A blue with Red.

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“Hey boys, did you see that?” asked an excited Stew ‘Pinkie’ Mullins, “some guy just ran out of the pub with a black eye.”

“Yeah, he’s yella, he had a blue with Red and ran out like a scolded cat,” explained Brownie.

“Na, he’s not yella,” replied Pinkie “everyone’s sacred of Blue.”

“Blue? No, he had a blue with Red, not Blue ya flamin galah! A blue with Blue!” sighed Brownie with exasperation and a shake of the head at the mere suggestion, “No one has a blue with Blue.”

“Except Violet,” chirped Danny Blanco, which elicited a chuckled consensus from the band of mates who had secured a reprieve from their own wives to watch State of Origin, which was scheduled to start in about an hour.

“Why did Red hit him?” asked Pinkie.

Brownie motioned to answer just as the well-lubricated Blanco proudly declared;

“I reckon I’d go Red,” with a glance at the hulking mass propping up the bar.

Fortunately for Blanco, the noise from the swelling crowd of sunburnt and bronzed bodies, clad exclusively in maroon jerseys, prevented Red from hearing the bold statement.

“Black Red or White Red?” asked Snowy, wiping the sweat from beneath his mop of blonde hair. He was already assessing the relative merits of a fight between Blanco and Black Red, the greenkeeper from Townsville, or White Red, the greenie, whose prolific organic tomatoes had earned him a modicum of fame up Ingham way.

“I’d go ‘em both,” boasted Blanco.

“Well you can’t go Black Red,” mentioned Brownie, clipping the wings of the young sugar cane farmer.

“He’s not that tough!”

“No, he’s not here, ya goose, he’s gone to Orange with Goldie…” Brownie explained, in reference to the copper-coated mare upon whom Black Red lavished so much attention and his life savings. “…he says the grass is greener down in Orange.”

The band of mates then launched into a lengthy and robust discussion about Blanco’s ability to defeat Red, Black or White, in a fight. Pinkie eventually steered the conversation back to the black-eyed victim.

“Anyway, why did Red hit this guy?” he interjected.

Just as Brownie made a second attempt to answer, Snowy stared at his glass after he noticed that it was lighter than it had been just a few moments earlier, and shouted;

“A round of VB Whitey!”

“VB? What are you, a Blue? Five minutes to kick off and you’re ordering VB,” Brownie admonished him, before sending the bartender to fetch another round of XXXX, whose logo adorned the jerseys of their beloved Maroons.

“So, what did this yella fella say?”

“Go the Blues!” chimed his mates.

Pinkie raised a glass with the four fingers which remained after an accident with a combine harvester, shook his head and smiled a knowing smile. As he considered the poor man’s folly, a whistle blew, and all eyes affixed themselves to the TV screen.

Thus, an hour was lost.