I fully admit to being irascible. I am. Occasionally I show my soft side, hence once being christened ‘Mr Fluffy.’ That destroyed my cred for a while. I came back from it. I am a grumpy bastard.

Here is something that makes me really cross, really grumpy, truly irritated, close to incandescently pissed off. Grownups drinking through straws. In a pub.

Now there are circumstances where you might use a straw. It’s hard to imagine not using a straw to deal with a milkshake in Mackie D’s, though it’s equally hard to imagine why you’d have a milkshake in Mackie D’s in the first place. I’ve not been there in  years, but when I did and I had, for example, a Coke, I’d not bother with a straw, and I’d discard the lid to tackle the tasty beverage in a proper grownup way.

Certain cocktails might also require a straw, but again your general judgement may be a bit lacking if you drink cocktails anyway. I don’t mind the odd Old Fashioned, but as soon as we get to anything with umbrellas, sparklers, and lumps of fruit, forget it. I’m not playing.

This applies in spades if you order a large Scotch and soda, then ask for a straw. There’s a good reason they don’t sell Scotch in kindergarten, but there’s no reason to regress to toddlerhood when you’re drinking spirits. Or cider for that matter.

While I’m on the subject of cider, let’s be clear. Cider is made from apples. That’s it. Apples. If you make pear cider, it’s strictly perry. And cider does not need to addition of extraneous flavourings. You don’t need to add strawberries, or blackberries, or anything else to make it more acceptable to the undiscerning unformed palate. And those fruit ciders are a bit of a contradiction in terms, since cider is already made with sodding fruit called apples! And don’t drink them through a straw!

While we’re at it, if you order a white wine spritzer, and ask for it to be made with lemonade rather than soda water, I’m going to take that as a clear sign of moral turpitude. Also never ask for a pint of shandy made with a premium, high quality lager. My Ocker mate Tyler* refused to serve this, and would get another staffer to do it.

*This is the same Tyler who barred somebody for being boring.