Ann Allan: Stormont Square


It was a foggy night in Stormont Square. Arlene the landlady was about to open up and she was worried. The boiler wasn’t firing properly and she’d called in her Special Plumber ADrian, Spad for short. 


He suggested that they replace the boiler with a domestic heating incentive available to landlords or RHI as it became to be known. When Spad suggested that for every £1 they invested they could recoup £1.60 Arlene was convinced. It will work well in the pub she thought. Keep the heat up and the punters will drink more.

She hadn’t counted however on there being a backlash from the residents of the square. When they found out about the plan they boycotted the pub. Arlene had been unkind in the past forbidding Cockney to be spoken in the pub and only allowing Adam and Eve to drink there while barring Adam and Steve. One of her customers Big balls Jonny had recorded Arlene and the guy who ran the vegetable stall, planning to deceive the locals with help of a couple of guys Nelson Redsky and Paisley Og. They had been up to no good. Paisley the younger had been holidaying in foreign parts and conning the governments into paying for it. Redsky was dabbling in dodgy windows. There was no transparency.

When Arlene found out she was raging. I need a holiday more than you she cried. Haven’t you heard that takings are down. My salary has been cut and I’m having to count on the RHI scheme working.

Her first customer that morning was Big balls Jonny.

I need a word he said. I’m behind the RHI scheme and even I have realised that it’s not working. So I’m stopping it.

No you can’t do that Arlene shouted. Here have a drink.


I don’t drink the devils porridge Big balls Jonny replied.

Ok so have a glass of wine instead.

After a couple of sips he began to relax. Give me a bottle of that my good lady he said.

Arlene’s plot to get him tipsy was working.

I’ll try a Guinness he said sleepily.

His tongue was beginning to loosen.

Did you hear the gossip he asked. A couple of senior duper’s are involved in an extra marital affair. I was disgusted listening to all the gory details but I told this guy who works for me, at least  I think he works for me that it was important that he told me every little detail. So I could pray for them, you understand.

At this stage Arlene signalled to a couple of bystanders Big Pete and Simple Simon. Time to take him for a little ride.  You get it boys? Big balls Jonny was last seen singing a song from Breakfast at Tiffany’s as he was dragged out of the pub.

Now get outa ma pub and don’t come back Arlene was heard to shout. 

Cue Eastenders theme.