This episode is part of a series of Travel Tales, about Jason’s backpacking trip across Europe in 1995.
It probably has something to do with Mary Poppins and nursery rhymes, and obviously the language, but London was the European city where I most quickly felt kinda like I belonged there. To be honest, I’m sure a lot of it was the language. After several weeks of bumming around the Continent, usually surrounded by conversations I could barely understand bits and pieces of (or not at all), it was such a relief to know what the people around me were talking about, and to glance at a sign or a menu and immediately know what it said.
Plus, I’d seen so many pictures of the place, that I frequently had a bit of deja vu when I turned a corner and found myself looking at Buckingham Palace or the Houses of Parliament. The Underground was super-easy to figure out, and within hours of getting off the train from Harwich (where my ferry from the Netherlands landed) I was getting around central London feeling like a native.
The car that squealed its brakes and blared its horn at me when I stepped into the street without looking right for traffic reminded me otherwise.
I booked a cheap hotel room near King’s Cross station, and left my belongings while I looked for a pub. I wasn’t picky: I wasn’t looking for a gay pub (at least not that night). It just had to be a place with a suitably English name, and British ales on tap. I ended up at the Dog & Pony or the King’s Head or something like that. I honestly don’t remember.
Young folks may not understand this, but the 1990s were a dark time for beer in America. The beer itself wasn’t dark: that was part of the problem. There were a few pioneers like Bells of Kalamazoo who were brewing beer that actually tasted good, but not many, and they were hard to find. Imported beer was even more expensive than imported European CDs. But you could walk into any decent pub in the UK and they would have a row of taps including at least a couple pale ales, a bitter, a stout, a porter, and a lager that (unlike Bud) had flavor. Sorry: flavour. And the standard serving size was 20 ounces. I took a particular liking to Courage Best Bitter, both because of the name and the taste.
I quickly became rather pissed (as they say in the UK).
Fortunately I am not the sort of drunk who becomes loud or belligerent, so there was little danger of me turning into the stereotype of the Ugly American. But I do tend to exercise poor judgment, and I think may have made some inappropriately appreciative remarks about the barman’s arse. In my defense, it was very nice.
I was directed to leave, a good half-hour before last call.
It was then that I realized that I hadn’t eaten since early afternoon. Which probably contributed to my intoxication, but just as importantly meant that I was hungry. I started looking for a fish-and-chip shop that was still open. Contrary to legend, London does not have a chip shop on every corner, so it took me a little while. I was about ready to give up when I saw a dismal looking place down a side street.
This was a take-away-only shop, with just enough room inside the front door for a handful of customers to give their orders and wait. There was one guy apparently waiting for his order when I walked in. I discretely looked him over. He was a little older than me, kinda cute, a little on the heavy side, dressed unpretentiously in olive-drab trousers and an old t-shirt. He lit a cigarette.
“Order?” asked the Arab man behind the counter.
“Fish and chips,” I answered.
He sighed, “What kind of fish?” I didn’t know there was more than one kind, and started scanning the menu on the wall behind him for a list of options.
“Cod. He wants cod, Omar,” answered the other customer.
“That’s what American tourists want, innit?”
“Am I that obvious?” I was disappointed. And here I thought I fit in so well!
“Fraid so!” he smiled.
I paid for my order, making myself even more obvious by silently reading the amounts printed on the coins to add up the right amount.
“Lamb kebab and curry chips,” announced Omar, and handed a brown paper bag to my new friend.
“Cheers,” he replied, and walked out. I watched him go, comparing his arse to the barman’s.
My cod-and-chips order was ready shortly, and Omar handed it to me wrapped in the traditional newsprint. I doused it with vinegar (when in Rome), and stepped outside, pausing and looking both ways to figure out which way to go. I grabbed a few fries – sorry: chips – and munched on then. I had no idea which way my hotel was, and tried to remember which street might lead to it… I remembered I’d been on Bloomsbury at one point…
“Lost?” asked a voice from off to my right. I turned and saw that my “interpreter” was sitting next to the building in the darkness, enjoying his chips and kebab. “Yeah: that obvious,” he chuckled.
