I was one of the party at the beer festival last week. Championing perry, cider, porter and pickled garlic. But Earls Court is a big place, and the literal treking from Scotland to the South West had taken its toll on our ickle feet. Ten of us descended on the seating area, where there were no seats free. But we’ve been in pubs before, we have certain guiles and ruses to rustle up some sort of seating.

None of them worked. In a beer festival even strategic farting makes no odds.

Problem was, there were plenty of free seats in reality. But as we scurried from table to table we discovered that they were “taken”. Not by visible people of course. By the masses of invisible men who take up seats in pubs. They were being saved for people who had gone to the bar.

I can understand this I suppose. Whilst the “three-second rule” which was in operation at my college might seem a bit harsh, it is probably the only adequate way of keeping turnover busy. Clearly embarrassed by the “I’m saving it for a friend” line, especially with Chair Raiders like us about, people on local tables move to more advanced chair protecting manoeuvres. Hiding a chair under the table (SPOTTED) and sitting on stacked chairs of two or three.

It got to about five. I snapped. So I wandered over the the party of stacked chair sitters and asked politely if one could be released. Just one, and we would return it if his mate came back. I appealed to his spirit as a fellow man, to the idea of social collectivism, toying with the novel idea of beer karma and natural justice. He just pooh-poohed me, saying he had earned the right to hog chairs due to arriving early, and thus able to bag furniture for his friends turning up at seven. I countered ideas of selfishness versus a Utopian society. I particular I resorted to Bentham, Kant, Moore and the Utilitarian ideal of a perfect beer festival. He scoffed in return at my high falutin’ ideas in a plummy voice destined for the House Of Lords.

Then Rick came over to help. I though perhaps he may weigh in with a scientific argument, regarding our relative entropic states, or appeal to the mans better nature by via the weight of approbation. Instead he tried a different tack: and called him a cunt.

He was right you know. So I did it too. Soon we were asking others in the vicinity if they thought that someone in his position sitting on three chairs was not just a cunt but a Champion Cataclysmic King Kong Cunts Cunt of the Year. Passersby did tend to agree. Indeed so did his mate. So much so that he gave up his spare seats.

On the way back chair karma came to us, the righteous, and two more chairs became free. But the moral of the tale is, on some occasion, reason does not work and one can only resort to base insult to get a result. But we got a result. What a cunt.