The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20180   Message #208919
Posted By: Áine
08-Apr-00 - 02:27 PM
Thread Name: Song Challenge! Part 21
Subject: SONG CHALLENGE! Part 21
Hello Challenge!rs -- We're back with another great song idea. This suggestion comes from our own Bert, and it's a hoot! Enjoy, and let's see some great submissions!

-- Áine

The Mother Of All Excuses -- A pub landlord has developed the perfect defence for the post-work tippler who needs an excuse for being late home - a phone booth which adds authentic sound effects to any drinker's excuse for being late home.

Colin Benham, who runs the Travellers Joy in Rayleigh, Essex, first built a traditional-style red kiosk by hand. He then added a selection of digitally recorded background noises, from a busy railway station to a bustling office and a noisy traffic jam.

Regulars now have the opportunity of ringing loved ones with a choice of excuses ranging from "the boss wants me to stay late at the office" to "you wouldn't believe the traffic I'm stuck in" . . . while Mr Benham pours the next round.

Mr Benham, who has no immediate plans to develop his invention, said yesterday: "It's the perfect answer to avoid those 'your dinner's in the dog' situations. I've got a CD with everything from traffic jam noise to the sound of a supermarket. It started off as an April Fool's joke but it has taken off like you wouldn't believe."

Drinkers simply request the bar staff to play a particular sound effect which is relayed through a speaker fixed inside the kiosk, and the rest is down to the caller's conscience. The landlady, Bernadette Williams, said there had been reports of the system being used for marginally more nefarious purposes, possibly involving bosses and secretaries.

She said: "There has been some talk of that kind of thing but overall we think it's a nice invention, and it's not just used by men. We built it ourselves because, being close to the railway station, we heard one or two people mention they had to leave because their dinner was ready when they really could have done with another pint.

"What happens is you get to unwind in the pub before you go home which puts you in a much better frame of mind, particularly if your partner thinks you've had an arduous time coming home. It makes for a much more harmonious evening."

The assistant manager, Tim Burchill, added: "Basically it gives you the perfect excuse to stay for that last pint, or five." Of course, too many drinks and the person on the other end of the line could be wondering what a train is doing in a supermarket . . .