Coach and Horses, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire   8 comments


Minding my own business at the Coach and Horses, some jackass behind me interrupted my first sip to ask if I’d been out hiking.  “No, I just got off work,” I answered removing the rucksack that seemed to prompt this uninvited line of inquiry.  “So, where have you been walking, then?” he continued ignoring my clear statement.

“From the Tube Station to the Pennsylvanian.  I explored the bar, there, and climbed the heights to the toilet before descending by the same path.  Crossing the High Street, I trudged along until I found this establishment.”

“So, you haven’t been walking?”

“No, sir.  Sorry to mislead you like that…a bit passive aggressive on my part.  I think it’s the weather.”



“You’re an American, aren’t you?”  I nodded and settled in.  “Do this for me…say, ‘how now brown cow.'”  I did and he smiled and said, “I knew it.  You’re from St. Louie.”

“No, but I managed a liquor store there for a year.  Try again.”


“Six months of school in a suburb in the late 70’s, but no.”

“Ahhhh,” he said whilst wagging a finger; “it’s Detroit.”

“Hitchhiked through in 1980.  Changed planes there about 10 years ago.”  He seemed either stumped or in need of an Atlas.  “I’m from the Deep South, dude.”

“You’re never.  What, is it Georgia?” Surprised, I nodded.  “Atlanta?”

“I’ll buy the next round if you get the neighbourhood.”




Instead, he returned to St Louis for a story that I heard in its entirety twice before the third round was finished.  Some of his friends said that when he’s this loaded he forgets what he has said and hasn’t but the details were suspiciously repeatable and it turns out that he is a local playwright as well as eccentric.

Essentially, his story was that he was visiting his sister who has lived in some part of North St Louis County near the projects (he referred to this as ‘social housing,’) and was out walking her tiny dog when some “proper black gangsters came along with a rottweiler that kept leaping at Foo-Foo, the little doggie.” He theatrically held his hands about 6 inches apart parallel upright for a second, then horizontal to indicate an efficiency pooch.  “I looks at him squarely and I says, ‘hey, mate, you need to sort your fucking dog out.’  He says, ‘you ain’t from around here,’ and I says ‘no. I’m from fucking Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire.'”

The story has it that this goofy Englishman survives not by his wit or intimidation but by shooting pool in bottle bar with this guy and using a bunch of Cockney rhyming slang with them.  That was especially the part that didn’t ring true because as he was telling the story, he would follow every use of the Cockney rhyming slang with a translation.  “They’ve never heard the like, they hadn’t.”

“You’ve probably just got those guys shot by police.”  He frowned at this interruption so I continued in his established style: “they’ve no doubt adopted this and the next time they get hassled by The Man they’re going to spout out some shit about their Trouble and Strife (wife) or Uncle Bert (shirt) and they’ll be lucky if they just get School Blazered (tasered).”

I pointed at his empty glass then at mine then toward the ceiling and twirled the pointing finger in the air in the universal sign language for “fancy another?”




Everyone that came in knew the guy and most would look over at me with an expression that said, “sorry about that, you poor bastard…but, better you than me.”  One fellow who he kept referring to as a hard man despite all appearances (I think maybe librarian or local history museum curator), was waiting on a ride from his mother; “oh, when his mum gets here, she’s the worst of them all, she is.  Foul, mean woman.”  This caricature of a meek great-grandmother showed up and he continued this line of description but I reached past to shake her hand.

“We’ve met before, haven’t we, ma’am?”  This shut him up for a moment and she said, no, she didn’t think so.  “Sure…yeah…an Amsterdam brothel, right?”  I pushed past and patted her on the shoulder, “I’m just going to talk to someone else for a moment, but we’ll catch up soon.”

The words, “Everyone Knows Kenny,” resonated and after telling this other guy at the bar THAT story, I slipped out into the early evening.






Posted November 19, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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8 responses to “Coach and Horses, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire

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  1. Good pub though, nice and big.


  2. Thank god I’m not the only one with a metal plate in the head that serves as a magnet and attracts the talkers.


  3. Pingback: Fox and Hounds, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire | The Endless British Pub Crawl continues...

  4. “Sure…yeah…an Amsterdam brothel, right?” You’re killing me!! Wishin’ I was on the bar stool within earshot!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Sambrooks Four Chimneys Chocolate Stout: Advent Calendar 2016 Day 9 and Joe Strummer’s Blue Plaque | The Endless British Pub Crawl continues...

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