June 18

I Came. I Saw. I Conquered.

A well-spoken, rotund and jolly philosopher once exclaimed, “Life is too short – Let’s get trollied!”

Off the back of such a groundbreaking and illustrious statement, an invention was made. Forget the wheel, telephone or Family Feast/Boneless Banquet KFC combo, I’m talking about the real good stuff – the holy grail of society, a heaven amongst hells, an architectural triumph that’s celebrated up and down the Great British Isles.

Yep, you guessed it. I’m talking about the straightforward, no-nonsense PUB.

The pub is where locals, travellers and the odd maverick can unwind, enjoy an assortment of slightly overpriced alcoholic beverages and even be graced with the opportunity to win the odd pound of sterling through a fruit machine and/or Match of The Day quiz game.

However, with choice comes sacrifice.

There are some pubs out there that simply have to be seen to be believed. One in particular stands out from the crowd.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… The Dog & Duck.

I came. I saw. I conquered. And now I’m going to return.

In the days leading up to my D&D debut last year, I was warned this pub had the distinct and flavoursome potential to be the worst I have ever experienced.

Naturally, with such predictions floating around my immediate living space, I only felt it appropriate to read up on this hideout that sits inelegantly on the West Coast of the British Isles.

Quickly, Trip Advisor reviews such as the below etched themselves across my swanky Apple product:

Review 1: A young gay man was walking past the entrance to this pub and was jumped by some locals. The pub owners reportedly did nothing about it and neither did any of the pub punters. That sums up this pub. I wish I was allowed to swear on this review because all I would say is this pub is a ‘something’ hole.

Review 2: The regulars can usually be found either yelling at the non regulars from the bar or lighting up outside. They are a pathetic sight. Usually void of any teeth or dignity. The women are dressed like hookers and the men like tramps. 

It is a horrible bar for horrible people. Do not go here.

Do not go here. Those four words resonated with me. DO NOT.

Strong, strong and arguably haunting words.

However, alongside such trepidation, came the fact I was wholeheartedly intrigued by what the Dog & Duck had to offer, and whether it really was a ‘pathetic sight’ and a ‘something hole’.

Quite frankly, I wanted to make my own judgement and was more than prepared to leave my prejudices and preconceptions at the front door.

Unfortunately, this was not entirely possible. After all, the Dog & Duck barely had a front door. Instead of a warm and pleasant undercurrent filling the cool evening’s summer air – we were treated to a (possibly) stolen traffic cone lodged between the imposing door frame.

Was it designed to keep people in, or out?

Me and my two brave pals didn’t reflect on it for a second longer. Before we knew it, we had impressively hurdled the ominous orange traffic beacon and proceeded to the dimly lit bar.

“Three pints of lager, please.”

The humungous man behind the bar was unmoved. Perfectly still. He barely blinked. I lightly coughed.

‘THREE PINTS OF LAGER, PLEASE.’ I exclaimed, with far more impetus.

Finally, the formidably sized man (as wide as he was tall) responded. In the form of walking off.

A middle-aged women quickly appeared and poured three drinks. They were not pints and they were not lager. She pounded them on the wooden surface. Were these our drinks? What was she playing at?

“Three terminators. There ya go, lovelies.”

Bemused and slightly sheepish, I handed over some legal tender and took in the scenery.

Something hole was putting it mildly. This place was an absolute effing state. With pubs rapidly closing down across Britain, I was dumbstruck that this one had somehow managed to survive. The locals didn’t help, as I shuffled past a gaggle of shirtless cronies who were playing on the shabby blood-stained pool table, I was growled at.

We eventually took refuge in an open-balcony-style-window-structure. It was basically the closest we could be to being physically outside of the pub, but still technically in it.

Once sat down, I gently took a sip of the putrid-looking terminator concoction. The red wine hit me first, followed by the Carlsberg Export, followed by an unknown third party. To say we nursed those Terminators that day would be a fairly correct assessment.

An hour later, we left in a vow of silence and ended up dousing each other in gallons of disinfectant bought from a nearby garage forecourt.

Now, it’s time to relive the nightmare because to be totally honest, I absolutely thrive on the adrenaline that’s provided from knowing you could get smashed round the head by a £3 wine bottle on any given Sunday. Oh, and I have nothing better to do.

Follow on Twitter: @GigEmNation

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