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Session #65: Drinking Alone is a Compromise

Tony Hancock capturing the feeling of drinking alone.

This is our contribution to Session #65: So Lonely hosted by Nathaniel Southwood.

We rarely find ourselves alone in the pub because, as a bare minimum, we’ve usually got each other.

When it does happen, it’s rarely by choice, and often as a result of an inconvenience — broken public transport, being stood up by mates or needing to shelter from the rain.

We associate it with being away from home on business and lonely meals in provincial pubs, polished off as quickly as possible, trying to read a magazine while being given the stink-eye by local barflies.

We think of that awful feeling of being in the way, taking up one seat on a table in a London pub as a party of six stands nearby issuing loud passive-aggressive warnings about how there would be somewhere to sit if people were LESS BLOODY SELFISH! (This is not relaxing.)

Boak’s had too many solitary drinks ruined by the circling of creepy blokes wanting to know if she’s got a boyfriend and what she’s reading and whether she fancies a kebab later.

Bailey doesn’t have the discipline to drink alone: without conversation to distract him, he’s three pints down in forty minutes, legless drunk and maudlin.

There are better places to read books than the pub and far better places to find peace and quiet.

Anticipating lots of session posts waxing lyrical about the magic of solitary drinking, we thought we’d let loose our misery-guts tendency. If you need cheering up after this, go to the pub with your mates.