Every now and again, you stumble upon a genuine gem on the web. Sometimes you find that the gem has been sitting under your nose for some time. Yesterday, I came across a particularly good one, courtesy of dvd's temporary page while his hosting move goes ahead. The page is an online guide to pub etiquette produced by the Social Issues Research Centre, and is primarily an informative research document aimed at tourists to Britain. It's detailed, funny and mostly very accurate, and should probably be handed out at Passport Contol to visitors to avoid embarrassing errors. However, it's also a great read for Brits--the combination of thinking, "Oh, that's so true", getting worked up over statements you don't agree with, and just chuckling about things you hadn't realised about pubs until they are pointed out, is irresistable.
I'm amazed I haven't come across it before. For one thing, I've actually linked to another of their social reports on the phenomenon of 'white van man'. But even more shamefully, I cycle right past their offices every day on the way to work.
I can't help thinking that conducting research on social etiquette in pubs is to the sociologist what sitting in a deckchair on a tropical beach counting some animal or other is to biologists--the Holy Grail.
 The section on pub types worried me slightly as there were no warnings about avoiding pubs where customers come crashing through the windows mid-fight.