New research has established that the spate of traditional British pubs closing down has nothing to do with the smoking ban or even the economic downturn. Instead, pub landlords are leaving the profession in droves because they are no longer willing to be the straight man in other peoples’ jokes.
Former publican Eric Burgess explained ‘I was fed up with having to tell Shakespeare he was Bard and asking horses why the long face.’
Mr Burgess also complained of racial tensions in his pub caused by trios of Englishmen, Irishmen and Scotsmen walking in. ‘If I asked them if it was some kind of joke, they’d get offended and if I didn’t ask, they’d look disappointed. I just couldn’t win.’