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The Engineer

New Bar Manager

A new bar manager at a country inn found two of his elderly regulars waiting on the doorstep at opening time. “Good morning,” they said, ordering a pint of beer. But as they stood at the bar, their faces fell. “Where’s the snuff?” they asked. “Snuff?” queried the bar manager.

They said: “Your predecessor always used to leave snuff on the bar in a big blue saucer for his most important customers. And that’s us, because we’re here every lunchtime, 365 days a year,” “Well, it’s the first I’ve heard of it,” explained the bar manager by way of apology, “but rest assured, there will be snuff on the bar for you tomorrow lunchtime. We always look after our customers.”

The manager was so busy settling into his new post and getting to know the staff and regulars that he completely forgot about the snuff until he saw the two old men slowly walking up the lane the following lunchtime. He hurriedly put the big blue saucer on the bar and searched in the back room for the snuff. He rummaged through every cupboard in the place, but to no avail. Then he remembered that surplus stock was sometimes kept in an old building in the yard. So he looked there, too, but still had no luck.

On his way back across the yard, he spotted a dried up piece of dog poop in his path. In frustration, he kicked out at it and it crumbled into dozens of tiny pieces as it splattered against the wall. This gave him an idea. He dashed back into the pub, grabbed the blue saucer and, using a piece of paper towel, he picked up the remains of the poop and crumbled it into the saucer. He then went back into the pub and put the saucer on the bar just as his two old regulars entered.

“Morning,” said one of the men, eyeing the saucer on the bar. “Glad to see you found some snuff.” “I said I would,” said the bar manager, quietly keeping his fingers crossed as the old man helped himself to a large portion. The man sniffed intently and said to the manager: “Can you smell dog shit?” “No,” mumbled the manager unconvincingly.

Then the second man, who had been hanging up his coat, wandered over and took a pinch from the saucer. “There’s a smell of dog shit around here!” he exclaimed. Again the manager mumbled that he couldn’t smell anything. Just then, a third elderly man entered. “Bill,” the first man called, “come over here!” Bill strolled over.

“Can you smell dog shit?” asked the first man. “Because I can and Bert can, but the bar manager can’t.”

Bill sniffed the air deeply, twice. “Can’t smell a thing,” he said. “But wait a minute.” He then took two big pinches of the “snuff” – one in each nostril – from the saucer on the bar, and sniffed again. “Ah, I can smell dog shit now, right enough,” he said. “This must be good snuff – it really clears your nose.”


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