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A PUB regular has been barred from his favourite Dunfermline boozer – for indiscriminate wind breaking.
Management at the bar say Stewart Laidlaw “revels” in his bouts of flatulence and other punters have almost been sick after exposure to the foul smells.
Mr Laidlaw (35), who is furious at the ban by Thirsty Kirsty’s, is thought to be the first person in West Fife to be barred for breaking wind.
The James Street pub’s owner says the stench has become unbearable since Scotland’s smoking ban came in last year but suspects drinkers could have been breathing in the waft for years before without noticing it.
Former Woodmill High School pupil Mr Laidlaw, who lives in Edinburgh, admits he may have broken wind in the pub in the past but claims the ban by landlord John Thow is “petty”.
The Harvey Nichols stock assistant told the Press, “I went in and basically he turned round and said, ‘Stewart, that’s the last fart you do in this pub. Get out.’
“I didn’t even have a chance to draw breath. I just walked in and that’s all he said to me. I don’t know if he meant I’d done it before or just then. He didn’t let me ask.
“What I remember when I walked in was there was a guy playing pool and it was already stinking and everyone was laughing. It could have been anyone.
“I’ve probably done it in the past – when you’re drinking and having a laugh you don’t think about it – but that’s not the point. I must be the first person in Dunfermline to get banned from a pub for passing wind.
“I’m really angry about the way I’ve been treated. He’s making a mountain out of a mole hill.”
Touch-born Mr Laidlaw, who is registered disabled due to sight problems, partial paralysis and epilepsy, has been drinking in the pub for around seven years and often pops in after visiting his parents in Cowdenbeath.
And he says bad smells are nothing compared to the choking fumes in pubs before the smoking ban came in.
He added, “I use my old phrase, ‘This is revenge for you smokers’. I used to hate going into pubs when it was stinking of smoke.”
But Thirsty Kirsty’s owner Mr Thow hit back, saying the long-term flatulence was beyond a joke.
He said, “It is just disgusting. He revels in this and does it all the time and it’s absolutely foul, it would make you sick.
“Since the smoking ban he’s made a career out of this. He has been warned and asked politely to stop it on many occasions.
“We are a bus station pub and trying to keep new custom. The final straw was when an old gentleman came in and had his gin and tonic and the old guy was almost sick.
“Other people have dropped handbags, shall we say. But when everybody’s choking and I come out with the spray and say don’t do it again, they will appreciate that and stop it.
“His defence is, ‘It wasn’t all this when I had to put up with the smoking’. Everybody can pass wind but when you make a hobby of it it is going too far.
“He will clear the pub out usually and he thinks it is very funny. I don’t have to give him a reason for not serving him but I did, maybe thinking he would learn his lesson. But if he can’t see the error of his ways it’s a lost cause.
“I don’t want him back. I don’t need that behaviour. It has been detected for about a year [since the smoking ban], but it might have been going on for a lot longer than that.
“If we have to apologise to other customers for him, then that’s too much.”
Fife Licence Trade Association secretary John Barclay said, “The landlord always has the right to refuse someone and if he feels he has to use that, that’s his prerogative.
“You can’t just have one guy sitting there farting his day away and nobody else coming in.
“If this guy keeps coming and upsetting customers you have to address that.
“The smoking ban has raised a lot of issues. Some people are arriving in premises with serious cases of BO and you have to deal with that.
“Some landlords have said they have had to talk with people and say, ‘Look, you’re going to have to have a shower.”