“Mine’s a pint Bert”.
“OK Fred, but only because I’m looking to you for some advice”.
“Thanks mate. Fire away!” he said taking a sip of foam. Another short measure.
“Well Fred, you know I keep a few chickens and sell my eggs down the market”, said Bert. Fred nodded.
Bert continued. “I was in here last night and, a while after you left, a bloke came over and asked me if I was the one who sold the eggs. Said he could put a good deal my way”.
“What sort of deal?”
“He said that if I joined his club I would be able to increase my sales of eggs because I could sell to his other members. Sounded fine at first, but there are conditions”.
“I guess there has to be something in it for him. Go on!”
“Well, first there’s the membership fee and it’s not small. I’d have to stop coming down here in the evening, so that’s the last pint I’ll be buying you!”
“That’s a serious disadvantage which I will have to consider Bert” said Fred with a twinkle in his eye”.
“That’s not all. For every £60 that his club members spend on my eggs I have to buy £100 of stuff from them”.
“I trust you sent him on his way”.
“There’s more. They will also tell me how to look after my chickens and they will pass laws on chicken management. I will be fined or go to jail if I don’t comply. And if I buy new chicken runs I have to go to him before I can buy them from Joe the Joiner next door”.
“And some of the members are suffering overcrowding because non-members have moved in to live on their farms. I have to take two every year as lodgers and support them indefinitely – I will also have to send money to their families back home.”
“Don’t you have any say in how this club is run?”
“He said I have a vote but there are 24 others so I don’t have any influence.”
“Have you done any research into this club Bert?”
“Well yes. They don’t look very kosher. They’ve been around for a long time but their accounts have failed audit every year for the last 20 years.”
“Bert, my old pal, take my advice and steer well clear. Only a raving idiot would want to belong to a club like that!”