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Raise your glasses to art of coarse drinking.

Known for liking the odd pint or three, I have been sent an interesting little piece on the art of 'beer troubleshooting'.

Dealing with every possible symptom, analysing where it has all gone wrong and advising on remedial action. It goes like this:

SYMPTOM: Feet cold and wet.

FAULT: Glass being held at incorrect angle.

ACTION: Rotate glass so that open end points toward ceiling.

SYMPTOM: Feet warm and wet.

FAULT: Improper bladder control.

ACTION: Stand next to nearest dog, complain about house training.

SYMPTOM: Beer unusually pale and tasteless.

FAULT: Glass empty.

ACTION: Get someone to buy you another beer.

SYMPTOM: Opposite wall covered with fluorescent lights.

FAULT: You have fallen over backwards.

ACTION: Have yourself lashed to bar.

SYMPTOM: Mouth contains cigarette butts.

FAULT: You have fallen forward.

ACTION: See above.

SYMPTOM: Beer tasteless, front of your shirt is wet.

FAULT: Mouth not open, or glass applied to wrong part of face.

ACTION: Retire to rest room, practice in mirror.

SYMPTOM: Floor blurred.

FAULT: You are looking through bottom of empty glass.

ACTION: Get someone to buy you another beer.

SYMPTOM: Floor moving.

FAULT: You are being carried out.

ACTION: Find out if you are being taken to another bar.

SYMPTOM: Room seems unusually dark.

FAULT: Bar has closed.

ACTION: Confirm home address with bartender.

SYMPTOM: Everyone looks up to you and smiles.

FAULT: You are dancing on the table.

ACTION: Fall on somebody cushy-looking.

SYMPTOM: Beer is crystal-clear.

FAULT: It's water. Somebody is trying to sober you up.

ACTION: Pour water over him.

SYMPTOM: Hands hurt, nose hurts, mind unusually clear.

FAULT: You have been in a fight.

ACTION: Apologise to everyone you see, just in case it was them.

SYMPTOM: Your singing sounds distorted.

FAULT: The beer is too weak.

ACTION: Have more beer until your voice improves.

SYMPTOM: Don't remember the words to the song.

FAULT: Beer is just right.

ACTION: Play air guitar.

And I am most indebted to a well-known Australian not far removed from Ed Doolan for the following little story which is rather in the same fatuous vein.

It goes like this.

A managed care company president was given a ticket for a performance of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony. Since she was unable to go, she gave the ticket to one of her managed care reviewers. The next morning she asked him how he had enjoyed it.

Instead of a few observations about the symphony in general, she was handed a formal memorandum which read as follows:

1. For a considerable period, the oboe players had nothing to do. Their number should be reduced and their work spread over the whole orchestra, avoiding peaks of inactivity.

2. All 12 violins were playing identical notes. This seems an unneeded duplication, and the staff of this section should be cut. If a volume of sound is really required, this could be accomplished with the use of

an amplifier.

3. Much effort was involved in playing the 16th note. This appears to be an excessive refinement, and it is recommended that all notes be rounded up to the nearest 8th note. If this were done it would be possible to use para-professionals instead of experienced musicians.

4. The symphony had two movements. If Mr Schubert didn't achieve his musical goals by the end of the first movement, he should have stopped there. The second movement is unnecessary and should be cut.

In light of the above, one can only conclude that had Mr Schubert given attention to these matters, he probably would have had time to finish the symphony.

As an arts Neanderthal, it all seems quite plausible to me.

Finally, I hear that the Birmingham Marketing Partnership's Sam Warnock has given up smoking.

Well, sort of - but definitely a jolly good effort.

Been going five weeks and our Sam is looking hugely fit on his new health kick.

Actually, it was nothing to do with health. The Scottish skinflint decided the last Budget increase was the final straw.

Somebody give him a fag, for goodness sake.
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Author:Bright, John
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 6, 2000
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