One of my regular readers, themaninthemoon, asked me recently if I knew what a "gentleman's buffet" was. You can still occasionally see this legend engraved on the glass doors of some of our oldest pubs.
Well, it was room in which men could talk "freely", as women were barred. Not possible nowadays, of course, with all our equal opportunity legislation.
In effect, it was a room in which "man's talk", replete with the most colourful swearing, could be enjoyed.
Actually, I think it originated in pubs which catered for commercial travellers, who were renowned for their dirty stories and coarse sense of humour. Those of you who saw the T.V series Pennies from Heaven may remember scenes where the salesman Arthur and his friends met in the gentleman's buffet to swap jokes etc.
Bar managers used to make sure that only their fiercest, most experienced barmaids served in the gentleman's buffet, battleaxes who had heard it all before.
Got that, you f***ing c*nts?