Monday, December 18, 2006

Innumeracy (part 1)

Two things will send a pub broke in a very short time, and often do.

1) "Mates rates" on grog
2) Lack of diligence on the wage cost.

It is very easy for bar wages to jump from 16% of turnover to 25% of turnover.

At least three times I have ended (or severly hampered) the career of an experienced bar manager.

On each occassion a newly hired or newly promoted bar manager was going to "skin cats" by significantly increasing the bar turnover of the Wayside Tavern.

On each occassion the only achievement of the "cat skinner" was to jump the bar wages to 25% + of gross turnover.

None of them heeded the subsequent "no coffee" discussion in my office about how the bar is not to be awash with staff.

Each of them was mystified when their position was terminated without notice (but with corresponding BLACK spot on their CV) within a few weeks.

Quite possibly they will each go to their grave believing Mine Host to be a fool. For they believed they were "making money" for their employer. How could they get this idea, when revenue was static, but costs had nearly doubled?

Able to Draw Breath? You've Got the Job! (Part 2)

Option: 1) Pay the same wages as the mining industry.

Those who believe in "the market sets the price" would jump to this conclusion.

Mine Host realises that he has to work with market forces, (supply& demand, competitive bidding, blah blah blah)

However, to pay such wages Mine Host would have to drastically increase prices. Would the market pay triple the price for liquor? Particularly take-away beer & rum?

The answer to the above question settles the matter.

Would increasing the wages attract a greater number of job applicants? Some people will not work in a pub no matter what. Anecdotes abound of employers who cannot lure fresh graduates with salaries of $100,000+ and a house/car package.

Would increasing the wages attract applicants who have an aptitude for pub work? Quite possibly some of them would, although Mine Host is loathe to pay mining-size wages to greenhorns while they learn, with no guarantee the greenhorn will stick around to be worth the money they were paid to train.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Got a Pulse? You've Got the Job! (part 1)

Like most employers in regional Australia, the Wayside Tavern has a chronic staff shortage.

The minerals boom, in particular the high wages offered for unskilled work, has drained the labour pool.

The core of the staff are holding the place together, however the pool of people who used to keep pubs (or any business) operating just aren't around anymore.

This is nothing more than the market at work, the mining industry pays more, & expects less, so people go to work there.

The Wayside Tavern has been outbid for staff. This Mine Host can live with. Wages at the Wayside Tavern are already quite high, and exceed what is paid to most Queensland public servants.

The choices faced by Mine Host are:
1/ Pay the same wages as the mining industry.
2/ Do not hire staff.
3/Continue with the current crop of people who are prepared to be employed at the Wayside Tavern.
4/ Find staff from outside the current labour pool.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Can't stop fiddling!

For many years Party Kegs were a service provided by the Wayside Tavern.

Delivery, supply of jugs & glasses (some of which would not be returned) educating the party host in how to pour beer from the keg, etc etc. All involved more effort than was reflected by the price charged.

Provision of Party Kegs is/was common practice for pubs, probably a once-a-year or less service to regular (& nice) customers.

Upon delivery to the customer's address, pub staff would negotiate several hurdles, including the following:
1/Demonstrating how to pour beer from a party keg (if it runs into a cup, it is pouring fine!)
2/Dealing with the misguided insistence from the customer to pack the keg into a bathtub of ice (or something like that).
3/Positioning the gas bottle & regulator where party goers cannot get to them.

The inevitable phone call would come later that night: "Sumfink's rong with the keg!" (For some reason this request for help was always delivered as a statement, NEVER as a question)

Having to leave the pub and attend a problematic party keg in the middle of the evening may seem like not much. However, either the bar has to be left short-staffed for a while, or an extra person rostered on for an entire shift. Neither is a palatable option (financially) for the pub.

"Something wrong with the keg" is almost always one of two things:
1/ The keg is empty.
2/ Someone has needlessly fiddled with the gas regulator.

No matter if the keg is empty, or if it is full, the matter will first have been handled by the party host (or someone else) "having a go" at "fixing" the "problem" by dismantling the tap & fittings.

These will be spread (o-ring by o-ring) accross a lawn in the dark, walked on, etc etc.

Just imagine trying to find some of these bits at midnight in a lawn.

A change of times saw party keg requests becoming less common, & mostly from non-customers, rather than regulars.

The Wayside Tavern always was the only pub in town which was prepared to provide party kegs.

So Mine Host took advantage of the change in the Party Keg customer base, and put up the price of a party keg to where it reflected the cost and inconvenience of providing it, and charged a hefty deposit on the ancillary equipment.

This more or less brought Party Keg sales to the desired level of NIL.

Finally it was happily decided to cease supplying party kegs altogether.

Because even experienced backyard party hosts are unable to:
1/ Order sufficient beer kegs to match the thirst of their guests, and
2/ Can't keep themselves from pulling apart perfectly functional equipment (once they have got a few sherbets under their belt.)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bright as Pompeii at Midnight

Despite the wall beside the telephone being plastered with written instructions to the contrary, at 11.00pm a barmaid puts a call through to Mine Host's rooms.

The caller is refusing to identify themself, but claims to be a friend of Mine Host.

Too stupid to read the instructions by the phone, the barmaid has no concept that any call where the caller refuses to identify themself is likely to be a prank call, especially when it is near to midnight.

Wondering how soon he can replace the barmaid with another, Mine Host, ruefully thinking "Here we go again...." takes the call.

Prank calls do not worry Mine Host one bit, as they are physically harmless, and most prank callers are so incredibly stupid that with little or no input from Mine Host the caller will outwit themself.

Recognising the voice of Peter Shortcock, a local king-hit merchant who is barred from the premises, Mine Host detects also the sound of others. "Ah, I'm on speakerphone and a whole group of Shortcock's gang are gathered around, probably drunk, to listen to him call me names"

In a bored tone of voice Mine Host fends off attempts by the anonymous caller to obtain permission to enter the Wayside Tavern, & several other feeble efforts to outwit Mine Host.

Finally the voice gets around to asking about a few people who are barred from the Wayside Tavern. Mine Host declines to comment at any names, until the caller mentions "Peter Shortcock". At this Mine Host languidly mentions that the name fits, and that Shortcock is a "wanker" & a "softcock" (both trigger words in the circles in which the local morons mix)

At this the anonymous caller becomes heated & enraged, screams "Nobody calls me a wanker!" before remembering he is anonymous, and attempting a pathetic bland cover-up.

All calls to the Wayside Tavern are traced instantly a connection is made.

Mine Host reports an unwelcome call to Telecom. Three unwelcome calls from the same number and Telecom will write a letter to the subscriber asking them to show cause why the connection should not be terminated.

This is very effective if Shortcock was calling from his parent's house.

Friday, September 29, 2006

I'm robbing you eh?

