He sneezes into the crook of his elbow, a childhood habit. 80-odd years and nothing changes. A strand of snotty mucus bridges the gap from his nose to his arm as he reaches for a napkin, still smeared with oily bits from the seafood special.

Bloody boozy veins on a bulbous Merlot nose, face and head a rosy rouge. He wipes quickly with cold hands and nicotine fingers, and snorts the rest, a throaty sound that sends shivers.

Then a drunken soliloquy, a barrage of slobbering eight pint profanities, and the carcass of a king prawn flung across the table, little black eyes staring up at retro wallpaper, long feelers wrapped around a husk of bread where it settled. Then he slumps forward, dead drunk, rich sauce splashing red.

call an ambulance,
you can never tell these days,
drivers all on strike.