In between the perpetual struggle to find the rent/the beer at the back of the fridge/the way home from The Oirish, yer man has been known to venture forth and try a few different bars from time to time.
This is often at the recommendation of friends, but more often despite them pleading: “For God’s sake don’t go in there, you pillock!”
These bars are quite often grubby, occasionally bordering on the illegal but are almost always furnished with polite and pretty waitresses working alongside beautiful bouncing barmaids.
OK, some of them have their fair share of ugly, miserable monosyllabic barmen who’d be more suited to working down a very deep mine digging up a rare, glowing and highly toxic metal on the far side of the arsehole of the universe than working in the so-called service industry but, the point is, even with these Neanderthals pulling the pints and grunting at each other there’s usually still some totty on show.
So it’s fair to say that not only did Tippler’s alarm bells start to ring but a battery of internal lights began flashing about 20 seconds after walking into what we will call The Unreserved. The reason for this instinctive reaction was the fact that said bar did not have a single female in it. Not behind the bar, not in the seats, not even dashing in to use the loo.
If your correspondent had any doubts about the sexual preferences of the clientelle then they were well and truly dispelled by the barman’s t-shirt. This sported an arrow pointing to a leather-jacketed and tight-trousered customer to his left and bore the legend: “This guy likes cock.”
OK, we were in there at the behest of a friend who ‘bats for the other team’, as it were, but given that he’s not remotely camp it’s easy to forget this and there’s generally no need to be on full alert when he suggests a trip to the boozer.
But this was different, there had been no warning and he was clearly among a lot of like-minded friends. Some of us were not, however, and while continental greetings are all very well, it’s one thing kissing your best Belgian mate on the cheek but another thing entirely being borne-down upon by a six-foot-three woolly-woofter with a rainbow scarf and wandering hands. Especially when you’ve only just met him.
Now, your correspondent has nothing against gay bars (in fact, you can put Tippler in a hostelry full of carpet-munching lesbians snogging each other and bog off and leave him for three hours to go shopping, no problem) but a little bit of advance warning would be nice.
Galumphing unknowingly into a bar full of rampant uphill gardeners on the look out for a bit of fresh can cause embarrassment, discomfort and probably considerably worse to an innocent abroad. And just because your writer is a little sensitive and good with colours doesn’t mean that a long journey in search of his feminine side is imminent.
Yes, yes, yes, we’ve all heard Woody Allen spouting off about bisexuality doubling your chances of a date on a Friday night, but it’s a fact that some of us like to stay in occasionally.
Bottom line (pardon the pun), this was not the kind of stag-do that bar writers tend to frequent although, once the initial shock waves had started to recede, it was clear the The Unreserved is a good bar with great music, peopled by friendly fellas who don’t spend all their time trying to pinch your arse, even if they might want to. But when I pointed this out later to my rolly-polly friend Denzil (who mercifully had not been with us earlier) he was having none of it.
The Rotund One’s view was that it’s a backs-to-the-wall situation and if any ‘nancy boy’ tried to touch his todger he’d ‘punch their bloody lights out’.
Hilarious, because there’s more chance of hell freezing over, Liverpool winning the Premiership and The Oirish serving free beer all on the same day than there is of anyone of either gender trying to worm their way into the oft-solied underwear of that fat git.