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25th May 2024

‘I let a stranger sit at my table in a pub – what he did left me speechless’

Ryan Price

Alcohol duty frozen in mini-budget

Was the stranger in the wrong?

A man in his late twenties has divided opinion online after sharing a story about something that happened to him while sitting in a Wetherspoons.

Reddit user @grandad_dwarf posted about his bizarre experience in the popular r/CasualUK thread, and asked fellow users of the open forum what their opinion was about what happened to him.

The man, who describes himself as being in his late twenties and titled his post ‘Table Etiquette’, wrote: “Be me, casually hanging in Spoons for lunch. Packed out so an older gentleman, perhaps 30-40 years my senior asks if he can sit down too. I have no reason to deny as otherwise I’m a lone individual at a four top.”

He continued: “Cut forward about 10 minutes, we’re both minding our own business and he flags down two ladies who must be 65+ to sit down too, one next to me, the other opposite. None of this was relayed to me by the man asking to join me so I was taken aback to suddenly be surrounded by OAPs. I gave the guy a bit of a look and he brushed it off, the two ladies didn’t seem to question why a man in his late twenties was sitting there.

“Anyways, I figured I was the one who had to move despite being first. I was standing around a bit but found a new table now. Should I have said something? Was that extremely rude? I can’t help but feel I’ve been slighted since I was there first but I also appreciate they’re older and were a group. I don’t know. I’m going to finish my pint whilst you discuss.

“Edit: Thanks for the responses folks but feel free to keep them coming. At first glance it seems that this was slightly rude behaviour but, as some have pointed out, I’m in a Spoons. I am already over it, just needed some clarification that my initial irked response wasn’t unwarranted and the like. Stay casual, UK!”

(Reddit: r/CasualUK)

Commenters on the post were split on the issue. Some said that he shouldn’t expect much “table etiquette” since he was in a Wetherspoons, while others referred to the stranger’s actions as “table mugging”.

One person wrote: “You’ve been table mugged. I travel a lot and am often on my own in pubs and it makes you an easy target. It’s always awkward and it always ends up in me getting up and moving.”

Another user suggested the older man had a plan and executed it perfectly. They wrote: “That man had a plan to get himself and friends a table in that crowded pub….and it worked a treat.

“He played you. Just accept the defeat and learn from this for the future.”

Another person shared a similar story, which also happened to take place in a Wetherspoons.

They wrote: “Many years ago my wife and I had something similar happen in a Spoons that we couldn’t get our head around.

“We were meeting her Mum and Dad for a pint, but had arrived 20-30 minutes earlier than them – so just the 2 of us at the 4 person table. Two older women asked if they could sit at our table (the Spoons was rammed) and we said yes, but only for 20-30 minutes as we had people joining us shortly.”

They continued: “It was as if we’d just insulted their entire family and set fire to their house – the tirade of absolute nonsense they came out with (you can’t do that, how awful, young people think they’re entitled to do anything they want these days) was mental!

“We both just looked at each other and burst out laughing, they went to sit down, I said I don’t bloody think so after that – bugger off and find another table!

“Since then I’ve tried to avoid Spoons as much as possible – I’m older and grumpier now and my reaction wouldn’t be as polite as laughing.”

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