I can honestly say that it was not my intention to go to the pub!
The 4th of July may traditionally be known as US Independence Day but this year it also marked the first day in almost 4 months that pubs have been allowed to open their doors in England.
For many people in the UK, a local pub is simply an extension of their own home and as we all know an Englishman's home is his castle. Therefore, to win back such a simple freedom, in my opinion, shits all over anything that they might be celebrating on the other side of the Atlantic. As such, in a cruel twist of fate, the significance of Independence Day on 4th July now rests with us Brits, your once cruel imperial overlords!
Still, I was very much of the opinion that it'd be better to sit this one out and allow the inevitable carnage that would be unleashed as a result of the reopening to unfold while I was safely tucked up in bed.
All through the coronavirus epidemic, I have taken the view that it's not so much the virus that concerns me as it is the way that other people (particularly groups of other people) will react in such situations and when you add alcohol into the mix then things can get really messy!
So, on Saturday morning I sat down and planned my day which as usual involved ensuring I'd done my share of the daily chores and spent some time with the kids before then turning to my other passion, sport.
My 2nd team and my dad's favourite team, Bristol City were playing at 3pm and as it was a local derby against Cardiff City the match was being shown live on TV. Therefore, I thought I'd give him a call and see if he wanted to watch the match together. He agreed that I could come over and watch it at his place and I also invited him and my mum to then come back over to ours for dinner and to watch a Harry Potter movie later that same day.
The Harry Potter movie was less for me and more for my eldest son, who received the full set of books for his 6th birthday. He is an avid reader and puts me and I'd imagine most adults to shame with the way he devours literature but all the same, we have a rule (which has become more of a tradition) that he can only watch the Harry Potter movies once he's finished the relevant book and this week we completed The Order of the Pheonix. As a treat, he is also allowed to eat junk food whilst watching the movie so I poped out in the morning to buy what amounted to a homemade version of KFC and invited my parents to partake in the gluttony.
The timing was going to be perfect! We would finish watching the football about 5ish, walk back around to my house (10-15mins), eat and watch the movie.
All was going well until my mum decided she wasn't quite finished with the work she'd be doing while we were watching the football and that we 2 boys (my dad and I) should start walking first and she'd catch-up.
Technically speaking the pub isn't between our 2 houses but with a bit of creativity, you can plot a route that's not too far removed from the shortest path and to give my Dad and I credit, when there is beer involved we aren't short on creativity!
"Let's just walk past and see what's happening" I suggested
"Yeah, let's" My dad replied
To some extent, I think I thought we'd get there and see a long queue of patrons waiting desperately to get in and indulge in their drug of choice while I simply walked by with a sense of moral superiority. However, in reality I knew what I wanted was the opportunity for a pint!
And so it came to be that as we approached the pub we saw no queue, no overly managed social situation and no loutish behaviour. Instead, we simply saw a pub with a couple of empty tables in the beer garden and the rest is history.
I was just about to walk up to the bar and order when my wife called to find out where we were and those of you with significant others needed have me explain how that conversation went down! In some form or another I will be paying for this pint for some time to come but god damn, it was worth it!