Three Americans, a Russian oligarch and an United Arab Emirati kid walk into a bar called the English Premier League. They sidle up to the bar and the barkeep greets them with “hi, my name is Richard, what can I get you fine gentlemen?”
“What do you sell?” asks the Russian.
“We sell Premier League football teams here, twenty different varieties, some very popular, some not so much,” replies Richard in a way that indicates that it is not the first time that he has answered such a question.
“But we are all foreigners, do you sell to foreigners?”
“Years ago only the English were interested in visiting my establishment but since we undertook a big makeover in the 90s we get visitors from all over the world dropping by.”
“Of course there are some English customers still around. Old Joe over in the corner, he drops in whenever he is in town and there are Sully and Goldie who have a little room in the back. They do a little bit of business on the side…..so if you are interested in …..let us say…..more adult forms of entertainment…..just let me know.”
The visitors looked somewhat aghast at the suggestion but quickly regain their composure as they survey the products behind their suave server.
“What’s that one in the middle?” asks the first in a very thick Russian accent.
“That’s Chelsea, it has made a bit of a comeback in the last few years, it was very trendy in the 60s, very cool.”
“We Russians missed out on the 60s so Chelsea sounds good to me, give me a straight Chelsea.”
“Certainly, coming right up and how will you be paying for your Chelsea?” asks the barman.
“The Russian people will be paying in cash, here you go, and something for yourself of course,” says Roman has he quickly snuggles up to his new purchase.
“And you sir? Yes you, the older gentleman with the slippers, what’s your poison.”
“Oh, so many to chose from, let me think” says the frail looking man with the American accent.
“The big red shiny one, no not that one with the red and white stripes, the one right at the top, yes that one, what is that one called?”
“Oh,” says Richard, “I can see that you are a man who has an eye for quality, that shiny red one is called Manchester United. Extremely popular with our foreign visitors for some reason. Some call it Man U for short. Expensive though, the cost of ingredients have gone through the roof in the last few years. Not many know this but the thing that makes this one extra special is something called “fergie” and it comes all the way from Scotland.”
“That does it for me, I love anything Scattish,” yells the older gent, “I will have a Manchester United.”
“Coming right up, and how will you be paying for this?”
“No problem, I will pay cash just like my Russian friend here, but oh dear…… just a moment……….that’s unfortunate,” exclaims the American, “I seem to have left my wallet at home.”
“This is very embarrassing…….would it be possible…..to perhaps……ask if it would be ok to run a tab and I will settle up later?”
“Well it is not our policy to extend credit sir, but you are foreign so that must mean you have a lot of money. Perhaps on this occasion I can make an exception. However, I must tell you that if you don’t come back right away your Manchester United is going to cost you more and more each day until you finally settle up. It might prove to be much more expensive than you think.”
“I appreciate your concern but I want a Manchester United.”
“Ok….a Manchester United it is.”
“Right then” says the bartender as he warms to the task at hand. “Oh, young man, before I get your order I am afraid I am going to have to ask to see your identification, proof of age.”
Somewhat taken aback the dark handsome young man turns nervously to his five assistants. One reaches into the young man’s pocket to pull out some i.d.. But instead of pulling out a card thousands upon thousands of pounds fall to the floor. The assistant quickly gathers up all the money and places it on the counter.
“It seems that I have no form of identification except for this,” says the young man, as he points towards a bar now inches deep in notes.
“Well, if anyone asks please tell them you didn’t have anything stronger than a pop.”
“In that case what kind of “pop” might I have?” asks the kid.
“Might I suggest a Manchester City? It is really Manchester United without the high and it is much cheaper. I bought my last load in bulk from an Asian gentleman who had encountered some problems with his government. The locals love Manchester City though, have done for years. Unfortunately if you consume too much it does give you a dreadful hangover. So be very careful, a few too many and you can become quite delusional and when you come down the shakes are apparently awful.”
“I understand and I appreciate your concerns but I think I am going to love my Manchester City. One more thing, the gentlemen at the end of the bar….. what does he have in his drink?”
“Oh that is one of our special stir sticks. We carry a number of different ones, all different but they do cost extra,” explains Richard in a patronizing tone.
“You don’t think I can afford your stir sticks? I can afford anything I want. That one…..yes that one….I will have that and that and that one as well.”
“Oh I am sorry about my tone, I did not mean to be disrespectful to you. A Manchester City coming up with Tevez, Toure and Silva stir sticks.”
Richard’s attention then turns to a studious man who stands behind the others glancing at each offering in turn.
“There sure are a lot of red bottles up there. I like red, my wife likes red, we are a very red family. But we also like authentic, something real. What do you suggest my good tapster?”
“There is one I might recommend,” offers Richard. “It is an old traditional brand that was extremely popular some two decades ago and is still popular on special occasions, especially when a certain amount of nostalgia is about. It is called Liverpool and over the last couple of years people have been asking for it on the rocks.
I do have to warn you though, it has a bit of a dodgy shelf life and although many of the regulars refuse to believe it, the truth is that it has not aged well. In fact I would suggest that if you are going to partake then maybe add a chaser……a stadium chaser maybe?”
“That sounds excellent,” says the bespectacled American, “make that two, one for my wonderful wife who says she just loves your little bar.”
“And tell you what, I am expecting some other friends to join us shortly so perhaps I can settle up with you when they arrive. I hope that arrangement will be satisfactory?”
Richard serves up the two Liverpool-on-the-rocks with a stadium chaser and readies himself to go about his other chores. But out of the corner of his eye he spots the last member of the group who has been lurking in the shadows…….quietly.
“Sir, sir yes you….can I help you?” inquires Richard.
“Yes, I think you can,” says the man in nothing more than a whisper. “I would very much like an Arsenal if you please.”
“No problem, one of our most consistent sellers, very rich, smooth, sophisticated and carries more than a hint of France. And how will you be paying for your Arsenal?”
The room turns and waits for the quiet American to answer.
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