Hamish Champ: I'm All Shook Up

By Hamish Champ

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Elvis presley The football association

I witnessed at the weekend a quandry I expect many members of bar staff face on a regular basis; at what point do you throw out of your pub someone...

I witnessed at the weekend a quandry I expect many members of bar staff face on a regular basis; at what point do you throw out of your pub someone who is being increasingly boisterous.

I was in a pub in a tiny village up near the Essex/Suffolk border, having just witnessed on the telly my football team's ignominious exit from the FA Cup. Losing to Spurs at Wembley the other week was bad enough, but watching Chelsea run out of ideas against a team from a lower division - who in truth outplayed us in a number of departments - really did take the biscuit. A Barnsley chop indeed.

Anyway, standing at the bar in this pub was a fellow Blues fan - as signified by his wearing of the black away shirt - but he didn't seem fazed by our defeat. Far from it. In fact he was making the most of what he clearly believed was his uncanny ability to impersonate Elvis Presley by singing snatches of 'Are You Lonesome Tonight' and other examples of the 'King's' repertoire to the young woman behind the bar and anyone else in the pub who would listen. For those of us who didn't want to listen, we had to put up with it anyway.

Given the way the bar girl was talking to him it appeared our young crooning friend was a regular. His singing aside he wasn't being unpleasant, and despite perhaps having had a couple more than he should he wasn't causing any real trouble, nor did he look like he would at any stage.

But he was a bit loud and he was a bit annoying. The girl behind the bar, aware that his performance might be hacking off other customers, dealt with his singing by suggesting that if he wouldn't "turn it off" then he should at least "turn it down", and by pointing out there were others in the pub who perhaps didn't see him as the Next Big Thing on the X Factor.

He complied, only to warm up again a few minutes later. With a smile the member of staff would remind him to calm down, and so he would. I didn't notice her serving him any more drinks, so I guess she was balancing his loyalty to the pub with the inconvenience he might have been causing other customers, while knowing she could handle the situation.

I left the pub before he did, so I don't know whether he left quietly or was asked to leave. I imagine such a balancing act takes place in pubs up and down the country every night of the week, and is just one of the many demands on licensees and their staff.

The man's condition reminded me of the story thepublican.com​ broke before Christmas about the police being given guidance on 'how to spot a drunk'. I would add to the list of 'tell-tale signs' that of apparently being in a good mood after watching your football team crash out of the FA Cup to supposedly inferior opposition. There's just no other explanation.

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