Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Strange Encounters at the Temple Bar

My two week stint in loco proprietoris at the pub I work in has come to an end. Last year, I had a glass beer bottle thrown at me. This year, the best the psychos and maniacs of Norwich could manage was a Polish 'businessman' who emptied three bags of belongings over the smoking area and, despite several polite requests, refused to clear the mess up. Not really a matter for the police, I eventually went out there with a bin liner and said anything he didn't want was going in the bin. He objected to this and we had a short discussion on the nature of possession which might otherwise have been interesting but I had a pub full of people to deal with as well. 

I began to put some of his rubbish in the bin liner and encourage him to put the more valuable items in his own bags. He screamed at me a little bit at which point half of the pub's pool team, the Temple Bar Hashtags - usually to be found lurking in the bottom bar discussing principles of spin - came barrelling out of the pub en masse to make sure there wasn't any trouble. Just how groups of drunk men think that barrelling out of the pub en masse is going to decrease the amount of trouble remains a mystery. But as long as they're on my side, I'm not going to discourage it.

Nobody was hurt. The Polish businessman, his bags quickly refilled by the hands of some willing volunteers, repaired to the carpark where he stood reciting European laws to anyone who cared to listen. He claimed to be waiting for a taxi, but it was a girl on foot that eventually showed up. "Are you going to take him home?" I asked her. "Only if he pay me." She replied (her third person s-deletion revealing her local roots). Three of the Temple Bar Hashtags, nobler men than I, took it upon themselves to make sure the young-looking girl didn't go anywhere with the disturbed Polish businessman who didn't have any money with him anyway. 

I locked the doors on another Monday Night and went to bed. I'm not usually scared at night alone in an ancient pub that is known to be haunted by the ghost of the landlord who hanged himself there in the late Nineteenth Century. 

In fact, I love the feeling of locking the doors and knowing its ten hours or so before I have to speak to another member of the public.