Yesterday afternoon I met up for a beer with an old workmate I hadn’t seen for around three years.
On rendezvousing in a pub at Leeds train station, it was immediately clear he’d lost none of his thirst in those intervening 36 months, not to mention his lugs still gave him the appearance of the FA Cup trophy.
A south Londoner by descent, the buddy who I’ll call Danny (as that is his name) no longer works at the financial institution where we worked together for numerous years. Following redundancy earlier this year, he has set up his own business selling pet food domestically.
It was really good to catch up with him although, as I don’t have a canine, god only knows what I’m going to do with the 24 cans of Doggy Chunks he sold me!
Like me, Daniel is fond of the odd ‘tongue in cheek’ remark, meaning much of our conversation was not of an overly serious nature. In fact, apart from giving me the pet food hard sell, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to proffer we spent those 3-4 hours ripping the p*** out of each other.
Not long after roping me into buying 36 cans of Kitty Chunks, we reminisced about the old days at work. Those were halcyon days when he would ‘entertain the troops’ with youthful tales of wrapping his head in sticky tape, along with anecdotes about his fear of dwarves and clowns.
Always the joker in the pack, he was always good value to bring levity to even the most stressful of work situations. Unless, of course, a dwarf or a clown was amongst the cast of the company’s many theme days, when he’d be off like a shot, the soft get.
His wife Julie also worked for the same company, leaving recently for a role working for Dan stacking tins of pet food in their garage. Some say it’s a waste of her skillset, but her husband assures me it isn’t as she’s a bit of a thick sh!te!
During him breaking off from selling me 48 millet sprays for a budgie I don’t have, tales of our departmental mishaps were abound…… Thankfully, later on we also talked about some interesting stuff.
As a mad keen Castleford rugby league team, yesterday Danny attempted to fill some of the knowledge voids I possess about the game with its roots heavily in northern England.
As we ducked and dived to avoid Wetherspoons waiters delivering festive fare to nearby tables, my southern pal told me everything I needed to know about the food enjoyed by Castleford coach Daryl Powell’s hamster Bernard.
It was so mind-numbing that even Sky Sports News, in their endless quest to pad out schedules with uninteresting sporting facts, turned down the story.
It has to be said though, the hamster food I sampled instead of salted nuts with my second pint was tasty enough……. With this in mind, I bought a big bag for the family to snack on over the festive period.
At around 4pm, shortly after persuading me to sponsor a meerkat, my ex-work mate and I parted ways. We’d had some good laughs, a few beers and I’d boosted his 2016 pet food sales figures with my purchase of 24 cans of dog food, 36 of cat chunks, 48 millet sprays and 1kg of hamster mix.
It was great to see the chirpy Londoner again after all this time, although I can’t help but think he only wanted to meet up to sell me domestic animal sustenance…. Cheeky get!
Right, I’m off to buy a dog, cat, budgie and a hamster, as this pet food won’t eat itself!