Monday, 26 September 2016

Guest Blog Post - Kenny Garfunkel of FRAPE

Ever wondered what it's like to travel the country in search of pubs while carrying only a copy of the current Good Beer Guide and enough pies to last the train journey?  Well, wonder no more.  Today, we present the latest travelogue from Kenny Garfunkel of FRAPE (Fellowship of Real Ale Pub Exploration), a man who is on an unceasing quest to be barred from every GBG pub in the country.  We at Seeing The Lizards are hosting his latest blog post due to a "misunderstanding" with his usual web provider.

Filths.  Rev the engine! Watch them scatter!

402. Trump & Puncheon, Marton.

After throwing the GBG off the stairs and deciding to go wherever the open page landed, chance decreed I had to go to Blackpool today.  The train journey was uneventful, apart from it being populated by unwashed scrotes on the way to a Stag Do.  I narrowly escaped a chinning when my steak and kidney pie gravy splashed them just before I got off at Blackpool South. Luckily they were on the way to the Pleasure Beach. Phew.

As the pub was two miles from the station, I took a taxi there.  It happened to be chucking out time at the schools so the roads were clogged with crossings of filthy children.  I told the driver just to drive through them, and make sure he was about 40mph.  Then the kids would simply fly over the car - no sense in adding a broken windscreen to deaths after all.  He just ignored me, which is the kind of service you get these days.

Arriving at 3:20pm, I found the pub near deserted, with only a couple of old codgers biding their time before death no doubt.  Thankfully, they were serving Fuzzy Duck Cunning Stunt.  When I see this on I always take the opportunity to amuse the barmaid by re-spoonerising it. Sadly this time I got it wrong and ordered "Cunning Stunt".

The beer was ok, though after 20 minutes the pub was invaded by chavs who were probably relatives of the train scrotes (everybody's related in Blackpool I hear).  Seeing them, I was worried that I may not manage to get barred here due to comparatively good behaviour.  Desperate measures required.  I strode back to the bar, and asked the (somewhat rough around the edges barmaid) if she'd take them round the back.  I was told I was no longer welcome.  Score!

Heavy traffic in rural North Yorks.

967. Sheep & Discovery, Ripon

Though I've already done most of Yorkshire, this one is new entry in the GBG.  As Ripon doesn't have a railway station, I bribed my father to drive me there with promises of artisan craft lime and soda.  He moaned all the way along the back roads of North Yorks.  Potholes, sheep shit, poncy villages,  I was worried I'd have to fork out more that his usual soft drink in compensation.

We finally arrived there at around 1pm, and found it closed despite it saying in the Guide it opened at 12.  What shall we do, I asked Dad.  "I'm not bloody driving back all the way through that again.  You'll bloody wait till it opens."  The doors swung open around 1:30pm, thankfully. Guide "misprint" apparently.

Diving into the pub as we were bloody thirsty after the journey and long wait, we were confronted by rows of tables and cutlery wrapped in napkins.  The GBG had lied to me, and had sent me to a dining pub (probably to make up some kind of branch quota).  The greeter proffered menus and asked "Will sirs be dining today?".  I motioned to speak but Dad stopped me.  "A pint an a half of Ilkley Pale would be fine and we'll be on our way after."

A managed to make my way to the one stool they had near the toilets, and started ranting (quietly, I thought) about pubs being taken over by the filths and their grandparents who are ruining them for the rest of us with their demands for things like food, entertainment and comfortable seating.  We were asked to leave after two minutes.  "I can't take you anywhere." said Dad on the long journey home.

Somebody else got this pint after I departed

1435. The Hay Baler, Twyford

Knowing I had large sections of Hampshire to tick off, I boarded the Waterloo to Portsmouth train at the frankly stupid time of 10am.  As this was a South West train that had luckily not been cancelled, I arrived at Shawford only 45 mins late.  Tramping across the pavement-free and mud splattered one lane road towards Twyford, I did wonder what they hell I was doing. But, I reasoned, that Good Beer Guide isn't going to tick itself off.

I arrived at the pub sweaty and exhausted. So thirsty was I, I managed to drink a whole pint of Ringwood Boondoggle in one go.  "We don't see that in these parts much now" said the Landlord.  I told him this was how we drank in the North.  Much easier with the sparkler to knock all the bubbles up there.  He gave me an unwarranted strange look.  Surely he must have served odder people in his time,

I sat down to observe and inwardly mock the local characters.  Two fortysomethings were at a nearby table, swearing away during tellings of unlikely tales about being propositioned by gay men in Winchester.  "I told him to fucking take his fucking hand of my fucking knee before I made his fucking wrist even more limp that it already fucking was."  Suddenly, the Troggs Tapes made a lot more sense to me.  A posh chintz dressed woman  was at the bar downing glass after glass of Prosecco and how absolutely lovely Royal Ascot was this year.  Horsey types are right at home there I thought.

So entertaining was this, I went back to order another pint.  While waiting to be served, a young man next to me ordered a Blue Moon.  "Would you like an orange with it?" asked the barman.  I commented that the spirit of the late local MP Stephen Milligan was alive and well, and is it served with a bin liner and electrical flex too?  "That's in very poor taste, sir." he said "I think you'd better leave."


So, all in all, a very successful week in FRAPE land.  Join me next time when I'll be going round North Wales and attempting not to make untoward comments about incest and sheep.

See you soon,



  1. Wow, strangely reminiscent of BRAPA, only a bit more tame...

  2. Something about this blog entry which really speaks to me.

    I just can't put my finger on it (as the north wales farmer presumably said to his sheep and son the following week).

  3. I've been trying to rip off Simon for months now and I can't get anywhere near that.

    1. Takes about 45 minutes. Mainly typing.

    2. It's an odd thing but, while some may think I write fluently, it does tend to involve a bit of hard work and multiple revision.