A dog, and other elements that would elevate your local from 'shithole' to 'excellent'

MOST pubs are perfectly adequate, but some have added extras that elevate them to another level. Like these:

A dog

A dog in a pub is brilliant, as long as it’s a lovely friendly dog, ideally a Labrador or a golden retriever that’s thrilled to see you and rolls over to have its tummy tickled while you wait at the bar. If a pub has a dog that barks, growls or shits under the tables, you’re in for a terrifying and stressful evening.

A garden

An actual garden, with grass and tables and festoon lighting, not just a square of concrete out the back between the bottle bins where they grudgingly allow you to have a fag. The car park also does not count, even though there’s a massive pothole full of dirty water that the landlord thinks it’s funny to call a pond.

One decent beer on tap

Your local offers Carling, Budweiser and Fosters on tap, none of which you want to force a pint of down your gullet, but it’s a lot cheaper than a 330ml can of the only thing approaching craft beer they have. Just one vaguely pleasant beer on tap would make this shithole 3,000 per cent better, even if it was f**king Heineken.

No twats or psychos

A single psycho and a single twat are necessary in an excellent pub, so that you may compare yourself and feel grateful that you aren’t either. However, any more than one of each will render it a place where asking for a half will get you called a poofter and offered out for a fight in the pub car park puddle.

A brick through the massive telly

The TV in your local is theoretically there to show football, but when the football isn’t on, which is most of the time, they have it tuned to the BBC News channel with the subtitles on. It sucks the atmosphere out of the room, while simultaneously giving the twats and psychos something to make comments about, which are either racist or idiotic. Just get some cans from Tesco and go home.

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'Hi' and other basic interactions men read as flirting

MEN live in a barren emotional wasteland devoid of attention and compliments. That’s why they read these interactions as signs of romantic interest.


When said from one man to another, this is nothing more than a curt greeting. But when murmured by a woman working on the cheese counter at Morrisons, blokes often mistake this salutation as an admission of love. At which point they’ll tell her they’ve already got a girlfriend or that things are moving too fast.


This semi-automatic body action predominantly occurs to cleanse and moisten the eye. Although if a woman blinks, a man caught in her gaze will confuse her batting lashes for a coquettish come-on. To avoid sending mixed signals, women should let their eyeballs dry up and crust over until men have left the vicinity.

The briefest of eye contact

Locking eyes with your romantic interest is one of the most tried-and-tested ways to express your amorous feelings. Unfortunately, men do not excel at nuance and believe that the briefest, most fleeting picosecond of eye contact means women want to jump their bones. It doesn’t. It just means they want to make sure men don’t walk into them.

Shaking hands

Handshakes are about as formal and corporate as human interactions can get. This doesn’t stop men from reading too much into them though. After all, they’re making skin-on-skin contact with a woman, which means they’re practically having sex. Why else do you think men try to drag out their enthusiastic hand pumpings for as long as possible?


A wave has two purposes: to greet someone or to bid them farewell. Astute readers will notice that neither involves a secret flirtatious subtext. Despite this, desperate men will misconstrue an innocent wave from a woman as a Siren-like beckoning, and abandon all their senses as they flock to her side. Often only to realise she was waving to someone else.