A dish served cold
A dish served cold
It was a dirty old day, just a stop on the way
In the sleet and the fog and the rain,
Jams and diversions and unplanned excursions
And drivers with speed on the brain.
When well before noon in the old greasy spoon
Somewhere just off the M one,
(It had seen better days with a jukebox that plays
old ballads from artists long gone.)
In the corner sat Fred, with his cap on his head
A paper, and pint mug of tea.
He had set off at six with a full load of bricks
For Brum, for a quarter past three.
It was a regular stop on his way to his drop,
For a nosh up, a leak and a read -
Full of regular folk - pass the time, have a joke,
Just the place for a trucker in need.
He ordered a fry up as it started to dry up
And the waitress arrived with a smile;
Bacon beans and two eggs and a great pair of legs
That would see him through many a mile.
So he sugared his tea had a squirt of HP
And stubbed out his fag with a cough,
When from outside the door came a thunderous roar,
Like a jumbo that’s just taking off.
At the sound of the bell a vision from hell
Near took the door from its frame,
And a silence descended like the world had just ended
And would never again be the same.
He was almost eight foot of muscle and gut,
All leather and studs and tattoos.
It went still as the tomb as he studied the room
And swigged from a bottle of booze.
He growled “Get me a beer! I’ll sit over here.”
As folk pushed their chairs back in dread.
Through the rank smell of fear he stomped to the rear
And slumped down - right opposite Fred.
He just sat for a while, with a sick kind of smile
Like a pitbull that’s gnawing a bone,
And he looked up at Fred with a grimace and said,
“Guess you’re hoping I’ll leave you alone.
Well be in no doubt, your luck just ran out
I’m all of your nightmares and more!”
Then he picked up Fred’s tea with a look of pure glee
And emptied it onto the floor.
Fred didn’t move an inch, didn’t blink, didn’t flinch
As the thug snatched the cap from his head,
And with cigarette ashes, eggs, beans and rashers
He filled it, replaced it, and said,
“I’m a son of a bitch and I just got the itch
For a fight and I’m picking on you!
So don’t sit and stare get up off that chair
And show these folks what you can do!”
But Fred didn’t speak never uttered a squeak
As the egg yolk ran down off his chin;
He just walked to the till and settled his bill
And left the same way he came in.
The ape watched him go and then said, “You know,
Where I come from back in L.A.
The men are real men, real tough guys, but then
I’ve heard most of you limeys are gay.
You just ain’t got the balls when it comes to a brawl
If you could you’d have got up and ran.
You’re all soft and weak and that little geek,
Well he just wasn’t much of a man.”
Then with a rattle of cups the waitress piped up -
“Yank, you can think what you like,
Not a man, nor a driver, you could say he was neither -
He’s just reversed over your bike!”