Setting Thesaurus Entry: Pub

Sight

Booths, high tables and stools, long bar, hanging glass racks, mirror behind the bar, hundreds of different alcohol bottles, stools, kick plate along bar, straws, sprayers, TVs, beer/wine/highball/martini glasses, beer on tap, shot glasses, bowls of peanuts/pretzels, cut limes/lemons and orange, dirty glasses, spills on the bar & floor, leather seats, waitresses dressed in tight clothes, round trays, rags, nachos, wings, dry ribs, poppers, calamari, fries, club sandwiches, fish and chips and other pub food, kitchen, bartenders, neon beer signs, bathrooms, cherries, blenders, ice, napkins, sports memorabilia, menus, highball list, dirty plates, forks, knives, spoons, coffee cups, creamers, sugar, pool or snooker tables, VLTs, sports banners for local teams, pay phone, cigarette machine, cash registers, computers, speakers, drunk people stumbling or hanging all over people, people dancing/swaying, low lighting, tall glasses, beer foam, cigarette smoke (in pubs with no smoking ban), darts/dart boards, guest live bands on weekends, groups of people huddled around tables and along the bar counter, purses & coats slung over the back of worn chairs, decor & menu often themed (sports, Irish or English style pubs, Biker, country & western or rock and roll)

Sounds

music, talking, laughing, cheering, swearing, yelling, whistling, TVs, calling out orders, glasses clinking, cutlery scraping, thump of glass mugs onto tabletop, pool balls hitting one another, dings from the VLTs, the pressurized rush of a beer tap, coffee pot gurgling, inebriated people talking too loud/slurring their words, receipts spitting out of the machine, the think of cigarettes falling into the vending machine tray, doors opening and closing, chairs scraping, arguments

Smells

Beer, food cooking, grease, spices, char, sweat, perfume, aftershave, cigarette smell clinging to people's clothing, bad breath, beer breath, vomit, dirty money

Tastes

Beer, pop, alcohols (rum, vodka, liqueurs, whisky, gin, etc), coffee, pub food (nachos, salsa, hot wings, teriyaki wings, dry ribs, poppers, tempura, calamari, pizza, fish and chips, burgers, etc), water, orange juice, wine, gum, mints

Touch

Drunk people (bumping, groping, brushing, stumbling), taking hold of the back of a chair or stool and dragging it to a table, fingers around a glass of beer covered in condensation, wiping finders/mouth with a dry napkin, sticky hot sauce on fingers, spilling beer on self, smacking an empty shot glass onto a table, the burn of pure alcohol in the throat, sweet cocktails, licking sugar off a rimmed glass, biting into a decorative cherry, twirling a olive spear from a martini glass, shuffling over on a bench or booth seat to make room for another person, the pressure of a full bladder, touching up make up & hair in a mirror, an unsteady walk, missing stairs and stumbling, touching people on the arm, looping an arm around another's waist or shoulders, hugging, kissing, touching some one's hair, pushing hair off the shoulder or out of the face, ripping napkins, fiddling with coasters or sugar packets, wiping up spilled drinks with napkins, clinking glasses together in a toast, blowing steam from hot food or coffee, sipping cold liquid, ice bumping the lips in a drink

Helpful hints:

--The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.

Example 1:

After a slight hesitation, I squeezed myself onto the only vacant seat at the bar--a stool with a torn leather seat. Smoke permeated the room, forcing me to adopt a squint as I kept the entrance in view. TVs blared overhead and truckers slouched to either side of me, the collection of empty shot glasses and beer mugs in front them suggesting career drinkers. I set my purse on the worn bar and tried to flag down a bartender, accidentially dragging my sleeve through a spill of beer. Damn it! I glared at the door, ready to leave as soon as Marcie showed up. Only my sister would pick a place like this.

Example 2:

I typed the order into the computer for table twelve and then collected the drinks waiting by my tray at the bar. Behind me, the guy who'd come in just after the hockey game with his buddies was winding up, his voice growing steadily louder as he switched from highballs to shots. Every night we usually got at least one, and tonight he sat in my section. Hopefully he'd leave on his own before the slurry come-ons and groping started, or I'd have to get the bartender to toss him out.

--Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.

Example 1: (Simile)

The woman with the platinum blonde hair and tight mini skirt sauntered up to the bar, eyeing the regulars like an aging lioness hungry for a meal.

Example 2: (Metaphor)

Once through the door, I fought my way through a gauntlet of rough bodies, stale beer breath and sport-related war paint. Halfway to the back a collective shout went up, and someone's drink doused the back of my blouse. Why did I ever agree to meet Mac here on the night of the Grey Cup?

12 comments:

Windsong said...

Nice list. Thank you for all your hard work!

Keri Mikulski said...

Thanks! :)

PJ Hoover said...

Pubs are so much fun! Working them into kids books is a nice challenge :)

Steph Infection said...

Thanks for the excellent tips!

Robyn said...

Wow, you really worked on this list. It's absolutely the BEST one I've seen on this. I really like the touch, which I need to use more! I love exp. #1 using the simile. Thanks so much! *SMILES*

Kelly said...

Great entry! If it was the afternoon, I might have a cold one after reading it!

Mary Witzl said...

I can almost smell that stale beer and hear the tinkle of glass.

Love that aging lioness...

Christina Farley said...

More good stuff like usual. Love your blog!

Vivian said...

This is a fun one!

Angela said...

Glad it helps. I know this one is more for the adult writers, but it's a great setting and you never know... ;-)

Have a great week, everyone!

Jessica said...

LOL! Aging lioness hungry for a meal. I LOVE it.

Kate said...

It must have been hard work researching this one! ;) Thanks again for some great ideas.

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