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Monday, September 19, 2016

Two Writers Walk into a Bar...





     

        "Two writers walk into a bar" sounds like a variation on a cliched joke opening.  And really the observation has little to do with the point I wanted to make in this post.  First though, if you haven't voted on my current Battle of the Bands you might want to click this link in order to vote and read  the story and then skim through the comments   My words today are reflective of what was said there.

          Also, you might want to check out my most recent post on Wrote By Rote for some more backstory regarding the Battle of the Bands post.  In my Battle winner's announcement on Wednesday I'll continue on with my reflections and then hope to hear your thoughts as well.  Come to that post with your philosopher's robe and your memory cap.

            Concerning present thoughts about the two writers walking into a bar--I'll state right here that in my life I have been no stranger to going to bars, but for the most part I have neither been a frequent bar patron.  Not like Stephen T. McCarthy seemed to indicate about himself in his comment on my post.   Here's part of what McCarthy said:
It's occurred to me lately that probably there is no place you can go and meet a wider spectrum of people -- good and bad -- than in a bar. And I don't mean any bar. Not some rundown ghetto bar. But your average bar and grill in an average neighborhood.
That does pretty much describe people I've found in bars.  I have these vague recollections of some pretty interesting people that I've met and spent an hour or two or more with and then I never see them again and can't even remember their names.  

         However,  me being in a bar by myself is unlikely.  Most of my visits to bars were because I was with other people who were going there.  I'd go, but I usually didn't drink much.   For one thing I'm cheap--or should I say frugal?--and don't like spending money drinking.  Happy hour can be nice--especially if there are cheap (or even free!) snacks to nosh on while sipping inexpensive drinks. Then I save money on dinner and that ain't bad at all.

          My bar days are essentially behind me though so if two writers walk into a bar then one of them would probably not be me.   So the question in order to arrive at the punch line is who are these writers?  What are their genres?   Or for that matter, do they write fiction?

           As a joke teller you'd want to establish character motivation and set the scene.   Maybe some backstory would be good.  Are the writers married?   What are their genders?  What are their educational backgrounds?   And who else is in the bar?

         Sorry but I could keep rambling on about this idea. Maybe there is no joke here from my telling.  I should write a story about this.  I was never very good at telling jokes.    Actually maybe I should write a book about it.  Be watching for the release of my forthcoming book Two Writers Walk into a Bar.   Yeah, right, sure--just as soon as I write it.

           Hmmm...I kind of like that title:  Two Writers Walk into a Bar.

            Are you good at telling jokes?   Have you (or do you still) ever hung out in bars?  What would be a good way to end the joke that starts "Two writers walk into a bar..."?







40 comments:

  1. Bars are not my thing either. Although I had no problem visiting pubs in England.
    You'll see a wide variety of people at a sporting event as well.

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    1. Alex, I'm as likely to be at a sporting event as I would a bar.

      Lee

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  2. I don't drink, so I have only been in bars to watch bands play. Even if I did drink, I probably wouldn't go to bars because I would feel too guilty about spending too much and not getting something else done at home.

    Maybe feeling guilty about spending money and not accomplishing things at home is why people drink to begin with.

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    1. Nasreen, often my experience going to bars was to see a band play.

      Lee

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  3. Promenades are great places to people watch too.

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    1. HR, anywhere where people congregate is good for people watching, but each place shows people in different lights. Striking up a conversation might be easier in the right kind of bar.

      Lee

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  4. I wouldn't go to a bar in my hometown, but we always visit one or two when we stay in Wilmington. It's all in the atmosphere.

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    1. L.Diane, the closest bar to me is at Chili's. My wife and I go there every once in a while, but we go to eat and not to drink in the bar.

      Arlee Bird
      Tossing It Out

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  5. I've never been fond of bars, and have almost always begged off of attending community events for my age range that take place in bars. Maybe this is just a stereotype I picked up from TV or the movies when I was young and never had a chance to be corrected due to my bar avoidance, but I always was afraid a bunch of obnoxious, drunk guys would hit on me and be very aggressive. The vast majority of men have always seen me as either asexual or one of the guys, though a drunk might not care or notice I'm quite tomboyish.

