In previous blogs I have covered the importance of rounds and where to sit as well has how to queue at a bar. With this blog I hope to add a few finishing touches which will allow you to enter public houses up and down the country without being chased out with pitchforks. (Disclaimer, I can’t guarantee the pitchfork thing in Norfolk, I think it’s just what they do.)
Bit of a wide ranging topic which could easily be summed up with the words “Don’t be a dick.” Another way of putting it is; nobody needs to know you are there.
I worked in the centre of Newcastle for nearly ten years and popped out for a pub lunch every Friday (always sending one person to the bar with the order). Every week, without fail, we would encounter at least one Stag Do.
I’ve been on many a Stag Do, both home and abroad and had a great time on nearly every one. There is a simple formula. The more organisation, the less fun it will be and the more annoying you will be to other pub goers.
Choose a date and a destination and let everyone know. Suggest a hotel, flights or book a mini bus if you need to but it doesn’t need anything more. It really is that simple and anyone who can’t follow those instructions shouldn’t be allowed out of the house alone.
You need to find a pub as a base where everyone can meet, ideally a large one like a Wetherspoons then take it from there. Things start to fall apart when there is a ‘zany’ best man who believes there is a need for ‘hilarious’ t shirts or worse still, drinking games. If you can’t go into a pub and enjoy yourself without playing games, then you are a toddler in search of a soft play area.
I’ve seen grown men with pain etched across their faces as they have to shout out a catchphrase and down a drink for breaking some obscure rule dreamed up by a joyless fuckwit. I’ve seen regular pub goers gripping their chairs with white knuckles to stop themselves battering the twentieth person to shout out a Keith Lemon catchphrase in half an hour.
Even worse, I have seen a person employed to tell a Stag Do when to enjoy themselves by blowing a whistle and getting them to perform some task or game. Imagine having to employ someone to tell you how to have fun. Sit back and think about that for a minute, you have really failed at life haven’t you?
These sort of events only end one way. The stag is vomiting and in bed by teatime, most decent folk have sloped off to enjoy themselves elsewhere and the best man is stuck with the Billy No Mates of the group, desperately trying to eke some fun out of their weekend before getting filled in by some locals in a kebab shop.
This advice covers all sorts of lads’ weekends away apart from rugby trips. Rugby players see drinking piss out of a sock as a perfectly acceptable initiation ceremony and are therefore beyond help. They should just be put on some sort of register.
You would think a grumpy bugger like myself would be against having children in pubs but I’m not, as long as some simple rules are followed.
Only last week I was in a pub with my five year old niece and we had a great time without bothering others. We were in there with the owner of the pub and the brewery, so I doubt anybody would object if they wanted to but that’s not the point.
Choose your pub carefully, some are more child friendly than others. If I go into a pub with a giant ball pool I can hardly complain if there are loads of kids there. On the other hand, if I go into a local pub and you are stood at the bar getting pissed whilst your children are running riot, I’m going to trip them up so they go flying into a table full of pints and get you barred.
One Xmas Day I kicked a child’s Nintendo Gameboy across a pub. This wasn’t the deliberate act of The Grinch but an accident caused by a parent ignoring their child and leaving them to play outside of a toilet door. If you can’t spend time with your child on Xmas Day because you need a pint then you shouldn’t have kids.
The simple rule is that a child never leaves the table unless you go with them. The only exception to this is if they are in a giant beer garden with a play area where they can run off steam. If you can’t abide by this rule then you need to decide which is more important, your child or the pub.
There is a saying in writing circles that nobody cares about your novel as much as you do. The same applies to dogs. If you insist on taking it into a pub, I have no desire to interact with it. If I wanted to, I would go and drink in a kennel. I don’t care if he is ‘just playing’ or ‘just wants to see what you are eating’. If he doesn’t get his nose out of my goulash I will just be putting my boot up it’s arse.
There is a stone cold fact that dog owners refuse to accept, your dog smells. You may wash it every week, imagine if you were covered in hair and had been rolling about in clarts every day before getting a wash. That’s what your dog is like, keep it off the furniture.
What to order
I’ll keep this one brief and just make it what not to order in a pub.
This concludes my guide to pub etiquette, I hope it has been of use. I realise that there are many topics I haven’t covered but I could write a book on it. Maybe I will one day.
If there are any other life skills you need help with, please let me know and I will do my best to enlighten you.