“Not lost… just deciding which way to go.”
“Where you wanna get to?” I gave him the name of the hotel. “Yeah, I know where that is. I can show you.”
He got up and started walking. I staggered after him. We introduced ourselves as we went; his name was Nigel. I told him about the trip I was on, that London was one of my last stops, and how much I loved British beer. “You really should try some authentic London ‘cuisine’ while you’re here. We don’t live on cod and chips, y’know!”
“It’s good and it’s cheap!” I defended myself.
“Roight, but… here, take a bite of my kebab!”
“Excuse me?” I said in mock horror, my eyebrow raised.
He looked me in the eye briefly, and smiled. I opened my mouth and he gave me a bite of his meat. The shish-kebab. It was good… really good. “That’s delicious! Is that beef?”
“Lamb. At least it’s s’posed to be.” Nigel licked some of the grease off his fingers.
“Whatever it is, I like it!” I chewed enthusiastically.
Nigel took hold of my wrist and brought my bundle of food to his mouth, taking a bite of my fish. “Omar’s fish is good as well,” he grinned as he chewed.
He wrapped up the rest of his food in the bag, and pulled out a pack of smokes. “Want a cigarette?” he offered as he tapped one out of his pack.
“Don’t you call them fags?”
“Sure, but we know what that means in America.” He lit up.
“Yeah, but you messed up the perfect line!” I adopted a Dick-VanDyke-mockney accent: “Oi say, guv’nah, do ye want a fag? And then I pretend not to understand, so I say Yes, and then we end up fucking!”
“Do we then?” he asked, one eyebrow raised.
“Um… I mean…” I started to panic, wondering if I’d just hit on a straight guy.
“Relax! Do you think I’m being this nice because Brits love tourists? I fancy you. You’re quite fit, in fact.”
I stopped walking and grinned at him like… well… like a pissed fag. Or a drunk cigarette. Or somefing.
“How did you know I….”
“Does the word obvious ring any bells?”
“Well, I was hoping!”
I grinned eloquently.
“So? You up for it?”
“Starting to be!” I nodded toward my crotch, where my cock was making itself visible thru my jeans.
Nigel led me around a corner into a narrow passageway between buildings, taking us from the nearly-deserted street to something resembling privacy. He took one last long drag on his cigarette, put it it out and returned it to the pack, and slowly let out the smoke. I’ve never been a tobacco smoker, but I’d spent enough time in bars to associate the smell with sex, and my cock throbbed.
I wrapped up the rest of my fish and chips and set it down, leaned against the building, and undid my jeans. Nigel removed his shirt, revealing a lightly hairy chest: not body-builder chiseled, but well-fed and strong. “Come on: show me yours!” he asked.
I pulled the front of my shirt up and wrapped it around the back of my head. “Nice!” he leered, and dropped to his knees in front of me. He unbuttoned his own trousers, allowing his cock to poke forward inside his boxers.
My cock was making a tent of my briefs, and he gnawed gently on it thru the cotton fabric. I moaned quietly, as he ran his hand across my stomach and up and down my side.
A shuffle of feet on the street caused us both to freeze. A shadow blinked past and the sound faded.
Nigel pulled my underpants down, and my cock bounced in the semi-darkness. He reached for it, and began to stroke it gently. But his fingers were still a little greasy with the curry sauce from his chips, which started to sting.
“Hot! Hot!” I whispered.
He didn’t understand.
“Oh, fuck! Sorry!” He frantically sucked and licked his fingers.
“Just… just… suck it off!”
He replaced his fingers with my cock.
His mouth was a stew of saliva, ginger, turmeric, chili, peanut oil, and who knows what else… not entirely soothing, but more so than raw curry sauce, especially with the wet warmth and gentle massage of his tongue and lips. “Yes! Better!” I gasped.
