Pub entertainment: such a varied and curious phenomenon that sees no sign of abating in the current climate of competition and decline.
Gone are the days of a bloke on a piano leading a drunken, ale slopping sing-a-long of a Sunday evening. No more is the club crooner the king of Friday nights. Those days went even before the extractor fan became redundant and the smoke cleared. The entertainment fad emerged as the drinkers began to dwindle.
It started with Karaoke. At some point in the late eighties, someone, somewhere decided that the Japanese were the ones to consult when it came to English pubs and we all needed to endure full time mums singing about working nine to five in a fake deep south drawl and hear fat old men crucify Sinatra six times a night. “You didn’t do it your way mate, you did it the same fucking way as that other pissed bloke twenty minutes ago. Drink up, lads. We’re off!”
A few years later somebody invented Bar-fly Jumping. Remember that? If you don’t just take a minute and think about what could be the most appealing thing that you can do, pissed up, in a pub car park that doesn’t involve the exchange of bodily fluids and a watertight alibi.
If you come up with donning a Velcro-striped jump suit then running at and jumping on a small trampoline before somersaulting and sticking upside-down to an upturned bouncy-castle then give yourself a pat on the back. Or, alternatively, go and smash your head against a wall and never come up with an idea again, as the person who invented this bizarre and, quite frankly, fucking stupid craze should have done.
For about five months in the mid nineties you could barely take a sip of your summer snakebite without some drunken plumber flipping through your field of vision looking like some kind of catapulted Telly Tubby.
It didn’t last. How could it?
Wii nights. They were a riot weren’t they? I mean what more could you ask then to walk into your local and see a couple of bell ends shaking remote controls at a big screen pretending to be ten pin bowling. Just go ten pin bowling you absolute failures. This is not fun for anyone.
It didn’t last. How could it?
There’s always been the pub quiz. A quaint tradition consisting of a bloke with a pipe shouting out twenty questions and the team with the most correct answers winning. Simple. Effective. Surely this would last?
Yes and No.
Now you have to look at a big screen and answer picture rounds, music rounds, logo rounds, anagram rounds… the whole thing lasts approximately seven hours and the team who’s most adept at cheating on their mobiles wins. So now there’s quizzes that you play in the pub on your mobile. They call them ‘interactive’. You heard right; encouraging people to spend more time staring at their phones is called being interactive.
It won’t last. How can it.
So now, someone, somewhere is trying to invent the next pub fad. I shudder to think what it will be, but it will probably involve drones or virtual reality glasses or fucking hover boards. Whatever it is I want no part of it. Just get me a decent beer, a good band and rid me of the fucking idiots that need all this bollocks to have a good time.