“Having another?” Bexhor hitched himself onto the bar stool next to Cardoom’s. Cardoom drained the suds from the bottom of his glass.
“Don’t mind if I do!” He wiped a clawed hand over his pointed chin. Bexhor beckoned to the barmaid.
“Another one of these for my friend, I’ll have the same.”
The barmaid barely seemed to acknowledge him but she set to fulfilling his order.
“Rough day?” Bexhor clinked his glass against Cardoom’s. Cardoom grunted. “Tell me about it. We’ve never been so busy. I’m run off my cloven hooves. I’ve got to go back up there later, do another shift. But I thought I’d slip in here for a crafty one. It’s not like they can send me to hell for it, is it?”
He laughed; Cardoom didn’t.
“I mean,” Bexhor continued, “Things are worse than ever up there,” he nodded at the ceiling, meaning the world beyond. “I mean, there’s all the usual stuff: the killings and the maimings and the rapes – I mean, that’s what I signed up for. But it’s all the low-level stuff – it really takes it out of you. You know what I mean. All the pettiness. All the bitching. I blame the internet – The boss thought it was one of his better ideas at the time but I think even he’s beginning to regret it. We just can’t cope. We haven’t got the staff. Take tonight, for instance. I’ve got to go up there, find some miserable wanker in a bedsit and inspire him to attack a celebrity for no reason at all. And what’s he done, this celebrity? Expressed concern about refugees! Now, you know me, I can’t abide a do-gooder but that lot – they’re savage. They shout down any sign of compassion and are up in arms at the first sign of correction. It’s getting out of hand. The selfishness, the small-minded, bigoted, xenophobic nastiness – Makes me feel like a spare part, if I’m honest. Time was you could whisper in an Englishman’s ear and he’d go and rob a bank or drop his chewing gum on the pavement – I love it when they do that – but now, if they get so much as a whiff of brimstone, they turn on you, and it’s piss off, red skin, take your horns and your pitchfork back where you came from. I’m telling you, if things carry on the way they’re going, I’m thinking of going over to the other side. That’s right. At least, up there, you’re on the right side – frankly, I don’t want to associate with British society anymore; I just hope I won’t be fighting a losing battle. We’re victims of our own success, you see. Wrong-doing and wrong-thinking has become the norm for them and woe betide anyone who thinks otherwise. People who deviate from the new norm are the outlaws. Doing good is the new doing evil. Makes you think…
“Fancy another? I feel like staying here and getting rat-arsed, if I’m honest. That lot can do my job without me. Hey! I wonder if we’ll get redundancy? We should you know, by rights. Should be more than enough to invest in a set of wings and a halo… Hey, love, same again. And a packet of crisps and all. Cheers.”