Excerpt From My Novel
As per the request of regulars, here’s an excerpt from the current draft of my novel. I’m debating starting a Kickstarter project around it.
There is much to say on the topic of drinking. The consumption of some form of mind-altering substance – in this case fermented grain or fruit – is a traditional way for two males to bond. It says “I trust you enough that I am willing to lose total self-control in front of you, and still think I will wake up with my wallet, life, and/or reputation intact.” Such bonds are sacrosanct, and by that we mean they are ignored all the time.
Perhaps even more important than the actual act of drinking is the locale where one does said drinking. Going back to your same-gendered friend’s place for drinks is only acceptable under certain circumstances. These generally involve more people, a sporting event of some kind, and excessive noise. It would also be acceptable for the two of them to head back home together if this were another sort of story altogether, but it is not. Not exactly, anyway.
With a private venue fully off the table, that means we’re talking about a bar. Bars are amazing places. Many people will call any drinking establishment a bar, but they are wrong. There are quite a few types of watering hole, and what you call them makes a huge difference.
For example, a “pub” tends to promise something old world-y, and generally brings to mind someplace that has a decent menu of solid refreshment. Saloons are passé, but the moment you read that you likely had visions of men in tall hats and horses. It’s a very pastoral word, yet very manly. A “bar’ is a more neutral word than the other choices, but it really isn’t. There are thousands of kinds of bars out there. There are biker bars, cop bars, “family” bars (Where kids do not, despite what some may think, drink free), pick-up bars (where one can get to work on having a Family, if they’re careless), theme bars (the bastard children of “inns” and “pubs”, conceived in hate and resisting every attempt to be drowned in a burlap sack), and of course, college bars. The most depressing thing in the world may be to return to a college bar years after graduation. You don’t know anyone and they all look at you like you’re looking for the old folk’s home. It’s even more depressing if you do know someone, actually. Just not for you.
For our purposes, the bar in question would be the middle-class-minimum-wage-bar sort. These aren’t posh like yuppie bars, but aren’t quite on the level of “I’m just here to get blind” bars (if you need this further described, then there may be no help for you. These are the bars for the serious, solitary drinkers. Their idea of going “on the wagon” is to get up to use the head and forget to take a bottle with them). They tend to have a small selection of drinks with interesting names, and if you order them the bartenders gladly give you a derisive snort and hand you some imported lager that you’re meant to think is really good, but is actually only exported so the locals won’t have to drink it. You’ll like it too, because you’re convinced that your boss and all his friends (all of whom are at another bar, trying to figure out which sort of whiskey sounds “managerial” enough) got to where they are in life by drinking the right beers in the right bars with the right people.
The advertising industry has much to answer for.
Please don’t savage it too much