They’ve bottled the old man Grinner. Caresses ya throat as it passes, it do. Good as gold it is, too. Takes ya right back, that’s what a good drink do. Takes ya right back to the old days. Helps ya remember. Helps ya forget. Or somethink.
They’ve made a commemorative cider of his home-brew scrumpy. Old Man Grinner they calling it. There’s a gurning toby-jug face on the label. And it’s his face, too. After a fashion, like. All glazed round the cheeks. All glazed round the eyes. His hairy old mouth is all glazed as well, but don’t let that put ya off. Little lazy fucking mackerel clouds of grizzly hair poking out ‘neath a three-corner hat. Not that I ever see’d him wear one when he was alive. Now he’s dead though, oh, you can’t get him out of the bloody thing. Don’t know where he got it from. He’s still wearing his trousers all tied up at the knee. Ya’d think he could get a new pair if he can get a new hat. Maybe they got fancy clothes shops in the afterworld? Silly old cunt is a ghost of himself.
‘Gizza grin!’ That’s what it says on the label, right under his glazed chin. Like he’s saying it, “Gizza grin!” That’s advertising, that is. Looks right smart it do. It’s a shame that they be selling it in bottles and not straight out the pump. But that’s what the Beer Beer Company decided to do. Ya gotta admire it. It’s really caught on round these parts. “Gizza grin!” It’s become somethink of a catchphrase. The old man’s grin – in a bottle. Daft really. Should just be straight out the barrel. That would be the proper way of things. But they done it for the grockles I suppose.
Those advertising types up at the Beer Beer Company, that’s what they get paid for. Ya know, coming up with somethink like that: Gizza Grin! It’s fucking poetry, that be. Like they bottled his grin or somethink. Good luck to them I says. Come summertime, when this town fills up, well that’s what they’ll all be asking for. The young guns from the city, ya know the types, and the grockles up from that London and Bristol, wherever. They’ll be flashing the cash. Bottle of Old Man Grinner in hand. Pissed as farts.
Gizza grin. Sick of hearing it already, me. And it’s only January. It’ll be everywhere by high season. Tell ya what though, after about three bottles, if ya squint, that face on the label, well, it do start to look like the old cunt. Ever one says it. Ever one what knowed him. I don’t have to squint. Don’t have to fucking see it on no bottle. The old cunt’s right there in front of me these days. Following me round like a ghost. “Gizza grin, Nicky,” he says. “Fuck off, cunt,” I says. Wallop, down the hatch.
“Same again, please, Hester.”