…So we popped into The Hare and Billet last night as part of my quest for a new decent watering hole. “Let’s have a nice quiet drink” I said. I opened the door to discover four 70’s throwbacks setting up amps, and drums and mics and pedals and…oh christ, everything. The band took up half of the pub, with speakers the size of Belgium. The bar’s about fifty feet long. Where did they think they’d been booked into? Shea Stadium?? We stepped over the cables and boxes strewn inside the door and went to the bar. “Well ok, I’m sorry, but I expected it to be quiet” I said to Mrs B, “let’s have the one and see how it goes”.
She concurred, though both of us feared the worse. No matter, brave new world and all that, let’s take the pub at face-value.
“Pint of Guinness and a gin and tonic, please” . Guessing correctly, the barmaid looked at The Incumbent and squarked “you want ice and lemon in that?”
“yes please”, she replied. She flashed me a grin. Perhaps this was indeed the promised land.
“you wanna double up on that for an extra quid?”
“no thank you, a single is fine”.
One tumbler with one measure of gin, 3 icecubes and a little slice of lemon therein arrived on the bar.All was well with the world.
But then, in one devastating movement, with a flick of the wirst and a not-so-much as a by-your-leave she emptied the entire contents of a bottle of tonic water into the glass. The gin was drowned. It’s always been a pet hate of mine, and the same applies to my beloved. Our optimism had been proved to be on the previous side.
“Can I get another gin in there please?” I asked, with all the dignity I could muster.
“You what, love?”
I held out the glass. “Another gin, please. You’ve drowned it.” It didn’t register with her.
“you can’t have it for a quid, you have to order it as a double. It’ll be 2.45” (I think that’s what she said, but I couldn’t hear past the steam coming out of my ears)
“But you drowned the first one. She needs another in there to be able to taste it”
“But it’ll be 2.45”
“I don’t care, we just want another gin”.
The measure was dispensed.
“2.45 please” she smiled
“I know” I handed over the money.
In silence, I woofed my beer, Kate woofed her gin(s). We went to O’Neills.
Quite nice in there, innit?