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Mutton Dressed As Ram

December 14th, 2011 by admin

The mid-range pub where Wazzer wrangles the day staff is having a boom this recession Christmastide. Every office team is deciding to go for the $10 pub lunches to celebrate the season, and then, as the owner Nigel had dearly hoped, splashing out on drinks galore. Activist waitron Chelsea is visibly exhausted as she shunts trays of fish and chips around; she is tired after a shrill weekend at Occupy Wellington. Catching sight of herself in a mirror, Wazzer clocks her own weariness after moving flats over Sunday.

The new flat is good. But now that she can bring home anybody she wants, without raising any eyebrows…it’s not as much fun, anymore. The one-bedroom place seemed large and hollow when her latest pick-up went back to his backpackers’. Like it was used to having a couple there, after Will and Win had lived there. But do you ever find a boyfriend when you’re looking, Wazzer thinks.

“Hey, I’d like to set up a lunch? Over the weekend? Do you do the $10 specials then?”

Jolted, Wazzer eyes him. Bald head, manicured stubble, expensive glasses, a stretcher in one ear, a striped and printed T-shirt, and resting a ridiculously long skateboard on the bar. The glasses don’t hide the wrinkles and pudge: he’s not a day under forty-five. Exactly the kind of Wellington hipster the mid-range pub makes its profit from on the weekends. Wondering if this guy knows he’s mutton dressed as ram, she snaps,  “That’s weekdays only, mate.”

“Oh. Okay, thanks. I was gonna do a birthday lunch for my son with his friends. No biggie.”

Wazzer softens. “That his board?”

“Absolutely. Thirteen, you know? Thinks he’s going to live forever.”

She glances around, then leans in and says, “We’ve got some seats Monday, it’s school holidays. Why not bring ’em then? And there’s a place down the street doing two for one burgers on Tuesday.”

He hauls out his mobile. “Can you book us as a maybe for Monday? I’ve got to call the Commander in Chief – I mean, my ex-wife – about this. I know, how about you give me your card?” She hands it over without a second thought.

And is very surprised when he texts her that night and offers her a drink to say thank you.

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