Jack Sprat could eat no fat
His wife could eat no lean
And so betwixt the two of them
They licked the platter clean
Now I have absolutely no evidence for this, but I am gonna go out on a limb and say that once upon a time the Sprats wanted to open a business. Mrs Sprat wanted to run a swanky happening drinking establishment and Mr Sprat, well he wanted to serve up walloping great chunks of cow and charge obscenely for it.
They were determined to be a point of difference in a tourist destination renowned for food, drink, lively nightlife and separating folk from their wonga.
They found the perfect location and she got to and set up her side into a lovely bar and stocked it with all manner of stupefying grog and people visited in their droves. Music blared and people looked jolly and the bartender almost always got the orders right and everyone smiled and had a damn fine time. People would pop in for a night cap on their way home from somewhere else, or else they might spend a good long while drinking up before being led to their ever so swanky linen lined table on Mr Sprats' side.
Mr Sprat had been out and introduced himself to many a fat cow and had 'em killed and strung up and sliced up and decided that so many folk would want to try his fare that he needed to insist on an enforceable turning over of the tables. So he took bookings from 6 til 8 and then later, so folk who decided to eat at the old timers' time of 6 would arrive and settle in, but have no time to visit Mrs Sprats' bar, cos they were meant to sit and order, eat up and get out, maybe out to the bar, maybe back to the old people's home.
Come people did, and the Sprats' reputation grew. The Sprats were known for their excellent cow and their high prices, and come people did.
Some people stuffed coins into their cigar boxes for years until they had saved enough for a category 9 fat swirl steal, and it seemed that all was well with the world.
Until that is, one night a group of feisty folk went for steaks but they also wanted to drink. Now this is Australia and Surfers Paradise after all, so that's not an uncommon combo. The waiter knew all about the anatomy of a cow but found taking a drinks order rather taxing, and so Mrs Sprats' bar staff could be seen pouring all the drinks and leaving them tidily on Mr Sprat's side of the bar to be collected. But they sat and sat. Eventually when the beer was flat and the chill gone from the sav blanc, someone would be reminded for the fourth or fifth time that thirst was a killer and so they'd trip off to Mr Sprats' side of the bar, look at the trays lined up there, GRAB THE SWIZZLE STICK LEFT THERE FOR JUST THIS PURPOSE, GIVE THE BEER A SWIZZLE (makes me want to make a giving head remark, but I won't ) AND TRY TO DELIVER THE DRINKS.
The poor girl was sprung. She apologised and said she'd try again, but one of the group, ready to keel over from dehydration said he'd take his bubbles or no, and while this discussion was happening a fleet of other folk from Mr Sprats' kitchen arrived with rather sad looking steaks and other stuff. The table had yet to be cleared from the extravagant provision of 2 tiny bread rolls and a sweat slick of sauce and even though the bottle of red to go with the cow had been delivered and unscrewed no clean glasses had been provided presumably because the girlie had said they needed to be asked for if required.
4 People stood in unison, seriously the Russian synchronised swimming team would have been proud. The cow deliverer was confused. He thought the problem was one of tardy timing in the kitchen, but then he was introduced to the chock-a-block table of uncleared plates and glasses and bits of bread crumbed detritus, and the girlie with the swizzled beer was still there and the troop of folk with the side orders straggled along and then the 4 thirsty people made a bee line for the door.
Oh sure there were apologies from Mr Sprat on the way out, but really he needs to take a leaf out of Mrs Spats' nursery rhyme, and get his shit together.
He needs to find staff who can cope with the hospitality industry, he needs to recognise that folk who want to eat cow, probably want to have a drink first, and just because they have booked for the old folk's sitting, doesn't mean that they will be happy with swizzled beer and the wrong wine and dirty glasses and a smear of sauce and complete chaos really, just cos all the attention in the place is directed towards Mrs Sprat's bar where the people waiting for the 8 pm sitting are standing around loudly downing as many drinks as they can possibly cos they have been there before and know that drinks are beyond Mr Sprat's capability.
Our 4 adventurers tumbled outta there and walked not even a hundred yards and found a delightful place where simultaneous food and drinks was not only possible but ably delivered and delicious it all was.
Mr and Mrs Sprat would do well to remember that their place is one of very many and that it's doubtful that they will be able to thrive on the largesse of tourists for ever. Those locals will never be back and they won't spare breath telling other locals of the disaster.