Shhhh! We Don't Talk About That Here. 3 Bar Conversation Taboos.
Ahhhh, a bar, pub, tavern, nightclub and watering hole. These are amazing places for socializing, watching sports and meeting new people, especially those of the opposite sex. Having spent 15 plus years on both sides of the bar there are a few rules that all patrons should abide by. First, the better the tip, the better the service. Second, if you find yourself to always be the one talking, shut up. Third, never, ever, order a Mojito or blended drink if the bartender is busy nor a Bloody Mary after 5 p.m., this makes you a douche. Those are important but they don't begin to compare with the three conversation no-no's. This is for all of you who have recently come of age, those of you who only join us occasionally and those of you who don't pay attention and suffer from verbal diarrhea.
First let's take a brief moment to talk about what is considered an acceptable bar conversation. Should you, Mr. Die Hard Yankee Fan, find yourself sitting next to, Mr. Named His Child Red Sox, and are watching a contest featuring those two teams, then please, by all means engage in a spirited debate over the better team and who's mother is a bigger whore. Should you and your buddy adamantly disagree over who's hotter, Megan Fox or Angelina Jolie, then you are allowed to raise a glass and your voices to debate this socially relevant matter. If you know, with all your heart, that 'Freebird' is the greatest song ever and your conversation mate refuses concede his Justin Bieber's 'Baby' selection, then have at it and, if you can, incorporate fellow bar mates opinions.
These are all acceptable forms of bar dialog. The following three topics are not acceptable because they evoke anger, passion, heated arguments and physical violence and if you try to start one of these conversations, hopefully, a bartender, a regular or someone who just isn't in the mood will shut you down.
Politics. This is highly relevant and important more than ever because political passions and allegiances are so strong. This should be a gimme but every now and then you hear some douche bag spew 'Did you hear what f#%kin (insert your least favorite politician here) said?' The problem is that we're a nation divided but we're also a melting pot, which means we mix, mingle and get along provided our political affiliations are not exposed. This all goes to shit the moment someone crosses that line in a bar because now everyone knows where they stand. Your immediate response is one of comradery or dissension and now the enjoyable rum buzz is killed or fueled. Either way, the brotherhood of us all being people who share a bond of alcohol and socializing is spoiled.
Religion. If you have ever been to a real Irish Pub then this one is a gimme. Before 9/11 it was all a Christianity division (Catholics vs. Protestants) or anti-Semitism. Now there are issues as where to build, or not build, a mosque and people are extremely set in their beliefs. That's awesome, everyone should stand for something or they'll fall for anything (I heard that in a country song somewhere), just don't do it in a place where spirits and personal escapes flow freely. So, Mr. Bible Belt guy, who happens to be kicking it at the Venice Whaler in California (I love that place) the lord doesn't want you to preach your beliefs to the atheists who are chillin with a pitcher or the Jewish table who just shot a round of Cazadores. In a bar we're all drinking the same alcohol, drink and let drink, I say!
Race. Can't we all just get along? I don't remember where I heard that, but it's very appropriate for the third and final conversational taboo. With the immigration debate raging across this country, a place of libation consumption should be excluded from it. This topic no-no also covers the LGBTQ community and their rights, especially here in California, can anyone say prop 8? There is also the category of perceived humor. If you have to look around the room to make sure that potentially offended parties are outside of earshot than you may want to reconsider telling that joke. The bottom line is that we've all gathered together to slightly or extremely damage our livers, brain cells and have a good time. If your bar isn't colorblind to ALL people than your doing yourself a disservice, by frequenting it, and should imbibe elsewhere immediately.
So there you have it! I personally assure you that if you avoid these three buzz kills then you are in for a fun, memorable, or forgettable, that depends on how much you drink, experience. If you see me around your joint, come up and say hi, I'll buy you a drink and tell you why the Los Angeles Dodgers is the greatest team ever! Cheers!