If you’ve just turned 18 and want to booze a bit…
Friday 8 April 2011, 4.03am HKT
You’ve just turned eighteen.
You’re a lamefag and you have a problem.
You’re socially awkward and want to go have a drink at the pub, your first time ever.
You’re a luser because you’re going to the pub with another 18 year old of the same sex who’s also socially awkward.
HA! First time in a pub at 18? Really, you must be a gangly spotty little f**ker with greasy hair and an Atari T-shirt or something — because most people have drinks way before then (like around 14 in most places on earth).
Yeah, ferkin’ bad ass and edgy just being a rebel without a cause — and failing to do what has been done for generations in any civilised country on earth. Derp.
Gee-whiz, first time in a pub doesn’t have to be your first time drinking…
So, as a public service to prevent people like YOU embarrassing yourself (and us), below are some pointers on your first-ever night out at the pub.
(I’m not going to post something retarded or stupid like most pro- or anti-drinking people do, but I’ll give you some friendly advice on various things in numbered-paragraphs.)
Just wear what everyone else is wearing.
Go to the pub.
Order your drink.
Sit like the others are sitting.
Talk about what the men (or women) are talking about.
Laugh loud (but not too loud) so everyone thinks you’re having a good time.
1. Only an Americ*nt thinks 21 is the legal drinking age. Here in civilisation*, it’s 18.
* Civilisation is defined as anywhere except the USA: a place where the legal drinking age is the same as the voting age and the age to legally take part in killing people as in active combat duty.
2. Don’t lie about your age. That’s automatically three months in the brig in Hong Kong if you get caught. You’ve only just turned 18 so expect to be ID’s a lot. School or college IDs don’t work. Use a real ID like a passport. I can assume you look young but don’t take offence at being ID’d – people are just doing their job.
3. Don’t bloody drive if you’re going to be drinking. This isn’t just political correctness. You really do lose your coordination skills even with a little bit of alcohol inside you. (The Naked Listener is a biker of the motorcycle variety, and he knows.) If you’re a local Hongkonger, your coordination and motor skills are already quite bad even when sober, so don’t chance it.
4. Top 5 rules for pubs
I. Don’t say “pint, please” (like they do on Coronation Street or somesuch shit TV soap opera). You have to say pint of Stella or whatever. Bartenders are not mind readers.
II. Don’t order a half pint.
III. Don’t ever pay by credit card in a pub. Noob.
IV. When waiting to be served at the bar, don’t stare creepily at the barmaid (attractive or otherwise). This will piss her and all the other barstaff off and result in you waiting ages to get served.
V. Knock into someone and spill their drink, you offer to buy them another one. Doesn’t matter if it was a full pint and only a tiny bit was spilt. You still offer.
5. Don’t play those stupid Chinese chai-mui finger games. Self-explanatory. It’s a pub. Girls look like crack whores doing this, and guys who join in look like failed faggots. Would you do the same in a teahouse?
6. Don’t cause aggro. Not all bouncers are burly men with big hands and bald heads. Here in Hong Kong, quite a few are incredibly slender 5-foot-1 ex-refugee Vietnamese girls. If VC Charlie could beat the Yanks to a standstill, imagine what VC Charlie’s daughters could do to you. Also, many pub owners in Hong Kong are ex-coppers.
7. Don’t smoke weed beforehand. Drinkers and smokers actually have highly sensitive noses, and they can smell that crap from you miles away.
8. No one wants to share their table with you, unless you’re an attractive member of the opposite sex. So grab yourself a pint of shandy or some other dweeb fluid, sit in the corner and talk with your boyfriend.
9. Optimum drinking is one pint* an hour. It takes an hour for the liver to break down a pint. If you’re an inexperienced drinker, take it slow (like one pint per two hours). Slow and steady.
* One pint = 473 cc = 16.65 imperial fluid ounces = 16 U.S. fluid ounces
10. When you’re starting to get drunk, you’re going to start to talk louder for no apparent reason. Time to ease up. When you start to slur, it’s too late.
11. Don’t go mental (i.e. don’t binge-drink). It’s your first time drinking and plus your friend’s a newfag to this business of getting effed up. Pace yourself at the start. Know your limits — unless you’re from the UK (especially Essex, Kent or Scotland) and getting a stomach pumped is the norm. You’re supposed to be having a nice night out, not get yourself whore-drunk to break the land speed record.
