The Palace

Saying The Palace is a wee bit rough is like saying Mike Tyson is a wee bit tasty with his fists.

Feature by Scott Cassidy | 16 May 2006
It has been said that The Palace is a wee bit rough. That's like saying Mike Tyson is a wee bit tasty with his fists. It isn't rough, it's crazy; crazy in a Beirut meets Baghdad sort of way. You can go in looking like Brad Pitt and come out looking, walking and talking like the elephant man's uglier brother. The customers don't go to impress the opposite sex with their slick moves or polished chat. They go to drink cheap vodka and warm beer, get pissed, have a fight and get shagged. Simple.

It was therefore, with a racing pulse and a weak bladder that Neil (Jackie) Jackson pulled his Audi TT into The Palace's pot-holed car park. He took a few deep breaths and stepped from his car. He looked up. The neon lights made him wince. In the queue somebody was sick. Ownerless hands launched a drunk through an open fire escape and a bevy of people bayed to get past a monster on the door. At least the building wasn't scary, just an ugly box of grey metal. It nestled between the various DIY stores that completed the Fort Bosworth Business Park.

Jackie's mind struggled to grasp the reality of the situation. He was the player, he was the man, the 'hump them and dump them' king. Christ, the trainees in his office worshipped the ground he swaggered on and his wife, well, his wife understood and accepted that late nights were part and parcel of his latest promotion.

"Eh, alright mate I'm here to see Sally, could you let her know Jackie's here please?" Jackie thought he'd done alright, enough to fit in, he'd roughed his voice up and dropped his t's. The Monster on the door stared back, more than a little cock-eyed. He curled his lips back and sneered. His teeth sat like condemned houses, and when he spoke spittle flew outwards.
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