Edwin Starr Column – Issue 32

The penny wars continue apace as noticeably, a local pub is having to rethink its policy of offering a free function room facility.

Out of the blue, a government-funded Temperance Society booked the room for a discussion of the prospects for a non-alcoholic culture for the working-class.

“Once the initial surprise had worn off, we thought that such a gathering would probably result in a non-profitable evening. We are able to offer the facility based on the increased takings behind the bar but, given the nature of the group, we couldn’t anticipate any good returns for the pub,” said the current manager of The Old Irony public house.

“Although we respect the group’s beliefs, we cannot, in all pocket, make anything in offering our facilities to those whose ideas fundamentally clash with our ethos,” another member of the establishment chimed in.

“To be honest, we thought it a contradiction for The Temperance Society to want to hold a meeting in a place they don’t agree with but free is free, after all,” added a bar-fly philosopher with an alcoholic beverage in her hand.

“We couldn’t hear the acoustic music set for the loud tutting and clicks of disapproval from the society members upstairs,” said a disgruntled punter.

“We had a similar dilemma when we let the room out to the local dieting club. The bar meal was pitiful and pernickety and they were reluctant to drink alcohol. Managers cannot live by pork-scratchings and soft drinks alone,” added yet another spokesperson for the pub.

“It’s a little like providing sophisticated sound systems for hosting a mime act. It makes no existential sense. They must revisit their policy of ‘free’ function room facilities,” commented an amateur semantic traveller and pub goer.

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