Are you a Stereotypical Barstool Bob?

Firstly, let me explain what a “Barstool Bob” is. This is a character who has opinions on just about anything to everything. He’s contradictorily, bias, and unyielding. Bob usually knows best, which makes him one of life’s “know-alls”. He seems to be hard-wired that way.

Typical Middle-aged Barstool BobWhat else does Bob *Barstool?

Perched on his regular seat at the local watering hole (or favourite armchair back at home), Bob loves nothing more than a heated debate as a way of getting his opinions heard.

He often interrupts others mid-sentence, with raised voice if need be. He’s intolerant of those expressing opinions that oppose his own. BB, as he’s also known, is mistaken about a lot of stuff, yet still believes he’s right even when proven wrong.

No One is Born a BB

No one is born a Barstool Bob. It’s a “condition”, for want of a better word, which develops as the child grows. Sometimes, he is the way he is by his upbringing. Other-times, a series of unfortunate events have shaped his personality over the years. More often than not, Bob doesn’t see himself as other see him.

A BB is at his worst during middle-age. By the time he’s elderly, he’s evolved into tired, grumpy old man with more ‘under-the-breath’ complaining than face-to-face confrontation.

If the Cap Fits, Wear it!

Ring any bells yet? Perhaps you yourself are a Barstool Bob? Or if you’re not, I bet you know someone who is – right? Maybe you’re still unsure? Okay, let’s continue to define him.

Often, though not always, a typical Barstool Bob is a blue collar worker or small-time entrepreneur. Generally speaking, he’s on the left side of politics. He’s a barstool traveller, politician, activist, in fact you name it, he’s more than likely bar-stooled it.

The Nastiest Nice Man you could ever wish to meet!

The Nasty Nice MaskEvery time you encounter him, he’s pleasant and friendly for the first few minutes. Heck, he might even buy you a drink and beckon you to join him. However, it’s never too long before he’s back on his invisible soapbox, stirring up a debate about something or other. Bob is very adept at subtly drawing folks into his debating circle.

Within just 10 minutes or so of standing next to this verbal warrior, you’ll wonder how, and when, small-talk on the weekend’s weather turned into a fiery squabble about Israeli-occupied territories, for example.

You simply came out for a quiet drink, hoping to unwind after a hard day at work. Instead, you leave all knotted up and full of resentment for Bob and his overbearing, self-opinionated stance on the world and its people.

The Wife and the Wise Guy

Barstool Bob will favour the reportage found in tabloid rags over broadsheet newspapers or well written books. His mind is far more closed than it is open. He also comes across as a bit of a chauvinist when mingling with other men. In reality, he’s a doleful, henpecked hubby once behind closed doors. That’s right; our man Bob wouldn’t dare say “Boo” to his marital goose, and cowers to her every command, though he’d never admit it – of course!

Who are his Friends?

BB doesn’t really have many friends, at least not close ones. He thinks he’s good at relationships though, mainly because groups of 2 or more blokes will frequently gather round him at his local pub. Their motives, however, are not as they seem – more fool them!

“Misery loves company” ~ English Proverb

People flock to a Barstool Bob for entertainment. They often plan beforehand what they’re going to say to “gee him up”. Conversely, their plot for a shit-stir can, and often does, backfire, and it is Bob, not they, who gets perverse satisfaction from the confrontation.

Don’t get Dragged in. Avoid Him like the Plague!

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So there we have it. Whether he’s a Barstool Bob or an Armchair Adam, such characters are a pain in the arse and should be avoided like the plague. Having said that, let’s feel a little compassion for these oddballs too.

The Silent Sufferer!

Know-it-alls are usually the way they are because deep down they’re sad, and lonely, and suffer greatly from an overdose of self.

In the privacy of his own head, and after yet another quarrel, Bob’ll sometimes reflect on the unpleasantness of being nasty and egotistical.

He might even vow to change and try to be more considerate of other’s viewpoints in future debates, and consequently less argumentative. All this, and more, he may aim for, yet in actuality he will continue as he does, as most of them do.

“All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone”. ~ Blaise Pascal

So I wish him well – albeit from afar – and hope that someday he can recover from his malaise. In the mean time, I shall avoid his kind like a burning bees nest. Life is far too short to get dragged into toxic debates from bitter men with savage attitudes.

Good luck Bob, in your pursuit of whatever it is you and your kind pursue.

* Barstool (v). To theorise about something without follow-up proof or action.

By Toby Strowger | 50ish Site Contributor
Toby Strowger is a men’s lifestyle writer for 50ish.org

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Readers Comments

    Tim1968 says:

    I have ‘friends’ who do this and i find it so tedious. You’re going out for a quiet evening and to enjoy a general chat and a laugh and then some ass-hat always has to turn into an arrogant, opinionated git after a couple of drinks. Having a good chat about stuff is great if you have the conversation with people who respect others opinions and don’t try to steamroll their own views over everyone else.


    jason says:

    Sh*t ! that’s me!


    Gary Zellon says:

    This article is so funny. I think you have just written about my father-in-law. I f&*King hate the c%nt. It’s so him I can’t even tell you how close you are. Wouldn’t it be interesting to put all the barstool bobs together in a single room and watch them lash it out lol. Gary


    Andy Aitch says:

    Thanks for your comments Jonathan.

    I’d love to publish a piece on the Barstool Bernadette’s of this world, but I think such an article needs to come from someone with authority on the subject. That could be the partner of such a woman, or another woman’s take on the subject.

    Feel free to contact me if you’d like to volunteer…

    Andy Aitch


    Jonathan says:

    Absolutely spot on 50ish. Everyone in the world knows someone like your bob character, but the nearest description to him for me is not bob, but my wife Jean and I don’t think im alone. My wife doesn’t go to bars. all her ranting comes from the sofa. That’s it, lets have a piece on the Sofa Sarahs. Great article, made me laugh heaps.

    ~ Johathan



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