Piped Doom and Gloom

Miserable man with pint (illustration).

‘Piped music’ irritates lovers of the traditional pub, but there is something far worse.

A quiet lunchtime. The barmaid reads a magazine while a solitary bloke at the bar stares into his lager. The only sound is the radio, but it’s not playing Classic Gold or Top 40 R&B.

“This afternoon, we’re speaking to people who’ve attempted suicide as a result of low self-esteem brought on by prolonged unemployment. Give us a call if you’ve got a story to share. Next, we’ve got Mary on the line, who recently tried to overdose on painkillers…”

You don’t get that at Costa Coffee.

6 thoughts on “Piped Doom and Gloom”

  1. I want to stroll into a pub with a thatched roof on a glorious summer afternoon, a copy of the Telegraph under my arm,and call out to the florid,avuncular publican being the bar ” I say,stout-hearted yeoman, a pint of your best foaming ale if you’d be so kind ”
    Test Match Special will be on the wireless. Blowers chuntering on as Alastair Cook lays waste to the effete Australian bowlers.
    The only interruption will be the snarling Merlin engine of an approaching Spitfire as it barrel-rolls over the spire of the village church.
    The vicar may pop in for a convivial snorter,along with his dim-witted but rather comely young wife with an inviting décolletage.
    There’ll be proper pork scratchings,pickled eggs and a complete ban on the use of mobile phones. Conversation will be interspersed with a lot of ” by joves ” and ” crickey .”
    Somewhere in the West Country.
    I say,what ?

      1. In much the same way as the open-topped Morgan in the car park outside.
        Together with pleasant conversation without the need to raise your voice, a rickety chair by the window on which to sit and read the copy of the Telegraph while occasionally glancing outside to check the score on the
        village cricket green.
        And pints in dimpled glasses,crusty cheese rolls with picalilli and the lady who comes round on a Friday night with a basket of cockles,whelks and periwinkles.
        I suppose it’s like the Moon Under Water in that pubs like this don’t really exist but I’ve observed everything that I’ve described in various pubs around the South of England.
        It would be nice to find somewhere that combined them all although I accept the barrel-rolling Spitfire might be pushing it a bit.

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