CHRISTINE and I were at a bit of a loose end so we decided to head into Glasgow for a bite to eat.
Settling down with a drink we got chatting to a couple of girls at the next table, who suggested we headed to the Horseshoe Bar.
"There's karaoke on a Saturday night and the singers are brilliant," enthused one of the girls. "But you've got to be in early. It's always packed."
"Thanks, we will," we agreed.
We arrived at the pub later than planned and the karaoke bar was packed. Luckily, we found a gap at the edge of a booth and settled down with our drinks.
The bar got busier and busier as people squeezed into any available space they could find.
As we had a small space at the end of our booth a woman approached us and asked if she and her friend could join us.
"No problem," I answered. "But you'll need to look for a spare seat for your friend."
"Thanks," replied the grateful woman.
"I'm Joyce and my pal Jean is in the toilet. I'll just go and look for a spare seat."
The music was now blaring and Christine and I were so busy chatting that at first we didn't take any notice of Jean as she sat down on the seat at our table.
However, as I looked up, I caught sight of this large female with long dark hair. Nothing unusual in that … but she had a huge wad of white toilet paper pressed against her face and blood was seeping through the paper.
I smiled at Jean before politely turning to Joyce. "Is your friend okay?"
"Oh aye, she's fine," Joyce answered very matter-of-fact, as if nothing was odd, and continued with her drink.
"Well she doesn't look fine," I couldn't help adding as Christine and I stared at Jean.
"ARE YOU OKAY?" I loudly asked as though Jean was deaf instead of injured.
Jean nodded to assure us she was okay while replacing the blood-soaked tissues.
We decided to try and ignore Jean with her bloody face and concentrate on the brilliant karaoke singers.
"If you shut your eyes," shouted Christine above the loud music, "that could be Frank Sinatra himself."
I nodded as I hummed to the smooth tones of the tiny elderly man with no teeth.
Meanwhile, unperturbed by her apparent injury, Jean seemed still to be enjoying her night and managed to sip her drink through a straw, which was sticking out from under the tissues.
"Jean would normally be one of the first up there," explained Joyce, pointing to the singing area.
"What's happened to her?" I had to ask, as Jean replaced another mound of red tissues.
"Oh, she slipped coming off the bus just before we came in here and smacked her face off the edge of the pavement," Joyce answered as if Jean had just broken fingernail.
Her pal nodded in agreement again and we could see a glimmer of a smile from underneath the sodden tissues.
But each time Jean pulled the bloodied tissues from her face we could see her bruised nose was getting bigger and bigger.
"Oh God," I exclaimed. "I think she's broken her nose."
"Aye, I think you might be right," agreed Joyce, clapping her hands to the music.
Without wanting to state the obvious I followed up with: "Shouldn't you take her up to the Royal and get her face X-rayed?"
At this suggestion Jean started shaking her head from side to side.
"Naw," she grunted.
"You see, me and Jean have been coming here since the karaoke started years ago and apart from two weeks in Blackpool, we've never missed a Saturday night."
"Really?" Christine answered, somewhat bemused.
"In those days they didn't have all this fancy equipment. It was one bloke with a keyboard and a microphone," Joyce informed us.
"That's commitment for you," I gasped, not really sure what this had to do with the state of Jean's coupon.
"So," concluded Joyce, "broken nose or no broken nose, we wouldn't miss our Saturday night at the Horseshoe Bar."
Christine and I could only nod in disbelief.
"And anyway," Joyce added, "A & E is always quieter on Sunday mornings"
And as we watched Jean happily humming and swaying to the music with a huge white and red mass of tissue stuck to her face we decided who were we to suggest Jean got her broken nose fixed.
It's her Saturday night after all!