Cold soup,two lost cardigans and a medical emergency..ABNORMAL SERVICE IS RESUMED..

I bet you're expecting me to regale you of countless disastrous holiday shenanigans.Well,weirdly August Bank Holiday passed moderately uneventfully this year,apart from a couple of minor disturbances..
We'd been very careful in compiling a menu that was easy to knock out quickly,just in the event of being hammered and ending up in the proverbial shite. Dishes like terrinesand pates(fridge-plate-serve) for example,are great for Bank Holidays..Things were going unnervingly well with none of the usual delays,we were fairly coasting along and congratulating ourselves on the intelligent menu choices made when a couple beckoned me over to their table.
'Excuse me,this soup is STONE COLD'
They were whispering politely, as if not to embarrass me with the revelation that we'd cocked up and served the farking soup cold.They were so discreet and mindful of not letting other diners know of the faux pas that I decided to just knock it off the bill and chalk it up to experience.
'Probably thought the microwave was on the blink' said Chef intuitively whilst shovelling yet more chips into the fryer.
The clue was in the word 'chilled'.Perhaps a bridge too far for the Bank Holiday traffic...

I even had time to exchange a few pleasantries with tables as they coughed up the cash.
Sometimes it kills people to be complimentary,finding fault seems to give a real sense of self importance.
'Did you enjoy everything?'
'Well, yes but the table is sticky'
'Oh Im sorry about that,they're waxed tables so they do feel slightly tacky but they are clean'
I beamed my best friendliest face.
The chap was determined,he spread his hands Max Bygraves style and then slowly placed them palm down on the table top,lifting and lowering them in slow motion,all the while glaring at me, mouth set in a grim straight line,
'You see,if you touch the table like this it is very sticky'
Altogether now:spread your fingers wide and lets all palm the table top

I wondered what would necessitate such a deliberate and repeated palming of the table top but decided not to go there.Best divert his attention elsewhere.
'But did you enjoy your meal?'
The wife shifted uncomfortably in her seat.
'Yes we did,it was the best pub food we've had for some time,wasn't it Bob?'
'Well...yes ....apart from the bones in my fish'
I glanced up at the blackboard,noting the menu item 'Whole lemon sole' the inference obviously being a fish with an intact backbone.
Unfortunately,I bit.
'Well the menu does say WHOLE lemon sole...'
'That may be,but the lighting in here is very poor,if you want to serve fish on the bone might I suggest that you need to improve the lighting,otherwise you need to be serving filleted fish only.'
That really got my goat.
Don't be fooled by these old fellows,you'd think they'd be absolute darlings to serve with their comfy all weather shoes, high waisted slacks and pastel coloured ganzies,but its all a vicious front in the interests of lulling you into a false sense of security,most of the buggers are absolute Rottweilers when it comes to making a complaint.
Try giving them a piece of meat that doesn't disintegrate the minute it touches their tongue,well, hell hath no fury than a man served a bit of well done(as requested) rump..
Which reminds me of the Danish chocolate biscuit cake incident and the 90 year old tooth which was unfortunately displaced.Shudder.
I digress,how the next sentence managed to take form and be voiced without common sense reeling it back in I have no idea...
'Well,that's what we are, a dingy pub with sticky tables..'
The woman's mouth fell open.
The complainer was rendered speechless.
I beamed again, which seemed to confuse the hell out of them.
Thankfully I was diverted from the table to take a telephone call.
It was a very softly spoken lady.
'Oh hello,I came for lunch recently and I'm afraid I may have left my cardigan on the back of the chair,do you have it?"
Methinks I need a bit of help here,the public are notoriously careless with their personal possessions,Id already picked up a camera(flicked through a selection of boring holiday snaps nothing of note to report...) and a jumper that morning alone.
'What colour is it please?'
'Its black'
'Well I cant see a black one here.'
'what about a turquoisey one?'
EH? I thought she said it was black..
'Its not a black one then?'
'Well it might be,I had two cardigans'
'You were wearing two cardigans??'
No not at the same time..Ive lost two cardigans'
'You left two cardigans here?'
"Well Im not sure,I was on holiday in Northumberland 4 weeks ago and Ive lost two cardigans so Im just ringing round to see if anyone has them'
"OK-Ill have a look in our lost property tomorrow and if you give a call back in a couple of days ill let you know if we have them,what brand were they by the way?'
Must be designer ones,or at least top end High Street, Hobbs or Jigsaw..something worth hanging on to..
'M & Co'
 What the devil prompts someone to ring around every stopping off place on their hols in search of a couple of discarded Scottish thrift shop cardis. On a BANK HOLIDAY????'

