Wednesday, 17 October 2012

You lookin’ at my bird?

When discussing the irritating behaviour of small children in pubs, the point is often made that adults, whether drunk or sober, can be far worse. While, in extremis, this is undoubtedly true, I have to say it is something that I seldom personally encounter.

While I freely admit that I am rarely to be found in pubs at the rougher end of the spectrum late at night, it is vanishingly rare that I see “bad” behaviour from adults. Maybe some overloud cheering from sports fans, or an old boy who’s had one too many attempting to croon a song, but never anything like running madly around the pub, jumping on and off seats or fighting. Adults, even if a bit inebriated, generally know how to control themselves. And any adult who decided to shout at the top of his voice for a prolonged period would be swiftly ejected.

Plus it must be years since I have personally been the target of insulting or threatening behaviour in pubs. Maybe this is more likely when you are of a broadly similar age to the perpetrators, and once you become identifiably just another middle-aged bloke you tend to blend into the background.


  1. Many years ago in a pub in Liverpool, a drunk glared at me across the corner of the bar: "Are you looking at me?"

    "Good God, no!" I replied in the most disgusted tone I could muster. He shut up, not sure whether he'd been insulted or not.

  2. I once had an entire pubful of pissed Irish people serenade me, the only English person in my Irish local, by singing along to the Wolfe Tones classic " Spit at the Brits " which the owner kindly played at full volume.
    I reminded him of this fact recently when I pointed out that more than half the people who'd sang the song that day had been made redundant and are now enjoying living and working in Britain.
    I enjoyed having the last laugh as I asked him if they'd be singing that song down the George and Dragon.

  3. I once went in a pub and heard an almighty clatter, shouting and fisticuffs in the other room.

    "What's going on in there?" I enquired.

    "CAMRA meeting" was the reply.

  4. It wasn't Dickie English vs Big Hairy Rob, was it? ;-)

  5. Martin, Cambridge17 October 2012 at 19:41

    In the interests of research Curmudgeon, visit your Spoons at 11-12pm this Friday and report back. Evidence from East Anglia is that Spoons are seas of traquility at that time, certainly compared to that much-repeated 1998 "river of vomit" footage from Middlesbrough that's always dragged out.

  6. I would understand if you were talking about the Tivoli in Cambridge Martin, but the Regal is definitely the no 1 place I would go if I fancied a Friday night punch up.
    In my honest experience, Wetherspoons tend to either be funereal (Tivoli), intimidating (Regal), or a little bit of both.

  7. Cooking Lager went into a pub? Nah, you'll be saying a Tory would swear at a policeman next.

  8. Not sure I'd step into another pub. Scary places. All I could hear was "Get that craft keg outta my face, Clarkey or I'll f***ing 'av you" with a reply of "You and whose army, Mudge, shaddup and finish the pork pie on your ploughmans you soft wet sh**e"

    Then it all kicked off. Like a wild west saloon fight. Place smashed to bits.

  9. Martin, Cambridge17 October 2012 at 22:41

    Pyo - last couple of times I went in the Regal after 11pm it was serene, tourists and old blokes (like me) drinking real beers. Must be different in term time, but I can't believe how quiet central Cambridge is now.

  10. Rugby Union types don't care who they annoy in the pub. Drinking games, swearing, vomiting, removal of clothing, suggestive comments to women. Just a bit of fun heh? Funnily enough they are the first ones to complain about children making a bit of noise.

  11. I've been in pubs when a full-on, rolling-around-on-the-floor fight has broken out on two occasions. Oddly enough both times I was in an organised group that was trying to get something done - holding a meeting or singing some songs together - and we just carried on what we were doing and ignored the noises off. Neither was a Spoons, and both closed soon afterwards (although they both reopened under new management).

    I was in a Spoons once when a sing-song broke out - no mean feat when you're sat in the middle of a room the size of Rutland - but I've never seen anything worse than that there, with the possible exception of the drunk woman who tried to chat me up while her partner looked after their baby. Mind you, that is the pub where a guy got shot in 2004, so it's clearly not all fun and frolics.


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