The Degrees Of Cantishness ( It's not really that but couldn't use the "C" word in the title)
Two men in an East London pub, Dodgey Dave, whose always winding people up and his mate Bloody Steve, called that because he uses the word "Bloody" all the time.
The word "cant" is in place of the word "cunt", which I know offends many people and this story has the word "cant" in it a lot. Enjoy!
Dodgey Dave and Bloody Steve were in their favourite haunt. The Black Lion pub in Plaistow, East London.
Dave as usual was holding court.
“You see Steve, there are lots of cants in this world but they all have their order in the degrees of cantishness, cant can be used in all sorts of ways and that’s why Professor Lingo of South America devised the degrees of cantishness., he won the fucking Nobel prize for it back in 86!”
Bloody Steve was having none of it.
“Bloody hell Dave, it’s bloody obvious isn’t it, a cant is a cant and that’s the end of it!”
“That’s what you think Steve but hear me out ok?”
“Go on then, let’s hear the bloody theory”
Dodgey Dave stood up and went over to the blackboard next to where they played darts; he drew a large upward curve from left to right.
“So, let’s take Ken, you know, Ken who comes in here, never says hello to anyone, never smiles”
“Ok, what about him?”
“Is he a cant?”
Bloody Steve thought for a second.
“No, he’s not a cant”
“But if someone described him as a miserable cant, would you disagree?”
“Err no, I suppose not”
Dodgey Dave jumped in straightaway.
“You see, he is a cant, but just a miserable one, that would be about here on the degrees of cantishness”
Dave put a chalk mark just below half way on the curve. Then eager to get his point across he started playing to the crowd.
“What about Lenny, Lenny who comes in here and never buys anyone a drink, but will accept one from everyone else, would we all agree he is a tight cant?”
About seven people in the pub all looked up and agreed.
“You see Steve, he’s also a cant, but he’s a tight cant, that would be about here on the degrees of cantishness”
Dave drew a line about halfway on the curve. Dave now had the whole pubs attention. One of the old regulars sitting at the corner of the bar suddenly shouted.
“What about Old Mat, who only comes in her twice a year because his wife won’t let him, he’s a boring cant!”
The whole pub cheered and then agreed, Old Mat was just that, a boring cant! Whenever he came in, which was rare cos his wife wouldn’t let him, he had no conversation, wasn’t interested in anything, just nodded from time to time, he really was a boring cant!
Dave was now in his element.
“Exactly, he’s is one boring cant and would be about here on the degrees of cantishness”
This time the line was drawn quite low, maybe a number three.
Even Bloody Steve was getting excited now.
“Yeh yeh, what about bloody Pete who comes in here always looking for a bloody fight and threatening people, what about him?”
Dave was straight on to it.
“Well he’s just a nasty cant, no mistake”
Everyone agreed. Pete was definitely a nasty cant.
Dave drew a line on the graph high up.
“Now a nasty cant is quite high up on the scale of the degrees of cantishness, about a number 8 as far as Professor Lingo is concerned.
Even Pat the barmen was now involved.
“Heh, tell you what, where does Big Tony rate on the scale”
Big Tony was the most nasty, evil, vile, low life that ever entered the Black Lion; he was now doing a ten stretch for beating up his wife with a garden spade because she pulled up one of his flowers thinking it was a weed. Not content with that he then went indoors and attacked his teenage daughter with her own laptop.
Everyone in the pub waited to see where Big tony was on the degrees of cantishness scale.
Dodgey Dave did not disappoint.
“Ah now we’ve got to the top, Professor Lingo was quite clear about this, Big Tony is a COMPLETE AND UTTER CANT”
The whole pub cheered as Dave put a chalk mark right at the top of the curve. He ended up by summarising.
“You see good people of Plaistow, everyone is a cant but it depends on what level of cant you are, that’s why Professor Lingo developed the degrees of cantishness, poor Steve over there is an absolutely silly cant, but that’s a nice cant, but still a cant. Big Tony is the other end of the scale, he’s a complete and utter cant, you can’t get worse than that”
Pat the barmen shouted out.
“Beers for all you cants here today!”
They all got a pint and Dave asked everyone to raise their glasses.
"Don't know if any of you saw the early news today but Professor Lingo died yesterday in Bolivia aged 84"
The whole pub sighed and raised thier glasses to the great man. Dave continued.
"Now there was one clever cant!"
The whole pub roared and chanted his name. LINGO, LINGO, LINGO.
Another fantastic day at the Black Lion.