Pictured is a standard beer glass. 7 fluid ounces, (these days 200ml)

The glass is under a standard "flip" style tap, although too far from the tap (too low) to pour a perfect beer.

The "flip" type of tap is very easy to use, but there are those who are too stupid.

The tap should be snapped on & snapped off so fast that your wrist breaks, (otherwise you are doing it too slow)

UK blogger Magistrate Bystander has had a bit to say in a recent post about heads on beer & how pubs are "deliberately" adding head to beer to "short pour" customers. He actually goes as far as to call it an "active conspiracy" to defraud the drinking public!

His post has a nice picture of what is probably a pint sized glass, and has a very good head on it.

Clearly Magistrate Bystander has never tried to pour a beer. Or if he has, it must be that flat swampwater which Britain uses instead of beer.

Far from deliberately adding head to beer, Mine Host is forced by customer demand to put a decent head on each glass. "Come on, finish it off!" they will chant if there is not enough head.

Pictured is a standard beer glass, with a NSW style head on it.

However in mighty Queensland, they demand a thinner head, pictured below.

However far from plotting how to defraud the drinking public of a fraction of a fluid ounce from each glass, Mine Host (like most publicans) is battling the problem of waste. A few barstool experts have (in comments) implied that this is a "management issue" & is somehow easily fixed.

(Here is the picture of a perfect Queenslander)

Acutally equipment in hot weather is the bane of a publican's existence. There are times when nothing seems to go right. Equipment does break down, and servicmen are often several days turning up.

When the ambient air temperature is 44 degrees Centigrade, refrigeration equipment in a pub is hard pressed to do it's job even when working properly. It is made even harder when bar staff start talking to "hot guys" and absent mindedly leave the coolroom doors open.

Beer will not pour at all once it warms to 3 degrees. There is quite an art to pouring ANYTHING if the beer is even warmed to 1 deg C.

When a beer tap has not been used for a while (say a half hour) it is quite an art to NOT pour a beer that looks like this (70% foam)

Quite a lot of bar staff can't help foaming beer over the sides of the glass like this.

Far from making a killing short pouring to customers, Mine Host is fighting a constant battle to prevent 10% of his beer being lost through spillage.

Pouring a beer isn't as easy as it looks.

Pouring one without spilling is rather difficult to teach to some people. *sigh*

Thursday, September 28, 2006

1 + 1 = ?

One of Mine Host's frustrations has finally boiled over.

Schoolteachers will believe me, but the rest of you: Get your heads around this:

The average time taken by driveway staff at the completion of their shift, to count out from the takings the $700 starting float is 15 minutes, although some staff regularly take 30 minutes, and one or two of them take up to an hour performing the seemingly simple task of counting to $700 (pictured).

I stress, that all they were doing was counting out the $700 starting float for the next shift to use, NOT counting the entire takings for the day. (Takings are counted by someone else)

Counting to 700 is not too difficult you say?

Sadly, only 1 in 3 people hired for driveway work are capable of counting $700 in cash into a pile.

Counting to 700 need not be done in your head, but by moving cash from one pile to another until 700 is reached. Very similar to dealing cards.

(Sounds simple doesn't it? In fact it is just like using those coloured rods to help with addition & subtraction in the early years of primary school)

To make it easier Mine Host gave them bank issue change pads, which have denominations, columns & everything all ruled out & labelled. (should make it really easy, HAH .. I should have known!)

This only made it more complex for them.

LESS than 1 in 3 staff are able to correctly fill out this change pad, detailing how they reached the total of (hopefully) $700.

As rare as it is for someone to actually count to $700 and get it right, it is even rarer for the amount they write on the change pad to match what they counted.

It is almost beyond the comprehension of Mine Host that people can leave school and be totally & completely incapable of counting out $700 from a pile of cash.

This is not calculus, this is not algebra, this is not working out the cubic metreage of earth removed for a dam, this is not measuring the cubic capacity of the wheat silos.

It is simple addition, there is not even any subtraction required (the concept of subtraction seems to be beyond many people)

The culmination of despair came one evening when Mine Host was showing a school leaver how to close up the shop, and at the part where we count out $700 the lad just stared in incomprehension at a pile of cash when Mine Host casually instructed "Oh, & while I do such & such, can you just grab $700 from the takings & put it back in the cash register"

Some 45 minutes of careful instruction later Mine Host realised that despite having moveable cash (chips to push around which measure what he has counted) this fellow was never going to be able to count to $700.

After years of persevering with trying to teach what must be the simplest of arithmetic to boneheads (i.e. how to count to 700) Mine Host has given up, and issued a directive that all driveway staff are to henceforth bundle up the entire contents of their cash register drawer, and deliver it to the cashier, (who is capable of counting money accurately)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Absolute Video Gold

Mine Host & staff have been gloatingly viewing the contents of the security camera hard drive, the cameras having captured every last bit of the brutal break-in and assault upon Wayside Tavern staff.

The quality of the video is such that it is almost as if the incident was made for TV. Police officers with 20 years or more of service have said that the video evidence is "pure gold" and by far the best they have seen in their career.

As shocking as anything else is the identity of the perpetrator. He is married with children, has a thriving business, with employees, lives on acreage just out of town.

He is the son of a senior policeman.

The video evidence indisputably reveals there is not a single mitigating factor for the offender. He and a group of friends walked casually up to the door of the Wayside Tavern, calmly smashed the door, then set about a psychotic frenzy of brutal assault upon the staff.

The only thing out of the ordinary is that the Wayside Tavern has cameras, very good ones, peppered throughout the joint like it is a porcupine.

Unaware they were on camera, the group of offenders commenced their usual cover-up; they hadn't broken in at all, the staff had confronted and challenged them, provoking them with foul and insulting language, and striking first. Forced to defend themselves, they had hit back only after stating they didn't want a fight. blah blah blah, etc etc etc etc.

The diametric opposite is shown on the security camera system's hard drive.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Video Gold

Staff at the Wayside Tavern were subject to a break-in and brutal assault!

A long quiet night, relatively few customers, weary staff cleaning up & letting the stragglers out one by one.

From up the street & around the corner, a small group of males nonchalantly approach the door. Staff recognise them as locals, not patrons of the Wayside Tavern, but long term locals, regulars of another pub.

Their own waterhole having closed (as have all waterholes in the town) these fellows seek to continue the bonhomie they have experienced over a few drinks.

Staff at the Wayside Tavern are a cohesive and comradely bunch. Most of them will turn up at closing time (without extra pay) to help with eviction of stragglers and tidying up of the premises in readiness for the next day's trade.

Thus most of the staff were present when events took a most irregular and alarming turn.

Staff advised through the windows that the Wayside Tavern was closed, and cleaning up for the night had commenced. (nothing new in this, happens all the time)

A tirade of abuse came from the small group outside (nothing new in this, the underclass are incapable at any time of behaving with dignity)

With a splintering sound the front door broke open and the group poured in.

