Category Archives: Pub

Psychopaths In The Pub

A very good evening to you all on an evening which is still muggy, despite some rain. I am not complaining about the heat because it will be winter soon enough (August-May) and we don’t see enough sun in this country. But that is not the point of my missive this evening – I leave meteorological predictions to those more knowledgeable than I, such as the rather lovely Tomasz Schafernaker on the BBC.

No, a rather more serious situation has arisen within the last half hour, much more serious than my original choice of topic, which was bicarbonate of soda, which I bought for the first time today. I had to search for the ‘Baking’ section of Sainsbury’s to find it and, as many of you will know, this is not a section I visit frequently – in fact, this was another first!

Before I get to the ‘serious situation’, however, I just need to ask if this is ‘Males Talking to Each Other in VERY Loud Voices’ Day? Having been in two pubs this evening with a sibling, in both we have come across large groups of males (or, even, groups of large males) speaking to each other in extremely loud voices, talking across each other as if they were appearing on Question Time, but with no David Dimbleby to calm them down or point to a member of the audience – ‘Yes, you, the lady in the pink spectacles. Yes, you. Oh, sorry, the MAN in pink spectacles’ – to ask for an opinion which is usually totally incomprehensible because the selected audience member turns into a ‘rabbit in the headlights’ and forgets all the arguments they had carefully marshalled before being asked to speak. Everyone else then boos or claps, depending on how much they’ve drunk, and the Daily Mail representative on the panel looks either very ANNOYED or very SMUG, depending on how much they’ve drunk. Piers Morgan, if he’s on the panel, just manages to look smug AND drunk.

But I digress … I now move onto the ‘serious situation’. I am typing this VERY QUIETLY because I think a PSYCHOPATH has walked into the pub and ordered a pint of Carling (that’s one clue for a start). You may remember that, a couple of years ago, I wrote an article about recognising an AXE MURDERER, although I found no correlation between this and the fact that I was reading a book about an axe murderer at the time, and I find the same lack of coincidence between the book I am currently reading (about a psychopath) and the man who has just walked into the bar… He looks ordinary, but I have finely tuned senses (often heightened by alcohol) for spotting these types. He looks mild-mannered, but the denim Jeremy Corbyn-type cloth cap and denim jacket are the real giveaway. WHO would wear double denim unless they were a psychopath, especially in a heatwave? AND he whispered when he ordered his Carling (although that could just be embarrassment) – psychopaths ALWAYS whisper. I shall make sure that he leaves the pub before me (not difficult) and I will send the aforementioned sibling ahead of me to ensure that he becomes the psychopath’s victim rather than me.
Enjoy the rest of your evening. And sleep well!

Eating Out

A very good evening from the Lifestyle Support Guru! Whilst I realise that it is not too long since I offered good advice on watching football and gardening (and hiring a slave to tell you that you are only human and to pour your wine), I felt that I had also learned some other useful lessons this week which needed sharing. These ‘extra-curricular’ nuggets of knowledge have been earned the hard way – by eating out. This activity is something in which I indulge purely for purposes of research, as you know, because I care about you, beloved believers, and because YOU’RE WORTH IT!
DAY 1 – LUNCH
Meet with a friend (I’ll call her Debbie for the sake of anonymity) for lunch and find that there is a mutual friend lunching in the same pub. His reason (who needs a reason for eating out????)? ‘SHE’S gone out for lunch, so I’ve decided I’M coming out for lunch.’ All this is stated in a very defensive tone. Lesson? If SHE’S gone out for lunch, she’ll be more than happy that YOU have, too – it means she won’t have to worry about cooking for you when she gets home (and PLEASE, devoted devotees, don’t reach for the ‘casual sexism’ button – you all know what I mean, and the roles can be just as easily reversed!).
DAY TWO – BIRTHDAY MEAL