His mouthwatering meal produced an ample supply of fluid as he sucked and slurped on my cock. I slumped back against the wall, as the fiery spices gave way to mere hotness.
Another set of footsteps on the pavement caused him to pause. I instead fucked his mouth harder. “Suck it, Nige!”
The footsteps paused, and turned back. A silhouette stopped and tried to make out what was happening. I gave it a two-fingered, back-of-the-hand salute, a gesture I’d learned from “The Young Ones” on PBS. The figure huffed and moved on.
He paused to catch his breath, and stroked my glistening cock. This time the infusion of fresh curry sauce on his fingers was exhilarating, and my balls kicked into gear. “Oh fuck!” I gasped. He pounced his mouth back onto my cock, pistoning down and up. His upper teeth knicked my shaft and I exploded. He slurped noisily as his mouth filled with my jizz.
As I caught my breath, he got to his feet in front of me. We kissed, sharing the blend of my juice and his curry. His trousers fell around his ankles, and he almost lost his balance, catching himself by grabbing me by the shoulders. His 7-inch cock stuck out thru the slot in his boxers, as I shuffled us around so that his back was to the wall.
Rather than fight to remove the boxers, I gripped his cock in one hand and pushed the fly of his pants back with the other, then reached inside to draw his balls out. I licked each of his balls for a minute, then slowly worked my way up the shaft with my tongue, slobbering heavily.
My fingers were still a little greasy from my fish and chips. And I still had some left. I reached for my packet of leftovers and stuck my left hand into the mess of oily battered cod and warm, limp chips, and wriggled it around until my fingers were dripping with cooking oil and globs of potato. I wrapped my hand around his cock and began to stroke, slowly.
“That’s magic!” Nigel gasped. I quickened my pace, and his breathing accelerated to match. “That’s fucking brilliant!” As I jacked him, I slobbered all over the head of his cock with my lips and tongue. It was delicious!
“Oh god…” he pleaded quietly. “Suck it?” I gripped his shaft tightly, and dragged my hand downward, following it to his balls with my lips. I’d never tasted a cock so fantastic. I deep-throated him as best as I could from that position, for as long as I could, juggling his balls with my greasy hand. Then I reversed the maneuver, sliding my lips and hand up to his head, pulling his foreskin back up over it. I wriggled the palm of my hand over his skin-covered knob.
“Keep going!” I repeated the whole process, a little more quickly. Then a few more times, each more rapid than the one before. I heard his breath catching, and sensed that he was getting close.
I put my right hand under his balls and wrapped my thumb and finger around him like a cockring. I grabbed the rest of my mess of greasy chips with my left hand and slathered it over his shaft, stroking firmly as his cock slithered thru it all. Meanwhile I licked and sucked his head as it bounched into reach of my lips and tongue, savoring the salty, greasy, vinegary taste.
He grunted, and added a jet of hot, salty spunk to the mix. I squeezed his balls tighter, and slid my lips down his shaft as he squeezed out another load. I gagged a little on the next thrust, but recovered enough to let him finish in my mouth.
I carefully licked him as clean as I could, as he twitched a bit and his breathing returned to normal. I loved the taste of him, and to be honest I wasn’t sure which ingredients I enjoyed the most.
The sound of voices on the street broke the silence. Nigel put his shiny cock away, and pulled up his trousers. I rearranged my shirt and pulled my own jeans back up as he retrieved his shirt.
“I think I’m going to like English cuisine.” I popped the last hunk of cod into my mouth and chewed.
“Toldja!” He took my hand and licked my fingers.
I invited him to come to my hotel room for a second round, but he declined the offer. Instead we walked the remaining couple blocks, greasy hand in greasy hand.
“Thanks for… well… everything!” I mumbled as I kissed him good-bye at the entrance.
“Cheers!” he winked, and walked into the night.