"Did you see that?"
"Yeah, that was Barry*."
"Aaah. Right. THAT's Barry."
I'd heard mention of Barry before but until this morning had never actually happened across him. There aren't that many nutters in this town**, to be honest, and as I tend to keep myself to myself and don't hang about the few dens of iniquity that are still trading, this kind of thing tends to pass me by. I've only lived here on and off for eight years, plenty of time to pick up the gossip yet. There's a bloke called Disco Pete who's banned from every establishment and social housing building in the area on account of his habit of falling asleep drunk and setting fire to things and otherwise making a nuisance of himself but that's about it as far as I know. There is a genuine Scot who insists on wearing a tatty old kilt come rain or snow (taken to wearing a pair of chinos under it now for some reason) but I don't think talking to yourself while using the microfiche machines in the reference library, which is where he's usually found, counts. We got back in the car, my friend continued:
"Barry comes in The Angel sometimes." The Angel is an establishment I've never frequented. I like a quiet life. I exit the car park.
"He says he's not had sex for years. He also insists that anyone can have his wife for a tenner. He pimps his wife in the pub!"
"Wha..?" I indicate left at the roundabout.
"Yeah. He offered her to me but I told him I wouldn't even touch her for a fiver."
I leave the roundabout at the third exit.
*Not his real name. It's nothing like Barry at all.
**I have heard rumours that about 40 years ago there was a group of hippies who lived in West Avenue and owned a tank. Undoubtedly this is preposterous nonsense of the highest order.