dancing octopus

dancing octopus

Meet with some friends to celebrate the (belated) birthday of one of them (of course, the birthday wasn’t belated, but the celebration was, but how could the LSG write ‘to belatedly celebrate…’ and thus split an infinitive, which would break the LSG’s pedantic heart, but I digress …), arriving at the restaurant before the friends do, thus giving you the chance to study the other diners, a favourite activity of the LSG because it affords SO many opportunities for humour (or ‘taking the ‘p—s’). Couple in their mid-thirties, probably trying to recreate their recent holiday to Greece, have ordered Greek beer and wine (nothing wrong with that) and, when the owner pours their drinks, the male (although he – or she, or they – could just as easily have been trans, cis, questioning, whatever you like, demonstrating that I am fully inclusive, diverse, and non-judgemental) half of the couple says ‘Yamas’ (Greek for ‘Cheers’) and raises his glass, to which the owner replies ‘Yamas’. ‘Oh,’ exclaims the LGBTQI (for I have decided that I must now include all possibilities), ‘do you speak Greek?’ This is asked in all innocence in a restaurant called ‘Steliano’s and Sappho’s Greek Restaurant’, with posters of Greek islands, a menu consisting of purely Greek items, a drinks list of Greek wines/beers, and an owner who could only be Greek, based on accent and looks alone, and a notice telling customers that this is the ‘oldest restaurant in Derby, going strong for 33 years’ (I feel, however, that the Dolphin Inn of Derby may dispute that claim, since it says it has been around since 1530 – or is that 15.30? Whichever, the food must be getting cold.).
DAY TWO, cont’d
The friends arrive and you decide that you may now take your jacket off (since you wished to look a bit ‘dressed up’ for the arrival), but it is WITH HORROR that you realise that, although you ironed the jacket (linen, so a necessary evil), you completely forgot to remove the labels – this was in case you decided to return it after ironing and trying it on. THANK GOODNESS, the friends were so absorbed in removing their own items of clothing (only the outer ones, of course) that they didn’t spot the labels on your own items. (I should just like to point out that the linen items were bought in a SALE!)
DAY THREE
Another lunch – the sacrifices I make simply to write articles to amuse and entertain my adoring acolytes – and all I have to say is that it was GREAT FUN! Everyone should LUNCH! (I know this makes me sound like a Tory MP who’s never travelled beyond the M25 – believe me, I’m NOT!) Lunch is WONDERFUL! Lunch is for EVERYONE, even if it’s just a sandwich on a park bench or a Pot Noodle on a rainy Wednesday afternoon – LUNCH makes the heart feel lighter!

PS I still haven’t removed the labels!

Another Career Move

A very good Bank Holiday evening to you all – I hope you have made the most of the sunshine and fine weather. One of my local pubs has already made the most of it by running out of the ‘reassuringly expensive’ lager that next-sibling-down enjoys, even though there’s still another day of the holiday to go, so we have had to repair to the next local along. Luckily, both places stock Sauvignon Blanc, so the Lifestyle Support Guru is not suffering at all.
Tonight, I wish to tell you about my ever-growing CV – quiz-setting, lunching, proofreading, lunching, making people smile (sometimes), lunching, annoying male siblings by talking too much, lunching, and now… MODEL! Yes, I have added MODEL to my list of accomplishments. And it didn’t take a lot of effort or practice to be a model MODEL – to some it just comes naturally and the LSG is the perfect example of that.
I shall set the scene, as usual:
– being a community-minded sort of person, I belong to a couple of local committees (‘community-minded’ is a lie, really – I only belong to them because they meet in the pub), and one of these committees decided to run a charity fashion show (at my suggestion, I’m pleased to say – yet another self-sacrificing suggestion, because, as I’m sure you realise, a fashion show wouldn’t really be to my taste at all…). Volunteer models were required, so, in my usual self-effacing way, I put myself forward as a possibility, along with four or five others. To say that the offer was snapped up would be an understatement, and I like to think that it was because of the LSG’s natural aptitude for modelling rather than through a lack of other volunteers. I also like to think that I was offering to be representative of the curvier end of the modelling spectrum – and this same thought was also clearly reflected by another volunteer in the following conversation:

