Overheard at a former place of work:
“So you’re going, plus Brendan, Mike, Tony… What about Andy, have you asked him?”
“Andy? You mean Pilot Light?”
“Why do you call him that?”
“‘Cause he never goes out.”
I seem to have developed pilot light tendencies myself since joining CAMRA. Not that I never go out – I go out Saturdays and most Wednesdays, as it goes – but the opportunities to get together with the local branch have passed me by, or else I’ve passed them by. There was a social just up the road from me; I went but managed not to see anyone (it turns out that when I walked in they all coincidentally went and hid in the cellar). There was a new members’ social, which looked like a good laugh and would have involved a free pint; I would definitely have gone to that if we hadn’t been away. There was a beer-tasting; that I did go to (well, you would). Then there was a POTS presentation that I missed, because I’d spent several hours playing music in that pub a few nights before, and a “meet the brewer” in the same pub that I would have missed if I hadn’t already been there that night (playing music).
And then there was another social, tonight, taking in two of my favourite local pubs, and here I am at home in front of the computer. What can I say – I was out late last night, I’m coming down with a cold, I wouldn’t have been very good company… Feeble, I know. Next time. Next time there’s anything I can get to without too much stress I’ll be there.
This doesn’t mean I’ll be going to the next branch social in the spirit of doing my duty to the branch – I don’t think that would be much fun. What it does mean is that next time I see one advertised I’ll remind myself of what a good opportunity it is to drink beer with like-minded people. I actually think socialising is one of the most important things CAMRA does – it makes the organisation a real thing consisting of real people, not just an abstract idea of a campaign that we all sign up to. (Plus it involves drinking beer, which is what it’s all about, after all.)
PS Hope the Salamander Honky Tonk was good – I had some last night which was very nice indeed.