Now and again, we find ourselves heading to a local watering hole for a big night at the bar. Sometimes the gathering is totally unnecessary – an elaborate “bon voyage” for a friend’s three-week vacation, or perhaps a “half-birthday” soirée for a colleague. Other times, we’re simply suffering from FOMO (“fear of missing out”) and if we don’t go, we don’t be in any of the Instagram photos.
We don’t seem to mind the fact that we’re hemorrhaging our hard-earned money on overpriced drinks, or spending our precious spare time in a greasy cesspool of broken hearts. Dark, loud, sticky, dangerous and hot. So why do we go?
Because bars are the most interesting places in the world.
Let’s chuck an assorted mob of 200+ people in a small space with lineups, loud music, loss of inhibition and see what develops. It is a beautiful train wreck.
I believe there are maths and sciences behind all this. Behold my complex equation:
Alcohol = Confidence + Memory Loss
The formula for the return. We always come back. We forget the bar is an agonizing grotto of shame and misery. If this equation were false, we’d see pregnant women and healthy people at bars all the time. Alcohol makes us shed our social anxieties and swap them for coolness and unfair stereotypes. Let’s explore this.
10 Classic Stereotypes at the Bar:
1. Older, Cool Fella: This could be the only person in the bar that matters. He is painfully suave. Look at his mane of thick, grey hair and his tweed jacket. Older, Cool Fella is nonchalantly buying martinis and starring in his own Humphrey Bogart movie. You’re not sure who he’s with, or why he is situated so perfectly in what looks like a Wiser’s commercial, but he is polished and non-threatening and you NEED to be his friend (or Grandkid).
2. The Girl Who Loves the Bar But Pretends to Hate It. She doesn’t eat or drink much; she is there to be seen. Underwhelmed, she spends most of the night eye-rolling, catching glimpses of herself in the window, texting, and ignoring others. She loves every minute of it.
3. The Teddy Bear. A big, cuddly contradiction. The Teddy Bear is the drunkest dude in the bar, but somehow, the most trustworthy. He repels the opposite sex, yet there are women hanging off him all night. He will make you laugh, then cry. You’ll spot him behind the bar slinging drinks with his new BFF, the barkeep. You will find him in grave discussion with a senior citizen in one corner, then dominating a beer chugging contest in the next. The after-party is always at his place, but he never makes it home.
4. E-cig Guy. He should probably just forget it at home because most of the night he is interrogated by people who have never seen an e-cig, and ask him, “Are you SMOKING inside?!” Then E-cig Guy is forced to share his e-cig with the whole world, because they want to “blow smoke rings” and really, this poor guy never gets his e-cig back and probably starts REAL-cig smoking again out of pure frustration that very night.
5. Elusive, Captivating Woman. She has that distinctive “it” factor and everyone notices. It might be her laugh, it could be her hair, but generally it’s her puzzlingly powerful presence. Elusive, Captivating Woman has many worthy admirers and is pursued throughout the night. Yet, nobody seems to get too far and she remains an enigma. Most people spot her and subconsciously regret their choice of outfit, beverage, life partner, career and basically their entire crummy-ass life.
6. The Douche. The modern Douche takes many forms. They might be a Classic Douche in a suit and tie, but they could also be a New Age Douche in a slouchy toque and pastel Doc Martens. Be cautious. They will brag. They will talk about money and cars. They will tell you ALL about their made up job (Venture Capitalist, Fashion Evangelist or Digital Prophet) until you want to barf. But the thing is; you won’t REALIZE you want to barf until after. The Douche holds the subtle ability to passive aggressively flatter you. They keep you interested to a certain point, until you realize how much douche resides inside them, and you just want to barf.
7. Dude on the Cusp. “I’ve got a busy weekend.” He is uncomfortably half-committed to the evening. Torn between fun and responsibility. Dude on the Cusp sticks it out with the drunkards, bringing the mood down a couple notches, all because he “has a lot going on this weekend.”
8. The Prospector. He came to smash. He intends to “slay,” and/or “take down,” anything with a heartbeat.
9. Entitled Chick. Wearing an invisible crown, she is heiress to the bar throne. Entitled Chick walks to the front of the line, petitions her way in and then spends the night greasing The Prospector for free drinks. Note the element of wild desperation in her eyes. Chronically dissatisfied, Entitled Chick moans about the table, the service, the company, the drinks and the grub.
10. The Gentle Drunk. Adorable and wasted, the Gentle Drunk casually floats and forages for new friends. She is the safest and most respectful type of customer; the backbone of the bar. She compliments strangers and apologizes for spilling. Nothing can harshen the Gentle Drunk’s mellow – she arrives home intact, just in time to wake up without a headache.
I encourage reader comments, reinforcing additional offensive stereotypes that may be found in the your beloved and berated local watering holes.