Monday, July 12, 2010

Shut down at 2am and the Neopolitan Showman

The police came by on Saturday night saying we had to close at 2am. Luckily, a friend from another bar had warned us about this and we had a sign up saying Last Orders at 2am! Usually at 2am it is our busiest time. The bar was packed on Saturday at that time. We said we thought we just had to stop serving drinks, and he said, I’m sorry but the new rule is that the locale must close at 2am. I would be delighted to see us all get to bed a bit earlier except that it had a big impact on our takings for Saturday night. And we need Friday and Saturday night takings to survive as a business! The policeman had two guys form the army with him as backup, and we recognised them as regulars – they looked really sheepish and embarrassed. Apparently there is a new chief of police and he wants to make his presence felt. It will probably die down in a few weeks – it better do for August, which we all depend on for good takings for the rest of the year …

At least the policeman was decent and not throwing his weight around. Apparently he went to all the bars around here.

Meanwhile, Paco, the circus-style entertainer who has played twice for us (Paolo Conte and Viniscio Capossela covers – very good band) showed up with his platinum partner. At 2.30am they wanted to know where to stay. We have never had them back because they cost more than any other band (v. expensive) and also he is very arrogant and gets on everyone’s nerves, requiring personal assistance before, during and after the show. My sister-in-law – our waitress- can’t bear him. So amidst the whole police shutting down confusion, my husband then had to find him somewhere to stay. We reckon he was hoping we would put him up, but even if we had wanted to ( we wouldn’t), my sisters are in the spare room. Unlucky, Paco. He said he had tried various places to no avail, but he obviously hadn’t tried the hotels with their 24 hour reception – too expensive for this scrocconne (scrooge/sponge). So he called our friend who has a B&B and who keeps late hours sometimes. But she was sound asleep. She said no, not wanting the hassle but then, since she was awake, she agreed to wait for them. They got to her at 3.30am and she says they put on a whole show about how they were our great friends and played once a month for us and so could become regular clients of hers. She said he made it sound like they were doing her a favour by giving her business – at 3.30am. She told them breakfast was from 8.30-9.30am and check-out at 10.30am and they rolled their eyes wildly and said but we are only getting here now at 3.30am so can we have breakfast later and check out later? She said no, breakfast is always at that time, but I’ll let you have the room until 11.30am but no later, as my mother will be doing the morning shift and she likes people to stick to the rules. He made a fuss as if this was very inconvenient and he was someone deserving special treatment, and she said, there is a hotel with 24 hour reception just 100metres down the road. Please go there if you prefer. She was getting tired of his Napolitano ways. (She says he was a classic Neopolitan – sorry napolitani). He wasn’t in his room ten minutes when he called her mobile – at 03.40 asking where he could find a bottle of water. Where do you think, at this hour of the night? She replied. I will have to get it for you.

In the morning there was no sign of him at 11.40am so she asked her mother to go and get them out. Anticipating his request for a discount, she said, tell him that the price, €70 is already discounted. Of course the showman tried it on, saying do we not get a discount because we are such good friends with Pachamama and we only arrived at 3.30am??? Imagine. When the gate closed behind them, the platinum partner was heard to whine, ‘Not even in the Sheraton are there such prices!’ My dear, the Sheraton would have charged you a second night for leaving the room late. Our friend said she wouldn’t let them in the door again!

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