12. If you’re peckish, order food. Try not to scoff all the crisps or peanuts in those cute little bowls in front of you. It’s incredibly bad form to do that.
What to wear
(Or NOT, as the case may be)
Wear what you want to wear. Seriously, don’t sweat it all so much. It’s a pub, not a club or a bar. Don’t wear a suit (not for an 18 year old anyway).
13. Boys: No hoodies. No sweaters. No jumpers. No T-shirts. No sneakers. Most pub-goers can’t stand that farkin’ checkered shirt shit all the ‘cool kids’ are wearing.
14. Girls: LESS is more. Get free drinks (quite often, I’m not kidding). Pretty much the same rule for all occasions and all places.
(Or how behave like you’re not going to lose your cool)
Unless you’re me, you’re outta luck at being yourself in a pub in Hong Kong. Pub-wise, this place sort of resembles London, where people aren’t very conversational and like to analyse every bit of you, and you might not stand it — not like everything’s chilled out as they usually are in Spain or Greece.
I know it’s hard for you, but try not to be socially awkward. Begger’s belief, it isn’t very attractive and kinda puts girls off. Once you start drinking every week, you will gain bucketloads (both of weight and chicks). Might sound like the wrong way to go about it, but trust me, I’ve seen people probably exactly like you all these years who are now The Shit with the birds.
And if you use weed before heading off to the pub, chances are it will increase your perceptions of social judgment, making you behave even more awkward.
15. No one wants to share their table with you unless you’re an attractive member of the opposite sex. So grab yourself a pint of shandy or some other dweeb fluid, sit in the corner and talk with your boyfriend.
16. You will quite probably talk to nobody but your friend all night. Drink lots and you won’t be socially awkward. But too much and you’ll start ragequitting the night.
17. If you’re made of sterner stuff than the most of us, then go into a place with a shitload of Australians or a place where you’ll get stared at for being young.
18. If you’re involuntarily socially awkward and also involuntarily celibate, just down Vodka Redbull and forget life. Get absolutely fucked in a club and don’t give a toss. Pub ain’t for yer, matey.
19. Drunken Brits are always an embarrassment, anywhere in the world. If you see five guys on a terrace (or see them standing and drinking when there’s plenty of stools or chairs around) in tees and shorts, drinking beer and being loud, you know they’re humble subjects of Her Majesty.
FOR BOYS (TRYING) TO PULL IN THE BIRDS
But how would you approach a random woman in a pub? The short answer is: do it somewhere else, like a nightclub. Chances are, if you wouldn’t even know what to say to some bloke in a casual conversation over drinks in a pub, you’d probably can’t do it with a chick in a club.
20. Don’t try and look ‘cool.’ It’s drop-dead annoying to everyone and you will turn every female in the room off. Look up basic colour theory to see what matches (I don’t have time to explain it here). You need something that pops and will draw female attention to you.
21. Just wollymump your huffle before you go dallywog in the pub. My good chums and I also always bring along a few jollywaggers and mumblecrops. Believe me, you’ll need them. (THINK what I’m driving at.)
22. One thing to understand when hitting on women: you’ll probably never see them again. What’s the worst thing they can say? “No.” What’s the worst they can do? Walk away. But if you’re buying some tipsy girl drinks, she’ll at least talk to you, which could make this whole thing easier.
23. For pete’s sake, whatever you do, DON’T do this:
1. Walk up to the best-looking girl in the bar.
2. Say, “If I said you had a beautiful body, would you let me put my penis in it?”
FOR GIRLS TRAWLING FOR GUYS
24. Same story like with the boys: if you’re not looking for something ultimate, then you don’t have to ‘look cool.’ Looking cool is for clubs and bars, not pubs. Very broadly speaking, pub is where you impress with your homely charm, and the club is where you use every damn talent and asset your mother gave you by the grace of God in skirts that go ‘up to there’ and open collars that show a helluva lot more than your collar. You don’t need a guy like The Naked Listener to tell you how to get things done, know what I mean?
* * *
I’m socially awkward and I’m going to the pub with a friend who’s also socially awkward. I don’t know if I’m good-looking enough to meet girls there. Any girl I fancy, she’ll most definitely be with, like, 20 people. All of this shite to think about will make be puss out. What to do?
It’s good to see that someone in your so-called Socially Awkward position has a friend who suffers from the same condition.
