He hit me and it felt like an excessive mark-up

On Thursday I bought a Coke in the Kilburn bastion of cool, The Luminaire. It cost me £3.50.

Being out in the sticks for so long, I don’t know what’s typical in the Smoke these days, so I just paid up. I didn’t want to look like some sort of straw-chewing yokel, or a Valleys Welshie whining about “Cardiff prices”. But I can safely say that (as tends to be the case when you know you’ve just been cheated) I felt like I’d been assaulted in some way. Well, technically rather than in the vernacular sense: I don’t want to suggest I felt physical pain. But it was like a social slight, a patronising push out of the way, and a kopped feel of my arse all at the same time.

It took me a while to recover my bonhomie (regular readers will be surprised I even possess some), during which time I internalized many a scathing remark about the venue, the pub industry, the uneven relationship between consumer and producer when all the rules are set by the producer, and bizarrely the band that came on shortly afterwards. The venue’s sins reflected—largely undeservedly—on the musicians, which in the usual course of affairs would be rather unfair. I must post a stern review on my blog about this, I decided, before cheering up and deciding that Trash Money probably weren’t worth the weight of words.

The drink, for the record, tasted faintly of stale washing-up, possibly explaining the actions of the bartender who ran a lot of water through it before pouring my drink: clearly not enough, my man.

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