The pub is heaving like the Relief Channel in a good blow. I have sunk a Friday night's worth of beer alongside my friend Malcolm, who is an architect - matching him glass by glass as the evening unfolds to the sound track of a live band.
Nature calls, as Norfolk Enchants launch into their penultimate Dire Straits cover version of the night.
"There's a shiver in the dark, tha'ss a rainin' in the park," sings the singer, as I ricochet down the corridor on my way to the toilet.
"Band was blowin' Dixie, double four time. An' a big well done to Marnie Hodges hooz won the turnip carvin' at the young farmers do for the third year on the trot, we are the sultans, let's hev a big hand for Marnie, we are the sultans, of serrr-wing."
"We are the sultans," the bar chorus. "We are the sultans, of serrrr-wing."
The lights flash on and off as I select a urinal and make room for more beer. Last orders. I fend my way back through the singing, swaying throng in search of a top-up, as the band begin their final Dire Straits number.
"Jer-hoo-lee-yurt, the dice was loaded from the start," they sing as I spot Malcolm, who has acquired a 30-degree list during my absence. "When you gonna realise, it was just that the time was wrong, Jer-hoo-lee-yay-yay-yay-yurt..."
Malcolm is waving a £20 note in the air over the bar. This is what architects do on Friday nights, as closing time nears in rural Norfolk to the final strains of an eponymous love song inspired by Shakespearean tragedy, which reached Number Eight in the charts in January 1979.
The barman shakes his head and points to his watch. Malcolm shrugs, puts his money away and breaks into song without correcting his lean, as the band begin to pack away their instruments.
"Jer-hoo-lee-yurt, the dice wossh loaded from the sshtart. You ole tart. Hwoaah, hwoaah. When we made love. Get in there son. Phwoaah, hwoaah, hwoaah. You used to cry. Jer-hoo-lee-yay-yay-yay-yurt. Bitpissedbettergohome," he explains, as I lift a pint of Black Shuck which appears to be between owners.
"Howcomeyougotanotherpint. Julietthedicewasloadedfromthesshtart. Sultansofswingyeahright. Direstraits. Gotalltheiralbums. Lissenreallygreattoseeyou. Mustdoagainmateytopnight. Bitpissedbettergohome.
"Lissenmustgofishingsometime. Heardaboutpikeinthevillagepond. Letsgocatchit. Givemeacallyah. Seeyoutomorrow. Wheresthefrickindoor. Julietthedicewasloadedbaby. Dicewasloadedfromthestart. Sultanswearethesultans. Sultansofswing. Seeyouseeyou. Bye."
I wave meekly, as Malcolm lurches into the night, still singing. "Right then," says the barman, as he heads towards the door to cut off any further escapes. "Who's on for a lock-in..?"
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