Monday, 30 May 2011


Why does this only happen to me? Why do all the very worst things in this world only happen to me and no one else? Why don't they happen to you, you bastard?

Now, you'll notice there that I called you a bastard and that's sort of a swear word, isn't it? I'm trying not to swear at the moment, in blogs and in my writing generally, because my agent says it would be a good idea to see if I can actually write without the constant swears. I think she's right and also I'm a bit scared of her so I'm going to do what she says but this blog is going to be really difficult to do without SCREAMING MY FUCKING HEAD OFF. So, at least if I don't not swear in this I won't not apologise for it in advance. Sorry.

It's a terrifying thing, being served. You wait for ages and then when it happens it goes wrong. On Friday night, at a gig in Welwyn Garden City, I fancied a beer before the gig. A lovely pint of refreshing, delicious lager. I looked everywhere for the bar in the building and was finally told that alcohol was served in the coffee shop upstairs. You see? That's why I get anxious about being served. A coffee shop doesn't do booze. This could be the worst night of anyone's life.

They didn't sell booze. Well, not really. Bottled beer. That IS NOT booze. It's a very expensive sample of booze. I gave the lady behind the counter (NOT THE BAR) of the coffee shop my order and I waited the hour and a half for her to turn round, pick up a bottle of Becks and give it to me. To be fair, she was very busy calling her colleague "retarded". While she was busy doing that I spent my time looking around the room at the art. The art was mainly signs saying "More than just a coffee shop", which was a lie, and classic cinema posters redesigned to promote the selling of coffee. It was stuff like Midnight Espresso (I get it), Meet The Mochas (Erm...OK) and The Cupfather (pathetic). Eventually the lady had stopped saying "retarded" and had finally given me my bit of drink. I gave her £20 and she gave me change of £10. Of course, she checked the till and it was not £10 over so there is no way that I could have given her £20.

I had. That's not up for question. Maybe someone who shouts "retarded" often in public shouldn't be in charge of a till, that might be a question worth asking but the one about whether or not I gave her £20 isn't. But there's no way of proving it. I had to to just suck it up and walk away. I got served.

The wait to be served it the worst part, sort of. Yesterday, I was in a Co-op in Alton. It's a shop that employs idiots to serve idiots. I know I shouldn't get upset by this but...well, it's me, isn't it? The drunk nutter in front of me was staring and grinning at the spotty brain-free git behind the counter who was putting the nutter's items into a bag slowly and cack-handedly. As he had all the time in the world to wait on getting his items put into a bag, Drunk Nutter decided to stare at him for a bit longer then eventually he said "I've got one for you".

As soon as he spoke my body naturally clenched and I tasted my own sphincter. I'm not going to like what this man has to say, I thought. He continued: "Who would win in a fight Han Solo or Indiana Jones?"

Now, to be fair, the git behind the counter didn't answer him. Thank the Lord. He just got on with putting things into a bag at a crippled snail's pace. So Drunk Nutter repeated himself. "No, I'm being serious. Who would win in a fight, Han Solo or Indiana Jones?" The Git just handed the Drunk Nutter his now full bag and stared back at him. Drunk Nutter laughed and walked away. This was terrible for me because the question wasn't answered. That meant that The Git is going to talk to me. I just know he is. All I want is my 2 litre bottle of "Italian White" and my copy of Chat Magazine, I DO NOT WANT THIS MAN TALKING TO ME. But he did talk to me.

"Pfft", he said to me. "Stupid question. Han Solo would win. He's got The Force".

NO HE FUCKING DOESN'T, YOU FUCKING CUNT. Han solo NEVER had The Force. He had a Wookie. That was it. And a blaster by his side. Han Solo had The Force? How the fuck did this cretin get the job as Shop Assistant at the Co-op? What sort of Star wars questions do they ask in their job interviews? It's probably all prequel stuff nowadays.

This was nothing compared to the torment I went through getting served yesterday at The Plough, a bar in South London's Lordship Lane. I'm going to try to just transcribe, as best I can, the entire dialogue between myself and the woman working behind the bar. Be warned though: She's a phenomenal idiot.

