There’s a cafe near here – it’s on Norwood High Street which isn’t exactly a posh part of anywhere – called Cul de Sac.
It’s run by a rather stern faced French woman who always asks me if I want an extra shot in my coffee but does so in tones that prevent a negative response – is there a grammatical form – The Aggressive Rhetorical – because I’m pretty sure she’s invented it.
The coffee is good; the cakes are ok; the atmosphere, like the layout, cluttered and a little hushed.
But she welcomes dogs. She’s French. Of course she does.
What are the national characteristics of the English that are universally recognised? An inclination to empire-building? Easily embarrassed? Queue-fetishists? Hypocrites?
Yes, hypocrisy is in the gene pool. We call ourselves a nation of animal lovers but where does that come from exactly?
As I stood at the counter waiting to see if, today I had the courage to decline the extra shot but bracing myself for the additional caffeine hit, a gentleman, seated near the till said,
You need to leave him outside.
I glanced at the speaker; yep, he was talking to me. At me. About Dog.
The man smiled, as you might do at a simpleton or a canvasser on whom you are about to shut the door
Adding, in case I needed help
This is a food preparation area.
The French proprietoress did what passes, on her face, for a smile
Is Ok. My cafe, my rules
The man shrugged – not a Gallic shrug, more a fuckwit know-all smug bastard English shrug, which seemed to say,
It’s your look out if you want to break the law
I’d won, hadn’t I? Dog and I were welcomed. I could have nodded and sat down, accepting that, in twenty minutes I would be more wired than a telephone exchange. But once a smart-arse lawyer, always a gobby little legal tosser.
I think you’ll find there are absolutely no laws or rules (I’m not sure the ‘absolutely’ added anything here, and certainly I didn’t need to give it emphasis but if you’re going to be pretentious shite, why not go the whole hog) that prevent dogs entering any retail or food establishments in this country
I didn’t quite jab two fingers in his eyes and rip out the optic nerves with a
Take that sucker
But he knew that would be next if he argued. Sadly he had already reverted to his newspaper.
This topic has been on the news recently – here – with Brits accused of being doggist. And as the proud companion of a gorgeous little muttlet, I know that’s true. I visit a lot of cafes here and in Suffolk. If you want proof, here’s a picture of the loyalty cards in my wallet today.
Most of these places allow dogs but there are twice as many who don’t; I regularly test their willingness. And in response to my polite enquiries I am told
Our customers don’t want them
They make a mess/are noisy/get in the way
It’s against the law/food hygiene regulations/physics
Whereas the truth is the owners don’t want them.
Ok. It’s your shop/cafe/restaurant/fascist meeting place. I understand you are entitled to make up your own rules but be honest about it.
PS This is more a problem here in London than in Suffolk but my experience, in the countryside are you are more likely allowed in 50:50 times than 66:33 against down this way.
PPS And if you are reading this and thinking ‘just leave him/her outside’ then think again.
Dog-napping is a real problem, certainly around here. You wouldn’t leave your child outside, so why risk your more faithful companion?
PPPS I’m not advocating banning children or the pantechnicons that pass for buggies these days. I just know what takes up less space, makes less noise etc, that’s all.
Rant over. I’m off for coffee.