Amock Comedy Compendium
Big Joe MacLean had named his pub The Ardent Hedonist because he hadn’t a clue what it meant. It was
suggested to him by a friend and, rather than admit his ignorance and because it sounded impressive, he agreed
to it. Only later did he look up a dictionary and find that it meant someone with an enthusiasm for sensual pleasure
and this pleased him, it was what a pub should be.
Joe had started out as a plumber and worked all the hours God gave him before striking out and starting his own
business, but his heart had always been set on owning and running his own pub. Now, though the brewery might
own the building, the Ardent Hedonist was his.
He’d dealt with every shade of human being during he career and believed the secret of a successful pub was
the staff. Give guys pretty girls to serve them beer and you were made. To that end he’d assembled a collection
that crossed the spectrum. Old and young, pretty and plain, flirty and staid. They were Joe’s staff and collectively
they were the BARMAIDS.
It was a quiet afternoon and Norma was whiling away the time polishing the gantry. She was the oldest of the
girls, in her 50s, but slim and well turned out. In her day she’d been a bit of a blonde stunner, but now the lines
were beginning to show across her finely chiselled face. Susan came through from the kitchen behind the bar,
a perplexed look on her face, and Norma raised an eyebrow in enquiry.
“Big Joe called me a trumpet yesterday,” Susan whined “What do you think he meant by that?”
Norma let her gaze run over Susan’s low top and short skirt. “Are you sure he didn’t say ‘strumpet’?”
Susan’s perplexed look deepened. “Strumpet? What’s that?”
Norma wondered how this appellation could be explained and settled on, “It’s like a slapper, only not as
Susan snorted. “I’m not a slapper, or a strumpet. I’m a flirt.”
Norma sighed, “Whatever suits you, but you’re the only one that gets a short skirt bonus.”
Susan stuck out a foot proudly. “Only cos I’ve got the legs for it.”
Norma had been flashing her underwear to men before Susan was born and wasn’t impressed. “Why don’t
you just came in naked? Imagine how much you’d get in bonuses then.”
Susan though about it for a moment before finally making an executive decision. “Aye well, maybe in the
At the other end of the long bar the manageress, Donna, was initiating new recruit, student Rita.
“This business is all about people, pet,” she instructed. “You might think it’s about selling booze, but it’s really all
about people. It’s a people business. And if you can handle that you can handle anything in the world. Any job
you go into, it’s all about people. What is it you’re studying again?”
“Rocket science,” Rita confessed.
“Well there you go, even them spacemen is people. Away behind the bar now and learn off Norma and Susan.”
Rita obeyed her instructions and joined Susan at the other end of the bar, though the chances of learning anything
from her seemed minimal as she was giving a good impression of a statue. Rita’s arrival however, inspired her
to activity and she shifted some coasters three inches along the bar.
“Did I hear you right there,” she asked her younger colleague, “you’re going to be a rocket scientist?”
Rita nodded. “Applied rocket propulsion, I’m a hands-on kind of person.”
“Oh yeah, me too,” Susan squealed appreciatively. “Still, you’ll be useful at New Year’s.”