Well, where to begin. It was Sunday. Sorry, that's irrelevant. Don't suppose you give a toss what day it is, do you? I was sat in my local tavern (rather call it that than the dreadfully common 'Pub' that is usually applied to these establishments.)
There was a beautiful girl with the kind of curly red hair you expect to see in brochures for Irish retreats, sat not three stools away displaying just enough thigh to produce a slight flutter downstairs. Not enough to cause me any embarrassment or unwanted attention from the table of queens in the corner, you understand, more like a mouse having a minor heart convulsion. I stared at her for long enough for her to notice but not so long that she realised i wanted her to. She was reading a novel, some dreary woman in the city with a complicated love life affair that I wouldn't have wiped my arse with. I decided to leave it at that.
It was then that I noticed the gentleman who had seated himself beside me. He was dressed in what looked like an odd assortment from an amateur dramatic society's wardrobe. A tattered old pinstripe waistcoat (finished with silver pocket watch), a cravat of solid mint green hanging shabbily from his youthful, cleanly shaven neck, pinstripe trousers matching his waistcoat and chelsea boots with a good inch of heel on them. Not what one would expect to see in this quiet, Welsh village tavern.
Yet what struck me most about him were his hands. He was a man of average stature. Just under 6 foot and slender, even for a man in my estimation to be in his twenties. Yet his hands were gigantic, and looked as though they'd seen a few more sunrises than the rest of his youthful body. Cracked like a bricklayer's hands with the type of thick, worn skin that most wouldn't find on there feet. His nails were black enough to shame the least prudent of mothers with the exception of the thumb nail on his left hand, obscured from vision by a healthy wrapping of duct tape. Whilst still staring in awe of his generous mits, the gentleman leaned towards me. "I'm not from round here" he said in a deep cockney accent. "and you don't know me, but I need to ask you a favour."