“It’s crazy, all these people in masks. You would have thought we were in the middle of a pandemic,” said one of the first few visitors to Lower Strangling to have a pint in the Hangman’s Noose since March.
“Well, that’s because we are”, replied John, the publican, as he poured another pint of Throckmorton Ale into a glass and gave it to another customer.
The pub had been open for almost a month now, having opened on Super Saturday. It was almost as it had always on previous July 4th’s except there were fewer American tourists yelling “‘MERICA!” whilst waving American flags.
So far, everything seemed to be going well, the patrons were under control so there was a safe number inside the pub, the one way system was in place and everyone was abiding by it, and the test and trace was proving successful (luckily no one had caught the virus yet). And now, everyone was wearing masks. John had worn a visor from the very beginning, because he had to, but now he was glad that everyone else had to wear PPE as well.
But most of all, John was glad that his friends Bruce, Robert, and Paul were back once again behind the bar. As they had always been and how they will always be (hopefully for a long while yet.)
The TV at the far end of the pub which repeatedly showed BBC News all day every day was back doing just that.
“What do you think about this Russia Report, then?”, Robert asked John.
Well it’s rather worrying, the prospect that Putin has interfered in our elections. How can we fully trust the validity of future election results again?” John answered.
“Maybe Russia gave you that“, Paul suggested, nodding towards the Best Pub of the Year award 2019 on the wall.
“Cheeky”, John responded. He poured some more beer into a glass and gave it to another customer.
“He doesn’t seem to have affected elections in Australia or New Zealand”, Bruce added.
“That’s either because they’re not as crucial western democracys as America or Britain, or we just don’t know yet”, answered John.
The news then reported on the US Presidential Elections, particularly one of it’s candidates; Kanye West.
“What do you think of this Kanye West chap, then?” Paul asked his friends.
“He doesn’t seem to have thought his presidential campaign, I doesn’t have any policies and believes that chemicals in toothpaste should be top priority,” Robert replied.
“Not to mention all the guff about slavery,” Bruce answered.
“I heard he’s got Bi-Polar disorder, and his periods of elevated moods are very extreme, this probably being the most extreme. Maybe we should cut him some slack,” John suggested.
With that, Bruce, Robert, and Paul sat at the bar silent. They did not know about Kanye’s mental health problems and felt bad making fun of him.
“But even so,” Robert said a few minutes later, “he shouldn’t be running for president, all he’s going to do is give Trump a landslide victory.”
“Well, we don’t know about that”, John said as he poured Throckmorton Ale for another customer.
At 21:00, it was time to close once again. John locked the pub doors, smiled at the building, then walked home after another job well done.
It may not be back to pre-COVID numbers, but the Hangman’s Noose was back, and it was back to stay….. hopefully.