Sunday 18 November 2012

A bar-room fantasy

A famous Leonard Cohen song has the line:

And all the rain falls down, amen
On the works of last year’s man.

After an experience last week, I know exactly what the Canadian singer meant.

Last Tuesday evening I attended a football (soccer) game and went for a drink with my 22-year old son in the pub directly across from the ground. Ryan reminded me it was my turn to buy the drinks so he sat down while I approached the bar.

Despite the pub being busy, I found a space at the bar and waited to be served. And waited, and waited. I repeatedly tried to make eye-contact with one of the four young women behind the bar but to no avail. I felt like the invisible man. Either side of me new arrivals were approaching the bar and getting served before me. Vexed, I stared expectantly at the nearest barmaid as she put cash into the till; surely I couldn’t be ignored any longer?   

A young man, with an ear-ring and bull neck, appeared at my shoulder and the barmaid immediately struck up a conversation with him, smiling and playing with a tress of her hair. Despite me waiting expectantly with my £10 note in hand, mouth open and fixed gape, she asked the young buck for his order.

“A pint of lager and a small coke, please” I interjected, loudly.

The bar quietened. The barmaid glanced at me, her face instantly losing animation. It was as if a vile smell had grabbed her attention. Grudgingly, she started to pour my lager (my son’s lager – I was driving) but continued to flirt with the young man at my side. So engrossed was she in the young buck, that she was handing my (son’s) pint to him, until her suitor pointed out her mistake.

Belatedly, I picked up the pint of lager and small coke (both in plastic glasses, for public safety reasons) and turned to look for Ryan. Inexplicably, I paused. An omnipotent impulse rose through my body, a desperate desire to wrestle back a morsel of dignity. In my mind, I sprung into action …

I turn and, with one sharp waft of my right arm across the bar, fling all the bottles and glasses onto floor. The tavern falls silent. I have everyone’s attention. I climb onto the bar-top and scream:
“I might be 53 but let me tell you a few things.
Drunken women have been known to make sexual advances at me.
I was voted the 3rd best-looking boy in class 6D at school.
My wife says I look a bit like Richard Gere.
Tina Cropper once said I was the best lover she’d ever had.
I was the captain of the Haslingden High School 2nd XI football team.
And I have a huge todger”. (That one was a lie, but hey I was on a roll).

But it was all fantasy. In truth, I skulked to my seat, handed Ryan his lager and proceeded, silently, to sip my coke out of the plastic glass. I consoled myself that my Leonard Cohen CDs awaited.  


I am participating in the Dude Write Starting Lineup this week where you can find some excellent posts by bloggers who happen to be dudes:



  1. You could also start a fight with your invisible split-personality, "Fight Club" style. Pretend you've thrown your invisible self onto the ground then start jumping up and down screaming "Have you gotten enough Lager yet, you punk, have you?!"

    Aaaaand this is why I don't go out in public all that much...

    1. Yeh, that would be cathartic - to give myself a good kicking!

      I think I'll stop going out as much; it only depresses me.

  2. I have heard it said that when we reach this age we become invisible to the younger generation of women, I have to sit back and smile because it wont be long that they are completely invisible to the young bucks who used to see them as desirable.

    1. I've nothing against these young bucks, Jimmy. Nor for that matter the young ladies. It is just that, from time to time, something happens that makes me mourn the loss of my youth.

  3. The mind is a reality of its own. We all act like Walter Mitty frm time to time. By the way, congratulations on your Dude Write Award.

    1. Thanks Stephen. I appreciate your support and interest.

  4. It is sad what we the aged in society must do! I once as a younger man balanced an empty coffee cup on my head to get a refill.

    If I'm flirtatious, I could be lecherous.

    I wore my Steelers jersey out yesterday Andy young waitress said "oh, you're one of THOSE fans!" To which I replied "and you're the waitress who's spit I'll be dining on all night."

    She remembered me and my friend and she flirted with us all night. I only felt a little lecherous.


  5. I feel your pain brother. Every time I look in the mirror, I am surprised that I have been replaced with an older version of me...

    1. Thanks Kevin. It consoles me to hear that some other bloke is also mourning the loss of his youth.

  6. Ah, old man. I feel your pain. I've been there a hundred times.

    I say we rise up!

  7. Sounds good in theory, but not much of me rises up these days!

  8. I'm not far behind you Bryan. Then you have jagoffs like George Clooney and Sean Connery that keep getting better looking the older they get. Fun read Bryan, enjoyed it.

  9. I appreciate the empathy and support, brother. And you're right. George and Sean, and others of their ilk, just rub salt in the wounds.

    Thanks for your interest.

  10. well, we become what we think about, right?

  11. Recently, upon seeing my picture, a guy commented that I looked like his mother in law. I just turned 47 and this fellow was 41. If I do the math correctly that puts me at early sixties. Getting old. So much darn fun isn't it?!