I suppose the same motivation as prompts other individuals to sit at home in their armchairs and suddenly think 'I know Ill just crank up that well known on line review site this afternoon and write an unfavourable review on that lunch I can barely remember that we we had a couple of months ago..'
As happened to us recently.
Human nature is indeed baffling.
Encouragingly the only 'walk out' of the day left not due to a service failure or bad food but due to the lack of a printed menu:
'we wont be staying... we like a printed menu not reading from a blackboard..'
Yeah,we'll eat any old shite so long as its written down in black and white and on a sheet of paper..

We were relieved and looking forward to the end of the school hols when as Chef put it 'the natural order will be restored'
How wrong we were.
The first day back involved a particularly nasty exchange with a customer whose provisional booking had increased from 30 to '60 or 70' and could not accept that we could no longer accommodate.This saga in itself warrants a whole blog post and is still ongoing...suffice to say I've yet to come across a less flexible or demanding individual and she hasn't even been here yet.Correction.Will never come here..
Here's a taster: 'These people are from LONDON and are used to going wherever they like whenever they like and ordering whatever they please'
Well, with all due respect why don't they *insert blasphemous sweary word of choice*stay there..
*Stand by well known review site..*
Anyway in the afternoon,after a pleasantly busy lunchtime and having an hour or so break for the first time in a while,Chef strolled over to the window to admire the view..
'BIFF...QUICK look,is that one of the Old Duffers???'
I could sense the urgency in his voice as I ran over to the window.
'Bloody hell,NO its one of the Old Duffers...'
There was a body lying in my herbaceous border,and it wasn't moving.Reader,I thought he had croaked amongst the begonias.
The Blonde later reported hearing the commotion from us upstairs and following the crashing as a small herd of elephants descended the stairs at speed, was prompted to look outside herself and was already with the casualty as I approached.
He was conscious but lying rigid on his side,arms pinned underneath his body as he'd fallen,head thankfully cushioned on the recently hoed soft soil which I'd conscientiously  watered that very morning.A particularly attractive and healthy looking red geranium appearing to be sprouting like a living fascinator from the top of his head.
Me:'Are you ok?' (urgently)
'Yes,yes just get me up'
Me:'No don't move him,he might be injured'
The Blonde(in a stage whisper) 'But his head's all wet and there's soil in his ear...'
Chef (bringing up the rear) 'Have you called an ambulance'
Me'No,Not yet'
I  was relieved to retreat inside to make the call leaving the other two to deal, I'm ok in a crisis but I'm not keen on medical emergencies.
The operator asked a few standard questions then told me to go out to the casualty.
By this time Chef had picked him up and was in the process of sitting him on a garden chair,all the while the fellow protesting vehemently his wish for no ambulance.
We compromised on fetching the son who lives in the village to escort him home.
Sprinting along to the house in question,by the time I arrived I was wheezing and puffing like a bloody steam train.
On my return,red faced and sweating like a big sweaty thing that sweats a lot and with the son in tow who was clearly considerably fitter than me it was duly noted Chef and the casualty were casually chatting on adjacent garden chairs. 
Chef viewed my dishevelled state with obvious amusement:
 'Why didn't you just pick up the car keys and drive down?'

 I resisted the obvious response...


Wally B said…
I'll be over 1st week in October and I specifically want a sticky table, bony fish and a nice soft bed of geraniums to collapse in after having a skinfull
Wally:Your wish is my command :)

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