Top Five? A reply to @naylor_tony   Leave a comment

Mr Naylor is right.

Here are 5 near the top of my list:

The Chequers in Cottenham (pub #23 first visited on March 8, 2009): an absolute treasure in the Fens.

The Dog & Duck, Linton (#289, January 6, 2010): scenic, ancient, with delicious food and they featured on our winter jigsaw that year)

The Beehive, Swindon (#615, July 1 2011): spent many happy evenings and afternoons here.  Closely challenged for the Swindon entry by the Glue Pot (#542) and The Roaring Donkey (#672).

The Rose & Crown, Chippenham (#925, July 6, 2012): Barmy.  Almost too local (there must be a mental ward very nearby).

The Inkerman Tavern, Hull (#1812, May 13, 2017): had a room for the night, here, but don’t remember how I got to it…ideal.

Those are 5 or 7 but I could easily expand it to include pubs that are OBJECTIVELY ‘good’ bars and not just the ones that gave me the warmest or weirdest welcomes.  See also, these other interlopers that occasionally crack the top five:

The Moderation, Hull (#1802) for earlier morning bleakness than a Wetherspoons can even offer.

The Roscoe Head, Liverpool (#612) for a classic, cozy Northern pub with outstanding pie and mash

The Cat Tavern (#1435), The Village Free House (#1434), and Deacon’s (#1436), all in Salisbury not a minute’s stumble between any two and all dive bar perfection.

The list will be different tomorrow (and, maybe even this afternoon).

 

 

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The Queen’s Head, Brixton, London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2142:

The walk to the Queens Head was full of signs.

 

 

Any mention of bunnies is considered ominous.

 

 

The bar was fine, they had ale and yuppies.  I like ale.

 

 

I don’t have anything especially good to say about the pub.  It was open and near enough to both Stockwell and Brixton as to render itself superfluous.

 

Posted July 16, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Anti-Trump Protests, 13 July 2018, London   1 comment

Photo credit to @rabbithedge on Twitter. Thanks for this (we’ve boycotted selfies for years, now).

 

Friday, I got together with 100,000 of my closest friends and made some noise welcoming the President [sic] of the United States of America to our fair city.

 

 

In a classically dickish Trump Administration move, the US Embassy issued a safety Alert for American citizens (most of whom, it turned out, were in the crowd with me). I think that, despite the generally festive atmosphere this will have resulted in some morons holing up in their hotel rooms to hide from the inevitable violence in this lawless town.  If it hasn’t happened yet, cue some fat family on Fox News claiming they had to miss a trip to the wax museum because of the angry crowds 1/2 a mile away.  Sad.

 

 

We didn’t take a lot of photos and there are plenty of them on the Interwebs already.  The one at the top of this article was one I found of our placards.  In browsing around, however, I haven’t seen a copy of this one:

 

 

Here’s a short video for a sense of scale:

 

 

Which also caught the eye of some Twitter wags:

 

 

Upon arrival at Trafalgar Square, we realised we could not get close enough to hear any of the speeches so I dunked my hat in the fountain to help cool off and we headed to Gordon’s Wine Bar and got stuck into a conversation with a couple of tables worth of first time protesters.  This really was the most civilised of this sort of protest, ever.

 

 

Oh, right.  Our placards had my earlier mock-up of the Seal of Il Duce on one side and a modified Time magazine cover on the other, with the original file here for clarity:

 

Posted July 15, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in art, Politics

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The Half Moon Pub, Herne Hill, London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2140:

A short walk from the Commercial sits the Half Moon, another gorgeous building, inside and out. I was swarmed by the staff both at the bar and by waiters prompting me to think they were expecting a much more important, sweaty, balding, middle-aged American. But, no, after sitting awhile I realized the house is just really overstaffed and the kids are just bored off their tits.

 

 

Case in point: a woman came in with a commercial video camera and was accosted by one of the staff. “Nice camera. I have a digital SLR.” She nodded politely while adjusting the shoulder grip and he continued, “what’s that set you back? A grand?” I succeeded in stifling a laugh.

“More like 10,” she replied.
“Wow, great deal.”
“Ten grand, not ten quid,” she corrected.
“Ten thousand?” he paraphrased doubtfully then continued on explaining features his camera has for, maybe, ten seconds.
“That’s great,” she cut him off, “but I’m working.” She headed toward the back. “I’ll stop by later,” she lied.

 

 

A family group (mum, dad, three stair-stepped kids all under 10-years-old) emerged from the dining area, so there were some other customers. From their outfits and the rainbow coloured afro wig the oldest boy wore I reckoned they were on their way to the Pride March and Festivities. Good for them.

BUT, that’s one of the reasons I never go to Pride anymore. It used to be transgressive and dangerous and, more to the point, I was about the straightest thing you could find for miles. Now, it’s full of families. Families! And, far more clothing than any homo party should have.¹

¹Re-reading that last line and thinking back to Atlanta in the 70’s and 80’s, that statement is by no means a blanket one (not written in Stonewall, as it were).

