I often am left with the impression that perhaps we don't have a culture, this being a subject which I often think about but find myself unable to articulate in writing. Where are these rituals that define us? Oh, I know they are there, but they have an arbitrary, intertwined quality, as if still struggling to assemble into a cohesive pattern. In September when the firefighters were out and about in force, and thankfully supporting my pub, I struggled through the complications of figuring out just who was going to cover who's tab at the end of the night amongst 20 or so random and circulating government contractors. I have to admit to witnessing numerous acts of generosity, but not a single definable and namable expression of said.
I'm presently sitting at the High Street Cafe in Eugene, Oregon. They have food, WiFi, and beer, of which I could write stories about (along with my impressions and opinions of McMenamins). I lurk by myself, sitting in the nice corner seat by the bathrooms (yes, I know there is no bath in there). I'm not buying anybody a round. Why? Because I'm playing the frantic businessman on a resource-run to the local city, using the spare moments to write a potentially useless blog about a ritual that only works when all are in agreement and share an engaging tradition. In other similar situations, given a society of social gray matter, I might be inclined to buy a round. Too bad that the staff would not be impressed with a representative of a group of blokes ambling up to the bar every 34 minutes with a 20 dollar document of legal tender for yet another round. Let's just run a tab. (Author rummages for credit card).