Another thing the Internet has destroyed is the great tradition of “pub bullshit” and the traditional “pub bullshitters” who trade in it. Obviously we’re still in the early days of the Internet, but it’s now so easy to pull out a phone and check the facts that these people have shifted further into the darker corners; near the gents.
So many interesting facts have been passed on to me, and then passed on again by me to others [yes, I too was a pub bullshitter], that it’s quite upsetting to discover they were complete bullshit, even though they were only rendered credible because they seemed so unlikely. Pub soothsayers used to be able to bemuse the punters with assertions like:
“You know ducks quack, well have you ever heard a quack echo? No. You know why? Quacks are the only sound that doesn’t echo and no-one knows why”
“Do you know why sirloin steak is called sirloin? It’s because Henry VIII liked it so much that he knighted it. And that’s true that is.”
“You know that Marc Almond…etc”
“My brother’s just bought a swimming pool, and put that stuff in that goes purple when someone pisses in it”
As much as I loved this urban tradition as a historical artifact, it’s good to wave it goodbye. No longer will anyone accept an assertion as true if the only citation is “a bloke down the pub”.
That’s progress that is. A bloke down the pub told me about it.