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568.26mL of Best Bitter, Please


I used to work in a pub. My principle role was waiting for the Irish barman to sing, “Time please,” at which point I would warble cowboy tunes while harvesting empty pints. Emptied the joint instantly. Mike Smith, the publican, once told me that I saved him 15 minutes of sleep every night, and that it added up.

British pubs are now virtually timeless places, of course, which means there’s more opportunity for lamenting the blandness of a life surrounded by the North Sea on one side and Belgium on the other. But nothing could prepare a bitter drinker for the peanut-buttering effect on the brain of this EU-sponsored pub quiz. It’s intended to double-gin up support for Brussels, but one suspects the Pub Association must be behind the scheme, since the answers to questions such as “How many staff are employed by the European Commission?” would drive any self-respecting Briton to drink, if only to forget.

Not everything the EU touches turns to guano, however. Asking this question aloud, for example, might be enough to do a job that once required a full dose of “Git along little dogies”:

What is the English equivalent to these onomatopoeic slogans, and what product are they used to market? Spanish: Pim, Pum, Pam! German: Knisper! Knasper! Knusper! Swedish: Riks! Raks! Poks! Dutch: Pif! Paf! Pof!


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