Billy The Alcoholic Fish
It was the morning after the night before, well when I say morning it was nearer noon when Billy eventually shook out his tail and crawled from under the rock he could only vaguely remember crawling under the night before. He was pretty sore. Head thumping something awful, his scales in disarray and a few all together gone. Man did Billy hate being a fish, all this water all around. As Tiny his drinking buddy often said, good job you’re a catfish else you’d have to live in a keg instead of this pond. Billy the fish often dreamt of swimming around in a pond full of beer. And it was this life long quest that had nearly ended in CATastrophe Last night.
You see in the morning of the night before Billy and Tiny had overheard some carp swimming nearby just happen to mention of a river just the other side of the farm that was almost bursting its banks with beer. Now Billy and Tiny were the heroic sort but not too bright. I mean everyone knows carp are wide boys. So they took it upon themselves to rescue the farm and all the surrounding lands in the only obvious way they could. Yes Billy the fish and Tiny the Newt, oh did I not mention that before? Tiny is a newt. Anyway I digress. The only way to save the world from impending doom was to drink the excess of beer threatening the land. So after much deliberation, deliberations that usually revolved around how drunk they could get, so actually after virtually no deliberations, they had set off as soon as the heat of the sun had abated along the same muddy track that they had flopped, wriggled and hopped many times before. This time their plan was to head on passed the barn where the farmers homemade ales where brewed and onwards to the fabled banks of utopia.
BUT, there had to be one, a but that is. It was thirsty work, all the wriggling and slithering so by the time they had reached the barn they had decided to stop and partake of a swift beer from the nearest dripping tap. Only to fortify them for the onward journey you understand. Tiny had spotted it first; it was a new brew in a very small cask. ‘Look’ he had cried pointing his tail ‘look at that firkin barrel o beer.’ Oh, did I not say? Tiny was Irish too. And you can take that smirk off your face a firkin dear reader is an 11 and a 1/4 gallon beer barrel. If there was one thing that got our two intrepid explorers excited it was when Farmer Giles rolled out a new tipple and it wasn’t long before Billy was savouring the sweet nectar. Tiny with his sucker feet was a deaf climber. I said TINY WITH HIS SUCKER FEET WAS A DEFT CLIMBER, so in two shakes of his tail he had the tap cranked open. Below Billy waiting with his mouth open wide, and that’s pretty wide, being a cat fish and all. Billy always loved the part where he closed his throat and let his mouth fill like a tankard till the beer ran out of his gills. Billy sure could drink like a fish. Tiny swung by his tail from the tap with his head fully submerged in the MAmber liquid (don’t blame me blame Attanasio)was matching Billy pound for pound in consumption. It wasn’t long before our two intrepid boozers where drunk as skunks..Hmmmm….as legless as Bambi?…nope..ummm Got it…Pissed as Newts! (This may only be and English phrase)
Billy panicked as he got his first flash back of the night before and began to feel a little sick. He looked around and saw a school of minnows hurrying passed. “Have you seen Tiny?” “Who?” They all called. “Tiny! He’s my newt!” (sorry alright! You knew I’d get it in somehow). They hadn’t and nor had Billy since Tiny’s tail had slipped and he had plummeted into the tankard of beer below.
That was when things had really got out of hand. Billy was just about to call up to Tiny and name the new beer, something they delighted in doing. Last visit out they had tried ‘Farm Giles Socks’ named thus on account of the slightly musty cheesy twang. I never said Farmer Giles was a good brewer, did I? Or that our guzzling guys were connoisseurs? Billy was just thinking that this beer was one of the better ones, actually probably the best. He was thinking ‘The Cats Whiskers’ and that’s when he had seen them. On top of the barrel. The Cats whiskers! Unbeknown to either friend , not the one with his mouth full of ale or the other now trying to swim out of it. Blacky, or Black deaf. I said BLACK DEATH! Tiny and Billy had named him, was kidnapping just a couple of feet above their heads atop the barrel. OOPS! Did I say Kidnapping? Why would I do that? I meant catnapping. It was that that had made Billy close his mouth and swallow hard.
Now Billy was feeling really sick! The flash backs continued and Billy shuddered at the thought.
The shock of it all had had Billy stumbling back in fright. Right back until he tripped over a pile of four candles. No, you have to read it like you are Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins… four candles! Fork handles! Pitch fork handles and boy did they make a racket! It was just as Black Dea…..no I won’t recycle that joke again. Once is funny, twice is not clever, thrice would be a crime! It was just as Blacky opened his eyes that Billy made a bolt for the door. An odd thing to do at such a time. Seriously folks, he ran, well more hightailed it, jumped like a catfish as fast as he could out of the door. What with the adrenaline rush he had made good ground before Blacky had caught up. A few yards to go and he would be home. It was then that Black Death had got between him and the pond. He was so close, a pectoral fin away from safety. Billy Knew he was done fore, it was curtains for him, he was brown bread. In a CATechism of thought his mind fixed on last supper, he had never imagined that he would be it.
Billy couldn’t remember anything after that. Blacky had pounced and sunk in his teeth, whether it was a drunken stupor, or just plan fright that made Billy our alcoholic fish passed out who knows? Unbeknown to Billy pickled catfish tastes worse than the most vile of farmer Giles ales and have you ever heard of a cat that likes pickled anything? Well Blacky was no exception to the rule and spat Billy out so vehemently that he had spat Bill clean back into the pond.
With more and more of the gory details coming to the afore, Billy was now feeling very nauseous indeed and in a most antisocial manner Billy let out one all mighty belch and to his surprise and delight Tiny came out.
Tiny grinned at his buddy, “I thought I had been catnapped, umm kidnapped” he said. Billy smirked ruefully “and I thought I was going to end IN a cat!”