Here is a classic case of a shopkeeper doing all he can to keep the peace amid bumbling police, petty bureaucrats and one person complaining.
The customers are a good lot – Polish shiftworkers who come off work early and park up at a lay-by opposite Snutch News in Leicester. They buy a few cans of beer from Subhash Vrambhia and go back to the cars for a little unwinding and then go home.
One neighbour complained about car doors (although Subhash’s wife Rama, who sleeps in until 6am, can’t hear them).
A local CSO supposedly keeping an eye on things didn’t start until 9am. Then a second was appointed who did the 5am shift only because he wanted to get off early to see West Ham play (a friendly policeman told Subhash this). So Subhash got a Polish sign made up to put in the window, politely asking customers not to make any noise before 8am or after 8pm and to refrain from drinking outside the store.
Then a licensing officer shows up and makes veiled threats about a review. Subhash, who has an impeccable record, showed him the sign but this wasn’t good enough.
“Well, you do it then,” said Subhash. Eventually, they provided a sign headed with the police logo and in two languages. Subhash thought it should be in Polish first, followed by English, but I suggested the likes of Nigel Farage would have had a field day (“Look, they’re putting a foreign language in front of ours now!”).