Other Model: I’ve waxed my legs and put some tanning lotion on them ready for the show.
LSG: Really? I wasn’t thinking of going to those lengths. I’ll just be grateful if they’ve got clothes that will fit me.
OM: Oh, they’re bound to have some that will fit – they need all sizes of models, from ‘C’ over there (pointing to a tiny, incredibly slim committee member who normally wears a size SIX!!) to me and ‘R’ (pointing to herself and the wonderful, amazingly enthusiastic Rachel, who is the Chair of the committee) who can cover the normal/medium sizes; they’ll be bound to have your size and shape as well.

I took a large gulp of wine and smiled sweetly, whilst thinking evil thoughts. Other Model, do not think that you will get away scot free by making such underhand comments…

On the evening itself, there was a HUGE audience – thank goodness I am used to appearing in public and am not fazed by such attention. We were allowed to choose our own outfits, although one of these had to be a dress, a type of garment I haven’t worn since I retired over 7 years ago, but I am prepared to sacrifice my principles for a good cause (and the right size). I sashayed out onto the catwalk, displaying a broad grin (and an even broader behind, probably) and that was my next career launched!
It seemed to me that the most popular garment sold on the night was one that the LSG had modelled – a pink and white striped tunic, which looked lovely with a tan, and in the case of the LSG, a REAL tan, unlike the OM’s bottle tan (which didn’t really show up anyway – she’d left it too late for it to have any impact). Conversely, I didn’t notice lots of people rushing to buy the OM’s choice of dress, although I did persuade her that it looked absolutely delightful on her and she decided to buy it – but sometimes I don’t always tell the WHOLE truth…
Kate Moss, eat your heart out…

(On the plus side – my size! – the evening raised over £600 and the LSG added to her wardrobe, including a rather nice pink and white striped tunic which looks lovely with a tan, but which every other female in the area may also well be wearing!)
Enjoy the rest of the Bank Holiday.

True Power

A very good evening to you from the Lifestyle Support Guru! I hope you have all had a thoroughly enjoyable Easter break, despite the cold and wet weather – if you have lived in the UK for most of your life, you should now know how to make the most of your time despite any inclement weather (this includes during the now-laughably named ‘summer’). Your house should be filled with ‘rainy day’ items such as Hungry Hippo, Jenga, Operation, Happy Families, Monopoly, the complete works of Shakespeare, a box set of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings and, of course, a lifetime’s subscription to Netflix. Obviously, once you have turned eighteen, all of these can be replaced by going to the pub (where you may find they have most of these items anyway).
It is through my occasional visits to the pub that I have learned what TRUE POWER is. Do not be fooled by men of little worth such as Trump or Putin or Kim Jong-un, who may try to convince the world that they have TRUE POWER simply because they have nuclear (pronounced as ‘nucular’ by some, just as ‘secretary’ becomes ‘sekettri’ and February changes to ‘Febuwari’, or ‘prostate’ to ‘prostrate’ and even ‘ask’ to ‘ax’ – such strange variations!) power. Nuclear power is not TRUE POWER!

