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What’s Love Got To Do With It?

12 months ago

I remember a time when we’d meet in the Akenside.

A few looseners before trawling the fleshpots of The Quayside, hunting for quick thrills that may lead to a long-term romance.

Shared triumphs and failures, memories made by people, characters and conquests. We didn’t always score, but we had hope, we had a laugh.

If Newcastle United was a pub and you went there on the pull, you’d be sadly disappointed.

Dank and dusty with sticky carpets, a sea of old balding men sat on cold wooden seats. No fancy beers, sambuca or single malts served here, just two pumps labelled ‘brown beer’ and ‘warm lager’. A buffet of joyless stale cheese and onion crisps.

Why pin your hopes of romance on an underperforming barmaid who looks uncannily like Jonjo Shelvey? She’s just going through the motions. It’s a job. She’s not here to show you a good time. You might be desperate but really mate, she’s not your type. You’ve had better. You’ll only regret it in the morning.

Let’s not speak about the lardy landlord….without us, the jukebox, the atmosphere, without the craic, without the people, without a chance of romance or a leg over…he wouldn’t have a business.

So what’s the point?

Why are you here? Habit? Addiction? You’re older now, you should move on, snap out of this endless loop of disappointment. Drink up and off.

Back in the day when you were wet behind the ears, to come here looking for love was forgivable…but if you still find yourself here week after week after week…and you still hang on to hope…just how many times can you have your heart broken?

You have a problem. You need to let go but you don’t know when enough is enough. That’s the nature of addiction.

You see James Dean with a Malboro cooly hanging off his lip, we see a shivering smoker huddled in a doorway in the rain. Every time the flame goes out you spark up again, poisoning your body and emptying your pockets. There are no winners in this game.

Last orders.

Time at the bar.


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