The pub was filling quickly, and it was an effort to get to the bar. Davo had to bellow at the barman to be heard over the raised conversations and occasional cheers and groans at the footy match which was blaring on the giant screen. With practiced ease, he gathered the three schooners and escorted them safely back to the table they’d snagged near the open window, looking out onto the street.
‘Cheers, fellas.’ He grinned at Mick and Tom as they reached for a glass each.
‘On ya, Davo.’
‘Gee, mate, you took long enough. A fella could die of thirst waiting.’ Tom smiled at him before taking a swig of beer.
‘At least he came back with full glasses of beer. You left half of that last round on the floor,’ Mick replied.
Tom pulled a pained face. ‘Hey, I can’t help it if people are attracted to me.’
Davo had to laugh as Tom preened and flicked back his no longer existent hair.
‘Yeah, sure, mate.’ Mick reached over and slapped Tom on the shoulder. ‘We can all see your inner beauty.’
Davo laughed along, wondering why it had been so long between catching up with his old mates. Life was busy, sure, and there was always somewhere that he needed to be or something that had to be done. But he knew that times like this mattered too.
‘You know, Davo, a real mate would have got us a couple of beers each, and maybe some nuts.’ Tom was looking at his glass, now under the halfway mark.
‘Well, Tom, you can show us how it’s done. It’s your round next.’ Mick tipped a wink in Davo’s direction. Davo grinned, knowing what would come next.
‘You must be getting forgetful in your old age, Mick. It’s your shout. You don’t want to risk me going through that mob again.’ Tom jerked his head towards the press of people at the bar.
Davo shook his head. ‘Tom, you never change, mate. You’d still use any excuse to avoid opening that wallet of yours. Do you still get away with that old trick of leaving it at home?’
Tom looked at both of them with mock dismay, then gave a rueful smile. ‘It still works sometimes. But my missus is onto it. She makes a point of asking me to grab it before we go out.’
Davo and Mick laughed with him. Tom finished his beer and placed it firmly on the coaster.
‘But it really ticks her off when I take out the cash and cards and leave them at home.’
They howled with laughter, and Tom joined in.
‘Some things never change,’ said Davo.
I’m participating in this blogging challenge for the month of January which supports starting the year on the “write” track. You can find out more about the challenge, join in and read other posts here.
Photo: mini-mural painting of an old brewery cart at Lithgow