How to Pub: A Beginner’s Guide


Have you ever gone to the pub? I have. It was cool. But before I went, I had to do some research into proper pub etiquette.

You wouldn’t go to Japan without learning how to use chopsticks, nor would you go to Germany without first teaching yourself to never be amused. Similarly, you should not go to the pub without knowing a bit about correct public bar conduct. Here are the basic things you need to know before you go to the pub and try beer for yourself.

Entering the Pub

When you first enter a pub, it’s vital that you appear confident and able to look after yourself in a fight. A recent study revealed that 87% of Australian pubs contain at least one male looking to deride, intimidate or even assault another male because of something an uncle did thirty years ago, so it’s a good idea to keep this troubled fellow in mind. When you first walk in the door, you might consider throwing a couple of menacing air punches, or perhaps growling ‘FAAAAARK OOORF!’ and stalking to the furthest corner to glare at the wall for fifteen minutes before ordering a drink. It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you create the impression you’re a bit mental and have maybe been to jail.

Ordering a Drink

Getting the bartender’s attention in an Australian pub is like trying to catch a wasp with bare hands: tricky and painful. Many pub-goers subscribe to the head back, mouth open, beseeching eyes method, but a quicker way to get noticed is by broadcasting a loud commentary of everything the bartender is doing: He’s taking an order from that bloke at the end of the bar who hasn’t been waiting nearly as long as the rest of us… there’s the nod… and… He’s off! Two glasses in hand and he’s headed for the taps! And it looks like… Yes! He’s pouring a schooner! That’s one schooner… Wait for it… Here comes schooner number two! Fuck me, look at him go! And now back to the cunt at the end of the bar who was served before everyone else! Wait, what’s he doing now? Is he…? He is! He’s taking the money and HEADING FOR THE TILL! What a terrific day for bartending!

Parlour Games

For the amusement of their patrons, many Australian pubs offer parlour games, the most popular being billiards or pool. To play a game of billiards or pool, one must challenge whoever ‘owns’ the table, and more often than not, that will be a wiry, denim-clad fellow with yellow teeth and boots you can’t get any more. To officially challenge the table’s ‘owner,’ you need only place a coin on the table edge or write your name on the chalkboard. The chances of winning are slim, however, as the ‘owner’ does very little else with his time and is very good. Your best bet would be to employ dirty tactics. Chanting ‘Miss, miss, cocky’s piss,’ as your opponent takes his shot is a good strategy, as is backing your bottom up to his intended pocket and howling like a wolf. You might even consider playing the entire game with one veiny testicle bubbling from your fly. Whatever it takes.

Going to the Toilet

Statistically, the most dangerous part of any Australian pub is the toilet, and you can avoid incident by keeping your eyes trained on either the wall directly in front of you or the flow of urine escaping your penis. Under no circumstances should you look in the direction of another man using the urinal, and certainly do not look at the flow of urine escaping his penis. Even a cursory glance at another man’s penis will be interpreted as a solicitation for red-hot gay sex, which is perfectly fine unless the person whose penis you’ve looked at is deathly afraid of homosexuals and the feelings they may arouse if one should look at his penis too long. If you’re a heterosexual male with some manifest feminine attribute—slender hands, say, or a pretty lady mouth—your best bet when approaching a busy urinal is to assume the form of a brute. Cough up phlegm, spit against the urinal wall, unzip, fart loudly, and commence urinating. This will notify all the other males that despite your willowy frame and seductive tigress eyes, you are a red-blooded, meat-eating, heterosexual with no interest in red-hot gay sex.

Leaving the pub

You’ve had a few beers and you’ve made some new friends, but now it’s time to go home to your significant other and get in trouble for going to the pub. In any other environment, the phrase I better head off would be met with zero resistance, but announcing this at the pub will only result in a flurry of whip-crack sound effects and another beer being thrust into your hand. Some pub-goers will recommend the phantom exit or ‘ghosty,’ a technique that involves nothing more than walking out without saying goodbye. But this method is a dice-roll at best, and the probability of being caught and dragged back into the pub is very high. The best way to escape the pub and your piss-head mates is to pretend to answer your phone with a curt ‘Yep, okay, see you in a second,’ then drain your beer and quickly head for the door. When your friends grab at you and ask where you think you’re bloody going, just say, ‘I’m going to meet the guy,’ and watch the wobbly Red Sea part.

Good luck at the pub!

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