Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dry Exercise

An army camp was on the edge of town, the base for a three-week exercise.

Military Police, equipped with no-nonsense manner and a brutal fish-eyed stare had visited the Wayside Tavern to inform that before, during, and after the exercise no soldiers would be patronising any pubs, breaches of this would be "very serious" for any soldiers who breached this.

At all hours of the day & night various Landrovers and Unimogs drove past the Wayside Tavern, the longing glances of the occupants almost painful to observe.

Three weeks without alcohol, as sacrifices go this isn't much of a hardship.

On a morning like any other, about 8am a landrover rushed into the yard of the Wayside Tavern.

Leaving the engine running, Three Private soldiers alighted, dashed inside fronting the bar in the manner of young children.

"Three VB's please" They beamed.

Ruefully Mine Host explained that it was a very serious offence to sell or supply liquor before trading hours.

Their faces fell. Their risk was great. Having parked in the yard & entered the pub meant their penalty would be just as severe.

Mine Host poured Three schooner sized glasses, placed the glasses on the bar, turned away, still explaining that he could not sell, or supply liquor at that time of day, & besides he was "too busy cleaning & testing the beer lines".

Coins clinking into the Blind Dog was the only sound.

Turning around Mine Host noted that the soldiers were gone and the schooner glasses were empty.

An Army Landrover catapaulted itself from the Hotel yard onto the safety of the street,
Mine Host put the schooner glasses into the dishwasher,
The clock ticked 8am.

Mine Host had seen nothing, sold nothing, supplied nothing.


oigal said...

Ah, mine host indeed.

RebeccaH said...

This is why I love barkeeps (Mr. H and I once owned one in partnership with his father --- Ohio, USA, you understand).

Boy on a bike said...

I did an exercise at Lancelin, many years ago. The civvie vehicles driving through were loaded to the gunwales with grog.

We only charged them a 6 pack to tow them out of a bog. That was enough to keep us in free beer for the entire exercise.

We also setup checkpoints and inspected their eskies. Most drivers would feel sorry for us filthy, dirty, dry looking folk and hand over a few cold ones to keep us lubricated.

The best lurk I heard was to visit the tent encampment down on the beach where the fishermen were staying and allow the menfolk to have a blatt with an M-16 (blanks of course). Much beer was showered on those that went that route.

There are ways around even the most pettifogging regulations...