The staff put their hands forward, palm outward, open handed, in a universal sign which means "no further, entry denied".

The leader of the group wasted no time and immediately began to lay into the staff. This person is a powerhouse, within 10 seconds he has knocked unconscious 6 male staff, critically injuring one. A melee followed, in which several more staff were assaulted.

Once the leader had his fun, his mates bundled him outside and they went on their way, leaving bruised, bloodied and injured staff in their wake, along with lots of smashed windows and fittings.

The ambulance is called for the young man who was critically injured. He received three and a half litres of blood in the hospital, and several hours later is evacuated by the Flying Doctor to better hospital facilities in the south. His condition is serious.

The entire episode captured perfectly on the hard drive of the security camera system.

Stand up Straight!

The benefits of Security Cameras are many.

However the law of unintended consequences has struck, and the most noticeable change has been a most unexpected one.

We all stand up straight.

The benefits of security cameras as a posture enhancement tool, who would have ever thought it?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Case #1 bench orders criminal to keep proceeds of crime

UK blogger Magistrate Bystander has provided in comments some information on ways in which the UK magistrate industry is superior to our own, thus highlighting the stupidity and weaknesses of our own system.

However the acid test is whether a magistrate produces judgements which punish wrongdoers, reflect community expectations, and protect law abiding citizens.

Would one of Bystanders colleagues have pronounced the following judgement?:

A chequebook was stolen from a parked car.
The thief subsequently used the chequebook, forging a signature to match the name of the real owner of the chequebook.
Each cheque was passed at a small corner shop, or other business operated by a husband & wife team, mostly within a 200km radius. Most of the victim businesses could not afford the $300 or thereabouts which the cheque was written for.

At the inevitable prosecution only the use of 33 of the stolen cheques was mentioned.

One of the Thirty-Three stolen/forged cheques was for $200 and presented to a pub in town. Mine Host has no idea which pub, it could have been the Wayside Tavern, it could have been a competitor, the court did not ever elaborate.

The Magistrate's judegement:

"Guilty, no conviction to be recorded, and no restitution to be paid, as until banks serve alcohol, pubs should not cash cheques"

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Liquid Larceny

One Mine Host's favourite blogs is UK blogger The Magistrate's Blog, writing as "Bystander" and titled "The Law West of Ealing Broadway".

Recently Bystander posted a piece titled "Liquid Larceny", which was of great interest to Mine Host.

It provides some insight into the pub trade in the UK, which despite some surface similiarities, is a totally different industry to its cousin in the land of Oz.

From careful reading of the Magistrate's Blog, it would seem any similarities between being a Magistrate in the UK and in Qld are equally rare.

Mine Host is aware that the UK pub trade is quite tough, and if any of the following allegations from Bystander are remotely true, then the UK pub trade is every bit as hardscrabble as Mine Host has always suspected it to be.

Were anyone to make similar allegations about the Wayside Tavern, or any other pub Mine Host as operated or worked in, it would be so ridiculously false as to be laughable.

However human nature is such that were such ignorant allegations to be made, they would be believed by several of the clientele, though many would be motivated by the off-chance of getting a free beer out of it.

In "Liquid Larceny" Bystander makes several allegations:
That there is a lucrative conspiracy against the public. (by the liquor industry)
That short measures of beer are the norm.
That short measures are deliberate.
That the deliberate policy of publicans is to serve short measures.
That this fraud amounts to 150 million quid each year.
That topping up beer (ie, pouring with *ugh* no head on the beer) at customer request is done sourly and under duress only.
That charging 25p to add Lime, Lemonade etc to beer is a "fiddle".
That charging the same for a shandy as for a straight beer is also a "fiddle".

As some insight into the reality of the pub trade, Mine Host now provides his rebuttal of each allegation:

Drinkers demand a head on beer, and will send back a glass which is full to the brim as readily as they would send back one which has too much foam.
However, as the initiated know, spillage is the greatest worry of publicans, the elimination of which will bring far greater benefits than would short pouring, (and without the legal penalty & commercial boycott which would be the consequence of short pouring)

So the "short measures" are deliberate, are a deliberate policy by Mine Host, but are done purely at the request, nay, demand of the clientele.

Deliberate "short pours" are the least of Mine Host's worries. Spillage is the serious worry of any publican. Spillage, caused by a combination of poor equipment, beer temperature rising above 1 deg celsius, bar staff error, or high gas pressure

Spillage, when unchecked, can easily be 10 litres for every 50 litres actually sold. I say "piffle" to anyone who is so ignorant of the pub trade as to believe I would bother with short measures.

Charging for adding cordial or lemonade to a beer glass, is not a fiddle, done without consideration for the displaced beer. The cost of service is what is being paid for far more than the cost of ingredients.

Mine Host can only hold & pour five beer glasses at once, although some of his barmaids can manage six. A busy public bar keeps staff on the hop. The charge (about 1/3 of the 25p bystander & his fellow drinkers must pay) is a reflection of the time taken, rather than the amount of lime or lemonade consumed.

Staff are the largest cost in a bar, and their time must be paid for.

The Air Sure Gets Rare Up There

A blogger from overseas (UK) The Magistrates Blog, has made some ill informed & slanderous remarks about the pub industry. (Though it was the UK pub industry, Mine Host feels a kinship with his overseas brethren)

Bar staff are well accustomed to barstool experts. Bar staff are equally well accustomed being let down by the obscenity of inadequate decisions by Magistrates, and often wonder how they would fare when confronted by the reality which the rest of us have to live in.

A posting on decisions Mine Host has been impacted by, which should have resulted in dismissal of the Magistrate will follow. Preceded by a brief correction of the ill-researched comments of Mr. Magistrate Bystander.

First, let us look at who are Magistrates:

They are recompensed with a salary many times above the national average, plus they have the benefit of the Magistrate's quarters, a 3 bedroom house set on a quarter acre. (No problem with this)

The ranks of Magistrates are drawn almost exclusively from "time served" clerks in the court office. (This is a mistake). 20 years of stagnation in the most iniative and independant thought free section of the public service produces a stale mentality, one may almost say a warped mentality.

This mentality is then given unimpeachable and unquestionable power to sentence, release, acquit, set bail, allow bail, quash convictions (or refuse to convict in the first place) without ANY requirement to explain, be called into question, or to held culpable for the consequences of their actions.

The type of person (usually male) who works in the clerks of the court office for twenty years is generally an extremely introverted and sedate individual, who is unlikely to have any sort of background in team sports, manual labour, physical violence, or any dealing with criminals/crime (except for filing typed A4 papers which refer to some actual crimes in a dry and detached manner)

The result: Magistrates have much in common with Ottoman Sultans, who after a lifetime locked in the harem then in solitary, were almost gibbering idiots when suddenly elevated to the throne and absolute power, without ever having been into, or having any concept of life beyond the walls of the harem where they were born & raised.

