Tuesday, 30 June 2009

In his House @ R’lyeh …

Dread Cthulhu lies …

Well …

Possibly wondering what happened …

I know me and Adrian were.

I managed to track a copy of the 2007 film, “Cthulhu”, which isn’t necessarily what it says on the tin.

I think …

I got hold of this knowing in advance, that it wasn’t a film version of H.P Lovecraft’s “Call of Cthulhu”, but of another of his work’s, “The Shadow over Innsmouth”*; not that I’m complaining, per sé.

I’m as aware as anyone that Hollywood can take the odd liberty.

But what gets me is simply that I was expecting something that …

Well …

Maybe was a little bit better done.

Possibly I’m being a touch harsh, here — thoughts and comments, please, Adrian, everybody — but it did strike both of us that, with the possible exception of the very tongue in cheek “Reanimator”, many of the H. P. Lovecraft film adaptions have been a touch … clunky …

And “Cthulhu” seems to be another in the theme, if somewhat slightly better doneº. Or at least in my opinion; I think Adrian’s going to disagree.

I do know we both managed to land ourselves with a ‘B’ movie, tonight. I think what got me was simply the fact that something — the scripting, the plotting, the editing, something! — didn’t seem especially well done. And there wasn’t a trace of “Reanimator”’s humour!

Off putting, that …

Now, don’t get me wrong.

Lovecraft at his worst, could be bad. But on form — which was most of the time — could be very entertaining. And inspired others, after him, to do better.

But that isn’t necessarily reflected in many films made from his material.

Cthulhu” is a brave effect. But I don’t think it does its source material justice. And it isn’t doing the ‘Bottle o’ Beer’ routine, with someone’s skull.

Bear that in mind, if you’re thinking of investing in it.

* With the interesting twist that the central protagonist is gay. Nicely Right on, although I think ol’ Howard would have certainly complained …

º If it’s possible to do a good, bad movie …

A Repeat — But I think it’s worth it …

You know, it’s not that often I repeat myself.

It’s not!

But I’ve had a couple of people ask about Nik Nak’s Laws for Smooth Talking Bar Stewards, over the past couple of months, so I’m thinking these are worth putting up again.

They originally started as something of a joke; or Law One did, at any rate, when I was nattering with a co-worker, along time ago. And the complete set of pithy one liners, and handy bits of advice has evolved, ever since then.

But, here, have a read for yourself …

Law 1.

Never get involved in domestic incidents; – especially if the domestic incidentee’s names are over the door.

Fingers Could Get BURNT.

Law 2.

a) Don’t work in a pub you couldn’t drink in, BUT don’t drink in the pub you work in.

This one’s IMPORTANT! AND, as a follow up this; – NEVER drink on duty.

b) Go To Work on a Nutritionally Sound Breakfast.

Rather than a Hangover.

There’s quite a lot to be said, here. For starters, the basic point I’m trying to convey is simply that part of a given pub’s atmosphere is supplied by us, whether we’re drinking on the job, or preferably after a shift; – drinking before a shift starts isn’t a good thing, either, I should add. Let’s face it, how many of us have stunning cash handling skills? Or customer interactions? Adding alcohol to the mix doesn’t help, nor, in my view, create a good impression on the punters, either, especially those oh so important first time visitors. With due care and diligence, Laws 1), & 3) may be bent, or broken. Law 2), as with 8)b) CAN’T! And God Help You, if it kicks off, and you ARE pissed on the job; – you might have stopped it, if you hadn’t been in a worse state. And please, at all times remember, we are dealing with a drug that is not known for improving behaviours; – many of us forget this, and the fact that other industries find drinking on the job unacceptable.

Law 3.

The customer is always pissed, no-matter how right they are.

They tend to behave badly, in that state. For a given value of both ‘Badly’, and ‘Pissed’.

If they’re not … either you’re doing something wrong, or they’ve got a higher tolerance for alcohol than they thought.

Law 4.

Never forget the expandable rhubarb.

Curve-balls are handy.

Law 5.

Remember the Roadie’s Mantra, it’ll come in handy one day.

If It’s Wet, Drink It,

If It’s Dry, Smoke It

If It moves, Shag It,

If It Don’t Move,


Law 6.

There’s always one.

At Least. And, in the case of pub comedians, pub quiz teams, and the more odious punters that haven’t been barred, yet, several.

Law 7.

The boss is always right, that’s why their name’s over the door.

But there’ll be another one along, in a minute.

