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29-11-2010, 18:21
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Yes, cellar-keeping and all that is vitally important, but a good landlord should also be able to handle difficulty punters with aplomb.

We were recently in a country pub on a Saturday night and saw a masterful display of the latter when a party of very young people came into the pub and tried to get served.

The landlord engaged with them, made cheery conversation, but made clear that he thought they were underage and wasn’t comfortable serving them without ID. They had some excellent banter.

PUNTER

I always get this — I’ve got a very young face, but I’m actually at University.

LANDLORD

So, you’ve got a baby face, and it’s a constant problem, but you’ve come out without any ID? You need to get your shit together!

PUNTER

We weren’t planning to come to the pub — we just popped in on impulse.

LANDLORD

Ah, I see — you were just wandering through this tiny village in Somerset on foot, on your way somewhere else, and thought you’d pop into the only pub in the whole place? What year were you born?

PUNTER

[immediately] 1992! We all went to _________ School, and now we’re all at Exeter University, so we’re having a reunion.

LANDLORD

Wow. You’ve really rehearsed that. Er… if you’re all at Exeter University, why do you need to have a reunion? And isn’t it the middle of term?

Pragmatically, he let them stay, serving alcoholic drinks to the two members of the group who could provide ID, and keeping a fairly close eye on them for the rest of the evening.

The whole thing was entirely good natured, when it could easily have been confrontational. Good job, landlord!



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