Mr A had a superpower. He could transform from sober to drunk in the blink of an eye. And the only way to tell, in the early stages at least, was his hair.
Mr A was a smart individual: bright, talkative, always immaculately suited and groomed. On occasion – usually a Friday evening – we'd go to the pub and stand, in a manly fashion, at the bar, drink beer and talk shop or bollocks or a satisfying combination of the two.
Around pint number four, I'd start to watch for the transformation. Almost holding my breath, daring not to blink. But, as always happened, I'd be distracted by a friendly greeting, an attractive face or simply someone wanting to get to the bar. Whichever, I'd glance away for a mere moment and when I looked back the previously immaculately coiffured Mr A would look as if someone had sneaked up behind him and ruffled their fingers enthusiastically through his hair. And I'm sure he didn't do it. One hand held his pint, the other slipped carelessly into his trouser pocket firtling with his keys.
Besides, it was too quick. I'd glance away for less than a second and whammo – his hair had fessed up, blabbed, snitched, proclaimed his inebriation.
Many, many times I watched, drank, and waited. But never ever witnessed the transition. I suppose it wouldn't have been a superpower if I had.