On Barmen…

09/15/2000

Barmen are alluring for three reasons. Firstly, they have to be nice to you. Secondly, they are often employed because they are physically attractive (although this could be a condition only in gay culture). Thirdly, they bring you alcohol if you ask them nicely.

Barmen are unobtainable for pretty much all of the reasons above. Firstly, they have to be nice to you. They don’t actually want to be, quite a lot of the time, or they’re tired, or they just resent having to be chirpy all the time. Secondly, they are often employed because they are physically attractive. Everyone knows that the more attractive a man is, then the more selective he can be, and the more unpleasantly arrogant he will become as a result. Thirdly, they bring you alcohol if you ask them nicely. And then they watch you get drunk, from afar, in a detached fashion. Possibly with an eyebrow raised.

I have a long history of being fascinated with barmen. Most recently, I have been trying to strike up a conversation with one of the barmen at Escape which sits beneath the Raymond Revue Bar in London’s Soho. I’m not particularly trying to nail him – I just think he looks cool. But the curse of being a barman is the ongoing assumption that everyone wants to shag you – and hence the complete inability to talk to anyone who, at first glance, you wouldn’t necessarily want to wake up (with a hangover) next to.

Having realised this, of course, my first thought was whether it might be possible to supplement my income with a part-time, day-a-week job behind a bar. But maybe that’s taking things too far.