The Trusty Old Wagon Wheel Stay off the wagon - recreate The Wagon at home
Good old Vognhjulet: The Wagon Wheel. For many years the primary hub for yours truly and her circle of friends. Many nights have had hard competition trying to get us to leave behind the green table-cloths and cheap beers to seek out the unknown out in the cold. Comfort can be deadly, but the ‘ol Wagon is the snug, well known (and solid) buzz. It’s the spot where you truly get to know your fellow (wo)man, whether it be over darts, billiards, the jukebox, or in the back garden, when the weather allows. And the first Saturday after re-opening, it is where I will be found, standing and rueing my lacking points, while engaged in a charm offensive for another fiver and a round of my favorite songs. Until then, we’ll have to make do with memories, so here comes my guide to making a Wagon-worthy evening at home.
I’ve long held that there is nothing better than quitting smoking and then starting again. Now would be a good time, because what would a recreation of The Wagon be without smoke?
You should gather your friends over Zoom, but The Wagon reborn, would work best with real intimacy. So consider sticking to your own private bubble and jazz your relationship up with passive indoor smoking, an evening of classic Danish pop, international bangers from the hit lists of yore, and limited conversation while you watch billiard videos on YouTube in bewilderment. Before the evening really gets going, start by doing caricature sketches of each other and hanging them on the walls of your living room. Try both before and after shots, just to compare results.
In the bar:
Odense Classic or pilsner, depending on the mood and time of the evening. Not cans, not on tap, but in good old bottles. As the night grows long: Licorice shots and always an extra for the bartender!
Once, in a fit of exile-Zealander-spite, I ordered a Tuborg Classic at Vognhjulet, to which the bartender, without sarcasm in their voice replied “Yeah, I guess I’ll have to check if I have any laying around”, went into the back room and returned after a couple of minutes with a bottle that was –at best- tepid. It was probably best to put that tendency out of its misery. When in Rome, and all that…
You’re not really at Vognhjulet for the conversation. You’ve come to drink bottled beer while playing billiards, or watching someone else play billiards. I’m passionate about the former, but best at the latter, and after many failed attempts, I’ve learned an important lesson about life around the felt: You need to tame your inner Woo!-Girl and control your flailing arms, because showboating is not tolerated in billiards, not even if you knock over all the pins.
At home, your recreation can never be as great, unless you happen to be in a bubble with the veterans Kåre and Johnny, who provide regular commentary at the tables in The Wagon. But you can find Danish 5-pin billiards on YouTube and let it run in the background.
At Vognhjulet, the house altar is directly in front of you when you step in the heavy brown door: The jukebox. Here, you’ll spend lots of fives and tens over the course of an evening if you, like me, are stubborn and determined enough to really want to insist upon your right to hear all that it contains by Daimi (not a lot, unfortunately) and Lis Sørensen’s “Mine Øjne De Skal Se” on repeat. At home, you’re going to have to come to an agreement with your friends, whereby you throw a fiver in a jar every time a song is added to the playlist Spotify. You can always save this jar for the next time you’re at The Wagon and able to enjoy the real thing again. If you want the authentic experience, you have to remember to interrupt the playlist every half hour with Volbeat’s “Forever”, for nobody’s apparent benefit.Link to the event