Chapter 1: The Wager
There I was, sitting at the bar of my local pub after work one Friday afternoon; having a nice quiet drink. I was just about thinking that I might hang around until the kitchen opened at 6.30 and get myself a nice steak when the door flew open and in they came, the crowd from the office block over the road. It must have been someone's birthday or something. They tended to do this a couple of times a month and as usual they took the bloody place over, disturbing the tranquillity of the bar as they began feeding the bloody jukebox and made lots of noise.
There must have been about twenty or thirty of them all together, guys and girls. Looking them over, I figured most of them should really have been on their way home to their loving spouses. Then some of them started dancing. Christ, things aren't supposed to get lively until around here until about nine o'clock! Shit, the buggers killed the ambience of the bloody place for me.
OK, I'm a miserable old bastard, but that's my right. I've got my reasons for being pissed off with the world and office workers who drink too much, then do things they regret later.
'Oh, well' I thought, 'looks like it's going to be another take-away and a night in front of the bleeding telly again.' I still had my pint to finish so I would have to put up with the bleedin' Hooray Henries for a little while yet.
Just to put the kibosh on things, two guys settled into the stalls at the bar right next to mine. At this time on a Friday I normally have this corner to myself. I didn't want to hear their mundane conversation, but I didn't have much choice as they sat so bloody close to me.
"So you reckon Doug's going to get her then?"
"Dead bloody cert, my friend! Once lover boy decides he's going to have her knickers off, that's it! I've never known him to fail yet; I'll bet he'll be screwing her by the end of the month. You see if I'm not right?"
"But she's only been married a few years. I think he's bitten off more than he can chew this time. She's crazy about her Kevin. Never stops talking about him."
"Well, our Doug will soon get her squealing his name and begging for some more of his Lady pleaser. I've never known him to fail before and remember there's a hundred quid at stake on her. Graham reckons he's going to get there first."
'Hold on a minute.' I thought, 'Just what the fuck are these two arseholes talking about?' There appeared to be some wager going on to see which of two office Casanova's would be the first to get into some dumb married tart's knickers.
"So he says! But I can't see him getting in young Dawn's knickers."
These guys had got right up my nose by now. They were casually discussing their arsehole friends having a bet on which of them was going to seduce someone else's wife. Now I didn't know who the hell these guys were talking about. But these arseholes Doug and Graham or whatever their names were had made themselves an enemy without even knowing it. From what little I had heard, they sounded just like the sort of arsehole who fucked up my life.
I suppose it was curiosity, or maybe it was temper, that made me order another pint; I needed to know more. I don't think it was a conscious thought but I think I just wondered whether there was some way I could, I don't know, kick the arsehole's' horse or something. You know what I mean, fuck-up the two Casanovas' plans. I hadn't been able to get at the bastard that fucked up my marriage, as someone else beat me to it. But maybe I could get these cunts by the short and curly's and if I was lucky, maybe save some other poor bugger's marriage.
"Here's the man himself. Take it from the horse's mouth." One of the wankers said, "What ya having Doug?"
A right flash looking guy, who had apparently just entered the bar, joined the other two wankers and asked for the latest 'In Drink'. I suppose the ladies would find him quite good looking and I would have put him to be about my age, maybe a little younger, 30-35-ish. He refused the barman's offer of a glass and taking the bottle by the neck holding it up by his mouth, the label suitably displayed outwards so that everyone could see what an 'In Guy' he was, drinking the latest designer brew.
Oh, shit, it looked like this guy was everything I hate in the world, all nicely rolled up into one big package. I can't stand fucking Posers!
You know it's funny, but I knew exactly what the Prick was going to do next. He was going to take a sip of his drink then turn around and lean back with his elbows resting on the edge of the bar, so he could have a good look to see who was admiring him. He wouldn't have the nonce to realise that most people in the place were thinking 'What a Bleeding Wanker'. Well, I was for one. Of course some of the naive women could well fancy him. They say some guys think with their pricks, but then again some stupid women don't think at all!
Yep, true to form. The bottle that he had only taken a sip from now dangled near his waist. But the label is still pointing out so it could be read.
Fuck, did I miss out on something at school, or do they run night-classes in Poser-arseholeism nowadays. All these Pratt's do the exactly same things. I'll bet he's got a flash car outside with a nice big noisy exhaust. They seem to think the bigger the exhaust and the more noise their car makes, the bigger everyone will think their prick is. Well, I suppose it makes a change from the old medallion man's medal, or the sock down the trousers.
