Identify Your Barfly – The Know-It-All

Identify Your Barfly – The Know-It-All

If you are a regular at any sort of bar, you know that there are other regulars and they all seem to fit a common mold. I probably even fit into a mold, as much as my Gen-Xer self tries to deny it. The common barfly ranges from quiet and introverted to obnoxious to downright scary. Yet one of the most annoying types in the Know-It-All.

The Know-It-All, or KIA as my cronies and I like to say, tends to gravitate toward dives or sports bars, but you can find them in any type of drinking establishment. Bars that offer trivia games may attract even more KIAs, which can result in premature hangovers due to the loud arguments and one-upping that ensues during a multi-KIA gathering. The best way to handle a KIA is by:


a) avoidance

b) anger them so much they are speechless

c) ignore them (the most difficult because a KIA is naturally socially inept)


My first experience with this particular type of barfly occurred in my junior year of college. I visited a local sports pub to catch a hockey game. It was my first time in the bar alone, but everyone I knew was working and my cable was out. It was also the Stanley Cup playoffs so waiting until the next morning to find out the score just wasn't an acceptable option.


The bar was packed, due to the game. There were two open seats, on either side of a gentleman I had seen before but never spoken with. I felt comfortable enough here and knew some of the regulars, so I innocently took one of the two open seats. Little did I know that those seats were empty for a reason. I spent the next three hours being regaled with all sorts of “facts,” few if any true and not solicited by me. The more I ignored the guy, the more he jabbered. And heaven forbid if I pointed out his error.


Case in point: he informed the Russian military invented hockey when working on landmines that slid across the ice in the Bering Straits in an attempt to invade Alaska. Yeah, a lot of factual errors in that one... When I pointed out that the Alaska Purchase was in 1867 and hockey was officially invented in the 1870s, based off a similar game with a 100 year history, he got a bit red and angry, but I got to watch the game in peace for a few minutes even though I stooped to his level to do it.