Last Friday I did a weird pub crawl in the village next to Bumpkinsville. This was the brain child of Cycling Friend who seems to have set himself a personal goal of visiting every pub in the county, possibly country.
The village next to Bumpkinsville has a slightly startling 5 pubs. This is startling because the high street they’re on is about 20 strides long. My only experience of these pubs were that I worked in one over 15 years ago and once briefly ended up in another accidently (and experienced a beer festival and morris dancing both occurring simultaneously in the back yard which wasn’t much more than 6ft by 6ft).
The first pub we visited (where I had pulled pints years back) had once been a proper Olde Worlde village pub. Since then someone had decided to decorate. Out were the lovely old rickety tables and chairs and in was a wall length banquette with scatter cushions so liberally spread that sitting on it was uncomfortable, if not, impossible. Word must have got round about the uncomfortable seating. It was dead. Having been told that I’d once worked there and having had a struggle with getting the bar boy to understand our order, Cycling Friend wondered aloud if they had ‘a policy of employing special people’. Thanks for that.
The next pub was part of a chain. There were more people in there eating than could be living in the entire village. There was one table spare with dirty plates but no people. I moved the dirty plates, sat down and promptly settled my hand in a small pool of gravy… We just had the one there before moving in to the REAL Country Bumpkin pub.
Many years ago, even before I pulled pints at pub number 1, I was a student nurse (a terrifying thought for anyone who knows me well as my grasp of the human anatomy is probably worse than my geography). I was based in Somerset and was assigned a Health Visitor to be my mentor. If where I live now is Country Bumpkinsville, the place she practiced was Country Bumpkinsville with spots on. The first time I met her she informed me that ‘most problems with the babies down here are due to the inbreeding’. And it turned out that she really meant it. I’m pretty sure that most of the people in pub number three must have been her patients at some time. It was….weird in there. Despite the fact that I felt a little like I was observing the outcome of a strange genetics experiment, I liked it. Especially when my Cycling Friend, who is usually very clever and sensible, wondered aloud why anyone would come to the pub in a suit of armour. Obviously, there was nobody inside the armour – and just as obviously, Cycling Friend was drunk.
The last pub was not much to write home about. It was also dead so we did drunken quiet talking. They could probably hear us next door…
If you want an alternative to a fancy bar with beautiful people though, I can confirm that a Country Bumpkinsville pub crawl is a good giggle. Look out for those blokes that go out dressed in a full suit of armour though…;o)