“This’ll be all right,” I tell Big A.

We leave our bowls bags in the car and saunter towards the pub. He has a doubtful expression on his face.

“Pint?” I enquire.

“I’ll follow you in,” he replies, indicating his cigarette.

I am unused to going to pubs that are not the Village Pub these days. I mean, I go elsewhere for luncheons and the like, but not for drinking. Having seven pints further afield and then driving home is a bit frowned upon, even if Gordon Brown and his meddling nanny government haven’t quite yet got round to banning that last particular pleasure we have.

I walk into the pub.

“WAAAAANKKKAAAAAHHHHHH!!!” is the noise emanating from the saloon bar. It is not aimed at me, just at the world at large. I blink, and order a Guinness.

Taking a look and listen around, I have walked into the family bar. It is the family bar because it is full of children running around being shouted at by their parents. I decide that it would be more hospitable to walk through to the other room.

“You CAHHHHHHHNNNNNTTT!!!!” explodes the other room. Big A enters, looking around doubtfully.

“I thought we’d stay and drink these in the family bar here,” I explain.

There is a whirl from beside me. A barmaid scoots in from the other room and hides behind the door, breathing heavily. A colleague hastens up to her and provides reassuring words, clasping her shoulders firmly.

“It sounds quite busy next door,” I ask the landlady.

“Just some high spirits,” she replies. I glance at my watch. It is 6.15pm.

I am thirsty, so I do not linger over my beer. We leave and wander over to the bowls green. The Village Pub provides a microcosm of the gritty reality of life in 21st Century Britain, I know – but I sometimes wonder whether I should expand my horizons a bit more just so I don’t get insular about the world around me. I would hate that to happen. In a way, it was quite nice going to a pub that was a bit more lively and had some young people in it.

Later on, I lie in bed watching roaches climb the wall. I do think of giving my dad a quick bell so that he can stop it all. But he is on holiday, in Cornwall.

44 thoughts on “I go to the pub.

  1. Pat says:

    Cor I’m first. I never saw you as a Daddy’s boy. Nothing wrong with that.
    Emanate! You’re doing it deliberately aren’t you?

  2. Becky says:


    Did you consider cutting your hair and getting a job, or indeed renting a flat above a shop?

  3. dan says:

    Drink and dance and screw, there’s nothing else to do.

  4. “Common People”, Jonny? Are you getting a vicarious thrill out of slumming with those ghastly proletarians who didn’t luck out with some one-hit wonder in the nineties and retire on a huge pile of royalties at the age of thirty? Perhaps next time you could pause to cure the more scrofulous examples with a quick laying on of hands?

    Meanwhile, back to that agreeable Disneyland village of yours, quick, before it goes back to sleep for another 200 years…

  5. Sophie says:

    Do you think that poor is cool, Jonny, do you?

    Last two lines made me laugh out loud, thank you


  6. JonnyB says:

    Argh! Thanks Pat…

  7. Caro says:

    I’m not so sure roaches can climb. Mine can’t anyway. Maybe I just got the unathletic kind.

  8. Z says:

    Guinness wasn’t your only indulgence if you were stoned enough to see your roaches climbing the wall, Jonny.

  9. carnalis says:

    am suddenly grateful for own quiet village pub.

  10. tillylil says:


    What’s that Norfolk dialect for then Jonny?

  11. Pat says:


  12. Dava Lassie says:

    I’d like to meet your dad, Jonny – he sounds like a man who knows how to fix things.

    When is he back from Cornwall?

  13. Rachel says:

    Jonny! Does Ivan’s comment mean your real name is Alex Fletcher and you look like Hugh Grant?

  14. Saltation says:

    >But he is on holiday, in Cornwall.

    the vile hedonist!

  15. Megan says:

    Rachel – no, please don’t say Jonny looks like Hugh Grant. I do not want the mental image of those poor tormented chickens backing slowly away from the deranged gentleman who keeps batting his eyelashes at them and doing his very best slightly baffled worried look (with Self Deprecating Smile included at one low price).

  16. Blazing says:

    The vocabulary of the modern young parent is indeed a thing of astonishment. Generalisation I know, nonetheless a fair observation these days, sadly.

  17. MD says:

    “The Village Pub provides a microcosm of the gritty reality of life in 21st Century Britain…” 🙂

  18. NAGA says:

    “Just some high spirits,” she replies.

    Gosh! Did they disappear in a puff of smoke?

  19. Rachel says:

    Megan, you say it’s torture, but I can see that taking off at the cinema and making big bugs. Hugh Grant with chickens… it’s got to be a romcom of some sort.

