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Trading insults for a free beer

A BAR in Spain is serving free beer and tapas to customers who insult its bartenders as a way to let off steam.

Casa Pocho in the beach resort town of Cullera near Valencia opened last week and says its promotional gimmick is working like a charm.

Polish-born co-owner Bernard Mariusz said the ribbing must be good-natured, not mean, and that the free booze and snacks go only to those who come up with truly original wisecracks.

"They can't call me an S.O.B., but they can call me jerk, idiot, clown, that kind of thing," Mariusz said. "This works, because even people in their 70s come to insult me."

Mariusz said he and business partner Michal Lotocki, also from Poland, came up with the idea to help people relax during hard economic times.

Rather than argue about money at home with their spouses, he suggests they stop by and take it out on him.

One good zinger came from a woman who told Mariusz his ears were so big they reminded her of a car with its doors wide open.

Another customer told Mariusz that he was so ugly he shouldn't comb his hair in front of the mirror so as not to break the glass.


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