It is a mark of my advanced age that, upon hearing Preston’s Ship Inn had changed its name to The Ships & Giggles – quite a while ago – I assumed this meant they’d become some kind of comedy club.
Obviously, finding most modern ‘stand-up’ slightly less funny than copping a broken kneecap, I have never since darkened the door of this Fylde Road pub.
My mistake. That newish name is actually a smart spin on a widely used urban slang term, ‘the shizz and giggles’, which means, I think, ‘fun’.
I could explain further, tell you exactly what ‘shizz’ is, but this paper still styles itself as a ‘family’ newspaper and so, out of respect for the delicate sensibilities of my tot, teen and in-between readers (one could theoretically look in by accident one day), I shan’t.
What I will tell you is that although it was the prospect of bad comedy which kept me out of The Ship & Giggles until Wednesday evening just gone, something quite different will prevent my return.
Put simply, the slang is more than a good gag, it is a clue as to the target audience. And I am definitely not it.
Which is not meant as a dig at the joint. On the contrary, if I were 25 years younger and into the kind of ‘UK garage crunk beatz’ which soundtracked my early evening visit it would be right up my street.
Nor, for that matter, is that either to imply my shrivelled face met with hostility on the premises. The staff were smiley and helpful, the clientele – half and half lads and lasses – were laid back and the atmosphere was friendly.
Formerly cluttered with furniture, chintz and sundry clutter, the interior has been stripped right back, creating a much airier space which flows nicely out through the big back doors into the excellent beer garden.
Modern comfortable tables and chairs, both inside and out, give the place a convincing ‘lounge’ vibe, and with a handsome covered smoking area we smokers are well catered for.
Also ensuring the city’s youngsters are unlikely to be much disturbed by the presence of duffers is the drink selection. There is no cask ale here and I do not envisage that situation changing any time soon.
There was Guinness though, that faithful retainer of the flat, warm beer swiller in ‘nitespots’ the world over, and a pair of same helped my brief visit pass pleasantly enough.
All-in-all, while clearly not for me, impossible to deny that The Ships & Giggles is an improvemnt on the fairly dull boozer that The Ship Inn as was had long become.
Bon voyage, youths.
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