Tuesday, 16 October 2012

There but for the grace of God...

I can’t say the thought has never entered my mind:

Angry drinker poured half a pint of ale over 'grizzling' toddler because the noise disturbed his lunch

And, surprise surprise, it was in a branch of Spoons.

There’s quite a lot of sympathy in the comments, too.


  1. Excellent story. But it's missing one crucial detail. What ale was it that he threw over the baby?

  2. Professor Pie-Tin16 October 2012 at 11:42

    I don't believe what's in the Daily Mail - I've never,ever seen anyone drink a half in a 'spoons.

  3. What a nasty cowardly vile turd of a man. Oh and twas a half filled pint, Prof. Obviously some vinegary pong he drank some of and wanted to chuck.

    Of there are sympathetic comments on the Mail site. That's the measure of mail readers. He ought be banned from all pubs for life.

  4. Seriously though, reading through the comments, "She had the right to be there" and "If you don't like kids, go elsewhere". Nothing about responsibilities though. As for going elsewhere chance would be a fine thing, they've all turned into creches.

    Not condoning what the guy did, but I do think parents need to take some responsibility for the actions of their kids.

    A few years ago, I was in a pub one Sunday night. Full of kids, parents had been in all day, kids all bored and wanting to go home.

    This was half 10-11 o'clock (at night) and it all kicked off, proper saloon type brawl. Frightened kids to death.

    Whose fault was it? Idiots who kicked off, or parents who should've had their kids home hours ago, fed, bathed and tucked up in bed?

    There's places that cater for kids, with playground/ballpool, that kind of thing. I wouldn't darken their door personally, but, if I did, I can't complain about kids in the place. However, places that haven't got those facilities shouldn't allow kids or if they do a separate room away from the bar.

  5. If you accept a landlord can determine for himself the clientele he wishes to have in his own pub, then you accept he can choose to admit children or not. If he chooses to admit children then there will be noise associated with this. As a customer you can make your own opinion known to the staff if you think a child is particularly ill behaved. You can choose to go elsewhere. Kicking off, throwing drinks over children, puts you on the wrong side of the argument. It makes you the ill behaved aggressor.

    The story really isn't representative of kids in pubs any more than a women on benefits with a lot of kids is representative of the welfare state. It's a one off story of a rather rude and objectionable man that got fined and really ought to be banned from all his local watering holes.

  6. It was assault, pure and simple; and how precisely did he think pouring beer over a baby would quieten him?

    If a pub allows kids in, you can't complain; just go elsewhere.

  7. Humphrey Higgins (many years ago a luminary of the local branch of CAMRA) was once in a pub when a woman said to him "do you mind putting that cigarette out, the smoke's annoying my baby?"

    He replied "do you mind shutting that baby up, the noise is annoying me?"

    I think he was asked to leave, but he'd made his point.

    And surely, even if a pub allows kids in, you are allowed to complain if they are badly behaved.

  8. Humphrey Higgins? And people wonder why CAMRA stereotypes exist.

  9. Perhaps that's the answer to the problem, maybe we should complain,but being Brits we don't like to make a fuss and begrudgingly put up with it.

    I constantly hear "Children on the continent..blah.. blah, why can't we be more like them etc etc", the difference with the continent is the weather. It's more suited to alfresco dining, whereas here it's always pissing it down or cold, so kids are inside bored being a bleedin nuisance.

    I think there's a backlash brewing against kids in pubs,as now they're everywhere. Yes there's a market for places that allow kids, but I also think there's definitely a market for kid free pubs. Trouble is many that have allowed kids have lost trade that will be difficult to get back and that's the fear amongst landlords not wanting to alienate their existing customers.

  10. It shouldn't be beyond the wit of man to have child-friendly and child-free sections in the same pub, but in practice it's easier to enforce a blanket restriction rather than trying to stop the ankle-biters wandering into the "wrong" side.

  11. I feel sympathy for any child who has parents who named him "Finlay". Not much chance he'll end up a brain surgeon.

  12. "And surely, even if a pub allows kids in, you are allowed to complain if they are badly behaved." Well, obviously, Curmudgeon, but not pour your beer over a baby's head and then kick the woman who's minding him. After all, that's what your post is about that, not about reasonable complaints being ignored.

    Jonathan: never heard of Dr Finlay's Casebook?

  13. Oh, come on folks, I'm not actually defending it, but surely you must admit that at times you have inwardly chuckled when someone loses their rag with one of your bête noires.

    I imagine, Nev, you might smile a bit if one or two Tory politicians got a pint of beer poured over their head.

  14. I enjoyed watching the TV series as a child. The series whose main character was JOHN Finlay. I should have exempted the Scots in my previous post, as Finlay is used as a given name by them. The names people give children have to be considered in relation to their ethnic background and social class before predictions about their life chances can be reliably made.

  15. Actually a past work colleague, who was a respectable middle-class woman, had a son called Finlay. But I think she did have some Scottish blood.

  16. Why pick on children? There are any number of adults behaving badly in pubs both sober and drunk. Of course, no one dares to say anything to them, it's easier to pick on a defenceless child. Sickening behaviour. In the long run it's playing in to the hands of the anti-alcohol lobby reinforcing alcohol consumption as a dangerous activity carried out by some adults in premises seperate from the rest of society.

  17. Surely most Wetherspoons pubs are large enough to have a separate area for people with children?

  18. Other peoples'kids eh? Enough to drive one to drink....at home.

  19. "Why pick on children?"

    I'm not picking on children, I am pointing the finger at irresponsible parents. Obviously small children cannot be held responsible for their own actions.

    "There are any number of adults behaving badly in pubs both sober and drunk."

    While I freely admit that I am rarely to be found in pubs at the rougher end of the spectrum late at night, I have to say it is vanishingly rare that I see "bad" behaviour from adults. Adults, even if a bit inebriated, generally know how to control themselves. And any adult who decided to shout at the top of his voice for a prolonged period would be swiftly ejected.

  20. Martin, Cambridge17 October 2012 at 19:36

    I much prefer pubs where children are welcomed, if that's the pubs choice, but I've no qualms with landlords asking parents with ill-behaved children to leave immediately. Crying children should also be removed from a pub to settle a child down, and parents who don't attend to their crying children are beneath contempt.

    By the way, this isn't a pub, it's a Wetherspoons, as Curmudgeon never ceases to remind us.

  21. I was recently in a pub where a little girl of about 3 or 4 spent about a quarter of an hour constantly banging her knife and fork together. Any responsible parents would have told her to stop doing it, but in this case apparently not.

    And any adult customer who, for example, constantly banged his glass on the table, should really be asked to leave, and if not would attract dirty looks and probably a few comments. "You going to do that all day, pal?"


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