In short, Magistrates have never had the opportunity nor ability to accumulate any wisdom, nor are they able to conceptualise the consequences their decisions have upon the hapless populace.

Yet on pain of summary gaoling for contempt, the citizenry and the police have to unquestioningly comply with decisions pronounced by these.. er.. highnesses.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Hot Air

11:30pm on Friday night, and four minors (16 years old) are at the rear of the Wayside Tavern arguing the toss about entry with the staff.

They were led by a belligerent lad who was slightly bigger (a fatty), though not older, than the others. (They were minors in stature as well as in age.)

The midgets had brought alcohol with them from elsewhere and were consuming it at the door, so Mine Host summoned the police.

When the police arrived the minors claimed that they only wished to get into the pub to "smash up" Mine Host. Keeping a straight face, the cops wrote each of them a ticket for $220. The illegal liquor had been hurriedly disposed of when the police were first seen, otherwise the tickets would have been for a MUCH larger amount.

Fatty had sucked his three mates into supporting him in a drunken outing. Now the three were in a panic that they were going to be "killed" by their parents for getting into trouble with the police.

Folornly, Fatty structed the police to write all tickets in the one name, his.

Fatty then asked the police what they would do if he was to "smash" Mine Host on the spot.

So the police told him.

Fatty then walked over to Mine Host and gave his idea of a tough, unblinking stare. Fatty is pimply and lacks a Clint Eastwood style "presence", so his action was more ridiculous than macho, causing plenty of mirth among the onlooking staff and police.

The four were mounted on kid sized bicycles, and in a breach of Queensland law, none were wearing helmets.

Lack of helmet on a bicycle attracts police interest.

All four stated they had pushed their bicycles to the Wayside Tavern, and would be pushing them home again. (winking to each other, thinking how easy it is to outsmart cops!)

The police said they would ensure they pushed the bicycles home.

The smirking stopped when the police produced a valve tool and instructed the four to surrender pronto the valves from their bicycle tyres, or the police would confiscate the bicycles....

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Look what your fence done to me!

Erection of a fence between the neighbors and the Wayside Tavern has stalled.

Only 30 metres of an eventual 60 metres has been erected. Two metres high of chain link mesh topped by 3 strands of barbed wire looks incongruous standing alone, sort of like a remainder/reminder piece of the Berlin wall.

As evidence that the power of thought is a stranger to many of the clientele, one fellow stated this morning that last night he had climbed the fence to get into the Wayside Tavern. (This is akin to clambering over a restaurant table to get to the other side - rather than going around it)

The fellow had clambered over in the dark, then drank in the Wayside Tavern for several hours.
As further proof (not required) that thought processes are slow, when he started to climb the fence he had on his person an emptied cigarette packet, containing $350. When he clambered down the inside of the fence & stood up, he no longer had this cigarette packet. However he did not recall/notice this loss until the following day.

Which brings Mine Host to recounting the purpose of this fellow's visit this morning to the Wayside Tavern:

He was demanding a "refund" from Mine Host of the $350 which had fallen from his pocket as he climbed our fence in the dark.

From his demeanour, and the way he scoured the ground by a particular part of the fence, Mine Host believes the loss of $350 to be authentic.

Also authentic is the belief of the bereft one that it is Mine Host's responsibility to "make good" the loss.

He blithely asked for the "refund" in a manner which suggested he was demanding the return of an overdue item (say a leather jacket) loaned by him to Mine Host.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Author as a Child

Not as easy as it looks!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The "after work" crowd

A routine unique to urban dwellers & others who live close enough to a pub to make daily visits, is what is known as "after work" drinkers.

Upon completion of their day of toil, they repair to the pub with workmates to relax over a few drinks and to have a good time in a convivial atmosphere.

These drinkers are by no means a homogenous genre. They fall into two distinct groups:

Those who labour.
Those who don't.

The worker who works with his body (eg, pushing a lawnmower on the council) is "stuffed" after a day at work, and wants nothing more than to sit down, drink cold beer, and relax. He gets exercise aplenty at work, and wants only to rest.

This worker will sit quietly in the pub downing several cold beers and is a pleasure to serve.

The worker who does not use his body at work (eg, an office johnny) is ready to rip. He gets no exercise at work, and now wants to let off the energy he is not allowed to release during the day. His off duty pursuits will tend towards the physically active, gym or running or something.

His pub habits will tend toward the boisterous. This worker is just looking for some way to act up. Dealing with him is never the honest pleasure which comes from serving the physical labourer.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Are you hereafter what I am hereafter?

Kitchen (& kitchen staff) stories are among the fertile ground of personal experience from which Mine Host harvests blog stories.

Davo was big and strong. Standing around 6'3", he was lean, carried no fat, blonde and well built. His arms were strong and had range, sort of like horizontal telegraph poles.

He had for some time worked "door" just up the street at the Slaughterhouse Room in the No-Holds-Barred Tavern. Now he was a kitchenhand at the Divers Arms.

He was local, white, could fight, and also what is these days known as "gay".

Everybody knew, nobody cared, Davo bothered nobody who hadn't asked for it, at one time or another had flattened some of the toughest fellows around town, and being more butch than most men was at no risk of being considered effeminate.

"Dukey" was an energetic and enthusiastic chef and, as events transpired, the only person in the kitchen who was unaware of Davo's orientation.

The mists of time have obscured whose idea it was. Mine Host believes it to have been Dukey's suggestion; that Dukey & Davo, on a night off, borrow a dinghy, load it with grog, head to a deserted beach, run 'er up onto the sand, light a fire, and then far from the strife & trouble of the workplace spend the night yarning until they fell asleep.

All went well. They caught fish on the way. Upon arrival they lit a corker of fire, then in a leisurely manner proceeded to enjoy their surrounds.

The night became black, hours wore on, and still nothing besides drinking, yarning, eating fish and stoking the fire.

Davo, tiring of what seemed a much too extended preliminary session, decided to get things a moving along a little. He reached over to Dukey & put a hand on his thigh.

Not until this moment had Dukey the faintest idea that Davo was gay. Dukey's reaction (which we can only imagine) was the first glimmer for Davo that Dukey was unaware of Davo's.. uh.. orientation.

Thus horrifyingly and simultaneously the penny dropped for each of them.

The ride home in the dinghy (they arrived back before midnight) undoubtedly was a most awkward experience for each. (Though a subject of considerable mirth for their co-workers)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

We asked the kids

Those who have actually experienced the unique subculture of the outback cattle station will know of the "manager's kids".

These rascals are not only untouchable, but can (& do) get up to all sorts of mischief, often whilst role-playing a wild-west themed activity. These activities can become extreme.

