Elton John was right, albeit in some families. Saturday night’s alright for fighting, albeit “fighting” in a loose sense of the word, if “fighting” means Sunray engineering a blazing row over something trivial, eg newspaper not properly folded in the magazine rack, with the usual short-cut argument bullet points of:
You’re just like your f…ing mother
You’re just like your f…ing brother
and concluding with:
Well, that’s it. F… you all. I’m off out the Sergeants Mess to calm down.
Cue one o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock (rock), and Sunray comes back. Wife comes down to meet’n’greet. Actually the real reason is, Sunray always used to cook himself a fry-up on returning from a night out down the mess, and that can be a wee bit dangerous if the would-be Gordon Ramsey falls asleep after throwing the bacon and other titbits into the frying pan. Hence Mrs Sunray would come down for “health and safety” reasons.
All that assault course training comes in handy. Good job Sunray learned to do the leopard crawl, squelching through that mud with bullets flying over his head. The leopard crawl is the ideal way for a drunkard, full of ten pints of lager plus a few gin and tonics to climb up the stairs and collapse in his bed. A very handy transferable skill.
Now I’ve just realised why the corporals and sergeants clubs are called the “mess.” Nothing to do with etymology, such as being derived from the German word “Messe” (“mass” or “trade fair”). It’s because of the mess that the drinking and domestic violence does to those around drinkers like Sunray. Never mind the shanty, What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor? What shall we do with the drunken soldier?