J.D. Wetherspoon has announced the closure of the King’s Arms, a historic Victorian hostelry close to Lingfield Park racecourse in Sussex. According to regional director Trevor Lawrence, a series of recent misfortunes, including incursions by neutrons demanding to be served at no charge and long-dead playwrights suing after they were Bard, have made the pub economically unviable.
‘It seemed like every time there was a race meeting, a horse would break loose and go into the King’s Arms,’ said Lawrence. ‘Of course, being horses, they would normally just stand there looking vacant until the jockey retrieved them. However, if the landlord gave in to temptation and asked them ‘Why the long face?’ all hell would break loose.’
In one incident last autumn, the horse replied that it was ‘So I can get it that much further up your wife’s minge, you unfunny div’, leading to a knife fight. More recently, another horse gloomily said ‘Best Mate died’ and when someone at the bar said that the former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner had died in 2004 and he really ought to have got over it by now, the horse went berserk and destroyed the public lounge.
Landlord Eric Watts could not be reached for comment, as he is under sedation at home like his five predecessors. It is understood that he suffered a nervous breakdown after having to deal with wave upon wave of Englishmen, Irishmen and Scotsmen coming into the pub together and expecting him to feed them lines.
‘Sadly, being that pub it meant that no-one could just come in, sit down, order a drink and go home afterwards,’ Lawrence said. ‘It’s a shame, because there were plenty of well-behaved regulars, like that cloud of helium for example. Even when he was told the pub wouldn’t serve noble gases, he didn’t react … OK, so you obviously didn’t study chemistry, but trust me, that one’s very, very funny.’