But this is a PUB thread, not a PICKUP thread. Pub’s not your answer to pulling in the birds (although there’s nothing to stop you: good luck). But the pub could be just the kind of rehearsal stage to help you become more sociable with different kinds of people swirling around you — to help you become more Socially Fluid and pick up chicks in a club or bar. Okay?
The thing you should do is to be brave and just go and try to start the smallest conversation with a woman (or anyone else, for that matter). Remember the word ‘pub’ is short for ‘public house’ — that should be your clue as to what a pub setting is.
It doesn’t matter if it goes all right or not. But when you do make conversation, your friend will feel that he is inferior to you in this aspect. This will trigger rivalry. It won’t be long before that friend of yours will force himself into doing the same thing. Before you know it, both of you will be the most talkative people in the pub.
Using this experience to trigger rivalry in the pussy game is the best move you can make in order to change your weak self.
Go out with your friend and enjoy yourselves. Do what you’re comfortable doing. Have a beer, play darts, billiards, arcade games, whatever. Watch a ball game while you drink.
The point is, don’t worry about being socially awkward. Almost EVERYONE is at least a little self-conscious. Just be yourself and do whatever will make you most comfortable while having fun.
Don’t wear a suit — but don’t wear the stuff I normally wear like hoodies and things. What gives?
No, it’s true and you know it. Don’t wear a suit or any of that bullshit, but you still need to look presentable. If you wear a bunch of black, then you’ll look like an emo piece of cock. You wear something that looks good together: women appreciate it.
These places called pubs, aren’t they places where bad people congregate and do sinful things there?
Well, first of all, bad people don’t ‘congregate’: churchgoers do. You’re not only mixing metaphors and using the wrong words, but thinking crap about what a pub is supposed to be.
You’re thinking of a saloon bar in some spaghetti Western, where all the outlaws swill moonshine and have barroom brawls downstairs, whoring upstairs, and gunfights outside.
Pub is ‘public house,’ a place where people have a drink and something to eat. That being as a public place, it’s clear that you get all sorts of people: some good, some bad, some in-between. You need to go out more and see the world a bit more and grow up a bit.
Seriously, don’t view the pub as anything special. Just sit at a table, have a few pints and talk about absolute crap. And seriously, clubs are for pullin’, pubs are just for relaxin’, bro.
These places called teahouses, aren’t they places where evil Triad muscle-men congregate and thrash out narco-pimp-gambling-smuggling deals that invariably lead to hatchet or cleaver slayings? Touché, bitches!
Wise TNL is wise, it pleases me to see useful information passed onto our new generation.
I know you all probably think Hongkongers, like the Gringos, are all retards when it comes to drinking and pubs. I just thought I’d tell you that pubs are just drinking restaurants.
Anyway, all arselicking aside, the pub (especially a real English pub) is where you can have a cracking nice conversation with complete strangers over drinks, a bit of innocent flirting sometimes with nice grannies, and maybe a highly intellectual discussion with some philistine. A good game of darts helps many drink more slowly and keep their minds off of their social anxiety.
Just stay away from spirits if you can’t hold your booze. Stick with a pint.
(Sorry to crush your dreams, mate. Hardly anyone play darts in UK pubs, especially in London. Kinda stereotypical, just like all Brits drink tea, eat crumpets and have bad teeth.)
Any tips about the ‘likeliest’ pubs in or around London for a guy?
I catch your drift, son. I forgive your off-topicness for I know ye is desperate.
If you’re around Wimbledon, I do believe there used to be a Po Na Na’s there and I would suggest hitting that place up. Or, if worse comes to the worse, you can always hit Oceana in Kingston — that place is full of a combination of slags, students and a small amount of decent chicks so you might get laid in the process.
What drinks to avoid?
The Naked Listener is not qualified to answer this. The buck now passes to his friend ‘Scud’:
“Try to avoid any drinks such as Fosters, Carling, Carlsberg or any American beers. These are for fucking pussies. If the label doesn’t show above 5% proof, move on. Keep to drinks such as Stella Artois, Strongbow, Krønenberg and Hoegaarden. You can also mix it up and get some snakebites Strongbow, various type of beer and blackcurrant juice. Vodka or whisky cokes/lemonades/redbulls, etc. My favorite cocktail and quite tasty is tequlia (4 shots), vodka (4 shots) and 2 cans of Redbull.”
Go forth young one, make me proud.
© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011.