Old Ted

This venerable tale is from the groaners listserv. The author is unknown.

Old Ted had been at the bar since the pub opened, downing pint after pint. As he watched the band manhandle their speakers onto the small platform that served for a stage, he swore quietly to himself. Bloody musicians. Why did the landlord have to put this racket on every week? Couldn’t a man drown his sorrows in peace of a Friday.

Though to be fair, he thought, it wasn’t every Friday that his wife left him. Just this particular one. Bloody musicians. He was in an even fouler mood by the time the band started. Five more pints of bitter had earned their name, and he swore at the singer as he staggered past to the toilets. Half an hour and eight songs later, the band paused. “Are there any requests?” said the singer. Half a dozen voices shouted out, including Ted’s. “Play Yesterday, ya’ bastards,” he shouted.

The band conferred, and after a few moments started to play “Yesterday.” Again, the band paused, and asked if there were any requests. This time, only Ted said anything. “Play Yesterday, again” he called, a touch indistinctly. Slightly to his surprise, they did. A slightly shorter version, but “yesterday”, nonetheless. Again, came the call for requests. For a second time, Ted was the only one to speak. For a third time, he asked for “Yesterday.”

“Now come on, mate,” said the singer, “We’ve done that for you twice already.” “Sing bloody Yesterday” growled Ted.

“We just have: twice” said the singer, and turned away. At this point, Ted snapped. “And you’re bloody well going to sing it again,” snarled Ted, as he picked up a bottle from the table, and made a lunge for the platform. He never reached the singer, though. First, he stumbled over a stool, then slipped in a pool of beer near the stage, and fell, knocking his head against the corner of the stage, and cracking his skull. All of which, of course, only goes to demonstrate the wisdom of the old proverb: . . . You should never fight the band that heeds you.

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