Now, Gentle Reader (looks around furtively), I’d like to share something with you…

I do like a drink sometimes. Not in your weekly meeting, working through your steps with your sponsor territory, and definitely not in your one drink occasionally league, but I do.

And not only am I picky about what I drink (the only methylated spirit in the house goes into the burner for the fondue set), but I also have views on the type of establishment I like to drink in.

Wine bars. No. Theme bars (why are there Cuban and Hawaiian bars in Derby, for chrissake?). Definitely no.

Bars. Give me a good old-fashioned dive bar, with rock ‘n’ roll on the sound system, baskets of food you can stick your face in, and drinks glasses that don’t make you look like a total dickhead every time you take a hearty swig. Tons of pork scratchings.

Somewhere that poor refugees, suffering from the hurricane of Planet Chaos where, somewhere along the way, had slipped off its axis. A place where problems need to be debated and solved accordingly. The fact that a few beers may well be involved in such lengthy discourse is neither here nor there.

This is why good bars were invented. To make the world a slightly better place for the time you’re in there.

There are a lot of great bars in this world.  For me, it’s usually about four o’clock in the afternoon, before the evening crowd comes in.  The daytime guys sitting there, they know the bartender; maybe there’s a jukebox, maybe there isn’t. If not, there should be. The sun’s sort of getting low in the sky and coming in through the window, you’ve got the dust motes floating over the bar. It’s what I call that sort of golden Billy Joel (think Piano Man) drinking hour, strongly reminiscent of another era. There’s no mixologist behind the bar. If you were to order a drink with more than two components, you’d get the dirty look. Any requests for umbrellas and fruit (martini olives excepted, of course) would be highly inadvisable, as your ass would be grass.

I like old-school places where they bust your balls when you walk in the door. It’s a wonderful place, just a perfectly poured pint of your favourite tipple or a good honest shot from the top shelf, the way it should be. No music except rock ‘n’ roll, no bullshit, everything you want from a real pub. It’s an antidote to over-gelled, Ferrari-driving, name-wearing motherfuckers.

It’s the antidote to everything trendy, and it’s life, Jim. Just as we want to know it.

Meet you there later. I’ll keep a stool for you.


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