For example: Station dogs, pet sheep, poddy calves, chooks etc have been known to be hanged as "outlaws" - that is REALLY hanged, until dead, from a slaughtering gallows or a cap rail in the stockyards.

Mine Host himself has a small hairless patch on his scalp, the result of (as an 8 year old) using rapid fire from a cap pistol to add some realism to the galloping pursuit of "indians" through light timber. The old stockhorse didn't take to well to the new trick.

However the "managers kids" are often a source of information, and their innocence when pumped by the station or stock camp staff can be quite revealing......


The sudden removal of the governess from "Hardwork Plains" had us all wondering. Though she was a "hottie" she had, over time, grown aloof toward her fellow workers.

In the twilight one afternoon, playtime brought the kids (armed to the teeth with capguns & carrying an assortment of "lassoos") around the lawns of the ringer's quarters.

Taking this opportunity for some inside gossip from the "big house", we asked why the governess had left.

"The governess and Daddy were fighting a lot, and Mummy wasn't happy about it"

This was a shock to us, as privately we had all suspected that the manager was rather "close" with the governess.

"Are you kids sure they were fighting?"
"Oh yes, we saw them, through the steel louvres of her quarters, it was horrible."
"Er... we thought Daddy had been friends with Miss Hourglasshape"
"Oh no, it was proper fighting, like grownups do, they took off all their clothes and lay down on the floor, we were scared by it and we went and got mummy."

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Who says only pubs prefer female staff?

The job market in Oz is very much a seller's market.

The extent of the desperation of the employment crisis:

Over the past few months the hospital has sent agents into the Wayside Tavern on several occassions, and almost all of Mine Host's female staff have while at work, recieved a surreptitious approach, offering to train them as nurses.

I never imagined in my life this would happen, that hospital management would be coming into pubs and bottleshops, repeatedly, attempting to cajole the girls into a nursing career.

Clearly the hospital management is under extreme pressure.

Mine Host, who has to fend off poaching attempts from many directions, at least has not to worry about this new threat, as the ladies have all informed the hospital recruiters that they prefer pouring beer to wiping bums.

In a sexist twist, None of the male staff have been targeted by the hospital.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Just When I think I have Seen it All (part 4)

Jennifer responded to a job ad. Married 9 years, with 2 young children and a skilled technician husband she was in a different league to most pub staff.

A former legal secretary, she was more than competent at most aspects of pub work. She was demure in behaviour, eager to work, wore petticoats and singlets, could handle almost any situation. She was working for extra mortgage money.

For several months Mine Host and his senior manager quietly congratulated themselves on landing such a versatile, hardworking and reliable person. She was competent at bar work, bottleshop, ordering liquor, all aspects of poker machine handling, making beds, kitchen work, and supervising of any part of the hotel. This lady had class and style. Nothing would go wrong with her. (We should have known better).

A couple of years after Jennifer started at the Wayside Tavern, it became obvious that all was not well with her domestic situation.

It all came into the open when on the same day she and the children moved out of the house, and she was caught "having it off" with a (long haired) dole bludger by several staff who entered a supposedly empty storeroom without knocking.

Single again, Jennifer's petticoats & singlets disappeared, her work shirts were no longer buttoned to the neck, lacy lingerie became slightly visible, skirts shorter.

Her slide into previously unsuspected depravity became complete when an obviously quite distressed staff member reported to Mine Host about midnight one night that "something" was happening in the car park.

What follows can only be described as beyond Mine Host's belief:

Quick questioning revealed that Jennifer had gone into the car park with a small group of customers, opened the drivers door of a car, sat down with her feet remaining on the ground, slipped her underwear off, over one foot at a time, then lifted her skirt up to her waist, placed one leg through the gap between the open door & the frame of the car, her knee on the rear view mirror, the other kneed placed on the hook of the seat belt.

With the group of customers forming a semi-circle around her, Jennifer was splayed in possibly the most vulnerable position a human can be in. Several of the customers would then come forward in turn to insert a finger. (One would hope here that the boys had been washing their hands)

After the exhibition Jennifer exited the car, dressed, closed the door, and returned to work.

Mine Host verified in person only the fact that Jennifer was absent from work, and that her time sheet did not reflect the unauthorised (and un-covered) "break". She chose on the spot to finish her employment voluntarily.

Far from being bashful about her activities, Jennifer was insulted and angry that her timesheet extensions had been detected by Mine Host and the Wayside Tavern would not now be paying her the barmaid hourly rate for the time spend engaged in such activity. Apparently the exhibition had been a regular event.

Just When I think I have Seen it All (part 3)

A violent incident has occurred in the street, one in which a young man has recieved a serious injury which will leave him carrying a lifelong scar.

Ambulance and police are in attendance.

Thankfully it is several doors down. Passing motorists will notice the next pub down as being the closest, and the Wayside Tavern shall not be blamed. (Always a nervous experience having an ambulance attend the premises, is very bad for business)

From the door of the Wayside Tavern I saw the entire drama played out.

Two young men had been standing talking, alcohol fuelled, it was difficult to ascertain if they were arguing, or merely having a boisterous conversation.

Police have coasted to a halt nearby, the situation looks to them as if they should keep an eye on it, which they do, from a range of 5 metres. The street is otherwise empty.

One of the young men is holding an empty beer glass, he raises it in a threatening manner, intending to do someone harm.

Suddenly and violently he brings the glass crashing down on his own head, inflicting a very long and jagged cut to the bone, causing blood to flow freely.

The police, as stunned by anyone else by this turn of events, call an ambulance. Young people nearby who claimed to have known the young man are perplexed as to the reasons for his actions.

Mine Host & gathered staff shrug shoulders & ponder yet again the merits to society of abortion being allowed from conception through to 23 years after birth.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

My Photo

The background does not give much clue to the location, but there is not much of the country where part-Percheron breeding is preferred in the steeds, and there is lots of roly-poly.

This fellow had a mouth like iron, & steered like a one-way plough. But he was a very smooth ride, and continually surprised me with the extent of his hurdling ability.

Full saddlebag, midday sun, fenceposts to indicate we are at a waterpoint, roly poly indicates the environs have been unstocked.

Does this silence all those who complain that I don't show myself on blog?

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Missed Flight!

Stewie was one of the most talented chefs to ever work for Mine Host.

Shaven headed, with tattoos front & rear of his neck (which being blood red, looked much like entry & exit bullet wounds). A most imposing sight he would have been, had he been a heavyweight instead of a bantamweight.

The tattoos and shaven head, while harmless personal choices of Stewie's, indicate an attitude toward societal norms which any employer, when hiring, is well advised to keep in the back of their mind.

One of the few chefs to serve the full term of his contract, Stewie then took holidays down south, after which he would return for a second term.

