The current Mrs Headlander demanded that we do something different this week. I thought my luck was in and rushed to get the beard trimmer and moisturiser but she quickly set me right and said that what she actually wanted was a night out somewhere different for a change. I was informed that we were going to bypass the usual weekend evening in the Pint and Fight and that instead we were to go for drinks around and about the Marina with some friends.
A little deflated I eventually conceded and so we wandered to a marina-side bar that I shall call the Barmaids Apron to meet the other 4 people she had somehow talked into coming out with us (No really, hes alright He wont be miserable etc.). Once everyone was suitably seated I went to the bar and purchased a round of drinks that cost the same as the gross national product of a small African country! Checking this out on the price list, I noticed that I had been charged 25p for a small splash of lemonade in Mrs Headlanders pint of lager top (shes a classy bird) and so queried this at the bar with the manageress. I told her that I felt this was unreasonable as this little dash of lemonade from a mixer tap (real value I guess is less than 1p) was replacing the same amount of beer. She pointed out that they dont have to give a full pint anyway and that it was company policy. I retorted that she was getting a couple of pints more from a barrel of lager by doing this and that it was blatant profiteering, putting up a pint by 25p for 1p worth of lemonade which replaces 10p worth of beer. She was nonplussed and was not interested in giving me her head office address when I asked for it. I walked away from the bar saying loudly to our table They charge 25p for a dash in here ridiculous 25p etc. We voted with our feet and left after supping every fluid ounce we could wring from our glasses. As we moved around the Marina we found that other places have a similar setup and so Mrs Headlander started drinking unadulterated lager to save money – she can shift a gallon and so saved about 2 on the night, enough for curry sauce and chips at closing time from our closest chip shop, the Ee Co Li. Its back to the Pint and Fight next week for me
Im not the only one having drinking problems it seems: Greatham residents continue to be up in arms about teenagers coming into the village bringing carrier bags full of alcohol and drinking in the streets. Anyone who lives around the borough knows that this isnt just a problem for Greatham but is also usual in a few other areas around Hartlepool. The immediate response from the local authorities seems to be to crack down on the youths (and youthettes) who are drinking. Whilst this seems sensible, action also needs to be taken against the stores that sell alcohol to underage drinkers and against the parents who let them drink (If they dont have a problem with their offspring drinking underage then let them do it in their own houses!). So more sting operations on shopkeepers and more turning up at the door with little Johnny or Jane in handcuffs please Mr. Plod.
Just a thought maybe these underage drinkers are learning valuable new skills Theyre certainly finding out about many different types of drink and both the good and bad effects of alcohol on the human body! Perhaps we could use them for medical research into new and better types of beer or into improving hangover cures (better than cigarette smoking beagles this and the Animal Rights Johnnies wont post blood through your letter box). Theyd all be willing subjects and more importantly they would be locked up in labs and not on the streets of Greatham or Hartlepool!