Thursday, March 05, 2009

Monday Night is Romance Night

Sid, the erstwhile patron of the ‘Rat & Ferret’ is always looking for ways to boost the income from his hostelry. As he says, these are hard times and being a tied house to the Ethaniel Nightswerve Brewery and Liniment Emporium Plc means the margin on drinks is small. As he tells us regulars at every opportunity, the money he makes on his extensive range of ales is barely enough to keep Mattress Madge in her specially engineered corset ry.

Thankfully, Sid is never short of a few entrepreneurial ideas. He brought in a team of chefs from Eastern Europe and has been hosting incredibly popular ‘Gourmet Cabbage’ nights, drawing diners from far and wide. He’s converted part of the public bar into a Post Office (See Note1). In the summer, when the prevailing wind is blowing towards the abattoir, Sid hosts International Chess tournaments complete with a pig roast in the garden. In the winter, he hosts the World Egg Pickling Championships (See Note 2).

While the money is obviously nice, this also has a very positive impact on the pub. It is the centre of the local community. It is a place with character and (a very definite and distinctive) atmosphere where people can enjoy go and feel a sense of real belonging. It is a place where you can always be sure that there is something interesting going on. (See Note 3)

It would embarrass Sid immensely, but there is also the charity work. Sid tirelessly organises fund raisers for the less fortunate. Barely a month goes by without Sid and Mattress Madge being sponsored for something or another in aid of sick manicurists in Senegal or turning over the Dining Room for a gala for fallen women. Such are his efforts, that last month, the lady mayoress rewarded him with an engraved pewter tankard in recognition of his efforts for Patagonian donkeys. (See Note 4)

After the unfortunate closure of the local adult education centre (See Note 5), Sid has stepped into the breach again by allowing the skittle alley to be used for some of the evening classes.

One of the most popular is Padstow’s current class on ‘Seduction Techniques for the Aesthetically Challenged’ (See Note 6). Such is the popularity; the male regulars make sure that there is a sturdy chair wedging shut the connecting door to the skittle alley to avoid being dragged in for the practicals.

With so many of his restraining orders lapsing recently, Padstow was a touch depressed. However, with the success of this class, his spirit has been lifted enough to find the energy to take up a few light stalking duties of faux celebrities on Twitter.

Seeing this positive change in Padstow’s mood and the spring in the step of a number of the town’s architecturally built women, I haven’t the heart to tell anyone that the obvious success of the techniques owes little to the course content and a lot to do with the after effects of Sid’s ‘Gourmet Cabbage’ nights (See Note 7)

Note 1 : Sadly, this has not been the financial boost that Sid hoped. As soon as the local pensioners drew their pension, they retired to the snug where they tended to blow the lot on an illicit high stakes domino game instead of investing it wisely in a few quarts of Ethaniel Nightswerve’s finest.

Note 2 : Which has the added bonus of Sid being able to corner the market in pickled eggs in the run up to the festive season, plus a few pickled eggs with your gourmet cabbage adds to the atmosphere.

Note 3 : Only last week they discovered two of last years Chess competitors living in the chicken coop. Apparently, after being knocked out early in the competition they decided to knock back half a bottle of dried frog pills washed down with copious amounts of Velvet Cudgel and since August had been convinced they were a pair of Rhode Island Red Roosters.

Note 4 : Which of course, Sid raffled in aid of charities for disadvantaged parrots. In the US meanwhile, our beloved Prime Minister, Gordon Brown was doing the glad handing. At the Embassy Residence, Rabbi Schneier gave our PM a silver honey pot in the shape of an apple in thanks for work tackling poverty. Who said that Merkins don’t do irony? If anyone can tell me where I can buy a raffle ticket for the honey pot, please let me know.

Note 5 : Thankfully, Mr Stovelightly is making a very good recovery and has vowed to always wear his reading glasses in chemistry class in future. Exposing Ethaniel Nightswerve’s Premium Buttock Liniment to a naked flame is never a good idea. Still, thankfully the class was empty and the time and the builders believe that it won’t take too long to make the building safe.

Note 6 : Although it must be said that a number of the ladies in the class arrive by taxi in heavy disguise after telling friends and significant others that they are actually attending ‘Lard Sculpture for Beginners’ in the Drill Hall.

Note 7 : My indurated yeomen, yet again I feel that I have been restrained in where the synaptic tangents could have taken me. When I decided that my ‘story of the post’ was going to be that one, my mind immediately went to that tried and trusted bedtime game, much loved of honeymooners, the nocturnal contest of Dutch Ovens. For those of you who are saving yourself for marriage, you should read no further. OK, so you didn’t stop reading? Hmmmm, well I think I may have misjudged my audience. Dutch Oven’s is described to the sweet innocent partner as a game where if someone shouts ‘Dutch Ovens!’ and the winner is the first person to get their head fully beneath the bed clothes. The non-innocent then passes wind and shouts ‘Dutch Ovens!’

In the past I thought this just a prank, but having read the article, I am beginning to suspect that there may be some genetic conditioning that causes the male the urge to smell their own expelled gaseous matter as a guarantee of future performance.

Note to self : At some stage I could explain the phrase ‘ close to the mud’.

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