Monday, February 06, 2006


An Inkling Of An Idea

Got given a pen today as I walked down the road. Looking at it, I realised that it was advertising a competition to set up a small business. There was a woman across the street hawking the competition in a megaphone. Apparently, near a university, it's the capitalists who need to holler at you. Anyway.

Me setting up a small business? Are they mad? I lack the one fundamental quality all enterpreneurs need. It's not intelligence. As of twenty years ago, the owner of the Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas couldn't read or write, yet was worth about $100 million. Not convinced? Think about Richard Branson - famously left school at sixteen - a brilliant businessman, phenominally wealthy, yet I don't suppose he can talk at length about Plato, or tell me why I should like 'Paradise Lost.'

No. What I lack is common sense. I'll give you an example. Until very recently, I believed that flavoured water existed because some earnest employee of Volvic or whoever had trawled the Earth's freshwater springs looking for naturally flavoured water. I used to wonder - sometimes at length - where the strawberry flavoured spring was. It simply never occured to me that it might be artificial flavours that made it taste of strawberries. Let me tell you, I was gutted when I realised.

Still, I'm game for a stab, so I came up with an idea for a business.

Smokin' Steves

Sooner or later, it will be completely forbidden to smoke in pubs. My idea ingeniously gets around this. My patio bars, 'Smokin' Steves', will be outdoor affairs, with no walls, though they may have a high canvas covering. Sort of like a marquee, if you will. When a patron enters, they will be given a coupon for a cheap carton of cigarettes - which they can exhange for a drink if they don't smoke - and will sit down. The beer and other drinks will be more expensive to make up for my loss leader, but then I should have a captive audience - all those who like a fag with a drink. They will also be ambient, with a lounge jazz band of my choosing, and a fountain to provide the smooth sound of running water. I'll make a bomb, and smokers will be happy.

Whaddya reckon?

Sounds like a decent idea. How long though before enough people start whining about it and the law changes to incorporate just about any place, indoor or not, where people congregate?

Or am I just getting carried away..........I hope so.
Fucking excellent idea! If you could open one in Glasgow on the 26th of next month (when our ban comes in) you'd be a billionaire by the end the year. Of course you'd need to spend a few million greasing the right palms to ensure 'Smokin Steves' is exempt from any future legislation but you'd still be so rich the government would be your bitch.
There's a great bar/pub place in St Petersburg where you pay a flat rate entry fee, get a glass and then have free access to the bar taps all night. I might open one up over here.

Me, encourage the binge culture? Never...
Yes, the key here is bribery. I aim to become a sort of British Jack Abramoff, but without the unintentionally hilarious name.

Just wait, soon you won't be able to move in Whitehall without bumping into one of my pork projects.
I'll come. You know you'd do well as a spiv.

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