A Paul F Clayton Tea-break Tale
Bill meets the Duke
(Tea-break / Engineering factory / in a clear space between the machines, the workers are sitting in a circle wearing boiler suits drinking tea / Bill is a renowned story teller, usually tales that enhance his life / Most of the workers resented Bill?s tales as lies / Young Steve was the only one who seemed fascinated by Bill?s Stories)
ROB: I was talking to a bloke in the Fox last night ? he gets double time from Friday afternoon ? when I told him we get time and a third at all times he pissed himself
TERRY: Most firms do ? it?s only these tight arses I know that don?t
BILL: I always paid my blokes double time when I was manager up in Hull
TERRY: Where was that then Bill?
BILL: Seymour and Stokes general engineering on Kings Lane industrial estate ? I was manager there for four years
ROB: I never knew you were a manager Bill
BILL: oh aye ? I?ve been manager at a few places me ? and not just engineering
TERRY: Such as?
BILL: Pubs, clubs ? a few pubs around Yorkshire ? a nightclub in Jersey
STEVE: A nightclub?
BILL: oh aye ? Polka dots it was called ? well, when I say night club, it was an old liner that had been converted ? it was gorgeous inside ? it was the place to go back in the seventies
(At this point Terry and Rob looked at one another rolling their eyes ? Terry motioned to Rob that his mug needed rinsing and got up ? Rob followed)
STEVE: So it was a boat?
BILL: oh aye ? a bloody big boat too
STEVE: What a brilliant idea ? turning a boat into a night club
BILL: My feet hardly touched dry land the whole time I was there ? I lived on a house boat across the water from the club and used to go to and from work in my speedboat
STEVE: You had a speed boat?
BILL: Aye... I did ? it was a lovely little craft too
STEVE: That?s amazing ? what a life style
BILL: You think that?s a life style mate ? let me tell you ? there was some money on that Island ? I came home from work one morning and there was this huge luxury yacht moored at the house boat next door ? A big American flag flying aft ? the flag was bigger than my speedboat ? my new neighbour put my boat to shame
STEVE: Was he a rich business man or something?
BILL: No ? it was the Duke ? John Wayne
STEVE: John Wayne? You mean the Hollywood film star, John Wayne?
BILL: Aye ? The one and only ? I passed by one day and he was swabbing the decks ? so I said to him ?Ay up John ? give us a go on your boat?
Just jokingly like and do you know what he said to me?
STEVE: No ? what did he say?
(Bill stood up and moved the chair from behind him ? he then started bending his knees moving his hips and swinging his hands in front of him ? a poor visual impression of John Wayne?s stance)
BILL: Well ? he took his keys from his pocket and tossed them at me and he said ?Bring her back in one piece pilgrim?
STEVE: Wow ? that?s brilliant Bill ? What did you do with the speedboat when you left there?
BILL: I claimed on the insurance
STEVE: Why? Did you crash it or something?
BILL: Not quite ? had it scuttled
BILL: Yeah ? A few people on the island did ? it means sunk ? on purpose ? John Wayne used to do it ? give him fifty quid and he?d take your boat out and sink it ? then swim back
STEVE: What? A Hollywood movie star would help deceive insurers for a mere fifty quid?
BILL: It wasn?t just fifty quid though ? loads of people went to him ? and he enjoyed it ? it was his hobby ? that and swimming
THE END (Thank goodness)