Sunday, July 30, 2006

The owners of Galicia’s cafés, bars, restaurants and discos have had 7 months to comply with the anti-smoking law of Jan 1. Needless to say, the vast majority of them have done nothing at all. And won’t do anything before the period of grace expires at the end of August. In fact, the local disco owners have demanded, would you believe, a 2 year moratorium. They claim 1. the law is unclear, 2. the local government hasn’t yet brought in its own version and, most expediently, 3. the law is illegal because there’s a ‘clash of competencies’ between the state and regional government. The last one bears out the forecast I made some time ago that the power struggle between the state and the regions would certainly mean money for the lawyers, if nothing else. But, then, everything does.

Getting close to customer service.

I’d like to buy one of those [rat-catching] cages I saw in the window last week
We sold it
Do you have another one?
Will you be getting another one?
Can you order one for me?
Ermm. Better if you come in from time to time to see if our supplier has sent us one.

Getting even closer to customer service.

Have you got a replacement pad for this [small but not-inexpensive] leather notepad?
Do you mean you don’t have one in stock or you don’t sell them?
We don’t sell them
But I bought this [small but not-inexpensive] notepad here.
OK. We can order you one.

Quote of the Day

These are extracts from a column by William Langley in today’s Sunday Telegraph. I felt they deserved a [fractionally] wider audience. Plus it saves me thinking of something to write.

Easily the worst thing about [a hot] summer is the determination of the British, now abetted by the full apparatus of nanny-statedom, to treat it as a disaster. The Health and Safety Gestapo, as you might expect, has been all over this heatwave like a sick grin. Its compendious advisory notices, compiled, published and distributed at your expense, include tips on how to avoid the sun ("stay in the shade"); dehydration ("drink plenty of water"), and glare ("wear a wide-brimmed hat"). . . The Department of Health, never knowingly out-nannied, has come up with its "Heatwave Plan 2006", which suggests splashing yourself with cold water several times a day and eating salads - with the added recommendation that anyone taken ill should see a doctor. "Mostly, though," says the DHS, "it's a matter of common sense. "No! You don't say! . . . The truth, sadly, is that the British have become a nation of weather-wimps. We stay at home with our curtains drawn and our fans buzzing. And this at a time when we should be out enjoying ourselves. . . our new dread of summer heat is - or should be - baffling. For, of all people, the British are unusually well equipped to deal with it. Our favourite drink is tea and our national dish curry. A cup of tea takes five times more heat out of the body than it puts in, while capsaicin, the active ingredient of chilli peppers, activates the body's own cooling mechanism, simultaneously sending happiness-inducing B-endorphins to the brain. Stoned on lobster madras, with a mug of tea to hand, who needs air conditioning? . . . We have never been unduly worried about sophisticated notions of hot and cold. This is the only country in the world where an entire lunch - from the gin and tonic, through the prawn cocktail, roast beef to the jam roly-poly - is served at the same temperature. In the days when we still had backbone, the British conquered some of the hottest countries on earth, and ran them for decades without ever breaking sweat or removing our jackets in public. No wonder it is said that the collapse of the Empire began with the first man to sit down to dinner in shorts . . Now, cowed by the new culture of killjoyism, we panic and run to hide indoors.


Lenox said...

Quite right about the shorts. Ghastly things!

Anonymous said...

Or for a less reactionary opionion on the hot summer see boiled alive