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Hölping August 31, 2006

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
To reward myself for finishing one of the most hellish translations since someone bothered to translate Carlos Ruiz Zafón into English and in the full knowledge that I’m utterly not behind schedule with the current translation and because I got a 2p tax rebate yesterday, I decided to pop out for a quick self-congratulatory queer beer.

Having valiantly survived the atrocious weather to get there, teeth chattering for the first time since May, I settled in for some Bierbauch-reinforcing consumption and got on with giving up giving up smoking. Chatted to a couple of acquaintance queens, one of whom told me about the difficulties of being a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence. I was as sympathetic as could be. (“Some take two hours to do their make-up, whereas I only take one.”)

I popped to the loo for a self-congratulatory wee. En route, I came across a gentleman sitting on the floor, almost recumbent, with his trousers round his ankles. Thankfully, his undercrackers were where they were meant to be. I didn’t react immediately, as I wondered if this might be some type of performance, or whether he was being some living installation, or whether this was perhaps pants-round-ankles night and I just hadn’t noticed. Plus, there were others wandering past him too, and most paid no attention, stepping over this inconvenience-made-flesh.

Another responsible queen and I exchanged concerned glances. Call us sharp, but we realised all was not well with this gent. It wasn’t a performance. He was either pissed or stoned out of his head, or had just had a stroke. It was time to help. The trouble is, I can never remember whether the verb for to help in German is hilfen or helfen so always have to disguise my ignorance by saying a neutral-sounding hölfen which instantly makes folk realise you’re a foreigner, or mad, and they ask where you’re from, or what medication you’re on, and we didn’t need that distraction yesterday. “England,” I said, curtly, as we bent down to take an arm each over the shoulder.

I suppose this was as close to parenthood as I’m going to get. Once we’d heaved him upright – and he was a big, chunky thing – I started having to pull up his trousers. This went smoothly enough until I got to the final over-the-hips movement. I had to yank like fuck, and still didn’t succeed and just didn’t think I had the right, in 2006, with consciousness of violation of personal space and all that where it is, to start fiddling around with belts and buttons right in that danger zone. I left them at rapper height and hoped for the best.

We began to tug him towards a bench. His pants were back round his ankles in seconds. I gave them one good final yank and indecent exposure was a thing of the past. It was surprisingly hard work for us two queens – the other one made me look butch – to hoist him up the few centimetres onto the bench. Especially as his jelly-like body couldn’t manage the hard work of L-shaped sitting and he wanted to slither naturally to the floor. Eventually I held him in place and wondered if this was to be my fate for the next couple of hours.

“Hey, Sven, Sven,” hollered some drunken twat who’d already asked me for a cigarette. “Do you know him, then?” queen B and I asked, as one. “No,” he said, washing his hands of all responsibility. We tried to pour water into Sven. This afforded limited success, and a wet chin. The homely Polish barman then appeared, brandishing a flannel full of ice-cubes, and gave Sven a facial bench-bath. Sven showed signs of life and slurred his disapproval. The Polish barman looked at us western queens to show us that if you need to get something done properly, then get a Slav to do it.

We hoiked Sven to a bench closer to the bar-door to get some fresh air into his lungs. Again, there was the jelly-body+bench factor. I held on to him for my life.

The cigarette-poncing twat reappeared – he too was huge – and dragged Sven outside. I followed. “You do know him, then?” “No,” the twat insisted. We asked Sven where he lived. “Pwthl,” came the reply. “Fat chance we’ve got of getting him back to some village in Wales at this hour,” I thought, until I realised it was the drink talking. His second attempt was more succinct, and revealed that he lived on S_ str., just round the corner and a three-minute walk for a mobile person but a good four-hour stumble and slither for someone in Sven’s condition. Sven wobbled off, and I thought, good-samaritanishly, that I’d better finish what I’d started. I dashed back into the bar to get my full-winter clothing, but when I reappeared, there was no sign of slithering Sven. I wandered S_str.-wards thinking I’d catch him up, but no sign. The poncing twat had presumably stolen him and sold him into slavery.

I wandered home, sober, and with a full packet of cigarettes. That doesn’t happen too often.



1. chendaberry - August 31, 2006

Aha. Haunting the G_str. bars again, then? Sounds like you can tick off your good deed of the day..

2. Blonde at Heart - September 1, 2006

You are a good person! And this is an absolutely hilarious story. But what about your beer?

3. leon - September 1, 2006

“Undercrackers” is a brilliant word.

4. BiB - September 1, 2006

Leon, I don’t think I’d ever used undercrackers before, but I thought it was time it got an airing. As did the man in question about his own. Although the Russian and I already knew each other, and I didn’t take advantage of a man in his position, we were slightly thrown together when he accidentally got into a similar state chez moi when we hardly knew each other and I had to be Florence Nightingale. Worked a treat.

BAH, I held onto my beer with almost as much vigour as I held onto drunken Sven. But his drunkenness at least made me drink less. A good thing.

Chen, I have to confess, it wasn’t a majorly classy establishment. But this was poor behaviour even by its standards.

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