I have a no-nonsense, well organized office in my apartment that looks like a place where work gets done. It looks that way because nobody uses it. I think about it while I drink beer in my neighbourhood bar.
I am a barfly. Wherever I’ve lived, a bar has been my second home. The current pub is where I go when it’s too cold, where I hide when there’s lightning, and it’s where I fled after separating from my then-wife.
You see how the place gives off good vibrations.
Why this bar in particular? It fits my demanding criteria of being very, very close to my apartment. I enjoy its five-star adjacency ranking and its world-class proximity. If I’m ever writing Zagat reviews, my top rating will be NEARBY!
Truth is, if there were a laundromat closer with some detergent fumes and a vending machine, I’d hang there.
Not that the bar is devoid of charm. It’s one of those proudly middle-of-the-road places that describes everything on the menu as “our very own,” as if they have a cow out back they’re getting their burgers from.
Countless hours in this place have made me well-versed in barflyedness and, in the spirit of pubs everywhere, I offer the following unsolicited advice about the ins and outs. Because you remind me of me at that age.
Talk the talk: Remember that everybody at the bar worked harder than you did that day, and are so friggin’ tired and, oh, man, you don’t even understand. But it’s all cool, no biggie, they do it all the time.
When you join this conversation, because you worked harder than everyone else too, make sure to roll one of your shoulders and wince as you talk.
Tip well: Even if the service is terrible, if you’re a regular you have to tip 15 per cent. Because if you got bad service by accident, you don’t want to see the bad service you’ll get when they do it on purpose.
Spread your empties: Be sure to scatter your empty beer bottles around your table so anybody looking has the impression there’s a multi-person party going on, and if they look back later they’ll see the many GQ-quality men and buxom redheads who have only temporarily stepped away from the table. If anyone is around long enough to know it’s just you and Alexander Keith, well, how long have THEY been there?
Follow these tips and you’ll be the top tippler you can be. Remember: If you’re going to be mediocre, you should be the best at it. Cheers!