21:50:00; John Granger stared at his watch as the seconds came and went, oblivious to the fact that there were still people wanting a drink.
“Oi, I’m waiting for a drink here!”, a man sitting at the bar yelled at John.
“What? Ah yes, sorry”, John replied before pouring the man yet another pint.
John’s friends Bruce, Robert, and Paul were also sitting at the bar, not particularly in need of another pint but deciding the make the most of the new 10PM closing time.
“You don’t need to keep looking at the clock, I’m sure it doesn’t matter when you close the pub just as long as it’s somewhere near 10,” Robert reassured his friend.
“I think it matters if it’s legally binding,” John reminded Robert.
“Forget about that, it’s not like the Police are keeping an eye on every single pub in the country at any one time”, Paul added, “besides, there’s still ten minutes to go.”
“Eight minutes now”, John responded, having taken another look at his watch.
“Just relax mate, I’m sure nothing will actually happen,” Bruce chimed in before taken a sip of his Foster’s.
Robert then looked in the direction of the large television at the far end of the pub.
“Anyone planning on watching the debate tonight?”, he asked his friends.
“I’m not sure,” John replied, “it’s not really our problem.”
“‘course it’s our problem”, Robert responded, “Trump’s the Leader of the Free World, whoever’s in the White House affects us all.”
“We’re not the ones doing the voting”, Bruce chimed in before sipping his beer once again, “whatever we think about this debate, it’s out of our hands”.
“I’ll be watching tonight”, Robert announced, “I might not watch it all, but I’ll watch at least some of it.”
“I think I’ll watch a bit of it”, Paul added, “I don’t have much on tomorrow anyway.”
“I probably won’t bother”, Bruce said, “Trump’s gonna win the debate by default, Biden can’t really do much with his stammer.”
“He’s been doing pretty well so far,” John told Bruce, “besides, George VI had a stammer and he did alright.”
“Yes, but I doubt Biden will be able to read a dramatic speech with Mozart in the background,” Bruce responded before taking the last sip of his beer.
“He doesn’t need too,” said John, “I’m sure he’ll be able to stand up to Trump.”
John then looked at the clock; 21:58:34.
“You know what”, he said after a while, “I think I will watch the debate, and I’ll bet you £5 that Biden will win.”
“Make it ten and you’re on”, Bruce responded.
“Ok then, ten it is,” John replied.
After that, John looked once again at the clock; 22:01:02. He then turned of the taps and clapped his hands.
“Ok, everyone, you know the drill. Everybody out!”, he announced, and with that, everyone left the Hangman’s Noose as required.
A few hours later, John sat in front of the TV, staring intently at the US Presidential Debate. It was a complete and utter shambles, Trump rabbited on whist Biden looked at him in utter confusion, occasionally butting with some rather tame comebacks.
But John didn’t mind, Trump was so incoherent that Biden didn’t really need to do much in order to win the debate, meaning that John’s £10 note was safe.
John continued to watch the debate, knowing that when the time came. Sir Keir Starmer would definitely defeat Boris Johnson or whoever replaces him during the first debate of Britain’s next election.
Yes, John thought to himself, a better future is coming.