As diligent readers will be aware, I bear responsibilities for a certain Oslo nightspot. During a particularly busy night, a man in his early thirties came in from the cold and the snow through our portal, to order a multitude of drinks. But something did not escape his notice in those first few moments inside.
He directed a complaint to me about the “smell”, which he intended to endure, but of which he wished me to be aware. A vigorous investigation ensued. One of our ‘operatives’ was placed outside in the night and asked to enter the building and smell what genuinely could be smelled. “Do you know what it is?” she reported back to me, with a smile. “It’s the smell of people.” Yes, we all know what it is like. People have a tendency to wrap up in winter coats and scarves and hats and gloves when leaving their homes, to ‘brace’ the so-called ‘elements’. When they reach their destination (public drinking spot) they are once more inside, heating up in their warm clothes in a warm and friendly room. But… you heard it here first. The stench of humanity is no longer acceptable in public places.
The same night, someone broke a glass, but thought it in their best interest to keep it secret and deposit the broken pieces into another glass, where they remained with the innocent appearance of crushed ice, until the washing-up procedure, when the sink became carpeted with broken glass. Marvellous.
Also, Irish readers will be familiar with the member of the community known as ‘The Chancer’. You will be happy to read that this is also an occupation undertaken by at least one citizen of Norway. At the hour of the clock I affectionately refer to as kicking-out time, when the stench of humanity is expelled from the public house into the snowy night, I apprehended a young man casually drinking the remains of a beer from one of our pint glasses. “This is not yours, I took this from another bar,” he protested, not even bothering to conceal the logo of our brewer prominently displayed on the glass. Being merely a chancer, he did not keep up the lie when I took the thing out of his hand and went inside with it. His mother must surely be proud of him.