You will go to the nightclubs.

You will go to the hotspots.

You will spend hours at a salsa club.

And you will spend years chasing tail in loud “Oomp-chicka-oomp” establishments.

However, like every man you will age and the novelty of the chase will wear off. You will look at the hassle and pain of parking, paying for parking, waiting in line, paying covers, and screaming over loud music to disinterested girls in the hopes your game can pierce this incredibly hostile environment, and say, “fuck this.”  You will also start to add up all of your “successes” and realize most of the women you picked up, even the lays, were not worth the price you paid in terms of time, money, labor and sanity. And so instead of thinking of “what could be” you start to think in terms “opportunity cost.”

Yeah, you could go chase Bambi at Sluts’n’Butz, but you could also just enjoy some really quality scotch you could never afford otherwise.

Yeah, you could take out Madison the Perpetual Social Work Masters Candidate, but you could finish programming that website for your new company.

And yes, you could masterfully approach 10 different girls in a night, but it would be nice instead to just sit and enjoy a pint while watching the game.

Welcome to the next stage in your life, son. The novelty of being a player has worn off, and you are now on your way to becoming an extraordinary gentleman. There’s nothing wrong with this.  It doesn’t mean you’re no longer a player (you will always be able to play the game).  But you are maturing and more importantly, starting to value your time and your life more than just another harlot you had to tell pretty lies to so you may bang her whilst suffering her mindless blathering. This is the stage in life where you contemplate hobbies, living life, traveling around the world, learning a new language, writing that book, and all other endeavors that fall under “pursuing your dreams.” And you’ll quickly realize just what a waste hanging out at all those loud nightclubs is rapidly becoming.

But before you book your flight to Thailand, may I suggest a vital and necessary component to enjoying this next stage in life?

Find yourself a friendly neighborhood bar.

Your friendly neighborhood bar is precisely that—YOUR friendly neighborhood bar. Not that you own it, but it is a place you regularly go to, and in doing so establish a social ownership of sorts or allegiance to that place. You become a “regular” and in doing so gain many ancillary benefits, certainly more benefits than going to another discotheque. But before you just pick any random bar, you have to ensure you pick the right one.

One, make sure it’s within walking distance. DUI’s and DWI’s are an all-too-common problem that plague men. Every guy loves to get hammered every once in a while, but it just takes that tail-light to be out or a crack in a windshield and Officer Trumpedupcharges can ruin your finances for half a year, jack up your insurance, and put a huge dent in your career. If the bar is within walking distance, not only are you saving money on gas, but you are also sparing yourself a DWI that will pay for all of your drinks for the rest of your life.

Two, in being within walking distance the bar is also by default within your neighborhood. This is important in that pubs are still the source of information, rumor, and gossip. Not that you care about gossip like women do in People Magazine, but it’s always good to have your ear to the ground in the town you live. Property taxes, which cops to look out for, which women to avoid so you don’t shit in your own yard, etc.  You’ll learn more about your town from the bar than you will the local crappy newspaper.

Three, quality customers. There was a bar I had to walk past in Wyoming everyday en route to work. “The Century Club.” Even though it was 7:45 AM, you could peer into the bar and see it full of people. The sad thing is that this was Buffalo, Wyoming and there were no 24-hour mines or factories which would rationalize having the nightshift drinking “after their shift ended.”  Nope, just 100% grade-A alcoholics!

Not the type of people you want in YOUR friendly neighborhood bar.

No, you want to find a nice bar. A pub. Even something pushing a “gentleman’s club,” but not so fancy it starts to move into “posh night club” or “country club” territory. I have a preference for Irish pubs and cigar lounges, but the key thing is that you are not going to find the cheapest place. You need to pay a premium for your drinks and your food because in doing so you will also have premium people in the bar. This is important because over time you will establish a rapport with these individuals, and if you live in the town long enough, they will become your surrogate family. It will also guarantee higher-quality conversation with said patrons, not to mention potentially lead to business dealings, social activities, and other fringe benefits.

Four, quality bartenders. Good bartenders don’t just know how to pour a Guinness with decent head or know that a Gibson has pearl onions in it. They are also good listeners. Not that you abuse them as your personal therapist, but a near-daily visit to your friendly neighborhood bartender is a good psychological release where you can tell him your problems and he his. Also, in having a regular bartender (and assuming you tip very well) they are more prone to “oops!” accidentally pour you a double Rumpie when you, in a very honest and Christian manner, insist on a single.  They are also prone to give you food somebody returned, not to mention “sample the new beer they just got.” Take the money you’d normally pay for parking while chasing Tilly McDitz and tip the bar staff generously.

Finally, atmosphere. Somewhat related to going with a higher class bar, you need the bar to be comfortable, warm, and inviting.  Comfortable chairs (cigar lounges are great for this), tasteful decorations on the wall, a nice oak bar top, and above all else MUSIC THAT IS NOT LOUD NOR OBNOXIOUS. This is your home away from home. Your quiet office. Your personal den. Your happy place of zen. You should be able to have a normal conversation without yelling over music or people, just as you could break out a laptop and do some work undisturbed.

Naturally, to find a bar with all these qualities is difficult. However, the friendly neighborhood bar will play such an important underlying role in your life that I strongly advocate you only rent or buy lodging within walking distance of such a bar. The benefits are often unappreciated and rarely realized.

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