A few years ago, Your JoeDog was with Mrs. JoeDog in McSorley’s Old Ale House. For those who’ve never been to McSorley’s it’s an interesting place. The East Village pub is well-known for its very large beer selection. The choices are overwhelming. Since 1854 they’ve been serving McSorley’s light and McSorley’s dark. Truth be known, the “dark” is just light with added syrup. But here’s the cool part: a “beer” is actually two beers. If you and a companion order a couple, the bartender brings you four.
McSorley’s etiquette holds that tables should be shared. You shouldn’t sit at an empty table unless all the others are full. On that late Saturday afternoon a few years ago, Mr. and Mrs. JoeDog sat beside a man from Frankfurt, Germany. We engaged him in a conversation about German cars and German beer. Finally he said, “All you Americans want to talk to Germans about is cars and beer.” Basking in the warm caress of a second round Your JoeDog said, “And after a few more of these, we’ll probably ask about you-know-who.”
It turns out there’s more to Germany that cars, beer and Hitler. Who knew?
Recently Your JoeDogs found the tables turned when they went to London to watch their beloved New York Jets defeat the hated Miami Dolphins. The game was part of the NFL’s international series. London pub culture is a lot like McSorleys. Table sharing isn’t mandatory, but it’s pretty common. It didn’t take long before we noticed a trend similar to what that German man discovered in America. There’s one thing Londoners seem to want to discuss with Americans. That one thing is guns.
Why do you have so much gun violence? Why do you have so many guns? The answer is: I don’t fscking know. Now if Your JoeDog had a modicum of interest in guns these inquiries may have been amusing. He may have enjoyed the engagement. But like that German in McSorley’s Old Ale House, Your JoeDog grew tired fast. Yes, America is armed to the teeth. Yes, America loves its guns. Your JoeDog is not part of that culture. The most lethal weapon he’s ever fired was a toy water gun.
Can we talk about German beer and German cars instead?