I went to a pub last night.
A friend [yes- I do have a few friends] suggested going for a pint, which is of course an Irish euphemism for a bellyful.
Now due to domestic circumstances I have been somewhat remiss in the pint drinking area, having taken to whiskey as my tipple of choice, as I couldn’t be bothered with setting up a cellar full of Guinness kegs and all that goes with it. Whiskey is easier.
Now I was somewhat trepidatious about pubbing on Paddy’s Day night as well I remember the days of old where it was one of those nights where you have to fight your way through the hoard of Great Unwashed just to get to the counter to place an order. It was a night where you went early just in the hopes of getting somewhere to sit before the throng arrived.
So we arrived the Friend’s hostelry of choice, I gritted my teeth and opened the door. I was of course greeted with a wave of noise as I expected. However the noise was just piped music blaring away, several wide screen televisions with about half a dozen punters yelling to make themselves heard over the racket. Where were the crowds? This was Paddy’s Day for fucks sake!
Naturally is was a Smoker Hater pub so we headed out back where they has a little seating area. It was cold but at least the noise from inside was somewhat muffled.
When it came to my round I went back in and realised the noise level had increased considerably, which is more than can be said about the number of patrons. There were now about eight or ten people looking somewhat bemused and staring at the flashing television screens that adorned every spot in the lounge. The increase in noise level was apparently the night’s entertainment.
There was a bloke in the corner playing a guitar. That would have been fine but he had a bass drum which he thumped in time to his singing, and to make matters worse he had an amplification system which was apparently turned up to peak volume. His repertoire was somewhat eclectic, ranging from Irish patriot ballads to Monkee’s songs and everything in between.
The patronage at this stage had retreated to the furthest corner from the noise but they still had that glazed expression of one who is not enjoying one’s self.
We left at around midnight. The entertainment had fucked off, probably to somewhere quiet, and there were now about three punters at the counter who were at least pissed enough to ignore their surroundings.
Where the fuck have people gone? Where are the heaving throngs? What the fuck happened to the age old tradition of getting hammered out of your skull on the National Day?
Naturally I blame the smoking ban. There was only one other smoker in the entire place who nipped out back for a couple of frantic drags. Smokers just aren’t welcome any more.
There is also the small matter of price. For the price of a litre of good whiskey I would get a mere seven pints.
You get a lot more bang for your buck with whiskey.