Not because of the hordes of people in daft hats swigging back the Black Stuff and singing out of tune or even because the Welsh will fancy a drink or two after their Six Nations success.
I’m not up for it because instead of drinking I am supposed to be working tonight.
I am down to do a stint behind the bar at a local pub, The Blue Anchor in Crowborough, East Sussex, as part of my own initiative to get more practical experience of a subject I spend my days writing about.
The fact is though, it’s Sunday, my two-year-old son is clinging to my legs for dear life, it’s tipping down outside, and I can’t really be arsed to leave the house.
But I do. And the main reason is because this must be how many people feel before putting a shift in. Not motivated, not at their best but still having to get behind the bar and put a smile on.
I needn’t have worried about having to find a forced sense of jollity. My hosts for the night brothers, Martyn and Damian and wife/sister-in-law Caroline, welcome me behind the bar and deftly bring me into a conversation with a friendly bunch of locals.
The atmosphere is good and I sense that this could actually be fun.
The trio have been at the pub – a Shepherd Neame tenancy – for four years and in that time have built up local and destination trade based around good quality, locally sourced food and a bar run to the highest of standards.
Thankfully as tonight is quiz night I don’t have to worry about any food orders. My job is to serve drinks and take the money.
You might think that with it being St Patrick’s Day there would be plenty of Guinness flowing but despite an Ireland themed section in the quiz, it isn’t really that sort of night. I only serve a few pints of Guinness and these come with a dash of blackcurrant. My biggest achievement is not turning my nose up at the order.
As I completed my first shift last week I feel confident pulling a pint (first up, cider – yes! Easy) but the team have plenty of tips for me.
I’m told to give the lager a swirl as I pour to encourage a decent head, which is the exact opposite to the problem I faced last time out.
When my fingers stray too close to the top of a pint Damian tells me to grab the glass with my little finger rested underneath, explaining that if a hand is anywhere near where the customer drinks from he won’t let it go across the bar.
After pouring what I, in my humble opinion, consider to be a darn decent pint of Kent Best, I tell a customer I can’t serve him that one and begin pouring another.
‘You’ve just poured me a pint. What’s wrong with that one?’
‘Oh, I can’t give you that one I’m afraid.’
‘Why ever not, it looks fine (he may have said ‘darn decent’, I can’t quite recall).
Anyway, I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to explain why I chose to rest that first pint on the back bar. I look across to Damian for help, but his expression suggests that he doesn’t have a clue why I am faffing about and wasting good drink.
‘I’m afraid I’ve contaminated that one,’ I venture
As soon as the sentence leaves my mouth I realise that my choice of words make it sound like I have gobbed in his pint.
‘A hair fell in it.’ I add. ‘An eyelash’, I splutter out, just for the sake of clarity.
‘Right, lovely. Thanks,’ says the customer, unimpressed, walking off with his uncontaminated beer.
Still, Damian tells me I did the right thing, even if my phrasing, a little ironically, wasn’t of as high a standard as my pint-pouring. It also means that I now I have a pint to drink, because my own eye-lash doesn’t bother me one jot and it’s either that or chuck it away.
The bar gets busier before the quiz gets going and the four of us work fairly solidly. Of course they all manage to serve about three customers to my one. If I’m not looking for the right glass, I’m struggling with the till.
Naturally, it’s electronic and for the other three it is as easy as typing in a PIN number at the cashpoint. But for me every attempt to use it is like trying to crack the Da Vinci Code.
‘Hit ‘clerk 4’ first, that’s you tonight, then add your drinks, enter the cash and give them the change’
Sounds easy enough, but where the bloody hell is the ‘dash of lime’ button? Which wine am I looking for? Is there a ‘175ml button’? And don’t even get me started on people with tabs or those paying with cards and asking for cashback.
I muddle on and thankfully my colleagues are always close at hand for when I need help. Either that or they’re taking the piss out of me on Twitter.
Things quieten down as the quiz gets going and I manage to collect a few glasses and perfect my lime and soda pouring technique(there’s a few students in), thinking that I’m just a few shifts away from being Tom Cruise in Cocktail.
Then it’s break time and the teams need to quench their thirst.
‘Pint of Best. Hold the eyelash’ quips the returning customer. I exaggerate leaning back as I pour his pint and hand it over minus any detached parts of my body.
That for me is a huge success.
And as soon as the shift has begun it seems to be drawing to an end. I half-heartedly help with cleaning tables before thinking ‘sod it, I’m working tomorrow’ and head off.
I leave happy with my efforts behind the bar but more importantly delighted to have found somewhere that from now on I will call my local.
Matt Eley is the editor of Inapub. Follow him on Twitter @mattheweley