WHAT is with pubs these days? Fewer and fewer are hostelries where one may simply wander in to enjoy a gentle imbibation and wallow in convivial conversation with a mate.

Why is that “mine host” does not seem content to dispense his libations then, trusting in the simplicity and warmth of his hospitality, retire gracefully into the background and allow his frequenters to indulge the ambience?

Instead we are bombarded with all manner of in-your-face intrusions, karaoke, poker nights, wall-to-wall big TV screens (often on at the same time as the jukebox!) and the ubiquitous pub quiz, which is inescapable!

Is it not a presumption to assume that everyone in the pub wishes to partake of the same imposition?

My friend and I happened on such a pub last Sunday evening when, just as we were comfortably ensconced, beer in hand, came the fateful announcement that the quiz was about to begin!

Swiftly quaffing out jars of porter we made a hasty exit to take our custom elsewhere.

Paul Pickup