CATENGESP


DRINKING IN

(07/07/2011)

Aquest article no està traduït al català; es mostra la seva versió en anglès

On ridiculous pub rules for children, in England.

CATALONIA TODAY – SECTION: LONG-TERM RESIDENT - ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-NINE


I was raised to regard pubs as a perk of adulthood almost on a par with sex, banned as I was from them until a teenager. When I finally crossed the threshold of one of these chapels of quaffing, alcohol was revered by me as an endlessly repeatable treat for grown-ups, in which I could now indulge to my head's content: a degree of indulgence which - if English press reports are anything to go by – is as nationally widespread as Marmite. However, I assumed the 2003 Licensing Act – which allows accompanied children to enter pubs at any time – would make having a drink with the kids as normal as finding excuses not to help them with their homework. London, June, 2011: my kids and I are thirsty. On entering the first pub, we are told they will only be tolerated at the tables outside, of which there are exactly two, both over-occupied. At the second pub, we are told they will only be allowed in if they eat a hot meal. At the third – it is now half past six – we are told they are banned after 6pm. Finally, I take them to a pub with several free tables, leave them sitting quietly at one, and go inside and order. As the drinks appear on the bar, a woman rushes in, eyes manic, voice raised: 'Excuse me!' I suspect she could be a patient from a nearby mental hospital I once attended, until I remembered it was killed by cuts, yonks ago. 'No children allowed after seven!' shrills the manageress, for it is she. 'But they're sitting outside', I say. 'They're not allowed outside either!' As the drinks have been paid for, however, she gives her consent to their undelayed consumption. As we gulp them down, a hopelessly sloshed couple passes our table, screaming fuck you at each other. They didn't have any trouble being served in pubs, from the look of it, either inside or outside, before or after 7 or any other hour out of the 24 available. Meanwhile, the manageress keeps a beady eye on the speed of my children's swallowing. Furious, I tell them how lucky they are not to have been born in a country which persists in hanging on, despite the letter of its own law, to a tradition so imbecilic it makes you tearfully grateful to be living in a place - such as Catalonia – whose bars welcome bipeds both great and small with open arms.





- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programació: Nac -