  20. Rachel says:

    Bucks! I meant bucks – not bugs. It’s just too hot to type properly.

  21. Bagpuss says:

    Shame. I prefer the idea of making Big Bugs.

  22. JonnyB says:


    I think Hugh Grant would probably play me in a really, really shit film of my life.

    With Rowan Atkinson doing a hilarious cameo as the Well-Spoken Barman.

  23. NAGA - Not To Be Cruel says:

    Before Ivan jumps in there….

    Just how really, really shit is your life JB?

    And wouldn’t ‘Hugh Grant’ be a bit on the slim side? Though he does have the hat size. Obviously.

  24. I tend to be a very private person, and don’t generally talk about anything other than the cartoon version of me.

    We’re all playing roles, here, NAGA, after all. I’m sure the real-life Jonny is, to coin a phrase of St Barack the Inevitable, “likeable enough”, but the character he chooses to portray is frankly a grotesquely self-absorbed parasite. Hence the perverse pleasure I get out of playing censorious Cato to his feckless Cataline.

    In real life, however, I make most of my money stealing underwear from washing lines and selling it on eBay Japan, and am drunk on paint stripper even as I type. And PI Pat is in fact the notorious off-course bookie and loanshark known to the Newmarket racing community (for reasons unsuitable for a family publication such as this) as Hatpin Pat…

  25. Nadia says:

    So who would play you, then, Ivan? Brad Pitt in his “12 Monkeys” persona?

  26. Hah! No playing required there, Nadia. Think I’d need an extra helping of rugged jawline to pull it off, tho’…

  27. NAGA says:

    So what you’re actually saying Ivan, is I’ve bought your stolen Alan’s via an ebay auction?

  28. Not mine, oh my goodness, no! You obviously don’t understand the Japanese market at all. Gai jin boxers don’t peak much interest over there, I’m afraid. A sweaty cheerleader uniform, on the other hand – well, one of those will keep me in Old Overcoat for a month…

  29. Pat says:

    Ivan- I never thought you would betray me. Et tu Brute.

  30. *sigh* Ascot only for me from now on, then…

  31. fumier says:

    ITT – you are becoming prolifi in your comments; are you perchance missing the old blogging action, and can we expect to see your own site revived soon?

  32. Get thee behind me, foul Fumier! Sniping at Jonny from comfortable retirement takes up all my creative energy. Anyway, this is Jonny’s blog, after all – I suggest we all focus, and get back to mocking him the way Nature intended…

  33. Rachel says:

    To hell with focus. I have a research project to finish, and spider solitaire simply isn’t cutting the mustard in pointless diversions any more. How about we get on with casting the Hugh and the chickens film?

    Those of you in the know – who could play the LTLP? Gwyneth? Liz Hurley? Lindsay Lohan?

    Bowls team: Hugh Laurie, Clive Owen, Sam West.

    Is there a vicar in Jonny’s private secret life? Anywhere else we could squeeze in Stephen Fry?

  34. Nadia says:

    Couldn’t Stephen Fry play Jonny?

  35. scribbles08 says:

    Like the way Rachel’s movie is shaping up. Got to get the old rascal Stephen Fry in. LTLP – patsy kensit? Kind of how I see her. But better be careful how we interpret the LTLP – bound to cause offense somehow. Who would you suggest JonnyB, then??

  36. jules says:

    Claudia Schiffer or Scarlet Johansson are probably JonnyB’s fantasy but I think Julie Walters would pull off the role perfectly.

  37. AndyB says:

    No, more Amanda Redman, surely.

    Have you NEVER done a post before entitled “i GO TO THE pUB”?

  38. Guinness?
    Didn’t they have any real ale?
    Guinness has to be a last resort, particularly in summer.

  39. guyana gyal says:

    I have this mental picture of JonnyB’s father climbing wall, slipper in hand, whacking roaches.

  40. scribble says:

    JonnyB’s keeping very quiet on who cld play the LTLP!!!
    Don’t you ever get out of norfolk Jonny? Ever go to Norwich?

  41. NAGA - Post Mistress says:

    Yes Mr. JonnyB, who is playing the LTLP?
    And should you require a brief escape fom Norfolk, then Scribble’s suggestion of ‘Norwich’ could be just the ticket!

  42. JonnyB says:

    Probably Kirstie Allsopp. She would blend the lovable and fierce bits very well, and could well move into acting, now the property scene is so quiet.

  43. Paul says:

    Surely Kirstie Allsopp has already been lined up to play the vegetable delivery lady?

  44. Pat says:

    Can I be your Mummy? Please?

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