It doesn’t necessarily have to be the geographically closest establishment to be his Local. The Local is where you feel that you are comfortably at home drinking down an icy ale in a much grander building than your own. Rather than the actuality of the event (in all likelihood you’re actually sitting in a dreary room with a pool table, ciggy machine, a specials board that hasn’t been updated since 1997 and a smattering of senile men spilling beer over the front of themselves as they ogle the bargirl and regale their mates about the time they played for Spotswood and kicked two – you’d like to think you’re not doing the same, but the same stained shirt you always wear [to the Local] begs to differ).
You’re quietly proud of your local. When you visit classy places (places not adjoined to Pokies) you may poke fun at pubs like your local – to fit in – but you’re always mindful to say to yourself “I didn’t mean that, if only I was at the local, then I could fart and play pool and not pay $9.50 for a pint from somewhere I can’t pronounce” – or something along those lines.
It’s like being really good at Mario Kart – the Local means the world to you but it wont help you get a job and it won’t please your wife much when you end up there 4 times a week after work. She’s not jealous of the venue, she’ll just be fuming at the time you spent there and that you managed to allow more money for the Barry machine than the bar tab (a lot) – particularly as you haven’t taken her out for a while.
The Local is a bloke’s haven. My Local is in North Fitzroy and I don’t get there much but I still say to myself, while I’m downing Espresso Martinis at some inner city joint, that I miss you and I’d love to play pool once more. The Lord Newry Hotel – my Mario Kart.