Mine Host gladly funded the return airfare south (one of the benefits to staff who actually complete their contract).

However on the day of return, Stewie did not disembark from the flight.

Shortly after came a phone call:

"I missed me flight, send another airfare"

"Return airfare was supplied, if you didn't make use of it then it is up to you to organise getting here. But be quick, you are late for work"

"Not my fault, the plane left without me, it musta been early or something" (Yea right - to use Stewie's own vernacular)

When Stewie arrived back at work (self-funded trip this time) he tried to spin some far-fetched yarn about how "Qantas was at fault".. how the flight had left before schedule, without him.. etc etc.

However the real story rapidly came to light: (facts can never be suppressed)

"Er... boss, I gotta be back in the big smoke on the 23rd"

"Like fun! On the 23rd you will be at work Sonny Jim. You just got back from holidays, no more time off for a while!"

"Er... I really gotta be there, I gotta appear at court, if I miss the hearing on the 23rd, there will be a warrant for me on the 24th....."

This is where the facts of the "missed flight" emerged:

Stewie had arrived at the airport still "half-charged" from his holiday bender.....

......had got into an argument with Qantas check-in staff. ....(Perhaps over his suitability to fly when already so obviously inebriated, but this is speculation on my part) ......

..... the argument culminated in Stewie taking a swing at a Qantas staff member.....

So when Stewie's flight departed he was in a paddy wagon on his way back into town.

Violence toward airport staff, at an airport, is a most serious offence. Stewie will be a very sorry little boy before the legal system has finished with him over this.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Riots and street marches!

With wry cynicism Mine Host noted the "riots" of Cronulla.

Mine Host hasty formed the opinion that anyone who called cronulla a "riot" doesn't know what a riot is, as was proved when the same people who used the word "riot" whilst standing with a TV camera & notebook virtually in between the police & "rioters", had the sense to go no closer than a half mile or so to gangs of "men of middle eastern appearance" as they formed up & went on an actual mindless rampage of violence.

Noting how the cronulla riot consisted of several hours of loitering, followed by a few mad dashes hither & thither after one or two hapless swarthy people, Mine Host was of the belief that more than anything else it resembled the greasy pig chase at a country gymkhana.

Mine Host thinks back to his time at the Penang Commonwealth Arms, when a riot occurred outside the adjacent police station.

In marked contrast to how such an event would be (mis)handled by the well resourced police and courts of of the really good system we have in Australia, Mine Host now shares his observations of the inefficient and tactless developing nation customs of the Malaysian police and protestors.

Naturally a developed nation (ie. Australia) would have streets which one may walk free from random assault, mugging etc, and violent protests couple with attacks on police would not be tolerated.. Naturally......

Naturally a developing nation (ie. Malaysia) would not yet have advanced to the stage of peace quiet and brotherhood which Australians enjoy.. Naturally.....

The first example of developing nation inefficiency was the sheer numbers of police who turned up. (Don't they have any paperwork to do?) A seemingly never ending stream of black trucks disgorge platoons of officers. Another inefficient use of resources was the volume of equipment carried: Each officer has a shield, baton and helmet. Clearly the police procurement section had overspent on equipment. Perhaps they got them second hand somewhere, as the batons and sheilds appeared to have had significant previous use, though the helmets did seem to be unmarked.

Without recieving any loud orders or string of macho hand signals, the police stand in a formation. They just happen to have formed up in an "L" shape around the protestors, what a coincidence, if things turn into a fight, the formation the police are in will be very bad for the protestors. *tsk*tsk*

The demeanour of the massed police is very relaxed, it is almost as if it is a foregone conclusion that in the looming confrontation they will defeat the protestors. One would almost think from their manner, that the police have not only the power to stop the protest sharply, but actually intend to do it.The waiting lines of police beat a tattoo on their shields with their batons. Perhaps they don't have pipes & drums and are making music to soothe things? (all the money spent on batons & stuff?). But the sound isn't very soothing, it is rather scary and there is a strange feeling in the air that the police are fair dinkum. Perhaps this batting on the sheilds is how the batons & sheilds got their "pre-used" look? Surely the police minister, prompted by tomorrow's outcry in the press, will reprimand the police situation commander for allowing his men to engage in conduct which intimidated and alarmed the protestors? Surely....

The protestors are not showing the courage and steely fortitude of their Australian uni student cousins. These Malaysian protestors are not talking sassy to the police. They are throwing palm fronds and hurling buckets of water at the police. Don't they know these things will not hurt a single police officer? Surely they know about ball bearings, caltrops, paint, rocks, bricks etc, Why don't they use these things?

Suddenly, the police without warning pop tear gas amongst the protestors. (Once again tomorrow's press outcry will cause political pressure on the police to give warnings and show more sensitivity). Surely....

There seems to be no emergency medical facilities on hand to treat any protestor who is overcome by the tear gas. *tsk*tsk* what an oversight by the police! Apart from that, the tear gassing (in a series of colours) is quite a crowd pleaser! (er.. not for the crowd of protestors however)

Strangely there seems to be no TV cameras on hand to beam these scenes into the lounge rooms of the nation. There are reporters present, but they seem to be playing down their presence, and are making a point of obviously not filming any police or anything.

The police charge into the tear gassed protestors. Not to render aid to those who are overcome by the gas, they seem concerned only with those protestors who are still able to run. (More sensitivity training needed for these police) The police run after the fleeing protestors, who seem to be trapped by the tear gas and the advancing lines of police. Rather good luck that the police just happened to adopt the "L" formation as they did. It means none of the protestors will escape.

In another divergence from Australian accepted protesting choreography, whenever a police officer merely touches a protestor, that protester freezes on the spot. They don't move a muscle, they are like players who are "tagged" in a schoolyard game of Tiggy, no longer in the match they just stand on the spot and casually watch the outcome.

Don't these people know how to kick and struggle with police? Why don't they do it? Don't they realise that unless a policeman is physically holding them down they are able to run away? Why don't they stand for a minute, then run away? Thus outsmarting the police? Who haven't even bothered to handcuff them or anything?

Another developing nation inefficiency is displayed when a stream of black mariahs start arriving. Clearly the police have overspent on these things, there seems to be lots of macho law & order toys. It is almost as if the misguided Malaysian government has resourced and tasked the police to arrest and lock up rowdy anti-social elements. (Clearly more sensitivity training required!)

Aha! The police have miscalculated at last! There were insufficient Black Mariahs to load all the captured protestors at the same time, multiple trips to the calaboose required!

The protestors who don't fit into the first load are told to stand in several groups and wait. Only a token number of police remain with them.

They seem content to wait, like kids on a school parade.

When transport arrived the protestors calmly boarded the black mariahs as if they were commuters onto buses. When the black mariahs are full, the police and protestors agree that the protestors can ride in the back of the open police trucks, should be easy to escape from there. Wonder how many tried it on the way back to the police station?

