It’s A Bar, Not A Bank. Stop The Nonsense
To say that British society is built on tradition is a gross understatement. We are positively obsessed with it. I find it all sickening at the best of times: heaven forfend we close a street outside a school to stop children being run over, but did someone say Royal Wedding? Well then, get those cones out and the emergency chairs, we’re having a street party, like in the good old days! Some traditions can be quite fun, though: cheese rolling, welly throwing and bog snorkelling spring to mind.
But amongst all the fetishisation of aristocracy and the slightly silly village fete activities there is one incredibly important pillar of community and society that has traversed thousands of years. The Pub. A place for communities to come together, for a hearty meal, a good dance and for world-changing ideas to be dreamt up at the table and (probably) swiftly forgotten by the next morning. Headlines have come and gone proclaiming the latest existential threat to this bastion of civilisation: the drink drive limit, off licences, letting children in, the indoor smoking ban, Tim Martin, lockdowns aplenty and despite some of these threats being more credible than others, it has tragically been reported that around two pubs are closing their doors every day. However, there is a plague threatening the very fabric of what pubs we still have left…
For the greater good of society we took a break from pints, pies and pickled eggs and pretty much
everything else during the pandemic and we learnt to keep our distance from one another, queuing a few
paces apart and often in long snaking lines around supermarkets and such, and this was indeed necessary in the pub at one point, but it must stop now. Bars are long (or wide, depending on your perspective) and normally staffed by a handful of people who have the freedom to roam from point to point (or pint to pint, if you will) to reach the taps, bottles and glasses they need. What on God’s green Earth, then, possesses people to stand in a single file queue? Bar etiquette is an art form in itself, get your elbows out, get in, eye contact with the bartender, give a nod or a knowing smile, not too enthusiastic though, maybe a little laugh and joke with your fellow thirsty revellers to show how casual and fun you are (even though really they’re your sworn enemy, all that stands between you and your pint and pork scratchings): it is all a crucial part of the pub experience, and we all have a duty not to let it die, keep the good tradition alive.
For heaven’s sake, please, stop queuing.