I have reached the age where everything I know is mostly uncorroborated fragments overheard in pubs and parties and occasionally picked up from voices on the radio. I talk with great authority until I realise I have no authority. Pub banter is often a game of bluff. If you pepper your conversation with words and phrases like ‘blindsided, VAT tariff, micro breweries, fixed penalty notice,’ you can remain unchallenged for years. There are things I will never understand. Now I know I will never look up the word hermeneutics again or ask a barman. Or visit the reference library.
Pubs are a place for outlandish views that seem quite reasonable after five pints of Dark Star. Do we really share 95 % of our DNA with spinach? Did the old baldie driving the Harley in a moment of menopausal madness really bed Madonna and her twin sister when she popped into the rock disco in Acton? Is there even a rock disco in Acton? Here is a list of those ideas that haunt the snug of The Old Fart’s Head in Hammersmith, my very own glossary of drunken ideas.
- The barmaid really fancies you. She’s clocked the Penguin Classic under your arm and lights up when you buy a round. She even comes over to your table to see if you want another whisky with your Boondoggle. You’ve got it going on. So what if she’s twenty years younger and you’re unhappily married– that’s what the great unrequited love stories are all about. She’s Australian with a pierced navel, her accent and hesitation is charming. You wonder when it’s her night off. Will that coincide with your wife working nights to help pay off your credit card debts. You might take her for a drink. One of those nice pubs on the river, not like this place — dying on its arse.