… this isn’t the setup to a joke because that man was me, and what happened next was more shocking than funny.
Me: “Pint of Niche-Micro Brewery Bitter markteted especially for ale snobs such as myself and a packet of your finest pork scratchings”
Barman: “Sorry, we’re out of pork scratchings”
Me: “What? One of the few reasons I patronise your pub is for the joy of crackling some pork* while appreciatively quaffing a dodgy beverage thrice hopped and ten times overpriced”
Barman: “Just no demand for them anymore I’m afraid”
Me: “Not true, I’m demanding them. Right now.”
Barman: “Sorry, no can do**, new rules you see” [jerks derisive thumb] ‘head office say we have to sell healthy snacks‘
Me: [full turn to take in fifteen builders bellys, twenty guys in suits with a hand shaky alcohol dependency and ol’ bob comatose and dribbling under his favourite table] “It’s not a bloody Gym in here. Everything south of the entrance is unhealthy and that includes those dodgy sausages you’re pretending aren’t leaving a horse missing a vital appendage‘
Barman: [Leans elbows on bar in accordance with Publican’s subliminal messages section 4.1 “Customer starting to piss me off”]”Look, we’re trialling this new ‘healthy scratchings”, have a bag on the house”
Me: [on return from explosive mental orbit]”What madness is that? We’re talking about supsicious pig scrapings double deep fried and then fried again to be absolutely sure they’re unhealthy enough. You cannot make a Scratching that does not fur up artories and root symptoms for four major diseases. It’s like trying to sell a Lighter Choice Deep Fried Mars Bar ”
Barman: [Spoken]: “Here’s your beer” [Unspoken] “Now fuck off”
My moral compass would have vibrated angrily to an exit direction had I not already paid for my drink. Instead, I explained to almost no one who was interested, that this represented the passing of another British Icon.
I’ve already lamented the loss of the car and motorbike industry and the demise of our civil engineering heritage, surely I cannot suffer the lopping off of yet another cultural emblem?
I blame St. George. Once you start importing patron saints from Portugal, the death of scratchings is sadly inevitable 🙁
* An activity still punishable by ‘random insertion of pig knuckle sandwich’ in some US states
** That kind of lazy grammar slang makes me mad. A Pig Knuckle Sandwich up the japs eye is too good for them.