Don't the protestors realise that if they go limp, or kick and scream, that the police will have to work hard physically lifting each protestor into the waiting trucks. Don't they realise this will cause inconvenience to the police, who will get all puffed from having to lift so many arrestees? And that this is very hard on the police, as they then have to avoid the kicks and bites and spitting without retaliating, as the TV will be filming them. Why don't the protestors try biting, kicking, screaming and other tricks to annoy and inconvenience the police?

If the protestors did harass the police more, some of them would be able to escape. Escape may not be a bad idea, as the general opinion of the watching crowd is that the arrested ones are in for it, they are being taken back to the station, but not for a cup of tea, quick processing and release on bail within a few hours.

In another divergence from accepted Australian protest march choreography, no human rights activists walk among the arrested people giving cards or advice to them. Nor do lesbian looking women clad in overalls and hair bands, drive up in VW beetles, load some protestors aboard and spirit them away from police and into a "safe house". Gee, wonder why nobody does this? It would be so easy, the police are clearly outnumbered.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

How to negotiate a workplace agreement

One of the quirks of the Australian full employment economy is the novelty of a negative ratio of job ads to respondents.

That is: There are more job ads run by Mine Host than there are people who respond. Discussion with competitors reveals they have an even worse ratio.

In a stroke of luck Mine Host recently recieved a response to a chef ad. (Such event is INDEED a rarity). The fellow was in Sydney, out of work, couldn't get a job, and most importantly, was prepared to move to the Wayside Tavern.

With mild trepidation Mine Host hired the chef. He was a new Australian, almost impossible to understand due to very broken English (despite 35 years in Australia).

However, he was hired to cook, not read the news. Work is an essential requirement at the Wayside Tavern, language is not.

The chef seemed quite good, could actually cook and cook well. (there are plenty of chefs who cannot cook). He cooked the sort of food the Wayside Tavern customers perfer to eat, a contrast to many chefs, who prefer cooking to their own desires.

As expected the reason he was "out of work" in Sydney didn't take long to surface....

On his second week the chef fronted the office and wanted to discuss "his pay". The office staff reminded chef that Mine Host (boss) was away on business and would not be back for another week.

Within half an hour of Mine Host returning to the Wayside Tavern from an eventful two weeks abscence, the chef confronted him and demanded "fair pay".

Mine Host was unable to comprehend how above award pay was considered to be "unfair", on top of that the chef got full board and keep, and Mine Host had met the chef's costs of moving from Sydney.

The agreement was to increase pay after three months, if the financial performance of the kitchen improved, meantime the chef would work on the agreed above award payment. Mine Host has a dim view of people who break a deal

"I need $1,800 per week" <---- (translated from broken English) (This is more than any chef in Australia is paid, never mind for an off-the-street job in a pub) Mine Host was expressionless as he digested this, weighing up factors such as the excellent cooking, inability to relate positvely to kitchenhands, inability to control kitchen costs.... and that this fellow less than a month before had been long term unemployed.

Still grasping to cope with this demand, Mine Host almost missed the follow up:

"The $1,800 per week is backdated from when I started here, or I walk"


New chef required at the Wayside Tavern!

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Careful observation of patrons playing any of the jukeboxes at the Wayside Tavern will uncover the basic thriftiness of people.

They insert coins one at a time, purchasing credits for songs, and when those tunes are played out, will insert a further coin.

Very occassionally someone will insert two coins at once, three coins at once is so rare as to not be worth a mention.

However at closing time, when the jukebox is switched off, invariably there is some Donkey who claims to have "just put thirty bucks in", and wants his money back.

Mine Host has long grown weary of the folorn bleating which results from a refusal to refund. The jukebox area is dominated by signs warning of the time the jukebox will be switched off, and clearly state that no refunds are given, so be careful feeding in coins near to closing time.

However people still seriously expect us to believe that in the full knowledge that closing time is in three minutes time, they went ahead and fed $30 into the jukebox.... HA HA HA HA....

.... Recently a local businessman, Peter Poonce, came out from the pub to accost Mine Host in the street, and followed me into the administration area, all the while stating in a very aggrieved manner that he had fed $16 into the jukebox and "no songs had played".

Tired of idiots, and particularly tired of Peter Poonce, (whose character is best described by the part of anatomy to be found between his buttocks) Mine Host pointed out that the jukebox was on the blink, and was Peter Poonce "really sure" he had fed $16 into it, as the jukebox was SWITCHED OFF....?

"It was switched on when I came in, I fed in money, never got any songs, & kept feeding it in, nuthin' played".

Peter Poonce makes a pretence of being of good character, largely due to having a father and uncles who are respected in business, and by virtue of being of an "old" family of the district.

Wearily Mine Host makes his way to the bar, where the only patrons are Peter Poonce's group. They all agree that $16 was inserted into the jukebox by Peter, and Peter goes ON and ON in a manner which leaves no doubt as to his feelings of being ripped off.

"Okay, I can refund that, I will have to get it out of the money receptacle inside the jukebox"

"You * blank * well make sure you do, yeah, good idea... I been waitin' more than an hour for me money already"

Turning to the jukebox, Mine Host conceals a wickedly mirthful grin, for when the jukebox had malfunctioned that morning, he had emptied the moneybox, and harboured serious doubts that anybody would have fed money into a switched off jukebox.

The jukebox was opened to an accompanying triumphant grin of evil mirth from Peter Poonce, which turned to red-faced humiliation when I upended the money tin on the table amongst his cronies, and ONE DOLLAR rolled out.

Their heads all swivelled to follow the roll of the single coin as it toppled onto it's side & wobbled to a standstill......

.......Then the fellows who had played no part in the saga looked up at Peter Poonce and began laughing very loudly and purposefully, and they kept laughing.

Gosh that was a sweet moment for Mine Host.

This is the same as being caught cheating at cards. And the story is too funny not to make it all over town.

Peter Poonce will never live it down, one of the consequences of being well established in a small community.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

"Stick 'em Up"

Making a routine survey of the main street just before midnight one Tuesday night, Mine Host was witness to a very rare scene. (Very rare in this sleepy part of the world)

A policeman was walking along the edge of the street. Mine Host recognised him as one half of the duo rostered to work the overnight shift this week.

The second policeman was walking in a line abreast with the first, but the other side of the carriageway.

When 2 policemen walk several metres apart, it is almost always serious.

"They are after that bloke in the singlet" spoke a bystander, the manager of the next pub (actually he was behind me, and the only other person present). Indeed, a careful squint revealed a figure standing under the awning of the shops on the next block, clad in singlet and jeans .

The policemen, from a distance of about 50 metres, told the mysterious singlet wearer to place his hands on his head, to move off the footpath & out into the middle of the street, then turn around so his back was to them, and lift his shirt.

