Down at the EK, you may have noticed a difference between the groups of people who have congregated there, on and off, often, every Sunday night for the last 5 years.
You have 'the darts players'. These have one ring leader on the wind-up front, but their bark is always worse than their bite, and their leader is usually as much a brunt of their piss-takes, as we are. The 'darts players' tried rather half-heartedly to wind us up, before giving in after two years and there now exists a rather uneasy truce between two groups of people who don't really vibe with each other but have decided to stop goading the other about it. Progress.
You have the old boys. They cling to the carpeted area of the pub, like barnacles to the bottom of a boat, sipping their ale, CJ in the thick of them, doing 'some research' saying nothing because they've seen it all before, and they're too deaf to be annoyed by the music anyway. They're cool, and often when the difference between the generations is forgotten in the easy compatibility of the practised bar room drunk, good conversations can ensue, involving tales of their drinking to musically accompanied exploits, back in the day.
You have the fluffy people, a caparisoned horde of enlightened fun-seekers, male or female, who feel no vulnerability in being 'nice', who are not threatened by someone being different to them ie cleverer, richer, more spiritually aware, a different sex or even a different sexual orientation. The fluffies are the ones that when they go out want to leave all the every day shit at the door of the pub, whether it be mums escaping from the daily grind of bringing up children, stoners hiding from the boredom of life spent skint on the dole, or even the hardened alkies squeezing a few more crafty ones in before work the next day.
It doesn't matter. They come to have a chat with friends, get drunk, listen to excellent music, connect. They understand that you get out what you put in, the shiny, happy people. If you skip around with a smile on your face, you usually have a good time, and so do those around you.
The fluffies are often female, but not necessarily always so (look at Ms Bishop in one of her teeth gnashing frenzies). Their ranks are inhabited by those who see the wind up as part of social intercourse, but not the be-all-and-end-all, who more often than not are 'just sick of all the shit' and refuse to let it occupy their night time celebrations any longer. Everyone is worthy of their attention, of inclusion in their lives.
You have the people who should have known better in the earlier years of their youth, and now thankfully do.
And you have the 'sads' who stand at the bar, a group of swaggering males, indulging in mock displays for their own amusement, issuing unwelcome 'advice', shouting unfunny comments at everyone and about everything, as long as it involves beer, football and sex. Their usual senseless-go-round. The three things they're all obsessed with but can't do. The beer they can't drink without making boring prats of themselves. The football they watch on TV, but never go to watch it live, or even play because they're so unfit from their lives spent boozing it up in a succession of crap bars. And the sex, well they're better suited to each other if the truth be told, if only they'd get over their other little phobia and discover just how much pleasure the prostrate can offer.
The 'joke bloke's' who know so little about women, or anything, that you could stick everything that they do know up one nostril, and they'd still have room to breathe. You see everyone wants to be King of Shit Hill.
And when the wind-ups have continued for years, and people who constantly come to your parties only to stir and back stab move up a gear, it usually only leads to one thing. Violence. Carried out by vulnerable, insecure, emotionally retarded joke's, who think if they shout louder and longer than everyone else they'll ''be 'arder''. And when you've been shouting longer and louder, violence shouts louder still. Violence shouts in the loudest voice of all. That you are a useless fuck who's lost the plot, especially when it's unbidden, caused by the deep insecurity that we have seen through the "front", that we have seen the gaping black emptiness that lies behind all the bravado. The fear, that despite their constant denials to the contrary, that even they secretly suspect, they ''aint all that.'' Empty vessels make the most noise, as they say. Violence can't be justified, and never is. It makes you look like a twat and everyone hate you. It's embarrassing for you, but especially everyone else. If you can't behave, or you hate what we are doing so much, just stay away.