 

 

Posted July 11, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Commercial, Herne Hill, London   1 comment

 

Pub #2141:

Saturday, I was in Herne Hill to catch up with a friend who had recently moved to the outskirts of the neighbourhood; but, I left his address and phone number at home (I only have Jackie, my brother-in-law, and a couple of [ahem] ‘vendors’ in my burner phone).  So that the trip wouldn’t be a total write-off, I reckoned I’d get a beverage before walking up to Brixton to visit another friend (whose number, indeed, I had with me).  I looked around outside the station and thought, “Fuckin’ ‘ell, ‘Erne ‘Ill is Yuppie Scum Central, so what is [name redacted] doing living here?”  My world doesn’t have firm foundations and this was a disturbing development that shook them severely.

The Commercial sits directly across from the station and inside is quite nice with a fine selection of refreshments. But, the weather has been so spectacular of late that it would be a shame to waste it sitting inside, alone with the hardwoods and soft jazz (was that Kenny G? Christ almighty…get out, now. OUT!).

 

 

England was battling Sweden for a World Cup Semifinal position later that afternoon and it was all anyone was willing to talk about. Of course, with this accent I couldn’t possibly know anything about football.  I coached kids in the 70’s, was a FIFA certified referee working at my local recreation department during high school, and had spent more time in Commonwealth and other football nations than in the US in my first 20 years, but of course I didn’t remember that in the ’74 WC England failed to qualify (living in Darwin, Northern Territory meant that Australia qualifying for the first time was seared into my memories but hey-ho).

I managed to work in facts about ‘Soccer’ into the chat (such as, “soccer” is short for Association Football the same way that “rugger” is short for Rugby Football and both are completely English in origin and the term, “soccer,” was only abandoned in the UK when the Americans started to get excited about the sport in the 70’s).  One guy in the red shorts with blue shirt yuppie scum uniform made a comment about the Americans not being very good at it so they imported all their talent; I agreed, but insisted that this is because Americans consider soccer a girls sport and men playing it are not really, y’know, men, in the classic sense.  This did not go over as well as the etymological portion of the convo.

 

 

I excused myself to phone the Brixton connection. Motherfucker…he was in Brighton until late evening so we agreed to meet up next time one of us was in the other’s territory. I figured I had an hour to beat the crowds on the Tube — or three, if I waited till after kick off — and wondered what else to do with my time.  Perhaps a second beverage in a more copacetic (and less coprophilic) location was in order, I thought, as I made a move toward central Herne Hill….

 

 

Posted July 11, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Presidential Seal T-shirts   1 comment

 

No sir, thank you.  I’m using the seal on the anti-Trump march, Friday.  More later.

 

Posted July 7, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Drunken Bunny, Made Me Laugh, Politics

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Prince Charles Cinema, Soho, London   Leave a comment

Pub #2139:

Jackie just read “The Long Goodbye” by Raymond Chandler and mentioned that she had never seen the movie version out in the early 70s (trailer below).  “It’s a Robert Altman, so it tries hard, but it stars Elliott Gould essentially leaving Altman to sprinkle glitter on a turd.”  But, the next week it was featured in Time Out with a screening of an original 35mm print at the Prince Charles Cinema in Soho so I booked tickets and we walked over for the 6:30 show from her work.  We were early and stopped by the bar for some nourishment (cans and bottles, mostly); the bar is open when the cinema is open so it qualifies, to me, as a pub.

This is a really cool cinema and I admire the contrarian nature of the joint.  In their lengthy and largely impenetrable FAQ, I spotted this emphatic note about Meerkat 2-4-1 tickets:

 

Then, during the seemingly endless commercials before the show they have a very expensively produced advert for exactly this membership product for movie tickets which are specifically invalid in this venue.  Marvelous.

My mind drifted during the stupid movie and at one point I was just appreciating the scratchy film stock and the register marks that warn of the end of a reel.  On one such reverie, a voice in my head spake thusly:

You hate those times you walk to the loo and there are three urinals with one guy using the middle one. He is at least a sociopath but may be seriously deranged. No one thinks that about using the middle of three sinks which is why I usually piss there, instead.

The best thing about the movie was the theme song or, more to the point, the musical director seemed convinced.  Different versions of the tune accompany different people, played on the radio or by a band at the bar…at one point is was done by a brass band during a Mexican funeral.

Arnold Schwarzenegger gets to strip to his underwear but he didn’t make the credits.  David Carradine (RIP after an autoerotic asphyxiation mishap) was also uncredited as one of Marlow’s cell mates during a brief lock-up.  My favourite “oh-yeah-HE’S-in-this-turkey” spotting was Jim Bouton who was a writer, raconteur, and knuckleballer for much of my baseball-watching youth.  Oh, and the girls living next to Marlow are all dancers unable to afford the top halves of their outfits…so there’s that, then.

 

 

Posted July 2, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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