A few days ago I was advised to allow extra time to get from Nailsea to Wells because of the Glastonbury traffic. So I did and arrived an hour early. I opted for a sandwich and a pint at my favourite Wells haunt, The Crown. It's my favourite because they have a knack, not available at many pubs, of fast-tracking the sandwich queue.
At the bar I was asked for a table number. This is not easy for a single diner because you need to leave a possession unguarded at a table in order to reserve a seat. I found a seat where a couple were just leaving and left my bag with them.
Having ordered I went to the table and the occupants asked if I wanted to separate two tables which they had put together. I said no and then the man noticed my dog collar and told me he understood that as I was a clergyman I was gregarious (friends, keep your chuckles down, please).
Then, having told me I was gregarious, he told me the story of how the Master of Divinity at his College suggested that as he knew a good port and could sing he ought to consider ordination and put him in touch with the Professor of Theology at Exeter, where my story-teller now was, who would ask him for dinner. Some more junior members of whichever faculty he was at were, apparently, miffed that he queue jumped the dinner list at such dinner. On arrival he was asked 'Have you met the family' and when he said he had not he was given a huge scotch and told me would need it.
This may seem garbled because I got all this in a stream of consciousness and the idea of being stopped for clarification didn't seem to occur to my speaker.
He was then asked if he wanted to join a Hebrew, Latin or Greek supper club. The story sort of ran out without a punchline (the man was not ordained, then or ever). Surprisingly he then asked me who I was and where I came from. I got as far as 'ordination weekend' when he continued with a string of how he was going to the deaconing on Sunday. I also answered the question with the single word 'Nailsea' and hit a poor joke about a chiropodist. His companion left in the middle of all this (with a resigned expression on my behalf).
Someone in the story was called Robert Mortimer I think.
Sometimes I can only be a pastor if I remember I am also a writer. I can listen because I can anonymise, retell and hopefully entertain. Do with all this what you want.