Not long after ordaining the fall of Mat Ruben the carnivorous grill house Meat Inc got back to me, and I thought it remiss of me not to continue the lore of this fictional PR odyssey and continue the pretense of Mat having quit. This also gave me an opportunity to introduce Mat’s replacement Brett, and play around with the concept of the clumsy staff handover, so we’ll see our latest sucker Kat “accidentally” CC’d into an internal email and also assumed to have much, much more knowledge of the situation than she actually does.
Tues, May 29, 8:14pm
Apologies about the delay in getting back to you!
We’d be more than happy to cater for Bradley, obviously depending on what kind of thing you’re after. We do have quite an open layout to our restaurant, but we do have tables which are more out of the way to the entrance towards the far end which could be suitable.
We do accommodate all our customers as best we can, so if we do have any bookings we’d be happy to put them in the central part of the restaurant as opposed to the far end. We do the same for those who just ask for a quieter spot.
The week commencing the 4th June shouldn’t be overly busy as it is just after the half-term period. However, please know weekends are always quite a busy time, from Friday night through to all day Sunday. Generally speaking, the quietest times during the week days are during the weekday mornings, and between 2:30pm and 5pm. It then proceeds to quieten again from 8pm.
During that week we do have a slight change in opening hours due to the power being cut off for maintenance. So on Wednesday 6th we will be opening from 10am (as opposed to 8:30am), and on the Thursday we will be closing from 1:30pm to 3pm.
If you need anymore information from me, please just let me know.
Weds, May 30, 12:00pm
Good afternoon Kat,
Thanks for your informative email, we have Bradley booked in to a private Thai bistro for the first half of shooting week but could possibly, provisionally book him in with you for Friday 8th, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th. You appreciate my concern about how busy Meat Inc can get, as I am responsible for ensuring Bradley can dine in peace without hassle from fans and paparazzi, but that said Bradley loves burgers so booking with yourselves for at least a couple of nights seems a no-brainer.
Without wanting to put you to too much trouble could you briefly describe the layout of the restaurant – not requisite but any accompanying photos/sketches would be helpful. Depending on the size and set-up of the seating we may have to doppelgang the booking (if you’re not familiar this is a term for a tactic used widely by PR companies for A-listers whereabouts we’ll book several tables, normally 4 or 5, with the real Bradley sat at one and the rest occupied by identically dressed impersonators, doubles, etc, so as to confuse and wrong-foot overeager fans and pushy paps).
Before penciling anything in I’ll need to know more about the layout please Kat as this will decide on whether it’s one table we book or, if we do doppelgang, 4 or 5. If we do decide to doppelgang I’ll have to talk you through the schedule as it can be a complex affair keeping track of the real Bradley!
Look forward to hearing from you, thanks for your patience and accommodation of this client.
Fri, June 1, 12:33pm
I’ve attached images of the restaurant, as well as a table plan. As you can see, it’s not massive, but we do have quite a few tables along the outside, and then smaller ones in the middle. Personally, I’d say table number 8 on the plan would be most out of the way, but I completely understand if you need those few tables around it.
As we are usually a stop off point for people we tend to fill up with bookings until the day or two beforehand, so currently we have plenty of space on the sheets which gives us a bit more flexibility to fit in more tables.
Let me know if you need anything further from me, as always I’m happy to help.
Fri, June 1, 3:37pm
Here’s the Meat Inc place I was thinking of booking Brad into whilst he’s shooting Venusian Moon next week in Bishop Norton. It’s not the most private but it’ll sort his burger fix. Kat the owner has attached pics and a plan, as you’ll see we’ll almost certainly need to doppelgang. Info’s in the drop folder but traditionally Brad’s doppelgangs have been Trent, Kelly, Phil Rodgam, The Spaniard, Geoff H and Chris Mailstone (palindrome paul’s little brother!!) as per availability.
I’d come up with a doppelgang schedule (ask Siobhan if you need help) and get it to Kat ASAP if I were you.
Leaving drinks at the hoof tonight you game?
Take it easy good sir
Fri, June 1, 4:49pm
Good afternoon Kat,
Thanks for sending across the photos and aerial plan. My name’s Brett and I’ll be taking over from Mat who is sadly leaving the company.
I understand Mat explained to you that due to the small size of the venue we’ll need to doppelgang to keep Bradley’s affairs private. We have 3 doppelgangs available over the Fri-Sun slot, for your records they are: Phillip Rodgam (sat table 24), Juan Garcia Casas (sat table 5) & Chris Mailstone-Luap (sat at the bar). The real Bradley will be sat at table 8. Here’s the itinerary for all 3 evenings:
20:00: Phillip arrives, sits at his table.
20:04: Phillip is served, orders drink.
20:08: Chris arrives, sits at bar, orders drink.
20:10: Bradley arrives, sits at table.
20:12: Chris leaves to go to bathroom.
20:13: Phillip walks to bar, takes Chris’ seat. Chris returns from bathroom and goes to table 24.
20:14: Bradley is served, orders drink. Removes hat.
20:17: Phillip leaves for bathroom, snatching up hat with him.
20:19: Chris (at Phillip’s table) orders food.
