It seems that finally, unexpectedly and mercifully, the good weather landed last weekend. And what better way for yours truly to spend it than to head over to Idle Hour Barnes and enjoy a few sherbets on the roof with my younger and lesser sibling. And when we weren’t taking apart the relentless attack on pubs by successive governments, he showed me the plans for the soon-to-be extension which will double the covers and annihilate those wretched lavatories. So, more of you will get in for Burger Monday but less of you will be able to ‘create room’ unless you bring a bag or get creative.
Now, the relationship between ‘what goes in’ and ‘what comes out’ has long been a bugbear for those in the hospitality industries. The latter demands significant landmass by law and yet yields next to nothing in return (when I say ‘next to nothing’, I mean, of course, nothing of salient value. Don’t make me spell this out.) The former, on the other hand, is the meat and potatoes of profit and loss which, at some point in the proceedings, ends up with the latter.
So what’s to do? When margins are tight, where would you compromise? A dilemma one of our most loved TV personalities is probably not experiencing right now:
Housekeeper : Mr Cowell, I think there’s someone in the conveniences.
Simon Cowell : Never mind that now, I’m on the telly.
Housekeeper : No, really. I think there’s someone up there. Will I ring the Police?
Simon Cowell : Yes, of cour… Er, no, actually. Leave this with me.
Housekeeper : Yes, sir. Goodnight, sir.
Simon Cowell : Max! My Man! Slight snag. Apparently there’s someone upstairs trying to break into one of the traps. Could you give me my position on this one?
Max Clifford : Armed intruder or crazed fan?
Simon Cowell : Crazed fan, I think.
Max Clifford : I see. Ok, Simon, don’t panic. Would you say it was like something in a horror film?
Simon Cowell : Yes, Max, I would.
Max Clifford : Excellent! Sure they’re not armed?
Simon Cowell : To be honest, I haven’t checked.
Max Clifford : No need. Probably a chick with a brick. In one of your least profitable rooms. I’d turn in if I were you.
Simon Cowell : Thanks, Max.
Max Clifford : Don’t mention it. Goodnight.
I was, of course, making out that Nibs isn’t going to provide somewhere for you to ‘drop the kids off’ for comic effect. It’s part of my weekly remit. To make you laugh but keep it topical. And you have my word: The Porcelain Bus will simply be relocated, not removed. Unless it contains a crazed fan with a brick, in which case he will put in a swift call to Max and leave the rest to the bizarre powers of tabloid journalism. But I very much doubt it will come to that. Or will it?