Porch drinking etiquette

This guest post comes from Matthew Smith (pictured, on his porch), a writer for the Urban Discoveries Blog. Check them out. As a country boy with my share of front porch chilling, I heartily agree with Matthew:

The coincidence of economic collapse and spring in Baltimore has led to a spate of stay-at-home drinking among my circle of friends.

And thanks to my porch, the home everyone’s drinking at is mine. Which, mostly, is a good thing.

I’ve lived in a few towns with traditions of boozing on porches, so I fully support the cause.

Here are a few guidelines for those who participate in the Sport of King’s Cabin, N.C.:

1. Drink what you drink. If you think it will be hilarious to pick up some forties of Colt and slurp them from paper bags, you are wrong.

2. Everybody’s welcome on the porch. There’s a time and a place for exclusivity: middle school. On the porch, your influence extends only as far as your generosity.

3. Do not cough every time someone lights up. I quit cigarettes a while back, and now all the bars in town are pristine and sweet smelling (sort of), but the day smoking is banned on porches is the day Rome falls.

4. Get a real ashtray, even if you don’t smoke. It will be worth it when no one ever again takes a sip from the wrong can.

Editor's note: Blech!

5. Whether you’re the first soul invited or the near-stranger whom manners compelled the host to welcome, treat the porch as if it were your own. No one likes to pick up shards of glass.

6. Greet your neighbors as they come in and out of their front doors, which are, after all directly adjacent to your drinking area. Not to do so will create a weirdness force-field for all future interactions.

7. After 10 p.m., take it inside. It’s fun to carouse by the light of the moon, but it’s not fun to comfort your screaming infant while outside jerks are carousing by the light of the moon.

8. Speaking of which, don’t call the cops unless there is an actual crime being committed. Go over and introduce yourself or leave a note or just take a deep breath and realize how close you came to becoming that guy. Neighbors who communicate through public servants are not neighbors.

9. When the cops come to your door, be excruciatingly polite to them. Do not remind them that there are murders they might be solving. They know this, and it is why they are irritated with you.

10. Clean up after yourself, but don’t scrub too hard. A porch should never feel too clean to spill a beer on.

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