I have previously posted on the topic of Discotheques, link here, but it dawned on me the other day that although I mentioned proper pubs in Dealing with Discotheques, I was yet to post on the topic of Proper Pubs. So here for your delectation is: The Guide to Your Life: Dealing with a Proper Pub.
Imagine if you will, a quiet Sunday afternoon in the country. The hills are rolling, the stream trickles, the local teams are quietly appreciating a thorough bowling of two good overs. The children play, care free in the fields, a string quartet plays softly in the background and the women-folk chat about women’s things; dresses, kittens, AutoTrader Magazine, and the like. You decide to take a break from polishing the Jag with your manly arms; and with your manly beard pointed toward the heavens you cry “To the Pub” (taking care to pronounce the ‘b’ to its fullest extent). It is only a short distance to the Horse and Hare, but by gum is it an enjoyable walk!
Upon arrival you take a moment to admire the majesty of the grounds within which the pub sits. Wild animals frolic all around; men with flat caps and pipes aflame fill the outside seating areas because of smoking regulations; and you hear the dimly muffled clinking of skittles from the skittle alley within the pub. You take a deep, fulfilling and refreshing lungful of thick, musky pipe smoke and enter the pub. Beams of sunlight, angelic figures and harps crash together in a symphonic harmony of crescendos as you break the seal of the door. The beauty of the sound touches your very soul. You take a moment to compose yourself.
Having consumed all of its goodness, you expel the pipe smoke from your lungs and you cross the threshold. You walk the short distance from the door to the bar, you glance at the Tap Shields, for appearances sake as you already know what you want, and with all distinguished manliness of the proper chap you are you turn the barman and say “a pint of your finest, most locally brewed bitter, sir.” To which he replies “an excellent choice, sir, the manliest of all the manly ales.”
Of course you could, at this point, order the Guest Ale, to which the barman would reply “certainly sir, you are clearly a man of impeccable taste.” Furthermore, you could order a whisky, and if that were the case, then you would order a Scotch, double, straight, no ice. If you must order ice, then no more than one cube, anymore will dilute the fine liquor and ruin its taste. Also note that nothing under 10 years, although preferably 15, is acceptable, and preferable from one of the outlying islands, such as Skye. Generally speaking, avoid Bourbon, unless you plan to mix it.
The barman places down a warm and frothing pint of ale on the bar and with steely, manly determination you raise the glass and cry, “hear, hear!” On hearing this, every other decent chap in the pub will reply with either “hear, hear!”, “Cheers!” or by clapping, all are acceptable. You lower the ale and take a manly gulp, caring not that it smells like farts, for this is manly ale that only the manliest of manly men drink. To drink of the manly ale is to drink of the very elixir of the most manly of all the manly facets, Beard. Just one sip of the manly ale is enough to foster the growth of Beard, and after eight or nine pints, Beard will practically burst forth before your very eyes.
After you have finished relishing your first mouthful of fine, manly ale, you take a moment to survey your surroundings. You turn from the bar and immediately in front of you are some decent looking chaps. They are crowded around a small, circular wooden table, talking loudly about manly things; farming, engines, wild flowers, and the like. To your right is the skittle alley, two older chaps, veterans perhaps, from a long gone war, are playing; a small crowd has gathered. To your left, a young man, clearly out of his depth, his first proper pub, perhaps? “Likely frequents those horrible Discotheques,” you postulate. You consider for a moment your own first visit to a proper pub, and decide to lay down the by-laws and the rules of etiquette.
To be furthered. . .