I have a couple of good friends called Des who between them help to make my life much more enjoyable than might otherwise be the case.
Des, for the uninitiated, is the Designated Driver.
The good friend who forgoes an alcoholic drink so he, or in all my Des’ case, she can safely drive everyone home at the end of the night.
For a family birthday and for another family get-together we have recently been to two different restaurants for splendid food.
On the first occasion the soft drinks were charged at a reasonable rate, but the second one actually managed to charge more for a pint of lime and lemonade than it did for a pint of lager.
That’s right, a pint of the self-proclaimed “best lager in the world ... probably” cost an expected £3.20. The price was listed on the drinks menu and seemed about right for the surroundings.
Not listed, however, was the price of the lime and lemonade and when the bill came we found we had been charged a jaw-dropping £3.50 for it.
That’s right, £3.50 for a splash of lime cordial topped up with lemonade from a dispenser.
How can that be right or fair to anyone’s way of thinking?
The company I was in on that occasion was not the sort to query such things and just stumped up the money.
But to may way of thinking this was nothing other than twilight robbery.
As regular readers of this column will by now appreciate, I am quite partial to a pint or two of real ale.
And while I may not agree with everything t the Campaign for Real Ale does, I do know they have got something right when it comes to Des.
The last three beer festivals I have attended have provided free, that’s right free, non-alcoholic drinks for Des.
I personally cannot see the fun in attending a beer festival and drinking anything other than beer.
But if someone else’s Des is ready and willing to drive, a few glasses of pop is surely some sort of a reward.
And that is a lead others should follow rather than treat soft drinks as some sort of a “parking fine”.