Law 8.

a) Keep your eye out for the pub bore, he or she will turn up.

b) Keep glasses out of the way of the violent drunks, and make sure the boss is in between you and them. After all, the boss is insured.

c) Avoid Messiah’s. And don’t fall into the hands of a Hero. I’m with Frank Herbert, on this.

Law 9.

If you can’t improve the silence, say nothing.

Originally attributed by someone to someone they saw quoted in a newspaper, somewhere.

Interestingly inspirational, but … !

Law 10.

Time goes past at one second per second.

Git, isn’t it…?

Law 11.

Stacked Glasses are potentially Cracked Glasses.

Remember that.

Law 12.

When you end a customer’s order with the question, …is there anything else?” what you actually mean is Mine’s a triple vodka…

Or pint of lager, or £4•57p for a pot of coffee and a cake, or a week with a high class Russian hooker/male escort … you get the idea!

Law 13.

Be Bloody Careful with the mixed messages from the drunk horny types.

Condoms are easy to pick up, rape charges hard to avoid.

Pissed & Horny can also turn easily into Pissed & Angry; – Keep that in mind.

This is deadly serious, & something I can’t stress enough; to put it bluntly, all they usually want to do is flirt with a pretty face when they’re ordering their drink. If they want more, they will tell you; WHEN THEY ARE SOBER ENOUGH TO DO SO!! Do NOT take them home, unless you’re bloody certain it’s what you both want, you’ve both made the decision to do so, and that what happens there is something that you both want to happen. A few friends of mine are on the fetish scene, and they always stress three words; – “Safe, Sane Consensual”. Of the three, the third’s the relevant one, in my view. Informed Consent, and being in a fit state to give it, receive it, and understand the transaction, is crucial, whatever way we’re kinked. Being in a state to understand that’s important. Like I say, rape charges …

Law 14a.

It doesn’t matter how busy the pub is, you’ve seen nothing and no-one.

NOT naming names is an obvious ancillary point, here. Discretion is everything, basically.

Law 14b.

For Higher Power’s sake, please remember; – the dog collar comes with the job.

And, no, I do NOT mean the ones being worn by the entertaining ladies with corsets!

Law 15.

Real Ale doesn’t need pouring, so much as constructing.

Law 17.

Shagging the boss might be tempting, but …

Law 18.

If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong, at the most awkward time, and at approximately the same rate as in a Christmas episode of “EastEnders.”

Law 19.

Customers occasionally don’t mind their beer in the same glass. They’ve never heard about cross-contamination.


Law 22.

If you can’t be good, be careful.

And if you can’t be careful, wear an entertaining hat.

Law 23.

First in turns everything on, and fills up the ice-bucket, last out turns everything off, and empties the bin.

Law 24.

If dating someone you work with, remember; – don’t go to bed on an argument, & don’t go to work on an argument.

Law 25.

If it’s green, sticky, and in an amusingly trendy, and/or rude bottle, sell it to a gullible punter.

On no account, go near it, yourself; – Law 16, remember?

Law 26.

‘Multiple’ is generally a good word; – unless it’s anywhere near any variation of ‘vehicular’ or ‘injury’.

Unless you’re J.G.Ballard, of course.

Law 27.

Alcohol is corrosive.

As can be our response to it. Remember that.

Law 28.

It’s inflatable.

Please do NOT SMIRK!

Law 29a.

Anyone tells you the job’s glamourous, hit ’em.

The gene pool does NOT need idiots like this.

Law 29b.

And anybody tells you they wouldn’t mind doing the job, gently admonish them.

By tellin’ ’em to get their f**kin’ heads examined

Law 30.

Try not to keep the customers waiting.

Pissed and whinging isn’t good, if you’re on the receiving end.

Law 31.

At all times, remember; – Look Busy.

If nothing else, it’ll make the boss look twice.

Law 32.

If all else fails, BLUFF!

And hope like hell you don’t get caught!

Law 33.

It’s not the colour of the customer’s skin; – it the colour of their money!

Which sounds cynical, I know … Either way, I’m left wing enough to think that what ethnic background you’re from, what gender you are and who you choose to sleep with, really aren’t important. And that things like racism, sexism and homophobia, are basically bullying, by other names.

Law 34.

Work names, or pub nicknames are only to be used WHEN ON DUTY!!

I don’t get snotty, often, but …

Law 45.

Most of the above Laws can be ignored, if need be; – they’re more of a set of guidelines.

EXCEPT LAW 2) 13), 17), & 19).

Remember that.