While studiously researching at The Bilge, I recently received a 'private message' from one of the ‘Senior Members’. Now, I’m used to the bloggy way of doing things, and wasn’t sure what to do about the ‘private’ message. Who was this stranger? I had not seen his avatar on the only place I ever posted—the Question for a work of fiction thread that I started.
The message said: “For some really good stuff come to the pub. ”
Very mysterious…I mean, how would you take that?
Well, I wasn’t quite sure how to take it. What exactly is ‘The PUB?’ I wondered. Sure, I was curious as all get out, but what exactly would I be getting myself into? I was just too chicken to respond.
A day or so later, I received another ‘private message,’ this time from an avatar I recognized, Mrleft8 (he knows a lot of boat stuff). He said that over at the pub, there was ‘a little bit that might be of interest to me in describing a dive bar.’ He was also kind enough to provide directions. It is located on the seedier side of town—it is The Bilge, after all—so I was still hesitant, which, as most of you know, is much a part of my nature.
Undeterred, I grabbed my paper and pad, smoothed my skirt against my trembling schoolgirl legs, sucked in some courage, and stepped through the door. Surprisingly, it was not as seedy as I expected.
Instead, the aroma of Welsh rarebit and a tasty vegetable soup, chock full of tender bits of assorted roots, stems, leaves, and fruits rushed my olfactory senses. I could smell boneless ribeye steak, grilling to perfection over charcoal, to be served with hand cut fries, and a Waldorf salad. The special on tap was Molson Brador. Honestly, just standing there I put on ten pounds!
The crew at the Pub—including Bobby, who first offered the invite—have built a virtual pub experience...and with only words! Imagine that!
When Bobby asked, “Ok, water, wine, beer what’s your drink? Welcome to the pub,” I was still a little nervous.
Hoping no one else would hear, I said, “Okay, please don’t' mock and ridicule—I drink the cheapest and lightest beer I can find. But I'm open to trying pretty much anything.”
Well, before I could flip my writing tablet open, he placed a frosty beer in front of me with a wink. Some of the locals sat at the bar beside me and started making small talk, asking me where I was from. They were a very congenial lot, and I recognized quite a few of them. We continued to chat for a bit as I drank my light beer, but mostly I just listened.
Then I told them, “I'm just going to sit quietly over here at the table in the corner. You just pretend I'm not here and talk about all sorts of boatsie things.”
I guess I didn’t make too bad of an impression, (although they speculated that I was a green apple martini, or cosmopolitan kinda gal, which I'm not).
They even posted the link to this Dire Straits, YouTube video for me, in spite of the fact that they did not get a special mention on my blog post about Researching at The Bilge.
Incidentally, the PUB boasts the most frequently visited and commented on thread over at The Bilge forum, and I consider it a privilege to hang out for a few minutes here and there.
I wonder, when doing research for your writing, have you ever had to go somewhere that made you a little nervous?