As this is the first installment in a series of pieces I will be presenting for your consumption, I feel it compulsory to clarify my intent. Be forewarned, as my electronic musings may not appeal the faint of heart or, to the legion of the humourless amongst you. What you will discover here is open discourse dedicated to the celebration and criticism of our odd modern world. In this tight corner of the digital realm you shall find an honest examination of all manner of contemporary debauchery, politeness, transparency, love, absurdity and satire, told in the spirit of buoyancy and truth.
Having said that, I would like you to consider my first sharpened stick, honed to a point for your reading pleasure : Patrons who sit down at tables in taverns, public houses or cultured drinking establishments of any repute are, for the most part, dyed-in-the-wool assholes.
Why is this, you may ask?
Well, firstly I should point out that I am not speaking to the thirty dollar appetizer crowd here; or “foodies” as they proudly deign to identify themselves. Not here. Not in the least. I am speaking to those that understand or have a passion to learn about the fine art of the dirty tavern or dive bar. For the record, foodies are a far more complex and elite class of social asshole that will bear the brunt of my words at a later date. At this time I am, in particular, addressing those individuals who do not understand or participate in proper bar etiquette. This is a gang of device addicted interlopers, largely comprised of poseurs and frauds. They are banal, ill-mannered heathens, who are more interested in the free WI-fi password rather than the myriad of human endeavour unfolding around them. This is the same well-heeled gentry that are likewise disinterested in what is being poured, or that which is being poured over, by the truly dedicated patron’s who choose bar side seating. If you are by chance reading this in a decent watering hole, then there may be one of these individuals just a few feet away from you now. They will be sitting alone, shiny device in hand, patiently awaiting some unfortunate soul to engage them in hopes of finding them interesting. Do not pass go, dear reader. They are not interesting. Never are. Never have been.
There are many reasons to avoid the dreaded table service and it’s disciples, but the chief reason is quite simple : The bar is where the bartender and their trusty tools reside.
Speaking of the tools crucial to the bartenders trade : Please do not order a ridiculous, hard to concoct drink at the bar. Those debutant drinks are for the low, table trolls. Leave the embarrassment to them. You are much better than that.
To wit, I have compiled a handy-dandy list of drinks that you can order from the bar throughout your foray into this exciting and bold new world. The list is a follows :
Beer – Draught or Bottled. The Quart is preferred. Nothing too fancy here, rookie.
Wine – House Red or House White only. (see above)
Alcohol – Bar Rail choices only. Limit mix to Tonic, Ginger Ale, Coke, Club Soda or 7-UP. And, I cannot stress this point enough…no fruit based drinks! Too advanced and far too sweet. You’re in for the long haul, right?
Shots – As you see fit. Nothing blue in colour and nothing with milk as its fundamental base. Safety tip here : Beware the Boiler Maker and / or copious shots of Jameson`s, as it will always cut your stay short, fast.
Now then, by admitting the truth as to why you are there; i.e. to get inebriated, you will find that there is a veritable Pandora’s Box of new vistas and experiences that await you. You are confidently there to drink and you can feel free to do so, heartily. Once you have passed this first philosophical hurdle, take a big wet sip of your beverage of choice and buckle up for the ride. The joy of sharing a common bond is just around the corner.
You will soon be surprised to find that your bartender knows the final score of your beloved team’s sporting event. Or, at the very least, they will entertain this idea and share your interest in knowing such important information. He or she will definitely know who the local good eggs and the bad eggs are, so if you conduct yourself in the appropriate manner, you too shall learn this. If you are dead serious about your commitment to the bar you may even hear a dangerous or risqué joke from another patron or from the barkeep themselves! Order another drink. Please do not tell any of your own jokes yet. You are quite safe here, but you are new to these climbs. Be patient. All of the things you have been afraid to say or hear are welcomed here. All in good time.
Now, cozy up and get settled in next to a complete stranger at your new bar. Order another tasty drink and soon you will find that this so-called stranger is someone who understands you inherently, without having ever shared a word with you or traded even a glance. There are no strangers at this bar and there
is no shame in your desire to escape into this. Embrace your choices. Own them. Once you do, you will find yourself awash with self-respect and a renewed sense of personal freedom. Lap it up! Again, you are safe here, but keep those pretty eyes wide open. This is not the place for any shame, not just yet. By bellying up to the bar; or to the wood as it is oft called, you have drawn a line in the sand, a line reserved for the honest at heart, as you now know, tables are for tourists.
Your fellow bar leaners know who they are and above all, they know why they are there. They are all manner of human being you will find when you live your life just outside the norm. They are the drunks, the deviants and the free speakers. They are silent, the incoherent, the melancholic and the verbose. They are the liberals, the hippies and the conservatives. They are the prudes and the pragmatists. They are music lovers and lovers alike. They are sad, sometimes happy, or often both at once! They are the wounded who seek brown bottled healing. In this moment you are with them and they are with you. All beautiful losers united by your universal admiration of truth, expression and self-awareness. This is your place, your bar, and your time.
Now tipsy reader, this is where you must take heed and tread lightly down the path for it is a treacherous and forked road. Do not make habit of my rousing endorsement. These trips into the real world must be regarded as reward and not as privilege. Speaking from personal experience, everything I have lauded here can quickly go south in a very short period of time. Your world outside the bar can be turned on its head if you do not proceed with caution. Your bar is a carnival of delight, but you still need to know when to get off the ride. In more direct terms : “Sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes the bar eats you.” – CLARE
Best of luck!