So, what is TRUE POWER? I hear you cry in despair!
I sometimes cry in despair, beloved believers – usually when someone is in front of me at the bar placing a large order one drink at a time and then remembering that he also wanted a packet of peanuts, before turning to his friends (it usually is a ‘him’, I’m afraid) and asking, ‘What did your better half want, Hugo? Was it a Campari and soda or a daiquiri?’, to which Hugo replies, ‘I can’t remember. I’ll go and ask her.’ Hugo then returns and says, ‘She’s changed her mind. She’ll have Sex on the Beach, ha ha!’, at which point the whole group guffaws as if they’ve just heard the funniest joke in the world and some wag shouts, ‘Not here she won’t, Hugo – nowhere near the bloody beach, old thing!’, at which they all guffaw again and another wag points out that there’s a pile of workman’s sand over the road by the building site which might do instead and they all chortle merrily once more! By this time, you are ready to string Hugo and his better half up by piano wire after having stabbed the rest of the merry group with the little plastic swords used for putting the fruit into Hugo’s better half’s cocktail. But I digress…
TRUE POWER is going to the pub and:
1. having one of the ‘regular rowdies’ (who are loud but not nasty) tell you that they deliberately stayed in the town pubs the night before (Easter Sunday) because they knew it was your quiz and they didn’t want to disturb it, as they have done before when they’ve had one or two too many ‘sherbet dips’.
2. having the same ‘regular rowdy’ (who has to be in his fifties!) apologising for sitting in ‘your seat’ because he wants to watch the football, and then, when the game finishes, making a point of telling you that you can have ‘your seat’ back!
This is TRUE POWER, dear devotees, and all done without using the ‘death stare’ perfected over many years of teaching. Now I use the ‘I’m just a little old lady’ smile and the ‘I might cry if you’re nasty to me’ trembling lower lip. Works every time! Sleep well, ardent admirers.

Quizzical

A very good evening to you, beloved believers, as I sit and listen to possibly the worst karaoke version of ‘Killing Me Softly’ I have ever heard in my life.
It seems so LONG since I last offered any advice on living life to the full and I realise some of you may be wondering if my inspiration has dried up and if you will have to search elsewhere for another guru to guide you through life’s thickets and tangled undergrowth. FEAR NOT! I have been a little busy of late – shopping, lunch, shopping, lunch, visit to Doncaster, shopping, lunch, shopping, lunch, visit to Oldbury (near Birmingham), shopping… you get the idea. Actually, I had written a piece for you on being pretentious in a taxi, but I can’t find it now, so that will have to be for another time.
As you know, I have a vague, passing interest in quizzes, but FEAR NOT! I am not about to test you on your knowledge of geography or sport or the first ten presidents of the USA (although I am sure there are those among you who actually know this! Why?). No, I am going to ask you to contemplate the responses of a team of bright young things in a recent quiz at my local. Actually, when I say ‘bright young things’, I’m lying – one of those words is incorrect, but I leave it to you to decide which one.

quizzical

And FEAR NOT! I am not going to spend time bemoaning the dismal lack of knowledge of today’s generation, as so many others do. That is unfair to those who do have a wide-ranging general knowledge as well as a good understanding of politics, economics, history, philosophy, literature, maths, socio-economics, business, psychology, chiropody, finance, neurosurgery, rocket science…

Here we go:
Questionmaster: What is a John Dory?
Bright Young Things: A tandoori? It’s an oven; yes, put down ‘oven’. They use it in Indian restaurants. Tandoori chicken, that sort of thing.

Q: Who is the patron saint of animals?
BYT: Anoraks? Patron saint of anoraks?
Another BYT: No, it was ‘patron saint of adenoids’. I’m sure it was. Who’s the patron saint of adenoids?
Another BYT: What are adenoids?

Q: The giant panda is the symbol of which organisation?
BYT: Chinese panda? It’d be the symbol of China. Yes, put China.

Q: What are the first three words in the Bible?
BYT: I know, I know – Book of Genesis! (You can’t fault the logic here!)

Before you accuse me of making fun of a group of BYT with hearing difficulties (as if I would!), let me explain that the reason they didn’t hear some of the questions correctly was because they were constantly talking, even when the questions were being asked. Needless to say, they didn’t do very well, but FEAR NOT! They had a jolly good time and found it hilarious (and not unexpected) that they came last.
As they were leaving the pub, one of them was still asking who the patron saint of adenoids was and another was saying, ‘No, no; anoraks, not adenoids.’

Sleep well, dearest devotees. May your dreams be free of anoraks and adenoids (unless you’re Philip K Dick, in which case, you may dream of ‘android sheep’!). 😁