Sunday, June 22, 2008

Tasmanias differences - a pub vs a bar

I turn 30 very shortly, which is no doubt a sad indictment of the fact that I've wasted 10 years on the Internet (although without a blog, oddly) chatting, doing secret work for Yahoo, and such like things. I should probably spend the next decade more productively, but I probably won't, in fact, no doubt in 2018 I'll be doing vlog posts bemoaning the fact that Jet Buckley hasn't come on as he should have for Collingwood, and that Ben Reid still can't kick the ball but somehow has just clocked up 200 games.

However what I have started thinking about is my (still being alive pending) retirement and my search for a local pub. Make no mistake, I can't stand old people, but when I become one, I think it's my civil duty to stroll about in slippers, get in peoples way in stores, and write angry letters to the Mercury. This is not something I will take lightly, I plan to use the declining years of my life perhaps more productively than I have my current lamentable so called career. When I get to about 55-60 years of age, I think I'll start a pub tour and try and establish a rapport with some of the young barmaids. Anyone who lets me call them love will get a point. Anyone who objects to my slippers, that's a point off. And make no mistake, it will be a search for a "pub", not a bar. The pub seems to be dying out the same way as real men, binge drinking and Josh Frasers career, so I might have to compromise and become an afternoon drinker, when only the real boozers are out and about, and go home at 9 when the kids come out. I will be cantakerous and moody at this point, and begrudge anyone who wants a drink and gets near my regular stool.

I have a strong initial candidate. The Black Buffalo in North Hobart is a traditional "pub", which is to differentiate it from a bar of course - no one in the Black Buffalo would be seen dead in a bar. A bar conjures up horrendous images for the pub goer - live music, maybe some live giveaways and raffles, theme nights and such nonsense. The Black Buffalo has about 10 regulars who sit at the bar all day and get served faster than any mere interloper. It's crucial that as an interloper, you respect this hierarchy - you can stand patiently in a space at the bar, but not interrupt the flow of regulars beer and betting. They come first. There's a TOTE next door, but the barkeeper puts the regulars bets on for them so they don't have to get up. It's also the kind of place you'd imagine casual racism and sexism is still allowed to flourish. I don't know if any barmaids actually work there, but I'd imagine they'd be judged wholly and solely on their looks, and maybe 5% on their sassy comebacks, which is fair enough. It is after all a pub, not some poncey wine bar.

My other option is to retire back to Penguin, my old home town. It's important in Penguin to learn two quick rules. Firstly, it's not your jukebox, and secondly, it's not your pool table. You can pick one song on the jukebox, but it must not be anything other than Khe Sanh or Thunderstruck. You can beat your friends at pool, but you can't play a regular, and if you are dragged into it, lose, and leave. To judge the kind of town Penguin is, once, when the local pub was flooded by a storm caused leak in the roof but the propiertor simply opened the back door and the front door and let the water run through the bar like a river out in the street. No one moved, no one got up, and beer was still served. A re-assuring slice of common sense from some logical heads. No doubt some OH&S people would TSK at such a resolution of the flooding issue but such people have no place in a pub - there's a bar down the road for them, with some hippies and Tim Rogers doing a tight hour.

Of course, all this is impending on my upcoming marriage to blue eye shadow girl - and whether she makes me do chores around the house. If we go out, it'll probably be to Sex and the City 17 - Bradshaws Revenge. Can't wait to bitch about her down the pub...

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