Brexit Benefit Breakfast
By Tipp Hex
I revisited a town yesterday for the first time in a while, and felt very much an outsider. All I needed I felt, was a horse, a black hat and the stub of a cigar to chew. The trail to town led me down into Camp Barely, past hulking industrial buildings, offices and a scattering of dilapidated eating hostels and stores. I rode past the old Cavalry barracks guarded by a new stockade and suspicious soldiers, guns at the ready. The security cameras twitched, silently noting the registration number tattooed on the flanks of my horse and let me pass. It was not a great welcome.
Finally arriving at main street, I tied my horse to the crumpled steel post of a gate hanging useless and open, and walked into town. Dust and discarded cigarette ends greeted my boots as I followed a carpet of black spots left on newly laid paving by uncaring gum chewing citizens. Despite a new sherif in town and the former Governor expelled, a sense of civic pride seemed not yet instilled in the town.
Here and there were valiant and vivid flowers hanging in baskets from street lampposts, doing their best to raise the mood above the make-do pavement repairs and discarded fast food packaging. Sheltering below them and bringing the lie to their colourful vision of prosperity, I left a coin for a homeless man asleep in a doorway. Wrapped in a bag with his few belongings, the dried remains of a nights drinking ran like accusatory fingers towards the gutter.
I narrowed my eyes, chewed the remains of my cigar and headed for the saloon, JD Spoons. Stepping inside, the few townsfolk hiding within the gloom momentarily glanced towards me before returning to nurse their pints below huge television screens. I moved towards the bar, the carpet clinging tenaciously to my boots, its sticky residue of countless spilt beers making itself known with each step.
I didn't need a drink, I needed some coffee and food. The barkeep shrugged. “No sausages today. Or bacon. No deliveries yet. Maybe tomorrow. No HGV drivers.” He handed me a mug with another shrug. “Coffee is over there, only one machine is working, help yourself.”
I sat down on a stained and threadbare seat and waited for my Brexit Benefit breakfast to be delivered. Sipping my machine coffee while staring at our smiling and forever cheerful and charismatic blonde leader on the screens above me, I was beginning to understand why nobody in the room was smiling along with him.