Sunday, 10 June 2012

Oh for a nice quiet pub!

Once or twice a week I like to go to the pub for some locally brewed beer and a chat with friends.
The beer isn't a problem, but finding a pub that allows people to sit down quietly and be heard without shouting is getting ever more hard.
Football is the bane of my life at the moment, not because I dislike the game, but because every pub seems to believe I'm in urgent need of a constant commentary from multiple television screens, strategically placed so that whichever way I turn my head I'll still be in touch with Euro 2012.
We've only just finished the Premier Division championship, then the Championship promotion playoffs, when the Euro 2012 tournament started, though there was a short period when the Englans v West Indies test matches were on. At least they were quieter.
So after the football we'll have two weeks of the Olympics, followed by ....oh yes, another season of football!

But it isn't just mass television sport. So often now there's a pool table placed in the middle of the pub making it impossible to get to the toilet without waiting for some would-be Hurricane Higgins to miss the white after pondering the shot for 5 minutes.
Inevitably there a sound system that used to consist of a Wurlitzer jukebox that played real 45 rpm records for 10p a go. It had its own speakers and the volume was fine for background music.
Then came Muzak. The sort of music you didn't even know was being played until someone mentioned it. After that it's intrusive and annoying. What's worse, none of the music is recognisable and comes for a CD called "Music to be played in lifts, supermarkets and pubs".
Then came MTV and many pubs installed large TV screens that you come play your latest and favourite music track from a vast CD collection, before the current digital selection came on the scene that belts out anything you want (or don't want) from multiple loud speakers.
The beer and chat come very much into second place. Now, you have to be entertained.

Of course, the most entertaining night would be the big battle between pool players, those who want to watch MTV at full volume and the sports fans who obviously own the pub. Once they've all been barred, or taken to hospital, just maybe those like pubs for what they used to be can have a quiet beer and a chat with friends.


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