Monday, July 31, 2006

Old Misery Guts

They're few and far between now, our visits to pubs.

There was a time when I'd enjoy being in these joyless, characterless shitholes. I'd enjoy meeting up with friends, enjoy a creamy headed pint of Guinness or five, enjoy the conversation, the catching up, the odd laugh.

And I'd also enjoy the goodbyes at 11.30 and the see you soons.

That was when friends were local.

Now, apart from the fact that beer is too belchy and voluminous for me, because friends aren't local, a night out is once in a blue moon and is followed by after hours drinks in front of the telly or stereo. And here I'm struggling.

I keep going because I always drink until the night peters out. So I'm drinking lager at 2.30 in the morning, outstaying my welcome, fed up with myself, fed up with other people, knowing I'm going to get four hours sleep, wanting my own comfortable bed 160 miles away, two hours ago. Wanting a belly nicely warmed with red wine rather than full to bursting with gassy beer.

I'm just not a social animal. I'm a good listener, yes. If you've got a story or ten to tell me, I'll listen and maybe even remember some of them the next day. You just won't get much out of me. The more I drink, the less able I am to tell my own stories. My vocabulary shrinks. I stop talking and carry on listening.

So when this carries on after midnight, I want my daddy to ring on the bell and take me home in his car. But my daddy's dead and he wouldn't be able to take me home if he was alive because if he was alive he'd be more pissed than me.

And he would've been drinking alone.


  1. I found that pubs lost their appeal when I stopped smoking. Yeah, and none of my friends are local, either. What this really means is that I stopped making friends around the time that I stopped smoking. Or something.

  2. I think I have always been fundamentally anti-social. I'd go to parties and head straight for the bookshelf. Blogging is perfect for people like me. One gets the illusion of communication without the messy entanglements. Dick.

  3. Rob - It used to be every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday. Then it was every Friday and Saturday. Then every Saturday. Now once every three months. And that feels like too much. No wonder I'm losing what friends I had. I think I'd rather pop round for a cup of tea but it's a bloody long way to go for a cup of tea.

    Dick - At parties I'd just stand still and wait for people to come to me. They never did. Which was for the best for everybody.

  4. I know what you mean about pubs. Even if you're going to a dive of a boozer you still have "get ready" as it were and booze is loads cheaper from the offie.

    I don't mind parties (I go for the kitchen myself) but the one I can't stand (and is making me feel funny as I type this) is large gatherings. For example a birthday meal in Pizza Express or something. *shudder*

  5. Big Weddings. No.

    We occasionally go to a local pub, just the two of us. I don't miss smoking either. Sharon's a much more social animal than me and likes all that noise and stuff. I like to go to pubs on my own and read the paper or a book and not have to talk to anyone.

  6. I enjoy the company of people who don't really want to be in other peoples' company. Because we all understand that it's okay if there are long pauses in the conversation. And we understand that not everyone is "on" all the time. And that if one or more of us is quiet that evening, there's not necessarily something wrong with them.

  7. mj, fancy not going out for a pint?

  8. Anybody fancy a virtual beer?

    My round.

  9. Next round's on me.

    *raises glass*

    Richard: I'll drink to that.

  10. A 'Good listener' is hard to find. That's why we blog. I used to be in the pub every single night of my life. Then I realised I was listening to bores, talking rubbish and being too scared to leave first.
    New Years eve is the worst time. I just long for an early night to avoid all the sociable drunks.

  11. Anyone know where the toilet is in here?

  12. Btw, instead of dredging this one up from a couple of weeks back I'll do it here: we had the British Acoustic Festival just down the road last weekend. Apparently Sandi Thom was originally booked to appear but my step-daughter says that she pulled out because she's now had a number 1 and got a bit big for it.

    Here's a few of the folk off the running order:

    Steve Harley, Paul Jones and the Blues Band, The Stranglers, Glenn Tilbrook, The Animals,Dennis Lacorriere from Dr Hook, Hayseed Dixie, Ezio, Chumbawumba, Elkie Brooks, Mike Peters, Roddy Radiation and Pauline Black. How many did she sell?

  13. Probably not many if it was reduced rates for OAPs.

    She's known as Sandi THORN on this blog, Richard (it's the only way I keep my stats up).

  14. Bloody hell, some of those people haven't sold more than a dozen records for twenty five, thirty years. How do they keep going? Still, keeps 'em out of trouble I suppose ...

  15. I'm thinking it's probably not the SAME Animals it used to be. At least one of them's dead, and another lives in California.

    Mine's a small JD, on its own please (no ice); and a glass of water on the side. I find that does my digestion no end of good.

  16. Pint of cooking lager for me please...