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Oi, you spilled my pint!

(30 Posts)
Gizmo Fri 03-Jun-05 11:25:43

Or: mumsnetter curious about social norms.

Here’s a little story for the court of mumsnet. Let me say right at the top that it’s over and done now and I don’t feel bad about the way I handled it, but I’m very interested in finding out if my perception of this little story is different from the norm.

So a couple of weeks ago I’m at a local beer festival with some friends. This is quite a big but well organised event held outdoors in a local park which is generally very mellow and well mannered. I have drunk my pint (of cider! no wonder I had to leave Yorkshire!) gone to get another half (wild living here) and I’m wandering around outside looking for my friends. People are sitting/standing around all over the grass in groups, fairly well spread about and I can’t see my friends.

So I’m bumbling around in my short-sighted way, peering at people and dismissing them, and I hear a terrible shriek:

‘oh no, my pint, it took me 45 minutes to get that and you’ve just knocked it over!’ A slightly toasted young lady is shrieking at me, it appears. Closer investigation reveals that the pile of discarded plates that I just walked past (a good 8 feet away from the young lady) did in fact hold a pint glass, now on its side.

I was a bit distracted, still not entirely concentrating on her problem and I think I muttered something (which was meant to be apologetic) like: ‘oh trauma, sorry’. Then I wandered off. And she threw the rest of the beer over me.

So, my question is, in essence, if you buy a pint of beer and then leave it sitting in the middle of a field in a beer festival do other people have a duty of care to keep looking at their feet and making sure they don’t knock your beer over? If so, I’m going to have to change my behaviour at festivals!

PS, I'll tell you what I did if you tell me what you would have done

SoupDragon Fri 03-Jun-05 11:28:31

please tell me you threw your cider over her.

suzywong Fri 03-Jun-05 11:28:33

I would have said a more colourful version of your phrase and done exactly the same thing

Janh Fri 03-Jun-05 11:28:40

She threw it over you???

Hm. Would have been tempting to buy her another and throw it over her as she reached for it but I happen to know that that is technically assault and I am a coward anyway!

darlingbud Fri 03-Jun-05 11:29:11

if it was as busy as you say then what was it doing on the floor anyway?

Gizmo Fri 03-Jun-05 11:30:08

Hmmm, I'm liking the sound of these responses.

Come on someone, tell me I should have been watching my feet!

Janh Fri 03-Jun-05 11:30:11

Sorry, didn't answer the question - no, we don't all have to look out for other people's abandoned drinks!

dinosaur Fri 03-Jun-05 11:30:16

Totally would depend what mood I was in. If I was in an up-for-it mood she'd have got a mouthful of abuse and a clip round the lughole. If I was in a down sort of mood I'd probably have burst into tears and run away!

tarantula Fri 03-Jun-05 11:32:35

I think Id ahve looked at her like she was stark staring mad and said something similar to you. What a wierd girl. Did she really expect people to see her pint there?

PS. Id have freaked if Id had beer thrown at me and prob chucked mine back over her and then regretted the waste

Rhubarb Fri 03-Jun-05 11:32:49

I'd have slapped her! And if her beer was so precious to her, why did she waste it in throwing it over you? If she leaves her beer unattended then it's tough titty!

Gizmo Fri 03-Jun-05 11:32:49

Blimey, you lot are fast. Dinosaur, let's assume you are in an up for it sort of mood: you've already have a pint of cider, remember (not to mention the half pint you have consumed 'testing' which cider you're going to have )

dinosaur Fri 03-Jun-05 11:33:43

Well then, definitely a mouthful of abuse in which the words "cow" and "silly" would have featured prominently...

Gizmo Fri 03-Jun-05 11:35:07

Hooray, hooray, I think I need to organise a Mumsnet Beer Festival.

All beer to be served in sippy cups...

dinosaur Fri 03-Jun-05 11:37:34

Come on then Gizmo - what did you do???

Tell tell tell!!!

handlemecarefully Fri 03-Jun-05 11:38:55

she was a drunk and obnoxious little twonk. How did you stop yourself from decking her?

tarantula Fri 03-Jun-05 11:40:00

Now thats a brillaint idea Gizmo. In fact reckon there might be a market out there for adult sippy cups PMSL at the thougth of a beer festival with sippy cups

Gizmo Fri 03-Jun-05 11:40:49

Anyway, in answer to everyone's questions, I turned around and stalked back up to her. I think she probably didn't mean to hit me with her beer because she was looking well worried.

There followed an impeccable display of middle class playground fight: 'you didn't even say sorry' 'well I don't feel obliged to look out for your b*dy drink if you leave it 8 feet away from you in a pile of plates' 'but you didn't even say sorry' 'well, I'm very sorry - about this' - as I pour my cider over her.

Then I walk off, a little wetter and a little prouder.

Fortunately the cider (despite intensive tasting) wasn't actually that good, so it was a very good use of it

Marina Fri 03-Jun-05 11:41:36

FABULOUS idea to serve beer and all other alcoholic drinks in sippies!
Gizmo, as a connoisseur of proper cider I am hoping you did not waste a drop of this delicious drink by pouring it over this silly woman...

Marina Fri 03-Jun-05 11:42:10

Chuh, cross-posted. Bad cider well-deployed

Gizmo Fri 03-Jun-05 11:46:25

Thank you ladies, you have put my mind at rest.

I don't mind standing up for myself, but I was slightly worried that I had assaulted an innocent young woman who had an entirely legitimate complaint about my behaviour.

But as it turns out, according to the court of mumsnet, she was a drunken obnoxious little twonk who had it coming to her...

Nightynight Fri 03-Jun-05 11:57:19

nope Gizmo you did right - hopefully she'll look after her pint and not be rude to strangers next time.

Gizmo Fri 03-Jun-05 12:00:42

I doubt it Nightynight.

Sad thing was, she reminded me of myself when I was a student: she was obviously being a bit of a ladette, trying to impress the guys she was with, but didn't really know what to do when push came to shove.

I still haven't learned, really....

compo Fri 03-Jun-05 12:00:59

oh dear, looks like I'm in the minority here but here goes.... I think I would have apologised even if I didn't think it was my fault. Saying "oh trauma, sorry" sounds a bit sarcastic to me.

Gizmo Fri 03-Jun-05 12:03:01

Yes, compo, you're right, and thinking about it I'm sure that's how it came over. Probably because I wasn't feeling particularly apologetic as I didn't really see how it could be my fault.

Nightynight Fri 03-Jun-05 12:07:23


I'm a natural apologizer in these sort of situations, and the person is almost never gracious about it in my experience! (one or two nasty road accident situations spring to mind, where I rushed in with an apology, when it wasn't really my fault, and the other person rushed in with nasty accusations.)
So now, I think it's better not to apologise unless you're really sure it was your fault!

And at a beer fest, surely everyone's beer is their own responsibility! I certainly wouldn't leave mine lying around where some friendly drunk could knock it over (sorry Gizmo!)

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