Two weeks ago we'd been in Alvechurch, disgusting the drinkers in The Red Lion. Now Mark, Finbar, Ben and Mike were meeting in Sutton to discuss, over drinks, a holiday they were soon to take in Ibiza. I was just going along to add my charismatic presence.
I met Mark in Sutton High Street, we met Ben at Sutton Station. Then the three of us headed to a Wetherspoon's pub called The Moon On The Hill, a favourite pub of Mark and Finbar's, and the reason for the Wetherspoon's popularity during the canal trip.
We sat in a corner seating area in the pub, and Mark immediately got out of his bag an SLR camera he'd bought a few days before, hoping I could show him how to use it. Mike turned up while Mark and I were engrossed in the manual camera, figuring out all the controls. Mike couldn't believe what he was seeing: Mark had defected. He was actually sitting with a camera in a pub.
Finbar turned up a while later, very displeased to learn that now Mark had a camera with him. Even less pleased when he noticed that I'd got the Yashica compact with me too.
What a freak, Mike muttered under his breath to Ben, who was also astonishingly bored with the talk about and presence of cameras.
Uh, Mike, I complained.
Let me just clear something up. You have just started playing Games Workshop games again, is that right?
Mike went a quick shade of red, mumbled:
Playing with little lead models? I asked, smiling.
Oh, yeah, Mike mumbled, Finbar and Ben laughing at his sudden loss of credibility. Mike didn't mutter again about Mark's new purchase.
God, Bobby, Mark said apologetically.
I feel sorry now I know how it feels. I wish I hadn't taken the piss during the holiday just because you had your cameras with you in pubs.
Yeah, well, I said humbly,
that's okay. And don't forget you were taking the piss out of me for taking pictures in the Co-Op. Do you now agree there's nothing wrong with getting pictures in a supermarket?
Oh, no, Mark said defensively as he tried to work the manual flash.
I still think that was a sad thing to do.