Friday 20 November 2015

What is a Pub?

Happy times. Happy times. Yes, happy times

You go to the pub. Why do you go?

A pub is many things. In Law, it's a place licenced to serve alcoholic beverages to those over 18. But if you look around you, you'll see something else.

At the end of the bar is the 63-year-old on disability. He trundles down here on his mobility scooter, even though you've seen him walk to the toilet perfectly ably. He orders three pints, one after the other, but is otherwise silent. When he leaves, the barman says "Oh, thank God he's gone."

In the middle of the bar are two middle-aged men. They each read their paper. One the local rag, one the Daily Mail. Every so often one will say "How about that game on Saturday, then?" and the other will grunt. After a suitable pause of twenty minutes, the other will say "What abous that ISIS, then?", and the original one will grunt in reply.

At the end of the bar is a man drinking pint after pint of Lager. He talks about his wife often, all the more so because he avoids her wherever possible. You get the impression he will only ever be at home and sober with the threat of counselling sessions at Relate. You resolve never to get married

And then there's you. You're here by choice, and you're listening to this.  And you're drinking more than anyone else.

So, why do you go? Well, to meet people, obviously.


  1. I assume this was prompted by JamesB's comment on Twitter.

    To be fair to the mobility scooter guy, many older people have conditions such as congestive heart failure which mean they can walk short distances, but anything beyond 50 yards and they're gasping for breath. In his latter years, my father suffered from that, and got a disabled badge for his car. But some people, on seeing him get out of it, would assume he wasn't disabled.

    On the wider point, I like being amongst a mixture of people in the pub, but that doesn't necessarily mean I want to talk to them. One of the great features of (most) pubs is that nobody will question why you are there and, if you want to be left alone, other customers will respect that.

  2. Too close to the truth Matthew, particularly about volume.

    I'm happy to chat to anyone about anything in a pub but like my own company. There's something about observing life's rich pageant over a beer, but empty pubs or pubs with one type of customer are always a let down. Guess that's the appeal of Spoons to me.

  3. What's it to you how far anyone may or may not be able to walk?
    Sort your own stall out - The insufferable wanker, liked by no-one who, rather than address (or even acknowledge) his own obnoxious & defective personality, instead tries to justify the myriad ways he falls short of adequacy by declaring himself "on the autistic spectrum" as though that somehow obligates others to accommodate him. It doesn't by the way.

    Merry christmas.

    1. Hmm. I had no idea enough people read my stuff to get trolled.

    2. It's not a barm, it's a muffin y'skinnycuntchya.

      Soz M.Lawrenson though - You're usually pretty funny but casting aspersions/making snidey insinuations about whether disabled people may be swinging the lead isn't where it's at, cat. At all. Even when done in jest or as a throwaway remark, I can be relied upon to singularly fail to see the funny side.

      Props for not deleting though.

  4. 4 walls, a roof and an overpriced bar. That's a pub.

  5. Surely one of the key roles of the pub is to be a haven for social misfits.