually stumbled across a kebab van calling itself the 'Van of Life'. I ordered a cheeseburger and ate it on my journey back to the pub, pausing en route to admire the facades of a number of Cambridge colleges.

When I reached the Mitre, shortly after 9:30pm, I was somewhat alarmed to see that the two drinkers had left, complete with their belongings. In their place were a couple of young ladies from Poland, who had no idea where Moose or Dr Booth had gone. I asked at the bar, to be told that the gentlemen had left instructions that I would find them at a pub called the St Radegund. I had no idea where the Radegund pub was, so the bar person (also from Poland) kindly drew me a map. I briefly debated whether to go back to the hotel, but there was little reason to sit in my room when I could at least walk around town, so I set off in hot pursuit.

They weren't in the Radegund, but had moved onto the King St Run (according to the Polish-sounding barman). Nope, not their either. At this point I decided to call it a day, and began walking back to the department where Dr Booth works. On the way I passed a pub called the Fountain. There, in seats by the window, were the two of them, engaging in what appeared to be an arm-wrestling competition.

Moose caught sight of me, and in doing so lost concentration for just long enough. Dr Booth slammed his opponent's hand onto the table and let out a high-pitched squeal of triumph. Moose barely noticed, and simply waved me in with his free hand.

They were both very, very drunk. I asked if they had any food, to which they both replied in the negative. There was a row of empty Tequila glasses between the two of them, one of which Dr Booth tried to drink from as I sat down. 'Hey Joe, lishen to diss', slurred my marketing manager. 'Moosey's gotta great idea. Tell him your great idea Moosey. No wait, I'll tell him...'

Moosey waived his hand to indicate compliance.

'Lishen Joe. Right. You wanna drink? Me and Moosey are on Tequila shlammers. You know, the ones with shalt. But we are doing Shlammers lite, as we have no shalt. So anyway. Moosey's big idea. Have you two met before?'

'No,' I said curtly, my arms and legs crossed to indicate my general dissatisfaction with the circumstances.

'Doesn't matter. He's a great chap. You know what his big idea is?'

'No.'

'Moosey. Tell him your idea.'

Moose leaned forward so that I could hear his big idea. He was surprisingly articulate given the amount he must have consumed, and it crossed my mind that maybe Moose was more adept at holding his liquor than Dr Booth. He grinned and said 'Well basically, Joseph, I've come to a crossroads in my life and I'm looking for a new challenge. I've decided that I'm going to help Mark here with his...'

At this moment some young ladies passed by the pub and knocked on the window. I recognised them as from the Mitre. They mouthed something that looked like 'so you found them', to which I gave a feeble thumbs up. Moose and Dr Booth watched the ladies walk by, then turned to me saying 'Well done Joe! What you sitting there for? You're in mate'

'Yeah sure.' I responded, not without sarcasm. 'So, Moose. You were saying something about helping Mark. His charity I presume?'

'Huh?' said Moose. 'What charity? Nah. I'm going to help Mark with his work, Joseph. I'm going to be his...whaddaya call it - research assistant!.'

'Right. OK. Is that so?' I asked. Mark was nodding furiously, though I wasn't sure whether or not he understood the full implication of taking on Moose as his scientific accomplice. 'Have you, er, any experience?'

'Mark has promised complete on-the-job training. How hard can it be?'

I left shortly afterwards, leaving them staggering towards a night-club, arm in arm singing an old Osmonds song. Mark's last words to me were 'cheer up you sad old bashtard. Ish not the end of the wurld, ish it?'

Moose just winked and shook my hand. What that symbolised I have no idea. I wish them well in their endeavours.

J McC

5 comments:

Susan S said...

Oh deary me! Not the best of nights for you, my dear, huh?! Next time, designate someone else as the driver, cos it sounds like Mark and Moose had a whale of a time! Better luck next time, honey! Guess we'll have to wait for Moose McCrumble and cream!

hazel love wonderingly said...

McCrumble, I must admit to being terribly confoosed. I didn't realise that the good Dr Booth was also a scientist? I though he was your marketing manager...or is this just another string to his bow? Is he also an emminent parasitologist as well as being a noted man of science (listed as such in 'Flookes Peerage')

Nikki said...

It's probably a good thing you stayed sober Dr Joe...considering the trouble you manage to get yourself into.

Wilf said...

Very funny - was it meant to be? Anyway, I've added your blog to mine!

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

Susan - I'm not often the dry one, so I just had to sit it out really.

Hazel - Dr Booth is indeed a scientist. You can read all about him from the link on the sidebar

Nikki -it pains me to admit you may well be right on this one

Wilf - thanks mate. I'll reciprocate!