Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Friday, 15 May 2015
A retirement plan
I came up with a brilliant idea yesterday - though I say it myself - and that was for Rachel and me to run a pub together.
The more I think about it, the more I can imagine the general ambience of the place - a little like Fawlty Towers, but with more of an alcoholic feel to it.
There is certainly a gap in the market for this kind of establishment. In the old days, a policeman would retire on a meagre pension and fulfil a life-long ambition to run a country pub, then spend the rest of his days standing behind the bar, boring everyone with his opinions on how not to run a country whilst he drank away any profits until he died of liver-failure - just before the bailiffs began knocking on the door and the breweries stopped supplying him for lack of payment.
These days, every publican I know is virtually tee-total, and the clientele is generally made up of 18-25 year-old students, spending their tuition fees on tequila shots before going on to nightclubs and vomiting in the street at 4.00am.
I miss the days when you could walk into a village pub and find two old men and one mangy dog blocking the fireplace, a ticking clock on the mantlepiece - set 10 minutes ahead - clearly audible for lack of piped music, and a belligerent and unwelcoming landlord staring at you as if he wanted to throw you out for no other reason than for being a stranger.
There were two sorts of beer if you were lucky, some ancient pickled eggs and a few boxes of matches on offer, and if you even thought about ordering a coffee you would have been thrown out as a German spy. Maybe places like this still exist in Norfolk, but they don't around here.
Our pub would be quite like this, but with a bit more shouting.
Would would give nightly displays of oral sex - "Fuck you!" "Fuck you too!" - and any silence between the action would be so thick, you could cut it with a knife. Knives would be kept well out of reach, though, there being no kitchen.
The ex-policemen landlords would always take their truncheon with them when they left the force, and it would be kept in a handy place beneath the bar, ready to brain anyone who dared to ask for food or coffee. That was a nice touch which I think we would adopt to keep up the traditional feel as well.
At 10.20 every night, we would wordlessly go amongst the tables putting upturned chairs on them, whether or not there was anyone still sitting there, and we would open the doors wide on Winter nights to encourage any stragglers to leave, having snatched their half-finished pints from beneath their noses.
What a wonderful way to spend the Autumn of our lives.