When Melissa Kite penned “A short guide to the country for townies” for the deeply subversive Guardian the other day, telling “horses don't need road tax and there is no poo fairy”, I doubt that she could have imagined the clash of country and town that took place at a McDonald’s in Whitefield, north of Manchester, recently, with consequences that were, shall we say, memorable.
A woman on horseback presented herself at the drive-thru window, which does not sound problematic, but she was refused service. Perhaps Micky Ds in the UK is run by yet more of those townies that clearly exasperate Ms Kite. So the woman, clearly still peckish, rode her trusty steed round to the front of the restaurant, dismounted, and found there was nowhere to park the horse.
So she led it into the restaurant, where the novelty of the surroundings and the excitement led to the horse, as it were, evacuating its bowels in short order, and soon the spotlessly clean floor was literally covered in hot steaming horseshit. This allegedly caused distress to customers, who nevertheless provided sufficient photos of the offending pile for the subsequent BBC report.
Then the Police were called, and reported that: “The sight and smell of this caused obvious distress and upset to customers trying to eat, as well as staff members ... Officers arrived at the location and the woman was issued [with] a fixed penalty notice for causing alarm and distress to other customers and staff”. The rozzers described the horse’s actions as “doing his business”.
So there you are: I had no idea that there was a fixed penalty provision for letting your horse crap all over the floor in a McDonald’s. But the thought enters that, health and safety excuses notwithstanding, it might have been better for all concerned to just serve the woman on horseback when she turned up at the drive-thru window, and accept that there are forms of personal transport other than cars.
Meanwhile, after the Lord Mayor’s Parade and all that. Whoever was on cleaning duty that afternoon would not have been lovin’ it.