After waiting and basically being ignored by her for 10 minutes she eventually turned to me and said "Are you being served, babes?"

"Erm...Not yet."

"Right, babes. What can I get you?"

"I'd like a Bloody Mary, a glass of rosé and a pint of soda water and lime, please."

"Right", she said and then immediately went off to serve someone else. To be honest, I was impressed. She had just taken my order and was now taking someone elses. She's a multi-tasker. This is great. Oh, it took a while to get served but when at last it happened my order was taken by a professional. Excellent. Five minutes later she passed drinks to the other people and took their money. Then she turned to me and said "Are you being served?"


"I gave you my order about 5 minutes ago, remember?"

"What was it again, babes?"

"Sigh...I'd like a Bloody Mary, a glass of rosé and a pint of soda water and lime, please"

"What's in a Bloody Mary?"

"Oh. Well, I don't really know. I was hoping you would."

She just walked away. I didn't know why, she didn't say why. I did see her speaking to a pregnant woman who looked baffled. The pregnant woman walked round the spirits optics easily 10 times then shuffled over to me. "We don't have any vodka up here", she said.

"Do you have any vodka in the building?"

"There might be some downstairs."


"I could go there and get some"

She walked off and I really went off wanting to give The Plough my business. Then Babes turned up again. "Right, babes. What was your order again?"

FOR FUCK'S SAKE. "Can I have a Bloody Mary, a glass of rosé and a pint of soda water and lime, please?"

"Do you know what size glass of rosé?"

"As it's my order, yes, I do know what size glass of rosé. Large, please. The largest you have".

I was being very sarcastic now. I'd had enough. I had but Babes hadn't. She had kept her very best until the end. Prepare to be amazed. Babes took out a half-pint glass and put it under one of the pumps then got a pint glass out and started pouring lime cordial into it. Of course, some people like fresh lime in their soda water and lime, not cordial, and while pouring she realised her error. "Oh", she said. "It was lime cordial you wanted in your cider water, babes?"

I must have misheard. I must have. "I'm sorry, in my what?"

"Would you like lime cordial in your cider water?"

"What is cider water?"

"I don't know."

"Then how are you going to give it to me?"

I looked at the till and I'm pretty sure she had rung in a half of cider and a bottle of still water. Now, I'd like to think that I'm mistaken in thinking this, I'm not. She had decided to just make up a drink for me. Then the pregnant woman returned with her mouth wide open and her tongue hanging out. She stirred the Bloody Mary and put it right in front of me.

"Is that right?", she said.

You know, we really do live in a very patient society. I'm sure there was a time far back in history when we wouldn't have let morons live. The mere mention of cider water would have got you beheaded back in the Tudor era. Maybe I'm just an old-fashioned guy?

By the way, the staff at The Phoenix are always friendly and attentive plus they do lots of vegan wine and beer so we can ALL enjoy their bar. Why not enjoy their bar this Wednesday at the next Los Quattros Cvnts with our very special guests Richard Herring and Mushybees? The show starts at 8pm and the doors are 7.30. Get there early because the seats go very quickly. Here's the Facebook invite with all the info:

Also....The Flaherty Brothers and Billy Sunday will make a return on Wednesday. What more reason could you need to go?

ps Thanks for listening to Mr Blue Sky, the Radio 4 sit-com written by Andrew Collins and featuring me as Sean, a 25 year-old genius pianist. You can find out about it here:

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Dave said...

A female bar human once 'creatively' interpreted my friend's order of a Kronenbourg and orange juice (for me and another friend, respectively).

She returned with one suspiciously cloudy pint glass. Somehow the idea had passed through two people without being discounted.

It would be an unrealistically happy ending if it turned out to be the best drink I've ever had.

Great blog!

Andre the BFG said...

Fuck off! You cannot write an angry blog without swearing man! Swearing gives it the kind of emphasis that you can only otherwise get with a big fat mic in your hand. Used sparingly, a well-timed fuck is worth a thousand words.