Blogging about blogging is when another blog inspires you to write a post of your own. Mathews cracking blog about the decline of pubs is what’s done it. Have a read of it here.
Whilst I’ve never been that sentimental about pubs, seeing them as businesses and no different from any other, I do get how people can be sentimental. I was never that bothered when Woolworths went the way of the dodo and whilst there’s a couple of pubs I quite like and go in enough that the barmaid asks me how I am, I’d survive and find somewhere else to sit and read a paper whilst the squeeze potters around the shops, if they shut. A shrug of the shoulders rather than a placard is my response to the death of the pub. I did feel sentimental enough to pop into C&A when I spotted they are still going in Germany and did even buy something. An umbrella as it was raining. Not enough to campaign to bring C&A back to the UK, though.
Think about it. We redefine this field as a pub then us Pub Men can go stand in it with her, and she has a spare beer she doesn't need that she might give you. Win win.
Then I got thinking about what a pub is, whether I will ever gain the accolade I most desire of “Pub Man” from the TAND. I figured not as I don’t fit the criteria. That of going in pubs a lot and liking them. I have more a utilitarian use of them which limits the former and precludes the latter.
What if we recognised that a pub is just a room people sit or stand in to socialize, have a drink or occasionally read the paper and be left alone? Does the drink have to be booze?
What if we redefined coffee shops as pubs? People sit in them and drink coffee and read the paper? They are doing much as am on a Sunday afternoon when I drink a pint of bitter in a pub and flick through the torygraph? What if gyms were redefined as pubs? Many people seem to go there to stand around and talk whilst drinking a cheesy tasting milkshake that is apparently full of protein from the addition of whey, a cheese by product?
If we did this then pubs are no longer in decline. Pubs are in rude health and increasing. Pubs are enjoying a renaissance! Pubs are safe and relevant to the kids too!
But they ain’t pubs, I hear you cry? Really? What about the CAMRA award winning pubs with a Maitre d' that ask you whether you are dining and don’t let you have a table if all you want is a pint and packet of cheese and onion? Them’s pubs are they? So long as it looks like a Victorian or Edwardian living room it’s a pub is it? Even if it’s actually a restaurant? Howay with you.
Anything can be a pub. A pub is an idea. It is ethereal. A pub is of the mind, not of the physical. Anything can be a pub. A private shed can be a pub. Anything you want to be a pub can be a pub. That, my friends, is freedom.
What is more, if we accept that anything can be a pub, I can say my sofa is one and then the TAND will have to acknowledge and credit me with the honour of “Pub Man”. He will just have to.