Tuesday, May 23, 2006

"Fuck off you boring bastard!".




The man widely regarded as the rudest pub landlord in London (if not the world), Mr Norman Balon, has announced his retirement. This is indeed a sad day for the denizens of the Coach and Horses, Soho; one of the last proper boozers left in a sea of trendy wine bars and gastro pubs.

Norman didn’t suffer fools (or anyone really, come to that) gladly. He had a particular distaste for bores and would impolitely request that they “fuck off out of my pub, and don’t fucking come back you boring bastard”.

This kind of refreshing attitude towards the hospitality industry is sadly lacking in the modern world. The prevalence of the American ‘have a nice day’ attitude has resulted in a sense of entitlement amongst punters in hotels and pubs. They seriously think that these institutions exist to indulge their selfish desire for delight and delectation.

My neighbouring hotelier used to respond to the slightest complaint by informing the complainer that they could “fuck off home if you don’t like it”. He had a particular hatred of teetotallers, and people who asked for a glass of water with their meal. He certainly didn’t lack bravery. A large gentleman once approached the bar and requested a large orange juice, only to be told that he should “stop being a big poof and have a pint of beer like a real man".

He retired to Blackpool a couple of years ago. I believe he has a large stick, which he regards as a suitable implement for the chastisement of recalcitrant youth.

I think all Britons should face the fact that we aren’t cut out for service (which we regard as servile). Thank God for all those Poles and Ukrainians: they may not speak very good English, but they don’t shower Anglo-Saxon expletives on bemused Americans and Germans given the slightest (usually imaginary) provocation.

13 comments:

Arabella said...

My old watering hole!
I'm glad to hear Norman is retiring because I thought he was dead.

I never was insulted by him (I think I am too short to be noticed over that bar) but I did witness the withering of a couple of notebook-and-pen drinkers and one chap moaning about how much he'd lost on the horses that day.
The Coach was my preferred start-off but I inevitably ended up at The French. I think it was because, it being so small, friends and fellows could keep a body upright.

Kyahgirl said...

arabella, are you another dwarf from Wales then?

garfer said...

Cor Arabella, you must have been dead boho. Did you get a tongue lashing from Muriel Belcher at the Colony rooms, or clean Dan Farson's vomit from your shoes at the French?

All Welsh people are dwarves Kyahgirl. It's a consequence of lack of natural light and a natural affinity with pit ponies.

Herge Smith said...

I bet he says 'Grrr' a lot.

'recalcitrant' - blimey you use some rite fancy parlance dontchya?

garfer said...

Why say 'go round' when you can say 'circumnavigate'? (Milo in the Phantom Tollbooth).

First Nations said...

Looks like my grandad, sounds like my mother. Her line was " You'll eat what I throw at you!"

Why I taught myself to cook.

suburban wonder said...

Yeah, I've heard that about the English - not being service-oriented - but considering the source was Gwyneth Paltrow, I chose not to believe it. Since you say it, though...

Arabella said...

I'm taller than the average bar stool, Kyahgirl. And not Welsh.
You are a card Garfer.

The Blind Flaneur said...

It would be interesting to have a pint in the C+H with you and Norm. I suspect I might leave in tears.

Arabella said...

It occurs to me(things do eventually): you living in Scotland - that's a long way to go for a pint.
And how come you know all about these coves?

Rowan said...

we sure could use some of these pubs down our way!

garfer said...

I was a fan of Jeffrey Barnards 'Low Life' column, and having a girfriend living in London at the time, I made a pilgrimage to the various Soho boozers frequented by him and his cronies.

MHN for short said...

The American "Have a nice day" thing is mostly for PC-ness.

There are plenty of people that I would like to fuss at and tell them, "why haven't you responded to my e-mail and phone message, ya bugger?!" After all, it IS for the kids! (Of course, you never know who is a terrorist) so,instead what do I say at the end of the phone message???

"Have a Great day!" Super positive and friendly like, not just nice, but Great.

Man, I feel like a wanker...