The Cow & Snuffers: a tranquil lunchtime idyll. "Did you hear David Bowie's dropping his stage name?" Asks Stray Photon from behind his copy of ther Rothergavenny Gazette (incorporating the Porthwilli Bugler since 1974) "Oh yes?" I mutter abstractedly, engaged as I am in the joint pursuits of a game of binary sudoku and graffitting a pair of nipple clamps onto an adjacent photograph of Dr. Miriam Stoppard. "Seems he wants to revert to being known as plain old David Jones from now on", continues Stray. "What I can't understand Mort, is why these people feel the need to hide behind an assumed name in the first place." He absent-mindedly reels off a list of increasingly bizarre and unlikely monickers: "...Geoff, Betty, Roger. Howesy....Istvanski... T-i-m F-o-o-t-m-a-n!?!?"
The Girl With a One Track Mind emerges from the ladies loo looking vaguely tousled and with a peculiar red and mottled flush around her cheeks and throat. She's somehow contrived to ladder her tights again - this time all the way down from buttocks to the tops of her biker boots. I do wish they'd fix that cubicle catch in there...
"Oi, Abbie!" Stray calls out across the bar to her. "Here a minute..." The Girl With a One Track Mind slinks over vampishly, slumps into a chair next to Stray Photon and sparks up a Marlboro light. (I do wish someone would tell her that you're not supposed to smoke in public places anymore. Or masturbate, for that matter.)
"Don't you think it's a bit pretentious all these people hiding behind stage names and alternative personae and the like, Abs?" (I'm beginning to regret buying him that English-Latin phrase book last Christmas. It's been like drinking with the Pope ever since. Back to the ready reckoner and bar of carbolic this year, methinks...)
Well, you know, like....*duh*!" Abbie ejaculates in between exhalaing enormous plumes of tobacco smoke. (I do wish she wouldn't do that in public.) "I mean, what if, you know, you've, like, got a *really*, *really*, *really*, like, *completely* stupid combination of first and last names, yeah? You'd have to change it then, right?" (She's got her boots up on the table by now and is worrying away at her thigh with those ridiculously long fingernails of hers) "You know, like that fella-me-jig...oooh, what was his name now? You know....the gender-bending glam icon with the unfeasibly large endowment policy. Went like the clappers....oh, you *must* know......Richard....that's it....Richard someone. ....Richard...Richard... *R-I-C-H-A-R-D* S-O-U-L*!!" She cries out, clicking two fingers together and causing one of her false nails to fly perilously close to Stray Photon's pint of Strangely Brown Ale.
There's an uncomfortably long and awkward silence.
"Well, at least that means he's put all that tarting himself up like an androgynous, inter-galactic trollop behind him now," Stray Photon ventures after some moments have passed. "And I suppose we won't have to endure any more of those rambling, self-indulgent, arty-farty albums of his either..." "Oh, I dunno", Abbie pipes up, a smile playing across her lips as she finally succeeds in picking the last, recalcitrant piece of scab from the top of her leg, "Madcap in the Attic wasn't *that* bad..."