There comes a point in a mans life when he has to take responsibility for his own actions, put the past behind him and start thinking for himself. For most people this change usually occurs between the ages of 18 and 25, a time when the heady excess of youth gives way to a more measured approach to living.
In short, growing up.
However there are a few people that somehow manage to bypass this transformation. Individuals who, not through any choice of their own, still find themselves behaving like excitable school leavers after a few bottles of cider in the local park.
Although now it’s after a few pints of Vodka and Orange down the local pub, and during uncontrollable laughter the person you’re shouting obscenities at is not the spotty kid from across the road that smelt of piss. It’s the local Policeman or captain of the rugby team, or his wife or daughter or probably both.
Fat Collin is one such person, and one hot night in Kos a few years ago stands out as a shining example of the man himself.
Picture if you will, a busy street on a Greek island, full of neon lit bars packed with young people enjoying themselves in the fun filled atmosphere of a sticky evening. As I sit outside one of these bars talking to a couple from Barnsley I can see a sort of semi commotion making its way down the street towards me. Somehow FC has rolled out of the beach bar in which he’s spent most of the week and has managed to find the busiest part of the resort in which to be, FC.
I can picture it now. He is wearing flip flops, shorts and an XXL vodka stained Arsenal top that struggles desperately to cover an enormous gut that he describes as, “More to push it in with”. The look of demented glee on his face is broken periodically with lines from Rabbit by Chaz ‘n Dave, complete with hand movements directed at passers by who look on in amazement.
He is uncontrollably drunk, and I quickly shield my face so to avoid recognition.
Tripping up the steps he crashes into the bar opposite, in which the rest of the customers decide quite quickly that they no longer want to be. Their departure is accompanied by another somehow familiar Chaz ‘n Dave song that has found its way on to the sound system. Incredible.
Finishing up I make my way over to the now private bar, only to find fatty rolling about on the floor laughing uncontrollably, singing, “I like Piccalilli” at the top of his voice. As I watched, filled with both embarrassment and pride, it seemed like he had not a care in the world. I often wonder how anyone can enjoy a life filled with so much humour and joy whilst being a successful businessman with a great family.
Maybe there’s a lesson to be learnt here?
Anyway, where am I going with this? Bored with being barred from, or beaten up in local pubs, FC has opened a bar of his very own. It opens at 4 O’clock, and in a moment of sheer inspiration he called it, The 4 O’clock bar.