The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Victorian England Is Alive And Well …

A few weeks ago, my family went on what we call, ‘a family adventure’.

All that consists of is getting a map, pointing to a place around a couple of hours drive away and heading there to investigate and explore.

It’s nice to discover something new all together and it’s a precious time for us.

If we go on a Sunday, we tend to stop off at a pub for a legendary ‘Sunday Roast’.

After 2 and a half decades away, I have missed them immensely and there’s something heart-warming [literally and metaphorically] shoving some chicken and roast potatoes in your gob.

To be honest, we have had quite a range of quality.

Some of it – I swear – was a microwave version of a roast, given the grey color of the food and weird temperature range.

But some of it has been exquisite … though I appreciate that means nothing from a man who wears Birkenstocks and supports Nottingham Forest.

However what I’ve found even more interesting, is the range of pubs we have gone in.

The UK pub industry is facing incredible headwinds right now.

Huge amounts of them are being closed down – either due to a lack of trade or an increase in rents – so you’d think they’d be working hard to make people feel welcome.

And a lot are.

There’s one in Hitchin where the landlady remembered us and our orders from the second time we went in. Sure, that might have something to do with the fact Otis was wearing a full-on Spiderman costume on our first visit … but it’s still impressive.

However some are quite different.

Like this one near Winchester …

Oh I get a good joke.

I appreciate on face value, it’s funny.

Except it isn’t really is it.

It’s saying ‘kids need to be quiet’.

It’s saying ‘kids need to be controlled’.

It’s saying ‘kids are not welcome’.

It wasn’t just this sign either … there were notices everywhere:

Don’t make loud noises in the garden.

Don’t runaround in the garden.

Respect the pub grounds.

Look, I get it … you want to make sure everyone can enjoy the business you’ve worked hard to build up, but maybe they need to appreciate the difference between welcome consideration and jobsworth dictators.

While social media is awash with amusing pub signs, the landlord of this establishment needs to understand there is a huge difference between celebrating the ‘benefits’ of alcohol in our harsh world and insulting customers who have kids with them.

Or said another way …

Appreciate what you find funny may not be what others find funny.

I get ‘regulars’ may find kids annoying.

I get kids make noise and run around and around.

I get parents sometimes would like a break from it all.

But if you don’t want them coming, don’t advertise yourself as a ‘family pub’ …

21 Comments so far
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I am not a violent person but those signs have me wanting to burn their place down.

Comment by Mary Bryant

I would hand you the matches.

Comment by George

I know … it made me so angry.

Are kids a pain in the arse sometimes? Of course … but no one gets to say that other than their own parents. They could have played with that – a nudge and a wink to being in the know – but no, instead they went for a more spiteful approach which is why I’ll never go there again.

Comment by Rob

The natural evolution of brexit britain.

Comment by Bazza

Or the precursor.

Comment by Rob

You mean a roast dinner is better than a chocolate bar sandwich? Your tastes have improved in 20 blog posts. I’m impressed Rob.

Comment by Bazza

I think that is just to do with the timing of the posts, I’m sure the chocolate sandwich came after the roast which means my tastes are devolving.

Comment by Rob

There is a lot of hate hidden inside humor.

Comment by Pete

Or in this case, not hidden.

Comment by George

Eitherway, I’m using that line.

Comment by Rob

Jokes always have a victim. Funny punches up. Nasty punches down.

Comment by John

some of the best jokes are about the victim.

Comment by andy@cynic

All jokes are about the victim.

Comment by John

In many ways, this is a great example of the difference between relevance and resonance.

The ‘family pub’ focus in their messaging means they are trying to be relevant to a specific audience looking for a Sunday lunch.

However by insulting them with their signs, they show they’re not resonant with how family dynamics work in terms of, language or behaviour which ultimately reveals that it doesn’t matter what they claim, their actions prove the opposite.

Comment by Rob

dont turn your son into a fucking planning lesson.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH

Your last line sums it all up perfectly Robert.
Otis deserves better and so do you.

Comment by Lee Hill

Did you give them your custom? Did you let them know what you thought about their attitude? Or did you adopt the persona of a typical British customer?

Comment by John

i hope otis caused a fucking riot in the place.

Comment by andy@cynic

Even if he did he would be less annoying than his dad.

Comment by DH

Smug people going to a lot of trouble to exhibit uptight assholishness they think of as humor, like those signs in yards of a pooping dog with a line through it. Sorry you encountered! Come visit me in Texas, say what you will, the bars are cool with having kids running around. 🙂

Comment by erica david

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