I went to the pub last night. I go to the pub every Tuesday - not for the atmosphere (I don't like pubs), or for the drink (I'm a teetotaller), or for the food (except crisps), but for the pub quiz which we keep winning. Honest. We just don't mention it and we keep putting a slightly lower score so other people get a chance to win instead. Sometimes, to make it really authentic, we put some wrong answers too. We're deceptive like that, we are.
One of my oldest friends, who I'll call Robinson, wasn't there last night. He'd said via the medium of textual messaging that he wasn't going to be available, but that we should all go along anyway. There were enough of us to compensate for Robinson's absence, plus there weren't any questions about gardening, so that was a relief. However, he's usually there - in fact, it was probably his idea to start the whole quiz-night thing - so eventually the question of where he was arose.
"He's... he said he'd be unavailable," I ventured, before sinking back into silence.
A hairy friend leaned forwards. Hairy Friend can be relied upon to take the tone of absolutely anything down a notch.
"Do you want to vomit or not?" he said to the group at large. "Because the nice answer is that he's in Cambridge, with his girlfriend."
Cambridge? My head span. What were they doing in Cambridge? Oh yes, she was handing in a final dissertation for a course she was doing there. I think that's what she said last time I saw her. Well, there's nothing vomit-inducing in that.
"The other answer is that they'll be..." - Hairy Friend paused for dramatic effect - "...celebrating upstairs."
He didn't quite get the laughter he'd been angling for. But then again, this atypically restrained form of referring to sexual activity (that, and we're talking about one of my best mates here) was, perhaps, a little more unnerving that it should have been. Why? Maybe because he gave it a setting? Or because we all started trying not to imagine Robinson and his girlfriend 'celebrating upstairs'? Hairy Friend gave a roguish wink and turned back to his lager.
We went on to win the quiz. We just didn't tell anyone. I think we had the best team name, though.