As the "wanted man" did this, the two police officers moved into his 3 o'clock and 6 o'clock positions.

However the most dramatic twist was that both police had their pistols out and pointed at the "person of interest".

While one moved in and at arm's lenth patted down the stationary figure ( who was standing in a star-shaped position), the other remained back twenty metres with his pistol fixed unwaveringly on the singlet clad target.

Pat-down complete, the pistol remained fixed on the baddie, whilst the other policeman backed the paddy wagon up to a point some twenty metres distant from where the prisoner stood. The door of the padd wagon was then unlocked & left open.

Both police moved back to a 3 o'clock & 6 o'clock position, all the while drawn guns pointed at the wanted man.

The prisoner was then instructed to approach the paddy wagon under his own steam and to put himself into the cage. He was then instructed to move to the furthers point from the cage door.

One officer then approached the paddy wagon & locked it.

Only then did the other officer holster his pistol.

Many people have been arrested near the Wayside Tavern, but never before has the prisoner had to stand waiting in the middle of an empty street while a paddy wagon is backed up to him.

I & the other publican were the only people to witness the event. Neither of us know any more than what we saw that night.

Monday, March 06, 2006

I'm having the night off!

Irene lasted eight days at the Wayside Tavern.

On the 9th day she worked the lunchtime shift, (2 hours) and just before she was due to start the evening meal shift, telephoned to say that she had met someone, & would be having the night off to go out to dinner & drinks, however she would be "back to work" the following day.

The next day Irene showed up ahead of time.

However, it is impossible to be ahead of time when one no longer has a job.

Mine Host advised Irene to immediately vacate her room in the staff quarters.

A firm policy at the Wayside Tavern:
You don't turn up for work = You won't be turning up for staff perks either.

Irene had already been occupying her staff quarters for 24 hours longer than she had been staff.
Irene burst into a tirade about how "hard she has worked for this pub" and how Mine Host had "no right" to sack her, etc etc.

Not turning up for work is the opposite of hard work.
Other staff (ones who actually do work hard) having to do even more on a Saturday night to cover for you, is the opposite of you being hard working.

Later that night Irene's act of petty rebellion was to deliberately breach almost every rule of the boarding house.

The following morning was to be the enforced eviction. However during the night Irene had decided against confrontation, had cleaned out her room, and "gone".

Her pay owing was just enough to cover her room at commercial hotel rates for two days. Due to the clean room she recieved all of her bond back.

Since then Irene has held jobs at several other places in town. The eight days at the Wayside Tavern is the longest she has held down a job.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Fair Trading

In response to a bar job ad, Irene arrived on the bus, with a huge suitcase, a big smile, blemish free complexion like polished yellow china, lovely hourglass figure, long blonde hair, however all of this is ruined by the blank eyes and coarse gravelly voice.

She is 19, has a 3 year old child who is in the custody of the father. (Clearly she was doing more than her homework when at school).

She works quite hard, has obviously worked for someone with exacting standards. However she exhibits no maturity, and Mine Host refrains from putting her on late night shifts.

Each evening when she finishes work, Irene goes around the end of the bar, and the first man who will buy a drink for her is "allowed" to buy drinks for her for the rest of the night.

No matter how scruffy, how dirty, how old, she will stick with this fellow, (provided he buys her whatever she chooses to drink). Quite a sight sometimes, unwashed mid-40's bloke with lovely blue-eyed blonde dutch girl.

Thus far the scenario is a familiar one for Mine Host: Hot young thing bats eyelids at unattractive older man, gets several hours of free drinks, then ditches him.

However Irene had standards. At closing time she never failed to go home (or somewhere) with whoever it was, to "pay for the drinks".

Mine Host cannot recall ever seeing such meticulous scruples from a young chick who sponges drinks from older men.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Jeg Er Dansker

On this day we all are Danish!

"Jeg Er Dansker"

(a paraphrasing of:
"Ich Bin Ein Berliner"
John F. Kennedy
President of the United States of America
26th of June, 1963
Location: West Berlin)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Point & Click

Very few blog posts make me laugh, but this is really funny.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Just When I Think I Have Seen It All (part 2 already)

An absolutely cute story :-) :-) :-)

Scene: Busy bottleshop in shopping centre.
Cast: Harried Staff x 1
Peripheral Customers x several
Korean Field Workers x 4
Props: Coldroom full of beer & stuff at rear of bottleshop

Action: Peripheral customer (elderly lady) asks Harried Staff (at cash register) for an item.

Harried Staff replies "You can find that inside the coldroom Dearie"

Peripheral Customer: "But I can't get into the coldroom, it is full"

Harried Staff: (Thinking) Gosh, it will be easier to go over there & get it for her than to explain, besides, wonder what can possibly be blocking the coldroom, I was in there only a half hour ago!

(typical view inside a coldroom)

Inside the beer coldroom:
Several 30-packs of beer cans pulled out & arranged in a circle (like Stonehenge). Each of these "stools" was occupied by a Korean Field Hand, in the middle, perched on another 30-pack, are cakes and opened packets of biscuits, a thermos of tea, cups, sugar, etc.

Harried Staff: (Unable to believe her eyes) "Can I help you to get anything?"

Korean Field Hand: (The one with the most English, while the others smile and nod) "No thank you, not need anything"

Harried Staff: (Attempting to clarify a previously unconceptualised event) "Do you wish to buy anything?"

Korean Field Hand: "Oh no thank you, we have tea, biscuit, not need to buy anything"

Friday, January 20, 2006

Just When I Think I Have Seen It All (probably part 1 of MANY)

In this age of modern communications technology, a not uncommon occurrence is Mine Host "springing" one of the barmaids "texting" instead of working.

Usual outcome: A half hour (or on occassion an hour) being wiped from her timesheet by mutual agreement. Alternative to "mutual agreement" = the SACK.

One of the barmaids particularly resisted Mine Host having a quick glance at what was keeping her from filling the ever increasing number of empty glasses.

It transpired that she was getting men (barflies) to use their camera phone to photograph their genitals (whilst sitting at the bar) and send the photo to her mobile phone.


Thursday, January 12, 2006


Malaysian blogger Minishorts (must be a story to that name) has posted proudly announcing she does not eat beef. Curiously, she then goes on, as if it is perfectly natural to do so, to state that she of course eats (pause to choke)... pork & chicken!

One is decent & clean and will make you big and strong {beef}, the other is disgusting & tastes horrible and you will be pale and weedy, like some sort of undernourished vegetarian {pork & chicken}. Beef, mostly grassfed on open range or pasture, is a far healthier product than the mostly factory-farmed pork & chicken.

Just a thought for you, Minishorts.

Look at these bullicks, (phonetic spelling today). Grassfed and at least 6 years old, they look like they would be perfect eating, and they were!