Pork Pie

Simon Goss
8 min readFeb 1

A committed man

Pig via BeFunky © Simon Goss MA 2022

As he finally got home the sun was beginning to tease at the skirts of dawn. Another Friday night lock-in and another ‘shift’ done behind the rugby club bar. At his age he wondered how much longer he could keep doing it, not that there was anything to come home for since she’d gone. He regretted now the half eaten pork pie he’d found and finished off when he was clearing up. Famished after eight hours without as much as a bag of crisps, it had looked OK, couldn’t have been there long, the meat still pink, ish, and he wasn’t fussy. He’d had a few pints of mild of course, as he always did, but they’d only served to make him hungrier.

He took off his black blazer with the brass buttons and hung it up reverentially in the old oak wardrobe, patting the green and gold crest fondly as he did every time. ‘Y Gwter Fawr’, the big gutter, as his village had once been uncharitably known. With typical West Wales aplomb they’d adopted the insult and made it something to be proud of, to fight for, on rugby pitches across the land. Mountain men. They were adept at turning negatives into positives, relying on an in-bred stubbornness that trickled down the intermingled bloodlines from generation to generation.

He’d done his bit on the pitch from the late forties, a solid player with an iron hand-off in attack and a crunching tackle in defence. No soft centres in his day. He’d loved the game, still did and he’d committed himself to his home town club as much as anyone. Like most of them, he never played, or drank, anywhere else. He and his teammates had grown up and gone to school together, knew each other’s families, and had a lifetime of shared experiences they never tired of talking about. They’d also been to war together, but they never discussed that.

He folded his Cavalry Twill trousers carefully with the creases lined up and hung them over the back of the chair. His shirt, socks and underwear he bundled into the corner to wash tomorrow. He kept his vest on under his stripey pyjamas though. Don’t cast a clout ‘till May is out, his mother had always drilled into him. He had a piss in the ‘Po’ under the bed, stupid really, with the toilet just across the landing, but old habits… He took his teeth out and plopped them into the glass of Steradent on his bedside table and eased himself into the vacant double bed, letting off a…

Simon Goss