British pub keeps patrons at arm’s length with electric fence

Illustration for article titled British pub keeps patrons at arm’s length with electric fence
Screenshot: Reuters

Over the past few months, Americans have demonstrated the difficulty of maintaining social distancing protocols, and that’s while sober. Once alcohol gets involved things get even worse, since it’s impossible to wear a mask while doing shots or making out with a stranger in a utility closet. In recent weeks the English have also seemingly thrown caution to the wind, to the point that a rural pub keeper has come up with an exciting new way to keep customers in line: electric fencing.

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“People are like sheep. Sheep keep away, people keep away,” said Star Inn proprietor Jonny McFadden in an interview with Reuters.

The tiny tavern, which McFadden claims is “the first and last rural pub in Cornwall,” needed to be outfitted with some kind of safety perimeter in the bar area, but McFadden quickly realized that ropes become meaningless once a person has had a pint or five. Electric fences, though? The majority of drunk people are able to respect the awesome powers of electricity.

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“As long as there’s a warning sign on an electric fence and you are warned about it, it’s totally legal, McFadden said.

Normally the fence isn’t turned on, but local residents have grown up with a healthy fear of electric fences, and instinct has successfully kept them at a safe distance from the bar’s staff. Could something like this help save us Americans from ourselves? If scientific data can’t convince people to take the pandemic seriously, then perhaps getting electrocuted will.

Allison Robicelli is The Takeout staff writer, a former professional chef, author of three books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Questions about recipes/need cooking advice? Tweet @Robicellis.

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DISCUSSION

Dr Emilio Lizardo

This would never work in America. Too many lawyers.