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May 18, 2009

Porch drinking etiquette

porch drinking

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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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff


I think I am going to print this list out! hehe! I totally agree agree with everything. And yes, get an ashtray for the porch. I don't like people putting their cigs out ON my porch or driveway. It just looks plain ugly the next morning.

Watch it with the F* bomb. My next door neighbors sit on the back porch yelling "conversation". I can pretend to ignore the loud because I figure they're just too dumb to know any better, but when I asked them to cut back on - or whisper - The Bomb, their stares indicated that I had commited a real faux pas.

This may be the best point of all - "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."

I'm always irked when people try to hassle the cops because the level of their indiscretion doesn't rise to that of a felony. As if that is an excuse.

will there be a separate set of rules for those of us only fortunate enough to have stoops?

this is hilarious. good post!!!

"Neighbors who communicate through public servants are not neighbors."

Excellent piece of advice.

Lots of good advice here. Although in regards to "Do not cough every time someone lights up," I'd also add "Do not light up if you're the only smoker." If there are a group of smokers, you can take it off the porch for a few minutes.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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