Pub Crawling & Other Pastimes

Got an invitation a while back for a 12 Pubs of Christmas Crawl. While I appreciated the thought, my mind instantly started calculating the locations of a dozen locally-owned coffee shops that I’d prefer, along with the conversation that goes along with drink number whatever. While I think I’ve aged out of the 12 Pubs Crawl, it doesn’t mean that I don’t stop in for an occasional pint or more.

I was sitting at the bar in a nearby pub one night and a couple of young Americans came in. While waiting for their pints they asked the barman if it was true if Donovan lived nearby. [He does, if you consider a house he owns further north in the county nearby.] Anyway, the barman nodded and went back to the pints. Then they asked if he ever came into that particular pub. The barman gave me a quick eyeball and I nodded back. He went on and told the kids that their man was a lot older than he looked on the album covers and that he didn’t wear his hair as long as he did in the 60’s and 70’s. He had them hooked. I nursed my pint while he described me in a roundabout fashion that had them nudging each other. Finally, they turned and asked me if I was him. The look on their face was priceless as I answered them in that drawl I learned from years of living and working in the American South. In fact, I think I might have even added a few more syllables than necessary to each of my vowels. [Did I ever mention that most of the trips I took from Raleigh to various points in Alabama went through Atlanta, where I had to go to the international terminal to catch my connecting flight?]

Different pub, different night. The man next to me was a sergeant in the Irish Army, just back from peacekeeping in Africa. As we talked, he told me he was in logistics. I asked him if he was one of the men pushing pallets out of the back of C-130’s. He told me no, he was one of the guys on the ground catching them.

And every now and then I find myself needing an English to English translation. Sometimes it’s because of different usage, other times it’s just my hearing trying to deal in a crowded pub with music and chatter in the background. A man was telling a variation of the story of the blind men and the elephant. I had to question him, because I kept hearing him say blond men and the elephant. Come to think of it, it doesn’t change the point of the story, but does add a bit of colour to it…

And finally, something that didn’t happen inside a pub because it’s not allowed: A few Sundays ago I was walking past the finish line for one of those charity-of-the-week walks. This one was fundraising for cancer.  What caught my eye was a group of women, all wearing their matching T-shirts identifying them as nurses in a local hospital, lighting up their cigarettes…

2 Comments on “Pub Crawling & Other Pastimes

    • Hey, it’s been a week that’s put me back in pubs. But unlike DT’s stories, my stories actually happened.

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