Sunday, 17 October 2010

I have seen the future and it's smoky-drinky.

Pubs are falling at an increasing rate. F2C details another one.

I like pubs. I really like to spend some leisure time in pubs. The trouble is that pubs don't like me any more. They make me go outside with the dogs and the horses and carts. I used to really love going to the pub but now, well it's like going to the dentist. Except that at least the dentist fixes something. The pub just makes it worse.

So I don't go any more. It's not a protest, it's a reaction to being made unwelcome.

Instead I visit, and sometimes host, smoky-drinky. Private parties, no staff, no members, not open to the public, where we can drink and smoke indoors and behave like real, civilised people instead of permanently offended infants. If any permanently offended infants don't like the smell, fear not. You are in no danger of being forced to learn to operate a washing machine or of buying soap. You won't be invited.

Not so long ago, I considered our local Smoky-Drinky as a one-off. A rarity. A strange thing, a weird reaction to the weird world we live in. Then I found that Leafar set up a London-based smoky-drinky equivalent. It's the same idea. No legal problems because there is no business transacted, no staff, no members, no public access. Like a pub, but not a business.

It started as an idea. A speakeasy for smoke prohibition days. like those American speakeasies it is spreading fast and accelerating with increasing pressure from the antismoking Nazis.

Dioclese and Dick Puddlecote have now joined our ranks.

They might well find, as I did, that it starts as a nervous and almost sinful feeling among a few friends, then it expands. New people appear, new friends are made, just as in the old days in the pubs. The original pubs brewed their own beer, and that is beginning to reappear in Smoky-Drinky too. No charge, no money, no business, no members, no public. No fixed premises. Ghost pubs.

We are still here, antismokers. We are still here, CAMRA. While your pubs fall, ours rise. While your small breweries die, ours are formed. They won't appear in any good beer guide. You won't find them and even if you do, it's invitation only. We cannot, by law, be open to the public. Nor can we register as a club.

Real pubs are rising again, in their original form, and the antismokers need have no fear of them.

You won't even know where we are.


Danny said...

...until they outlaw smoking in the home and enforce it using some orwell telescreen.

but in the meantime i'd love to do something like this - if only i'd the means at my disposal and a place big enough to accomodate more than 3 people.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the link LI. I cocked up the heading and missed "day" off of it but have amended it.

The pub mentioned is/was a rarity these days. Pleasant atmosphere and genial hosts. Ray and Jill came on a protest with us in the early days of the ban. Ray knew how to handle the smoking police and more than once ordered them off his premises.

It feels that the denormalisers are winning.

It's a fucked up country we are living in these days.

JohnRS said...

As they say "you can't buck the market".

No matter what the Whitehall nutters do, eventually sanity will rise again.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

Great idea!

I live in Michigan,USA and my State enacted a smoking ban in public buildings back in April and it is being reported that bars (pubs) and resturants have seen a 34% DECREASE in business since. Mind you we (Michigan) were already in a decade long recession before the ban.

Prohibition on anything always brings about entrpenuership be it legal or not and sooner or later when governments wake up to the fact they are losing money (taxes) they lift the prohibition.

The witch from Essex said...

A brilliant notion.
Problem is that the majority of ex pub goers are older people that do not have the contacts any more to be invited to (or organise) a smokey/drinkie.

Years ago I was one of the 'selected' members of quite a few pubs that was always invited for 'afters'.

Many pubs now close their doors as they used to for afters and the ashtrays come out.

That would be good for the younger folk that have the energy to stay out until late. Us older ones just want to go and have a few drinks and leave the pub at around 11 p.m. and don't want to wait around until the ashtrays come out at 11 p.m.

Anonymous said...

here in Toxteth we call them Shebeens, you can buy some but bring your own too.

Anonymous said...

“... and the antismokers need have no fear of them.”

Ah, but they do, Leggy, they do, on many levels. If smokers and like-minded non-smokers (are they invited? And if so, isn’t that a bit dangerous? But I digress ……) start congregating in their own private “pubs,” it gives the lie to the “massive public support” argument which they regularly churn out as a major objection to any amendment to the ban; it also denies them the satisfaction of feeling “favoured” – one of their greatest pleasures in life - whenever they visit a bar or a restaurant; it takes away their last opportunity of moaning about tobacco smoke in gardens or outside pubs (another of their most satisfying hobbies); it detracts from the strength of any demands for further restrictions on public smoking; and it also means that the only people left for them to socialise with are the similarly uptight, puritanical types (because they sure as hell won't be invited to any smoky-drinkies where the interesting, entertaining people are going to be.) Don't forget - even a bore finds another bore boring!

Anonymous said...

Ha! You left out the Smoky-Drinky which began here in darkest Sussex two months ago.
It is held in a friendly farmer's barn, heated with patio heaters, furnished with fridges (X two) and which now sports a goodly row of well-filled optics. Everyone brings their own booze, no exceptions. Bottles are labelled with the owner's name.
The youngest participants are aged about 30, I'm in my 60s and the oldest member is in his late 80s. Most are smokers, some are not. There's a total of about 40 members but seldom do all congregate together. Those attending bring a plate of 'dead-thing-on-sticks'. Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings are the only times which the barn is 'available' and there's always people there.
The local Plods know about us but they admit that there's nothing they can do to stop us as no laws are being broken.
My wife and I have made more friends in the last two months than we ever did in the preceding five years of living here.

Billy The Fish said...

Dunno if you've clocked this one already, Leggy, but here's what's going down in my home town right now...

Fish x

Anonymous said...

Just so you know, people like you didn't invent smoking and drinking in your homes. It existed before the ban. It isn't a revolutionary, it isn't an underground movement, it's just a miserable bunch of arseholes who are annoyed because not everyone wants to stink of fags and breathe in toxic fumes.

Unknown said...

What's the betting that you fucking stunk long before you entered an establishment where smoking was aloud. Have you got OCD anon??

If you have ever read this blog you will know, you obnoxious cunt, that SHS is NOT toxic, but you are, you arsehole!

People like you really really get my back up so much so that I could become violent...but I wont, I'd be wasting my energy!

Leg-iron said...

Big Yin - be gentle with the idiot. I don't get to play with many.

Anon- helloooo, want to play? You'll need to come up with something a bit better than 'ooo, stinky people' first but I'll give you a 'bye on this one.

You could of course try using some form of name but in the evident absence of imagination on your part, I'll just call you 'Mr. Arse' if that's okay with you.

Your move, Mr. Arse.

Anonymous said...

Leggy I couldn't help myself after a few Sunday lunchtime beers.

After all this time of the ban I thought the anti smoking/smoker hatemongers would at least debate the issue but It appears debate is beyond them, insults are far easier on the mong brain. Sorry for the insults to mongs.

TBY (Thought I was already signed in with googly, bugger.)

opinions powered by