He salutes me with the can and takes a long pull.“Don’t mind if I do.” he says, wiping the back of his mouth with his hand.I pick up the knife, and put it back in the drawer with the rest of thecutlery. I turn to Miki.“It’s disgraceful, is what it is.” I say, “I mean, it’s not too much to ask isit? A gig, a bit of a party, some drugs, a blow job?”Miki waggles the now empty can of Red Stripe.“And now, not even any beer.” I say, “Thank you very much.”“Terrible.” Miki says, and belches sonorously. He crumples the can withone hand and tosses it in the general direction of the old oil drum I useas a rubbish bin. He misses and the can clatters to the floor. Suddenlyhis face brightens.“Here, I know something we can do tonight. Sid’s gang is having a party.Loads of booze. And pills.”I look doubtful.“What, the Road Rats?”“Most likely be biker chicks there.” he says.“Alright then,” I say, “Why not. What else are we gonna do? Sit in and watch the gardening on the telly?”“What telly?”“Precisely.”Miki’s brother, Sid, is a Brummie biker. His seventeen stone framesubsists almost entirely on a steady diet of savaloy and chips, all swilleddown with Strongbow cider. He will cheerfully tell you that it’s only dueto all the speed he does that he manages to keep his weight down! In thetwo years since Sid joined the Walsall chapter of the Road Rats he has written off three motorbikes, and spent a little over a year in varioushospitals. He has steel pins in both elbows, several bolts in his legs, anda medium-sized plate in his head. This plate, given the right atmosphericconditions and with his neck tilted at just the right angle, enables Sid topick up Radio Luxembourg as clearly as any transistor radio.