Never one to be beaten, despite my ineptitude at acquiring a bottle of Buckfast to see whether I got violently drunk, I decided that you cannot comment on something you have never done. You have to live it. This was inspired more or less by top Blogger Tandy who implored us beer bloggers to get out more and go into pubs. Well I’ve been into a pub this year and experienced it, and I feel it’s time to extend the experience into the wide variety of drinking experiences available.
With an afternoon off work to see the dentist, the lady squeeze asked me why I was getting old paint splattered clothes out of the garage. “Doing some painting?”, “No dear, I need to dress up as tramp” I replied.
“I have to ask, I don’t want to, I mean I really think I don’t want to know, but why are you dressing as a tramp?”
God bless her, she must love me, her look of worry and concern as I explained my post dentist plan for the afternoon warmed me considerably. My plan was this. As I cannot sit in my nice warm comfortable living room necking a bottle of Bucky to see whether I got violent, I had to experience a bit of tramp living. I was going to dress up like a tramp, go down to the town centre, sit by the Sainsbury’s cash point and bum money in a Scottish accent. I was then going to take the money into Sainsbury’s and buy whatever tramps piss I could afford, neck it, either share it or fight with my fellow tramps depending upon their attitude to the new tramp on the block, and do this till tea time when I was going to come home, get a shower and prepare a Moroccan chicken cous cous salad for us both to enjoy for when she got back from work.
I really don’t think she believed me, she thought it was a wind up, her reply was a slowly drawn out “okayyyyy then”
After a successful dentist visit (no fillings, no pain) it was dress up time and off to the cash point. The only substance I had in the house of tramps piss strength was Skullsplitter from the Orkney brewery (a Xmas pressie) in Scotland (8.5%), which I thought added a bit of authenticity to my whole Scottish character, so I took it along with me to get myself in the mood. I sat down by the cash point, took a swig of the pleasantly warming brew, and was ignored completely as I asked a suited gentleman “Och eye the noo, any spare change mister?” I swigged away, having very little luck, but a kindly blue haired girl with dreadlocks gave me 50p. It was a start. Interestingly I found the most generous toward me were not those that appeared prosperous. I felt a little guilty at that point but thank god for the Skullsplitter. That was taking the edge off any pang I had that what I was doing might be considered “wrong”
Soon I had just over £3 in shrapnel. With my bottle of Scottish grog gone and having neglected to bring along an emergency ration it was off into the supermarket to see what my money would buy me. I was obviously looking for strong grog sold irresponsibly. A stiff hit for within my £3. I headed for the Spesh. It was over £6 a four pack. No individual cans. All of the other Spesh wannabees were packaged in the same manner. What’s a tramp supposed to do? I pondered asking to see the manager to inform him of his failure to capture the tramp market but as I noticed a fella from security looking at me and talking into his walkie talkie I went to look at the individual bottles of grog. This is usually premium priced craft brewing but I got a result. Robinsons Old Tom. 8.5%. 2 for £3. It was as if god was looking after me and wanting my experiment in tramp living to succeed. Thank you god for irresponsible alcohol retailing.
Taking a couple of bottles and heading to the cashier, I noticed security still on my tail. The look of disgust the cashier gave me confirmed I’d got my appearance spot on as I paid for my grog in assorted 5 and 10 pence pieces. She was surprised when I handed my nectar card over for the points though.
Off back to my spot with my 2 bottles of irresponsibly retailed tramps piss I found another tramp had taken my spot. “Och eye pal, that my spot” I told him. He replied but I cannot tell you what he said. I don’t really understand Scottish, most of it is unintelligible, but he appeared angry so I opened a bottle of my grog and offered him a swig. He appeared to mellow toward me so I sat next to him as we shared the bottle. He did talk to me, but as I said it was Scottish and I really don’t know what he said. I nodded and replied “och eye” to everything. He offered me a swig of what he had and I cannot tell you what it was other than I’m sure it sent me blind for a few seconds.
If I was to offer a tip in Tramp living, don't get your netbook out to check your emails over your mobile broadband. The donations dry up if you do that. Keep the allusion of poverty.
With that it was getting a bit cold, so off home for a hot shower. I parted company with my new found Scottish friend, letting him keep the change we had accrued together. I did think of asking for half, but thought better of it. So there you have it. The happening drink of today’s tramp. Old Tom. World beer of the year according to the bottle, and a nice enough bottle of warming grog.