My grandmother was a very smart woman.
She was the one who bought Buber in the first place. At that point it was a muddy rock not much bigger than most moons. You can go the whole way round in twenty four hours. She told me that it was the need of a gin and tonic that convinced her of the purchase. That was long before she built the bar, or grew the crops and trees. Long before The Haircut, and the Butter Mice, and when parsnipheads didn’t even exist.
Now you may even have visited us.
I’ve been running the bar on Buber for fifteen years. With a new season starting, I thought it was time to get down in writing some of the stories from this place, and the people that come here. Also, you will discover some of my favourite cocktail recipes every month, which I will base on a previous story.
I don’t want you to think this is advertising. I appreciate the history of Buber, and not only will this be a taste of the planet, but also a record of what’s happened.
We still deal with parsnipheads all the time. They infest the bigger spaceships, and stumble out of open hatches and loose vents. There’s a system in place. Take the one I found earlier. He must have died somewhere in his mid-fifties, about eighteen months ago. A shard of bone jutted from the back of its head, and one leg twisted nearly all the way round, the kneecap ripped in half. A spacesuit dotted with holes hung over a rotting body. I reckon it fell off a hanger into something infected. Very bad luck this long after the Haircut.
There’s a huge oak tree near the bar, where patrons smoke, or urinate against if the toilets are full. The parsniphead sucked on the bark on the side of the tree with gums that still bled. It’s teeth were knocked out long ago.
My system isn’t complex. I keep a shovel by the bar. One quick whack on the back of the head, and a call to the farmers will return him to the soil.
Don’t let this put you off visiting. This is part our day, like cleaning the tabletops, and chucking out the cocktail napkins.
Next week I’ll give you a tour of the bar.