(The Blue Posts, Newman Street, Soho: three rounds)

The squad assembles, and conversation begins gently enough with a discussion of my new haircut, the rabbit/headlights difficulty of picking haircuts from a book, and the propensity for the models in said book to all look Italian. Always stick to numbers, says Tim sagely: he has started the afternoon in a low mood, thanks to a regrettable football result.

At this point Dave arrives, and is introduced. We quickly warn him that Pete is an inveterate liar, after a particularly unconvincing tale involving the Angus Steak House chain and the Turnpike Lane heroin cartels. A number of the man’s finest lies are recounted, to bring Dave up to speed. Chief among these is the Lie Of Xerxes, the thirteenth sign of the Zodiac, which has achieved worldwide fame thanks to members of the weblog community believing an if-I-may-say-so fantastic write-up of it on Blue Lines. I fluff the delivery somewhat and we get into a sticky patch with the Calvinists but a glorious new addition to the lie is born: “That’s why the Queen has two birthdays!”.

Pete demonstrates his newest fib. Why do we eat carrots? Because they’re cone-shaped, of course! They repair the cones in your eyes! This lie had been told to Justin’s girlfriend the night before and had been, astonishingly, believed.

We win a fiver on the Top of the Pops machine, to the ill-concealed chagrin of a couple who’d been playing it all afternoon but didn’t have our pop firepower. Tim is horrified by the swiftness with which Pete and I answer Echobelly questions. The conversation turns to music, and not for the last time. “Can you sing a Pearl Jam song?” is my challenge. Of course nobody can, short of muttering “Jeremy….Jeremy” with no idea of the tune. Why no idea? Because there is no tune. Grunge was an apalling rip-off and ruined American music forever, opines Tim. Nobody disagrees. I attempt to define ’emo’. The last pint is drained: it is time to pitch ourselves into the December air and head for Blue Posts II.