Carling Black Label
I think I remember when Carling Black Label was first introduced to the widespread British beer-drinking public. There was an advert for Carling lager on television and my mother commented that that was my father’s latest favourite drink.
I was still underage, and I remember commenting that I couldn’t understand why people would want to drink pint after pint of beer just because they were thirsty.
She gave me a verbal pat on the head for my naivety, when my mother said, “There’s a good boy! I hope you remember that when you are older”.
Well, I do remember what was said, obviously, but adhering to it is often much more difficult.
Anyway, last month, I returned to Wales after fifteen years of travelling in Asia and walked into a bar. I ordered a pint of Black Label from the helpful young barmaid, but she looked back at me with a completely blank expression. Her manageress must have felt a vibe, because she was quick to ask if there was a problem, which there wasn’t really.
“This gentleman wants a pint of Black Label, but that’s whiskey, isn’t it?”.
“Lager, sir?” she asked, pointing out the relatively obscure black label on the pump. “People call it Carling, sir”, she informed me moving off, but repeating ‘Carling Black Label’ for her underling.
Change for Change’s Sake?
Or is it change just to justify a job title?
I have noticed so many changes in our medium-sized home town since I’ve been back – some of them completely pointless. Like renaming the Job Centre ‘Job Centre Plus’ even though they actually handle fewer tasks there now than they ever did before.
The Rowan Hill Hotel is another example. It used to be the most prestigious hotel in town. However, it has been renamed the Rowan Rooms. Now, it is a rather sad place for travelling reps and salespeople providing cheap run-down rooms for under-paid, over-worked mostly young people.
Not all changes are for the better, and money plays a big part it most decisions. It is just such a pity that our home town has been allowed to devolve into the very, very poor reflection of the great place it used to be to live in.
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Podcast: Carling Black Label