5 Bar Etiquette Tips From Clint Eastwood

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Whether as The Man with No Name or Harry Callahan, Clint Eastwood has exemplified a version of Guy Code that would be hard for most guys to live by today. Doling out vigilante justice without getting killed or thrown in jail isn’t easy to do in real life. Still, there are lessons to be learned from watching Eastwood’s movies. The characters he portrays are no strangers to saloons or dive bars. They exhibit barroom etiquette that can still be applied today, minus the pistols and murder.

Offer Your Bar-fight Opponent A Free Pass

Outlaw Josey Wales
Even if you’re not sure you can take the guy in a fight, offer to let him walk first. It makes you look really confident and may just scare him away. If he stays, anything you do to him is perfectly fair game. Even the ladies will say, “He tried to warm him.” And if you lose the fight, well, then it doesn’t matter anyway.

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Don’t Hang Out In Your Enemy’s Neighborhood Bar

Hang ‘Em High
Out of politeness and for your own safety, don’t drink at a bar anywhere close to a guy you tried to murder…or more likely, publicly humiliated over the internet. You’re just asking for trouble when you add insult to injury like that. Also, if you try to murder people or insult them on Facebook, you deserve what you get.

Don’t Decorate Your Bar With Anything Offensive

Barroom etiquette needs to be used by owners as well as patrons. Don’t decorate your bar with anything offensive, like the dead body of an outlaw’s friend or a tacky alligator head with sunglasses attached to it. As a patron, feel free to express your displeasure to management if you find something offensive. But use a comment card instead of a shotgun.

Never Show Fear

High Plains Drifter
Don’t show your fear, especially if you’re being threatened. Just look tough, steal some whiskey and calmly leave the bar. As you leave, try to notice if they follow you. If they do, go as quickly as possible to a safe place, like a police station or barber shop.

Make Sure You Know The Stakes

For A Few Dollars More
We all like to make casual bets with friends while at the bar. Just make sure that you clearly set what’s on the line before you shoot pool or have a chugging contest. You don’t want to spend the rest of the night arguing about whether the loser owes $50, $10 or pays with his life.

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Neal Stastny (@NealStas) is a comedian and writer in New York.