What do men talk about in pubs?
I wonder. I really do.
My experience of (and research on) men points to a less verbally voracious gender – in general – than ours.
Men grunt, right? Or at least, they don’t talk loads among themselves over cocktails like we do. They don’t gossip. They struggle to see the point of chatter for chatter’s sake. I mean – if there’s a hot woman hoving into view, maybe. Or a pressing issue that is effecting their lives in the present moment or presents a real danger, maybe. Some men are even known to love the sound of their own voice, particularly on intellectual matters, but this love is usually asserted when women are present. Remember, the phrase, “a man of few words” doesn’t have an equivelent for women. Have you ever heard of “a woman of few words”? They exist, but the saying doesn’t.
Which brings me back to the mystery of what men are talking about when they huddle intensely in pubs. They may be setting the world to rights, but I have a hunch that those sort of conversations are the stuff of legend, the type of thing James Joyce may have done in the pub, or perhaps, Betrand Russell, or David Hume.
Not the dudes miming feeling up women’s bottoms when they walked past in Keehoe’s last night in Dublin. Yet when the women weren’t walking by, these two were so engrossed in conversation it looked as though they were deciding whether or not to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. We were at the pub for 2.5 hours during which point the pair of them did not break or pause – except to mime arse-feeling. Then there was the cluster at the other end of the bar. We were observing them closely since some of them were attractive (though one looked curiously like he was eating his beer) – but mostly because they wouldn’t look at us. And why not? Too engrossed in their conversation, hour after hour. We were were looking eye-catching, I can assure you. And being obvious. It was odd. Not a glance. Not a leer. Just pure absorption. Behind us were four more, behind them, another two. Two men, talking all night, not gay (this was Ireland, after all).
So what was it?
Was it sport? (But for two hours??? Maybe more than one).
Was it women (For two hours? No.)
Was it politics? (Err, maybe?)
Was it…gardening? Fashion? Family? No, no, no. These were guys who mimed arse-pinching.
I am genuinely at a loss. Any suggestions welcome – men, feel free to come forward. What do YOU talk about in the pub?