    Coffeeshops and teahouses are a good way to observe lots of different people, as are libraries. One of my local libraries often has patrons who can't keep their conversations to themselves, so I know all their private business from the carrel next door!

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    1. Carrie-Anne, I've never picked up anybody in a bar, but then I'm not very aggressive, especially in a setting like a bar. I guess anywhere where there a people there are good opportunities for observation, but in a bar there might be better opportunities for actual interactions be they good or bad.

      Lee

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  6. The Inklings met in a bar... well, a pub, I suppose. They had a room or something where they would meet each week.

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    1. Andrew, uh, that's not funny. I think you tend to be a literalist like me and probably don't do well at telling jokes. I could be wrong of course and you might be funny as can be.

      Lee

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  7. I think this was pretty much how our blog was born. And the jokes, well, they just never stopped.

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  8. You can google "Two writers walk into a bar" - there is some weird stuff out there, so yeah, why don't you write a book.
    If you're looking for a wide spectrum of people you don't need to walk into a bar - simply attend a parents / teacher meeting ;-)

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    1. Tamara, I did glance at Google but didn't find any good jokes about writers walking into a bar. But I found some other funny ones. You can meet the people at school functions, but they are usually far more serious or not deeply serious enough as are people in bars.

      Lee

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  9. Met a few types in bars back in my University days, thankfully I'm far past bars though. Bathrooms there are sooooooooooo nasty. As for two writers walk into a bar neither got far because they couldn't write the punchline.

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    1. Pat, and the bad thing about those nasty bathrooms is that when I'm drinking in a bar I need to use them more often.

      Yeah, not getting to a punchline was illustrated in my post.

      Lee

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  10. Oh, during my university days I often went into bars and one always had my drink ready and actually called my name! I am not kidding:) I have had many fun times but those days have passed and glad they have. If I was still going, then I would need help:) as for the 2 guys going into a bar...I can't tell jokes very well so I shall leave it to Penwasser to come up with something fun.

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    1. Birgit, Sounds like you were at the "Cheers" bar where "everyone knows your name".

      Lee

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  11. Sometimes, more drawn for the music these days or to catch a game.

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    1. Mike, if I were wanting to drink I'd likely just stay at home--cheaper and safer getting home.

      Lee

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  12. "two writers walk into a bar" . . . and never meet because they are such introverts that need the appearance of social interaction they ignore or piss off every person that approaches.

    I have loved bars since the first time I walked into one. The people, the push and shove atmosphere, the flirting, the party people just there to have a few hours of escape.

    Country songs like Toby Kieth's I LOVE THIS BAR and Garth Brooks FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES appeal to me because, I love a bar scene.

    I've worked as backup bartender and coctail waitress, attended as a patron. I wouldn't mind owning a bar, and grill.

    Many times I've gone to a bar to write. I like when people come over to talk to me just cuz I have my computer on and seem uninterested in the activity. First and foremost, I'm a people watcher, and bar people can be friendly, flirty, sexy, snobbish, nuetral. But as you say, eclectic. I like working large parties because everyone is there for a great time. I despise consistent drunks.

    I don't recommend consistently patronizing a bar to "meet the right person," especially if you do not drink. If you're there to meet a variety of people, well you better be very friendly, and have an interesting story. Like any other group, its clicky; but very forgiving. We're social drunks afterall, lol.

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    1. Dolorah, meeting a future spouse or partner in a bar is likely a relationship that will fail. I wouldn't do that either. A bar is like a social club.

      For a while when my mother was still living "I Love This Bar" was like a tradition at family gatherings. We'd sit around the bar in her basement and at some point we'd invariably raise our glasses while singing the Toby Keith song.

      Lee

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  13. Not a bar person myself, there are usually way too loud for my ears. But a bar and grill might not be too bad. I can were you would be able to observe a vast array of people all at one time and their interactions with one another. Make for some very interesting (and probably unique) characters for a book.

