Rory had tried to hold it in until full time, but the urge was too strong. His bulging bladder strained against his jeans, stretching and complaining, distracting him from the game and his pint.
Sighing, he double-timed it towards the pub toilet and stood at the far urinal, gazing absently into the tiled wall. The tiles bored him within seconds and he began to coax the tiny cakes of soap into a jerky pishdance, deftly hopping one over the other and back again.
It was then that Haircut and Specs entered, honking loud blokey banter about nothing.
Reflexively, Rory's spine snapped him upright into a nonchalant stance with the supernatural speed that only a man caught chasing cludgie-cakes with his dick can muster.
And then, showing no respect for decades of unspoken male convention, Haircut and Specs insolently took up positions next to Rory at the first and second urinal.
Their audacity stung Rory so badly, pinned between Specs and the wall as he was, that he began to lose his flow. Haircut's choice could be forgiven thanks to the modest one-pisser interval, but Specs'? An empty cubicle five feet away, and yet this guy had the effrontery to take the middle position, right next to another man!
Why not just give Rory's arse a cheeky pinch, while he was at it?
Haircut and Specs were still yammering at each other, talking bikes now. Rory focused on the bowl as if the drama unfolding there was the most compelling spectacle he'd ever beheld. He was in uncharted territory - if one of these pricks asked him a question, the situation could hurtle out of this unsettling homoerotic zone and into the full George Michael without any warning at all.
Specs finished quickly, shaking himself off and heading for the basins. Specs was a sipper, Rory realised with satisfaction, disdaining the more manly bucket-session. Rory steeled himself for the combat to come, keeping his jet strong, straight and steady.
Now that Haircut was the only contender, Rory risked a sidelong peek at his foe. Haircut was leaning against the wall on one outstretched arm, palm flat on the tiles.
The Fuhrer piss! A bad sign, Rory thought, straining to maintain momentum. Haircut was plainly made of stronger stuff than his fallen comrade. Rory was drawing on his last reserves now, forcing his muscles to their most heroic limits of endurance. He gritted his teeth and willed himself onwards to victory.
And then, it was over. Haircut's strength collapsed and he shook, retucked and made for the door, too cowed by defeat to face the basins.
Yes! Rory shouted inwardly, letting out a last exultant splash of triumph. There can be only one!
Look upon my wazz, ye shitey, and despair!
Humming a little tune, he shook himself off and walked over to the sinks. The face in the smudged mirror beamed back at him, lined and tracked with a telltale tracery of tiny burst veins. He ignored the greying hair, the gently sagging flesh, and stared into his own eyes, radiating confidence.
"There's life in the old dog yet!" he announced to the empty room. "Woof!"
But as he started towards the door, a sign above the sinks caught his eye.
NOW WASH YOUR HANDS, it said.
He complied happily, whistling. A colossus of steely machismo he might be, Rory told himself, but he wasn't a barbarian.