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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Where's Basil Fawlty when you need him?

Last Sunday evening was very busy, unusually so. We had every table full which is different for a Sunday evening in Prawle, but I certainly wasn’t complaining. I found myself very busy at the bar and the time went by rather quickly. Two German visitors asked for a table and I managed to seat them although they requested a table that was nearer to the log fire. I explained that this particular table had already been reserved by another party and was unavailable. The man was not impressed, but I reiterated the reasons and he went back to his wife and sat where they had been placed. I can only imagine that log fires are a rarity in Deutschland because once they had placed their food order his wife went and pulled an easy chair over to the fire and sat there gazing at the flames. I continued to man the pumps and keep the beer flowing and food coming. At one point I was two deep at the bar and trying my best to keep everyone happy when I noticed my German guest sauntering over to me. I was half way through pouring a pint of IPA when he interrupted and said in a manner that made his request more akin to an order, “Excuse me, please you vill go and stoke ze fire now?” Well! I smiled pleasantly and through gritted teeth explained that, “No I won’t be stoking the fire, because as he may have noticed I am rather busy right now!” He returned muttering to his Fraulein.

The following evening they returned and enjoyed another of Karen’s top meals. I waited until they had finished their last spoonful and asked them, “haben Sie gut gegessen?” Meaning – Have you eaten well? They were somewhat taken aback and I only wish I could have remembered how to say “You shouldn’t mutter about people when they can hear and understand –ish you!”

As an aside, it was only after they had gone that I remembered that the pub walls are adorned with Shepherd Neame Spitfire posters!!! So much for political correctness.

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