20:20: Phillip returns, leaves hat on Chris’ table, sits at bar.
20:23: Bradley leaves for bathroom, takes hat from Chris’ table as he passes.
20:27: Chris goes outside to smoke and greet fans. Phillip moves to Bradley’s table, passing Bradley as he returns from bathroom and taking hat from him. Bradley sits at Phillip’s table and eats food. Phillip, at Bradley’s table, orders food. Juan arrives, sits at table.
20:29: Juan is served, orders drink. Chris returns to bar.
20:32: Juan goes to bathroom, taking hat from Phillip. Bradley orders another drink.
20:39: Phillip moves to Juan’s seat. Food is delivered to Phillip’s table. Juan sits at Phillip’s table to eat. Chris orders bar snacks.
20:42: Chris receives bar snacks.
20:47: Bradley requests bill. Chris leaves at this point and draws main attention from fans and paps as he leaves. Phillip moves to take his place at the bar.
20:55: Juan goes outside to smoke, meeting any remaining fans. Phillip moves to Juan’s table (previously his table, where hat has been left). Bradley leaves through side exit.
21:01: Juan requests bill, pays and leaves.
21:22: Phillip leaves wearing hat.
Hopefully this all makes sense and ties in with what you had agreed with Mat previously? We won’t have any time to rehearse this with the proximity of the date so please ensure your staff know this schedule inside and out by Friday.
Any issues please let me know.
Mon, June 4, 12:32pm
I hope you’re well!
Thanks for getting that across to me, I appreciate that it can be a lot of effort to organise.
I have discussed this plan with my other duty managers, and we do feel as though it might not flow quite a smoothly as planned. My main concern is that we are a restaurant, the only people really manoeuvring around are our staff, so having people switch around would be quite easily noticed – especially as, for example, one person will be getting a hat from someone else on the way to the toilet, but will have to go away from the toilets to do so. (The toilets are located between the bar area and tables 30, a wall is there to create a corridor leading to them as well).
As well as this, we don’t actually seat people at the bar area, and we don’t do bar snacks. The bar area is essentially a counter for people to come to to be seated, pay their bill, order takeaway, etc. We don’t really function as a pub/bar would do. So having someone sitting there would not only be impractical, but also just draw more attention.
The thing as a whole is quite confusing, especially as we know how the layout of the restaurant works. I’m not entirely sure that routine is exactly something we’d be able to do as alongside all of that we do have to run a resaurant and ensure all customers are served in a good time. All the food is cooked fresh so we can’t guarantee that cooking times will fit completely in with the plan either.
I hope you can understand my concerns with this. Please know that we do not plan on telling anyone about Bradley being in the area, we genuinely just want people to have a nice, easy, tasty meal.
We do want to help as best we can, but we’re just not confident on how plausible the plan is. I know you understand how this works a lot better than I do, but I do know this restaurant in and out. We’d be happy to seat the 4 people separately and Brad in a more secluded area. I understand the purpose of having everybody switch about completely, but it doesn’t really work with the layout of the restaurant.
Please note, we do offer takeaway food, and we do also close at 8pm on Sundays.
I’m sorry for being a pain!
Tues, June 5, 1:35pm
Good afternoon Kat,
You’re not being a pain at all don’t worry! It sounds like Mat didn’t properly talk you through how doppelganging worked before making these arrangements, nor did he check it would work around the layout of the restaurant. He was let go from the company for making just such mistakes. No one went to his leaving drinks.
Not to worry Kat, we’ll look elsewhere for Bradley. Thanks for your time.
END OF CORRESPONDENCE
And so the Ruben saga draws to a close. I’m certainly not going to continue with the adventures of Brett whom, despite him being a fictitious concoction of my own mind, I instantly disliked. We’ll leave Meat Inc a respectable score; they did send over a floor plan to be fair, and even seriously deliberated the tangled doppelgang routine I devised (which would work if you analyse it closely, although Phillip Rodgam gets shafted throughout). 8/10.
In close, I think these a valuable series of experiments. The breadth of responses was genuinely surprising – some with obsequious fawning, some utterly unhelpful, some angry, most (if not all) confused. I did originally think stardom would act as a better lubricant on these stubborn restaurateurs, there were a lot more requests of Bradley’s that were turned down than I anticipated. I suppose that’s a good thing – he’s still a human being ultimately, and just because he’s been in American Sniper and has quite nice abs I suppose he shouldn’t necessarily be treated any better than us unfamous plebs.
It’s actually made me feel slightly better about the human condition as a whole, these chats I’ve had. To see patrons turning down opportunities to cancel Birthday parties or besmirch Bradley’s character in exchange for fame and publicity, during a zeitgeist where Hollywood stars basically rule the world, was unexpected and encouraging.
Thanks Mat Ruben, it’s been a fun ride. Together we’ve built religions and constructed new languages, and challenged the hosting skills of all four corners of our traditionally aloof island nation. Like all the fabricated characters I give birth to there comes a time to put you to sleep, and it’s your turn now Mat (and I guess you too Brett you twat).
No more emails. No more trolling. No more Bradley. Close your eyes now, Mat. This won’t hurt a bit.