A night out at the pub
An interesting night last night.
Sick of sitting around at home in front of the computer, I decided to take myself out to the only place within cooee that might present the possibility of socialising - i.e. the pub. It's a little daunting going out by ones self on a Friday night, but hey WTF?
All started well enough, I bumped into a neighbour there with his son (21) and daughter (18), and the four of us played pool for an hour or two while they all drank loads of bourbon, and I drank far too many coffees and diet cokes. I was in good spirits, wired on caffeine, playing reasonable pool and trying to practice my somewhat rusty "talking irrelevant crap" skills, with various people who were obviously grand-masters of the art.
In between my turns to play, I sat around observing people. I noticed a woman who kept meeting my gaze and holding it for several seconds smiling. She was sitting at right angles to what appeared to be a cro-magnon that had shaved from the neck down, and stolen a shirt from his previous victim. Mr. Magnon was standing over this lady, apparently explaining the finer points of fluid dynamics, and demonstrating his theorem by waving his beer emphatically, yet somehow not spilling any more than was absolutely necessary, whilst staring intently down her cleavage.
After meeting eyes with this lady enough times to convince myself that it may not be pure coincidence (30-40 I think) I beamed a smile at her, and she smiled back. Damn! What does one do next? Thinking quickly, I switched my gaze to an interesting stain on the floor and examined it in minute detail for some time, before nicking off outside for a smoke.
Having regained my sense of equilibrium and control of my eyes (look at the pool table...look at the pool table...look at the pool table...) I returned and concentrated on - well, the pool table. When I accidentally slipped up and glimpsed Ms. Smiley again, the accompanying semi-evolved simian was glaring at me, with a look that amounted to charging around in circles beating his chest, whooping, shaking branches, and hurling poo. It is sometimes debated wether the most basic urge in humankind is the self preservation of an individual, or the reproductive instincts. This debate is now fully resolved to my mind, as I carefully avoided her for the rest of the night.
During the rest of the evening, after my pool buddies had retired to concentrate on the serious business of getting totally drunk without the impediment of having to remember whether to hit the red or yellow balls (I remember when they had numbers on them!). Later the band, who had been doing their utmost to prevent the possibility of conversation, came to an early end when someone got clobbered on the dance floor and fell into a speaker stack disabling the sub-woofer (a dogfish?). In the fascinating drama and gossip that followed over the next few hours, it emerged that someone had touched the posterior of someone else's girlfriend, with malice of forethought, and as a result the offended party had no other option than to salvage his reputation as this woman's keeper. It also circulated in this big school playground, that little Tommy's big brother was in grade six, and he was gonna get everyone back later. In this instance the "big brother" is a member of a scary motorcyle gang, and apparently it might be an idea to avoid that pub for a while.
I also observed many examples of the modern courtship ritual; I don't think I could manage it nowadays. The trick, it seems, is to select a potential mate based on the most physically attractive member of the opposite sex that wont laugh in your face. Then one must chemically lower the IQ and vocabulary of the relevant parties, to the point that Joh Bejelke-Peterson would appear eloquent and coherent. (Some of the more successful practitioners of seduction have a head start here.) Next it seems one must try to act "interesting", which consists largely of boasting, posing, being arrogant, and lewd innuendo, before moving to the dance floor to try to cop a feel and rub ones crotch against the intendeds bottom. In the final act, the interested male must dribble in the females ear, vomit in her handbag, then punch a complete stranger in the head. If all goes well, he'll wake up to a complete stranger he can hurriedly dismiss and laugh with his buddies about.
Hmm… call me a cynic, but if that's the mating game, I think I'll be single for some time.
On the positive side it was an educational experience, and several people that I have seen in the neighbourhood introduced themselves and were quite friendly. I was also complimented by a guy that worked in the bottle shop I used to visit, who said I was looking really well, and accused me of working-out (I've lost nearly ten kg in the last couple months). Although I felt like an outsider observing the proceedings, I felt little desire to drink and participate in the madness, and some pride in the changes I've made of late.
It was certainly more interesting than watching TV all-in-all, but tonight I think I'll do just that.