The three arseholes dropped back into their conversation and I managed to glean that this Doug Prick was a supervisor. He had just completed the appraisals for the next pay round in the office. Apparently this Dawn and her old man were in a bit of a financial bind and the arsehole had given her a nice raise. His next move was to wave a promotion under her nose. But to get that, he was planning she was going to have put out for him.
Apparently the Graham character, whoever he was, was going to try for the straight seduction. But the three at the bar didn't think he would have much luck with that approach. But somehow or the other there was a hundred quid for the first of them to bring her knickers into the office.
"Right!" the Doug Character said, "A man's work is never done. Can't let Graham have her all to himself for too long."
He pushed himself off from the bar, swaggered over to one of the tables and invited a girl who had been talking to another guy to dance. She looked up at him, smiled and then followed him onto the dance floor.
"Well, that's pissed Graham off. I don't think he knew that Doug was going to be here tonight. He thought he was going to have Dawn all to himself," the nearer of the two Prats' at the bar said.
This was good; I now knew what Graham and Dawn looked like, so I would be able to recognise them in the future. But I still had no idea what I was going to do, or really even if I should get involved in this.
Bollocks, if that cunt who had written that anonymous note to me, had done so just a couple of weeks earlier, I probably would still be hitched now. Maybe not quite as happily married as I had been, but Anita and I would most likely still be living together.
No, if I had anything to do with it, this Kevin wasn't going to get an anonymous letter after it was too late for them!
I sat there for the next couple of hours. The two Pratt's at the bar carried on chatting about the wager that was going on but I didn't learn anything really useful. Other than that both the Doug and Graham arseholes apparently both had impressive reputations when it came to getting into the ladies' knickers.
But I also gathered that those reputations were mainly based on hearsay or the bragging the two of them did to the other guys in the office. Neither of the two guys at the bar appeared to have any first hand knowledge of their exploits, other than rumours and apparently both the arseholes at one time or the other were implicated in a couple of girls quitting their jobs. Oh, and I think I got the hint that Graham was concerned in some woman's divorce.
As the evening wore on, the office crowd were slowly replaced by the Friday night mob. I should definitely have been out of there by then and George the barman was growing curious.
I sat at the bar and watched Doug, Dawn and Graham play an entertaining game of musical chairs. They were sitting on a long bench seat with Dawn sitting between the two guys. Every so often one of the guys would ask Dawn to dance. When they came back Dawn would sit down a discrete distance form the other guy. But her dance partner would sit down as close as he could to her, often so close that they hips were touching. I assumed Dawn thought this inappropriate, as she would give a little wiggle and move away just a tiny bit. It was apparent she was too polite to make it too obvious. The other suitor would give his rival a look that could kill and then he would ask Dawn to dance. When they returned the whole little game of shuffle bum would start again from the other side.
Then quite suddenly just before nine, Dawn came back from the dance floor and sat in a chair beside another girl. I noticed Dawn was now looking at her watch quite often and her two suitors appeared to be ignoring her, having a deep but friendly conversation between themselves, not looking at or talking to Dawn.
Then I suddenly discovered why. The guy must be a bloody weightlifter or something; he was the size of a bleeding mountain and built like the proverbial brick shit-house. He strolled over to Dawn and gave her a kiss that told me his name was Kevin.
Doug and Graham must be bloody brain dead; this was not the sort of guy anyone would want to get on the wrong side of. But then Doug and Graham were a pair of arrogant arseholes. I don't suppose the idea of getting caught ever entered their heads.
Dawn got up said her goodbyes to everyone, then she and Kevin left. I noted that Kevin didn't have a drink whilst he was there and I put that down to him being a fitness freak.
Doug and Graham said good night to Dawn in a very nonchalant manner. There was no sign she had been the centre of their attention all evening and shortly after Dawn had left they also got up to leave. My two erstwhile companions got off their stools and a little unsteadily followed the other two Pratts out.
Well, there was no point in me hanging around any longer so I finished my pint and was collecting my gear off the bar when I noticed the record light was on my digital note taker. I couldn't for the life of me remember turning it on, but I must have done so earlier in the evening.
When I got home I discovered I had turned it on when Graham had first come into the bar. I must have done that when my temper was up; it's surprising how you can't remember exactly what you did when your emotions are up. There was a lot of background noise on the recording but you could make out what they were saying.
Hey, this was going to be useful. All I had to do was get this Dawn to listen to Doug discussing how he was planing to screw her. If she had any sense she would tell him to f-off! Job done! It looked like this was going to be easier than I had first thought. But hold on though, this Doug needed to be taught a lesson.
I plugged the thing into my laptop, downloaded the whole recording and made a copy on a CD. Then I made a quick sandwich; I had been so into gleaning information I had forgotten to eat. Then it was a quick shower and bed.