Lawlessly Yours: In praise of heady brew Buckfast

Bill Lawless
Bill Lawless

I saw an empty bottle in a quiet corner of Happy Mount park the other day.

The previous owner was obviously a gentleman because he hadn’t smashed it.

It was labelled ‘Buckfast tonic wine’, and it recalled my maternal grandmother.

It sustained her for many years. She maintained it was a medicine because of the ‘tonic’ bit on the label, and insisted that she was a lifelong abstainer who had actually signed the pledge as a child. (she really had). ‘Not a drop of alcohol has ever passed my lips,’ she use to say, two-thirds pie-eyed on the Buckfast.

As a philosophy it was along the lines of my mate Charlie’s who always said he was not an alcoholic because alcoholics went to meetings. ‘I am simply a drunk’ he used to say.

Very naughty lad is Charlie. I used to think that he was a most unlikely fan of professional tennis until I saw his scrapbook of the ladies. They had all been edited down to bum shots.

The one he enjoyed most was backside views of Serena Williams. He reckoned the nearest thing to it he’d even seen was a brewer’s dray, hauling Mitchell’s ales for delivery to local pubs.

The symmetry and the musculature is very similar. The main difference between them is that obviously Serena lacks a tail and does not blow off so audibly or indeed so often, otherwise she’d clear the centre court at Wimbledon quicker than Cliff Richard in a rainstorm.’

(Kindly note that I have amended the above paragraph as being far more suitable for a family newspaper than Charlie’s actual statement).

Anyway, I once sat with him drinking beer and watching tennis one afternoon when Charlie went all ecstatic. I thought it an appreciation of Serena’s sublime backhand, but alas, not so.

It was her backside he was raving about.

Funny old life. His wife marched out on him some years ago and she was a strapping 13-stone.

The rear view reminded me of a Fleetwood stern trawler.

However, she didn’t like booze, she didn’t like telly and ultimately she didn’t like Charlie. Takes all sorts, dunnit?