Thursday, 14 January 2010
A muse on being thrown out of a pub
‘If your old fella’s as small as your mind then you’re in trouble.’ And with that the four of us were thrown out of the Green Dragon in Cambridge one spring evening many years ago. My first ever occasion of being chucked out of a pub — and I’m not sure if it was the last or not. Being young I thought it rather glamorous to be shown the door, though looking back it was all very peculiar. The catalyst was one of our lot, pink boiler suit, gay liberation badges, a conflict with Catholicism and a love for James Joyce’s work. The other two were women, one a looker with a drug problem, and the other older and involved with the church. Peculiar times. The landlord was a beef-and-potatoes sort of chap, old school, joshing with his mates at the bar because someone had left a copy of Gay News there. Homophobic. Why that paper, I haven’t got a clue. The gay chap took exception to his attitude and hence the remarks. The rest of us were sitting down and as our pal was thrown out, old school came over to us and told us to leave as well. Was vaguely amused, no loud voices, nothing to frighten the horses. We left and a few months later I ended up living round the corner — I tentatively went in one evening, expecting a broadside but it was a Greene King pub, er I mean nothing was said, don’t even know if it was the same landlord. Haven’t seen the then friends for donkey’s years, don’t even know if they are still alive.
All this returned to me as I mused on the whole ritual of being chucked out of a pub, about landlords being fit for purpose, about binge drinking and stinky drinkers. What would happen now? Would there be consequences? Different times indeed.