    Thoughts in Progress
    and MC Book Tours

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    1. Mason, if there is live music or a DJ you can just about forget any reasonable conversation. That's always been one of my main complaints about going to a bar for socialization. I think a number of books, movies, and TV shows have been centered around bars--sometimes funny, sometimes serious--and there is always a variety of interesting characters.

      Lee

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  14. People often mention how many bars are in my stories--I'm not sure I've ever written a book that didn't have a bar in it. I spent much of my early life in bars on both sides of the counter. I ca't imagine a life without a bar in it.

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    1. Kathleen, the bar setting can offer so many opportunities in story telling. It's logical to have a bar in a story that takes place in a city or some community of people.

      Lee

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  15. Great post Lee, Pubs here are great to walk into. A good mixture of people.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, British pubs somehow seem more conducive to conversation--and playing darts.

      Lee

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  16. The first guy says, "Ouch, my head".... lol that was our first thought, good Sir Arlee....
    (thank you for that Smile)
    Hope that all is well with you and yours.

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    1. Dr. Theda, all is well in my neck of the woods despite the fact that I'm in Los Angeles.

      Lee

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    2. Carrie-Anne's comment reflects her unfamiliarity with bars / bar & grills. While the poor demeanor she describes can happen anywhere, including a neighborhood bar, it really occurs mostly in dance clubs and perhaps pool halls.

      But basic bars or bar & grills are not really "meat markets"; they're more for socializing -- unwinding, meeting people for conversation, telling some stories and joking around.

      And one reason I say that "there is no place you can go and meet a wider spectrum of people -- good and bad -- than in a bar" is because the drinking loosens people up. A couple of drinks and the personality starts to shine a bit brighter -- for better or for worse -- you get a perspective on the person that you wouldn't get in other circumstances or settings.

      Sure, one can meet many kinds of people in many places, but in the bar they let their hair down a bit more so you see them somewhat "highlighted" (pun intended). Or you see them influenced by "wine that makes glad the heart of man", as The Bible says in Psalm 104.

      (Link>) this funny conversation could ONLY have taken place in a bar.

      So, two writers walk into a bar but couldn't decide what to order because they were both suffering from...

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    3. STMcC, What you say here has been my observations and experiences as well. If you stay long enough in the right bar you start to feel like everyone else who's been staying for that duration (or even comes and goes) is like an old friend. You can get so much information without much probing. The video clip illustrates this well.

      Your "joke" example lost me. It would be a good writers prompt I suppose. Or the beginning of a more specific joke example. Maybe you need to explain it to me.

      Lee

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  17. I haven't hung out in bars much during my lifetime but always thought being a regular in a place like Cheers would be fun. However, I'm finding the best place to meet new folks is on neighborhood walks with Sassy dog. Among others, we now know Owen the pit bull/lab mix, and Murphy the black lab who guards the huge yard/garden on the corner, and Oswald the orange cat who likes dogs just fine.

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    1. Patricia, I think that's the concept described in the previous comment by STMcC--the simple bar where people just get together to drink and talk. I've been in some like that and it made for a pleasant time spent.

      When I go for a walk around here most people divert their gazes from those they encounter. Maybe I need a dog as a conversation starter.

      Lee

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  18. What a fun post! You should definitely write that book ;-) In younger years we had favorite hang-outs where they played good dancing music. These days it's more about good food (since we don't eat out much) and real cold beer. I don't tell many jokes, but I do love to hear them. Myself, it seems I'm only by accident.

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    1. Diedre, I should write a lot of books--maybe I will some day. I enjoy jokes, but I rarely seem to remember them or I screw up ones that I kind of remember.

      Lee

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  19. I don't drink, so the only bars I visit are bar and grills. I do enjoy Kilkenny's Irish Pub in Tulsa. It's a fun atmosphere and the food is delicious! I'm terrible at telling jokes and storytelling unless I'm talking to little kids, they like my stories :)

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    1. Elizabeth, my kids always seemed to like my stories. When I was a kid I thought my father was so funny--he loved to tell jokes and even when they were the same jokes over again they always seemed uproariously funny to me.

      I rarely drink without eating something along with it. I can't even remember the last time I went to a bar and just drank something.

      Lee

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Lee