A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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June 2008, vol 4 no 2

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Gary Eaton


Pub Crawler

Unfortunately, leisure is not always compatible with a drinking habit like mine. Cadging drinks for an entire evening can be a chore, and usually keeps me on the move. Curious to see how many miles I cover on a typical evening, I plot on a street map the various possible through routes to all my favorite night spots. Using a protractor and compass from a class I once hoped to complete in Euclid produces a scatter diagram resembling, unexpectedly, the geographic profiling of serial killers. Looked at in a certain light, it also suggests the analytic tools used by target marketers, and I can see if they were to canvas serious drinkers like me on a large enough scale they could pinpoint desirable new pub locations that would save us all a lot of legwork. But since the idea smacks uncomfortably of labor and commitment, I stick to my original plan.

It turns out that my residence lies almost equidistant as the crow flies from the seventeen pubs, lounges and beer parlors at which I frequently land in the downtown core. The probability of such a result being random approaches infinity to one, against. And furthermore, as the lack of any measurable correlation between the standard sets of deviations and mine makes clear, I subconsciously chose this flat with certain socio-economic limitations in mind, to lie in a position that would maximize my available resources and opportunities for access to most of the other major drinking holes in the city. So, as far as I can tell, the secret location of the grimy bed sitter where I sleep is in fact a masterpiece of strategic plotting, a fox's dream of the very best cover in which to lie, waiting until this morning's hangover disappears and tomorrow's is ready to begin finding its shape.

city map—
the soiled crease
where I live

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