Friday wasn't as busy as it has been in the past, though busy it still was. We were in control throughout. Saturday was busy too, but all too soon for the punters and not nearly soon enough for us staff, time was called. We grabbed a drink in the last few seconds and fled behind the bar where we sat for a while, too stunned to say much, the adrenalin gone, the moment passed.
It is customary to do some tearing down work after the bar is tidied up and stuff brought back behind ready to be loaded away. This gets you to the point where, when it is done, you have maybe an hour or two or more to wait for the staff party - without a drink. It really isn't worth the wait, with a formula that is repetitive and boring. If you do attend, when you get to the point through drink that you are starting to sort of enjoy it, you have to go for your last tube. Those staying in halls of residence are taken back pissed much later. The party, if truth be told, is for them. After a few quiet farewells, we slipped off un-noticed, for a curry in Earl's Court Road and a few glasses of wine back at the flat.
Was it a success? Probably. The view from on high, though couched in water muddying terms, seemed to be that we had less punters, but they supped more. I think that might just be right, but we'll see.
I want to leave you with one anecdote: Three South Africans at our bar. A combination that some might think unlikely now and unthinkable not so long ago - two white and well over six feet, dressed in SA rugby shirts. In the middle a little pissed black South African who could have walked under a table with a top hat on. He wasn't tall. All with impenetrable accents. After unsuccessfully trying to elicit his order from the little guy who was taking the piss, I said "you're a right bloody nuisance you aren't you? " All three replied in more or less unison agreeing profusely, wrapping their arms round each other and laughing helplessly. I liked that!
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