Sample quotes from the book Stags! by Michael Madden
The door opened, and The Gringo walked in. His hair was unkempt, his face was pale and unshaven, and he looked in need of a change of clothes.
“It's a boy,” he announced, and he was met with loud cheers.
“Well done lad. Sit down and I'll get you a pint.” Pete was the first to offer his congratulations.
Lots more followed, and the table was soon full of pints and celebratory shorts as The Gringo shook off his exhaustion.
“How was it?” asked Richie, showing genuine interest. “They reckon it’s the most wonderful thing in the world.”
The Gringo was only too keen to set the record straight. “It was terrible. Shocking, really. If God had meant man to be at the birth of his child, he would have made us blind with no sense of smell. Your wife is shouting at you. The midwife is shouting at you. You feel totally useless anyway. And the smell!”
“What smell?” Richie was shocked.
“When a woman is lying on a bed, drugged up to her eyeballs, and the midwife tells her to push, she's not exactly in control of what comes out, if you get my drift. Nearly passed out twice. I would have given anything for a blast of gas and air.”
Darts and Dominoes was a male dominated evening, with only the bar staff allowed to be female in Pete's mind. He believed that women who get involved in male dominated pub sports are inevitably ugly with fat tits, and they don't know what they are doing, particularly with a game that requires some degree of mental dexterity such as dominoes.
The swimming pool that Pete always took the girls to had steps into the shallow end, right outside the female changing room. The girls had learned to swim long ago, so they required little or no supervision, and this gave Pete the chance to loll about in waist deep, tepid water whilst watching assorted mothers and sisters getting in and out of the pool.
Pete decided to swim his third and fourth lengths of the day, and as he did so he caught sight of a woman coming out of the changing room. He estimated her age to be around thirty five, and she wore a white bathing suit that had seen better days. It was see-through when it was dry, and he wondered how much more so it would be when it was wet. It revealed large brown nipples and a saggy stomach, but as he surreptitiously lowered his gaze he was appalled at the spiders legs creeping out from her crotch. Looks like a bag of tarantulas, he thought to himself as he returned to the shallows.
“Ok, but not for too long, you’ve still got your homework to do,” Deirdre always tempered her favours for the girls, as she was inclined to do with Pete.
“Why don’t you nip out for a pint?” she might say on Sunday afternoon if she had friends coming round, but she would quickly follow this with, “and can you drop the haemorrhoid cream off with my mum on the way.”
Moment of truth, he thought, as he lay back in bed and closed his eyes, wishing that he could remember, at least to the nearest hour, what time he had returned home and what time he had made it to bed. That would provide him with some ammunition to defend the expected onslaught, but it never came.
Pete continued on his way home. “Look Samantha, its his right. It's our right. You have no right to stop him. Two wrongs don't make a right Sam, and you know it.” There seemed to be a few too many rights, but who was counting?
Tosh walked passed and murmured a quick, “Alright Pete,” as though seeing his mate pissing against a hedge was the most normal thing in the world. And sometimes it was.
And this was how it was. Most Saturdays from August to May, the followers of United or City would go to the match if their team were at home, or they would stay in the pub and keep up with the coverage on the television. Occasionally, if their team were in a bad run of form, the weather was cold, and the banter was particularly lively, it did not matter whether they were home or away, there was always the option to stay in The Queen. It did not require a phone call or a text message. “Are you in The Queen on Saturday?” was never asked. Football gatherings such as this never had to be planned, they just happened. No one could remember the first time, or how long it had been happening, they just knew that some primeval urge would get them out of their bed on a Saturday morning, and no matter what mother nature, the female of the species, or any other family members threw as obstacles in their path, nothing would get in the way of their sole aim of ending up in The Queen.
Some days, when no-one's team were playing, they even adopted other clubs from the north west as their favourites. On this particular afternoon, with all games in the top two divisions of English football being postponed due to the international fixtures, the biggest football related cheer came when Stockport scored a late equaliser, a fact that would almost certainly be forgotten within the hour. Adopted teams were never adopted for very long.
“Goals are like shags. There’s no such thing as a bad one. Do you think Alan Shearer complains about the quality of a two yard tap in? No. He just puts it alongside the thirty yard screamer he probably scored the week before.”
When I got married things were just the same the week after as they were the week before. Sure, things changed a bit when the kids arrived, but not too much, and now they are back to normal. I used to get pissed in the pub before we got married and I made it clear that I would continue to get pissed in the pub afterwards. And she respected me all the more for that. I mean, after all, I was only trying to preserve the man she fell in love with.
“Now, now,” he scolded, “you can't give a man a proper send off in Blackpool.”
“If you think he's going to Amsterdam you can think again. God knows what he'd come back with from over there.”“Clogs and tulips,” joked Pete, and then he gambled. “What's up? Don't you trust him? You shouldn't be planning to spend the rest of your life with a bloke if you don't trust him.
The checkout girl was certainly not the fittest in the line, but to Pete she looked as if she was up for a laugh, and who knows, maybe a shag.
Pete started every encounter with a woman with the same question in his mind, “What are the chances of getting a shag?” and he found that this was a sound basis to make a judgement on just about everything.
An attractive young lady was looking up and down the shelves, and then she grabbed a packet of tampons that fell on to the floor. Normally his chivalry would step in, and he would pick them up for her, but he figured that any woman buying tampons was likely to be in a foul mood, so he grabbed Deirdre's pack and turned around to the medical supplies.
He was not the kind of “you leave the loo seat up and I need it down” kind of sexist. Oh no. In that situation if he came in pissed and the loo seat was down he was far more likely to pee all over it rather than to lift it up. Pete was more of a sexist in the subjects that really mattered. Subjects like football, beer, and more football.
“Hey Pete,” she called, and he paused momentarily. “If you get arseholed tonight try to piss in your own garden.”
“Morning love,” Pete said, an opening gambit delivered in almost apologetic tones. He knew he would be in the doghouse, the next thirty seconds would tell him exactly which doghouse he was in; the centrally heated one with carpets that any pampered pooch would envy, or the dilapidated one held together by rusty nails that no one ever cleaned the shit out of, and in truth, the one he deserved.
He stared at himself in the bathroom mirror and slapped some aftershave onto his stubble. That particular habit went back to his teenage days when aftershave was almost guaranteed to pull a bird, although he could never actually remember it working.