Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Friday, 21 December 2012
Rise and shine
This may be my last post - the world is supposed to end in three-quarters of an hour, so I had better write it quick.
I don't actually like potato crisps very much, but everyone else seems to, especially in the pub. The one drawback to having a pub run by a born again hippie is the severely limited choice of worthy bar snacks. Our landlord went through a period of not only being a vegetarian, but only eating raw food. He kept this up until he had lost about 4 stone in weight, and now I think he has the occasional baked potato. Even when he first bought the establishment about 20 years ago, it was set up as a vegetarian pub, and pork scratchings were never allowed over the threshold.
I don't like pork scratchings either, but I do - very occasionally - get a craving for synthetic snacks such as 'Quavers' and all the associated E-numbers which go with them. Just because his body is a temple I don't see why the rest of us have to worship there.
The big problem is - especially now that the pub is up for sale - the main manager and fellow licence-holder suffers from a severe form of OCD and hates change of any sort. Over the years, he has been forced to change the odd supplier due to unforeseen circumstances, and it has been liking dragging a child into a slaughterhouse.
If ever anyone was less suited to running a pub, it is this man - he doesn't drink ale and he hates dealing with the public. It would have been better if he had joined when the place was first built as a coaching inn, back in about 1720. He could have dealt with the horses by feeding and watering them, and left the rest of the place to the buxom wenches who bring in the customers. These servants were called 'ostlers', which is how I refer to him now. He is an ostler without horses, but despite his efforts to deter people from making the place untidy by actually entering it, the pub is thriving and probably worth every penny of the £980,000 asking price.
My (current) favourite barmaid asked me if I wanted to see something 'really freaky' the other day, and of course I said that I did. She went to the bin and pulled out a crisp wrapper - one of those 'artisan' brands which cost about twice as much as any other. Then she extracted an object which was the reason for the whole packet being thrown away in the first place.
I suppose it was made from potato, but it looked like a deformed alien which had been fried by the atmosphere on re-entry. I asked why she had not kept it to show the supplier, and she explained that the manufacturer had only just recovered from a catastrophic fire which had forced them to move premises - a sort of industrially-scaled chip-pan fire, I suppose - and she did not have the heart to tell them of their ghastly mistake. This is one reason why I love her so much - anyone else would have tried to sue the company for every penny they had, or at least a year's free supply of crisps, but not her. The other reason is that she has the best arse I have ever seen in my life, not that I have seen much of it. Not as much as I would have liked.
A nearby customer - a stranger to the pub - who witnessed all this, said that he had a friend who poured out his cornflakes one morning to find a black one nestling in amongst all the other golden ones, so he sent it to Kellogg with a letter of complaint, in the hope of getting some free goodies by way of apology.
About a week later, a small packet came in the post, and in it was a profusely apologetic letter from the Kellogg's headquarters in the UK, plus a single, perfect, replacement cornflake.
It is now 11.18 a.m., and the world has not ended.