Our time is short on this mortal coil, and it's filled with many things to do before we die. There are foreign lands to visit, and countless foods to eat. But let's face it: you're spending a lot of time in a bar. But that doesn't mean your days spent drinking in the dark are days without goals. These are the 50 things every man should do in a bar, at least once. Because, as the old proverb goes, "Every man dies, but not every man really eats a four-year-old pickled egg."
Buy a round for everyone in the bar
Bonus points if there are more than three people in said bar.
Enthrall a group with a true story
About that time you rescued a family from a burning bus, or something similarly steeped in heroism, valor, and acts of extreme bravery.
Enthrall a group with a fake story
About that time you rescued Brad, Angelina, and Shiloh from a burning Zeppelin, perhaps. Or Led Zeppelin from a burning silo. Or maybe something more realistic... like saving Andy Dick from getting hit by a bus.
Eat the pickled egg
And keep it down for at least an hour.
Befriend a bartender and get a signature drink named after you
A delicious one. And order it at least one time per visit.
Get a black eye...
... for doing something that merits getting a black eye. Like defending somebody's honor.
Give a black eye
... to somebody who absolutely deserves it. In self defense, of course.
Wonder what it all means
And maybe figure it out.
Drink something that’s been set on fire
A shot of 151 if you need to. A full cocktail if they have it.
Win at Keno
Then never play again. Walk away a winner. Buy a round for your table if it's over $100.
Buy a drink for a guy who gave you a black eye
... because gentlemen can put things in their pasts. And because you totally deserved it.
Covet thy neighbor’s wife
But don't act on it. That's how you get punched.
Smoke a cigar
... in one of the remaining cigar bars that allows it.
Finish an entire game of darts
It might take three hours, but you'll be extremely proud once you finally hit that bullseye.
Order a bottle of whiskey, and finish it
With friends, of course. Or strangers who have become your friends. If it's good whiskey, you'll make them quickly.
But only when you're in college, or if it's something that makes you nostalgic for college. If it's the latter, you must tip extra, because you're a grown-up now and can afford a glass.
Get and defend the Erotic Photo Hunt high score
The one with the boobs and the one with the dongs.
Play hooky from work
For eight straight hours, while sending emails with health updates.
Earn your own mug
One that stays behind the bar with your name on it.
Earn your own stool
One where people get up and cede it to you when you show up.
Call the number on the bathroom wall
You like a good time. Call and see what happens!
Read the paper cover to cover
Bonus points if it's the Sunday Times, you smartypants.
Tip 300%, then leave anonymously
Being a hell of a tipper makes you a bartender's favorite customer. Doing it anonymously makes you karma's favorite lush.
Tip 0% for terrible service, not anonymously
Rationalize why you're stiffing somebody, but don't be a prick about it. Explain that the drinks were wrong, the service was rude, whatever. Then expect to not be welcomed back.
Just like George Thorogood intended.
Learn to love
Perhaps fleetingly, but with all of your heart.
The heart is a fickle thing. Especially when there's whiskey involved.
Pull digits from a beautiful woman
And don't you dare lose them. Or catch them on fire.
Put $20 in the jukebox
Play "Milkshake" once, then leave the rest of the credits for somebody else to find. Hopefully someone who also loves Kelis.
Order seafood in a landlocked state
Probably fried clam strips. Definitely not "sushi".
Get invited to an after-hours poker game
With the staff. Not with the Russian mafia. Rounders is, above all, a cautionary tale.
Turn off Tinder and have a real, live conversation with a woman
In fact, just leave the phone at home. If women never talked to strangers in bars, you probably wouldn't have been born.
Have your dog named the bar's mascot
And make sure to keep said bar stocked with Milk-Bones.
Prevent a bar fight
... with your words, not your ninja skills.
Make out with a stranger
Publicly and passionately. Or in a photo booth. Then destroy the evidence.
Write your name on the bathroom wall
Do not include your number.
Give up your table to a bachelorette party. And don't expect anything in return. That's not chivalry.
Buy a homeless dude a beer
Sit and talk with him for a while, too. Dude's probably lonely, and probably saved Andy Dick from being hit by a bus once, so he's got stories to tell. Wish him well and mean it.
Offer a show-stopping toast to a room full of strangers
Make it universally appealing, and take the opportunity to teach people a foreign phrase. Preferably a real one. In Gaelic.
Cover for a bartender
They've got an emergency and a room full of patrons. You've got minimal experience but maximum moxie. You've got their back!
Join the bar’s intramural sports team
Whether it's touch football or slow-pitch, no-strike-out softball. Be at every game, and play to win.
Get invited to the employee holiday party
I mean, you hit the winning run against Joe's Cellar. You're practically family. And a kick-ass secret Santa, to boot.
Win at pool
And make sure those winnings include a beer and a frustrated opponent.
Volunteer to be the DD
It's the responsible thing to do... and you owe your friend who drove you through the Taco Bell drive-thru at 3am last week.
Befriend an old English man
Spend a whole night drinking gin and hearing incredible war stories told in a charming accent.
Watch a local team win a championship
Whether it's the NBA finals or the Little League World Series, make sure you're watching in a crowded room that stinks of pride and Old Crow.
Because you don't give a good goddamn what anyone thinks.
Lead a sing-along
Bonus points if the bar has no karaoke. And if the song is "Milkshake".
Be asked to leave by an apologetic bartender
"I'm really sorry, man, but I have to ask you to leave," he will say, knowing you're a good guy. Leave without incident, but only after you tip the bartender and apologize.
Buy the owner a drink
And thank him for letting you do all this stuff in his bar. And for not giving you a black eye.
Andy Kryza is a senior editor on Thrillist's food & drink team, and would like to thank Binks in Portland for letting him shoot these photos on a lazy Friday. He's also sorry for any missing pint glasses. Follow him to completely true stories of valor via @apkryza.