Wednesday, 5 April 2017
It happens rarely these days, but occasionally some us go to pubs we've never been to before. Imagine the scene - it's Friday evening, and you're tired of the places you frequent regularly. But there's THAT pub you always pass but have never entered. Oh well. Why not?
So you go in. It's empty. Empty, but for several people parked right in front of the bar. Of course, you cannot see the drinks offer because they'really blocking the view. You shuffle up slowly and, after a minute, one person sees you and moves to the left. Great. At least now you can order something.
So, you have your drink. What now? You could sit in the unpopulated, cavernous wasteland that is the rest of the pub. But no. That would seem, well, standoffish. You park yourself at the end of the bar, hoping to look neither over-friendly nor snobbily distant.
You try to pick up the banter. It's mainly about some guy called Mike, who is presumably one of the regulars who for some reason is absent tonight. You can't quite pick up the nuances of the tales of what he was caught doing this week, but it sounds decidely unsavoury. Everyone else laughs anyway. Then the politics talk starts. All suitably ill-informed, but this is their pub so you keep quiet. Then someone remembers the football game is on and beseeches the barman to put it on the big screen. He does. Loudly. Soon the volume is matched by the customers shouting at the TV.
By now, you've nearly finished your drink. "Same again?" you're asked. You politely decline, explaining your bus is due in five minutes. And you leave, feeling a wave of relief as you walk out onto the pavement. Thank god, you say to yourself, that's over.
Then you go to your usual haunt, which somehow no longer seems quite as tedious as before. You order a drink, block the bar and talk complete bollocks that nobody but your fellow regular bar blockers will completely understand.
Because, after all, life is nothing if not the constant expression of hypocrisy.