Being Tony, Chapter 6, Part 1



6: Judy


Lynn News: Police announce a crackdown on illegal drinking.

Amid growing complaints about teenage drunkenness, police have announced a crackdown on pubs serving underage drinkers and the practice known as a “lock-in.”

“We will not tolerate the small number of landlords who flout the law and allow underage drinkers in their bars.” A spokesman said. There have been rumors that certain pubs in the center of town have taken to serving alcohol after licensing hours, sometimes involving police officers. The police spokesman said he could neither confirm or deny these rumors, but told us that investigations were continuing.


Judy had been one of the first new bar staff I’d employed after becoming the manager, and she’d stayed working at the Anchor long after some others had moved on. She was a hard worker, and a hard drinker too, and usually stood me drink-for-drink when we had a lock in.

I can’t remember the first time we slept together, it just seems to me that one morning I woke and found her in my bed. Before Ruby left, Judy would only stop over a couple of times a month, but soon it became a regular habit. Part of that was my own wanting of companionship, but part was also that we had longer and bigger lock-ins. It started as just sex with Judy and me, but she consoled me and made it feel not so painful for a while, and I wanted to hold on to that for as long as I could.

I can see now that Ruby leaving was a turning point in my management of the pub too. What had been a casual and occasional late night became every night, and I stopped being so choosey about who I invited to the lock-ins. Slowly too we were getting a younger crowd in, and it amused me to see the rugby team from my old school started to be frequent visitors. Eventually, a lot of the long time regulars stopped coming in nearly as much, but the truth was I didn’t really care, all I wanted was an excuse to drink. I got careless, and one night the inevitable happened, and we were raided by the police. George was charged with allowing after hours and underage drinking and lost his license, which meant that Judy and I lost our jobs, and I was out on the street.

Judy suggested we move in together, and it seemed the perfect arrangement. She had never given up her flat, so we just moved my few things over there. For a while, we lived it up, hitting the town every evening and sleeping late every morning. But our money was running out fast, and soon we were struggling to get together enough cash to pay the rent.

So it was back to me getting casual jobs in Hunstanton, and Judy found another bar job in a local club. She never liked it there, although she wouldn’t at first tell me why, until one evening she came home in tears. Between sobs, she said she had quit because the manager there couldn’t keep his hands to himself, and she couldn’t take it anymore.

I held her close to me and found myself saying “Judy, will you marry me?”

She stopped crying abruptly. “What did you just say?” she asked.

“Will you marry me?” I repeated. Seeing her puzzled face, I went on “I know we don’t have a lot of money, but we seem to get along OK, and I think we make a good team. What about it?”

“Anthony John Platt,” she said. “You are full of surprises. Marriage? I don’t know what to say.”

“How about yes?” I said

She started to giggle. “Mrs. Judy Platt” she whispered to herself, then paused for a moment before saying, “yes, Tony, I would love to get married. It’s, well it’s not the kind of proposal I’d ever expected, but then we are an unusual couple. Oh! Just wait till my Mum hears!”

In the morning, I called in sick to the arcade I was supposed to be working and went to see Judy’s Mum. She seemed only too pleased when we told her the news, and Judy later said that it was probably because she was the only one of her sisters to get married without being pregnant.

We had a quiet wedding in a registry office, and then a big party in the Jolly Anchor, which had opened again with a new landlord. We were too poor to have a proper honeymoon, but we went to a Hotel along the coast for a few days. We had fun driving around the countryside, stopping here and there to walk on the beach or at a café for a cup of tea. At night, we made love with wild abandon and woke in the mornings still entwined in each other’s arms.

It was blissfully happy few days, but then it was back reality with a bump. Every day it seemed harder to get the casual jobs I’d been used to, and Judy didn’t appear to be able to find a decent job either. After a few weeks of this, we were depressed and starting to nag at each other as if it was the other one’s fault.


About Derek Knight

Transplanted Brit, now in the US Mid West | Writer, blogger & author | passionate about life | Traveler and home body | | | |
This entry was posted in Being Tony - A Novel, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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