Read introduction

There is something primeval, something of a study in social anthropology of middle-aged guys, who are well used to each other’s company at work, enjoying the comfort of a ritual tea-break together, same time, every day. For years. It’s a “band of brothers” thing. Even if they end up re-telling the same old stories over and over. Words cannot describe how important this male bonding is to the safety of the herd, society..!

Morning Tea Break

Fdf5205c-8b5b-4da8-a6dc-63fe28d680a9by Billy J. Stewart07 May 2014

Kettle boils.
Brown-stained mug rinsed, but not washed, tay-bag in.
Jam. Strawberry, has to be strawberry for me.
Foot to door, hands laden, into the room, ah yes, my usual seat.
In they come, my cronies, the four wrinkled riders of the Apocalypse,
Grumpy George, Uncle Tom Cobblers, Loopy Liam and Sheepy Sean.
Coats off, hard-hats thrown aside with nonchalant disdain,
Wits sharpened,
Slurp. Gulp.
A rustle of paper bag, clip of Tupperware lid, fussle of foil,
The “piece” produced.
Facetious comment, hurled abuse, jabbing poke, miss no-one.
Bring it on.
Slagging banter, personal insult, don’t leave me out!
We love it.
Last night’s TV, did you see…?
That tosser on the news with a flaig, loon.
Tractors, Thermodynamics, bush telegraph bullshit, all fair game.
Feet up, who cares, another slurp, buggar the rules in this oasis.
Who died last
Mind when he worked here, like, mad as a flimmin’ hatter he was.
Always looking for an angle, never yielding to authority, full of shite,
Not like us, no, definitely not. As if.
Do you mind the time he..?…aye…
And there we go again, doubled over, crumbs everywhere,
Tripping our souls down memory lane,
Dusting down the old ones,
Taking turns to add and embellish,
With some artistic license maybe, now becomes gospel!
We heard it here first.
Talk of weans and grandweans, and ‘er indoors,
Days out, where to go, what to eat, cheap holidays,
What it cost and what were the highlights.
Top tips, free advice.
Internet connection not required.
And so…the last swallow.
Closing clip of Tupperware lid,
Tay gone, feet shuffle, who’s first to break!?
Best be going, right lads,
Lunch 12..?