An open letter to anybody from the provincial...
...backwater, hick, redneck, towns of Omagh, Enniskillen, Coleraine, Newry, Kilrea, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Armagh, Maghera, Strabane, Porta-fucking-down. Bollocks, any where outside of Belfast including Glengormley (shudder). You get the point and you know who you are.
Dear cow botherers/potato pickers/sibling fiddlers,
When visiting a restaurant in Bell-faast, as you like to pronounce it, please adhere to the following guidelines. They will make your dining experience and my life oh so much better.
1. Please arrive on time. Being a half hour late isn't cool and no amount of country colloquialisms and stupid jokes makes up for being late. I know you are trying to save a fiver and are looking for some free parking, don't be so tight, or at least allow for this before you leave.
2. If you don't see it on the menu don't ask for it. I don't care if Billy Bob's on the Main (only) Street in Maghera serves a great pie 'n' chips, we don't. Get over it.
3. Shhhhhhhh! You aren't out in the fields now, stop shouting.
4. It's quality not quantity that counts. We don't have a farm attached. We didn't marry the local farmers daughter, or our own sister. We don't know the lambs by name. This means we have to pay more for our supplies than your local Orange hall/GAA social club. Having 3 stone of food on your plate isn't the sign of a good meal. If you want that sort of food phone us in advance and we shall put a trough out for you.
5. The prices are there on the menu, if you are having trouble reading them let me know and I will read them out for you. The prices ARE set in stone and aren't suggestions. This isn't your local market and haggling isn't allowed. When I present you with the bill don't be coming over all "Oh my God, that's so expensive" and all that nonsense. Knock it off, you drive an SUV, rent out 15 houses around the university, own half of Tyrone, and get thousands and thousands of pounds from the EU for nowt. You can well afford the bill.
6. If I bust my hump getting you extra "pertties" and putting up with your whinging about the price of a pint in Bell- faaaaaaaast I expect something in return. If I cant fold it, it ain't a tip. Coinage is just an insult. Think on, I know your name and phone number and if you piss me off I can assure you that you won't be dining here again.
I write this not to insult you or put you off from enjoying your big day out in the city, but to help you, help me, help you. If all that is too much to remember, just recite this all the way up the M1, "EAT, PAY, TIP, LEAVE." All together now, EAT, PAY, TIP LEAVE, EAT PAY TIP LEAVE....
Signed on behalf of the waiting/bar staff of Bel-faaaaaaaaaaaast.