The scene:
Goose Island brewpub on Clybourn, in Chicago’s “bustling” (if by that you mean ‘full of yuppies buying organic’) Lincoln Park neighbourhood.
The mood:
not entirely subdued, with cheer in the shape of a frazzled homebrewer – to our side – with opinions. he appreciates the CAMRA magazine, fresh from Stockport branch.
Politics at the bar:
seems to be of the leftwing conspiracies variety, if Wednesday lunchtime is any judge. the odd environmentalist and ACLU subber. some inauguration punning. telly showing gridiron and baseball, no cricket, one PPV ad for the FA Cup Tournament, Fourth Stage.
the weather is wintry and gales rage, snow collects.
a reasonable scoop is served [current draughts], of which the juniper tones of Baltic lass Sahti perhaps star. the Christmas Ale is decent too.

Your correspondent exits the scene, avec some haste, after a coupla hours useful supping, late again.

Stupid, stupid, stupid, on waking this morning one cannot recall if the bill was settled.
Did the girl take our credit card?
Where is any receipt?
Can one walk out of establishments like that, without twinge of conscience?

Oh dear.

There are a couple of words that go together well to describe this situation and one of those words is problem.
I think my new name rhymes with Clucking Mule.
Anglo-American booze comparisons: four pints of drink UK equals five pints of drink USA (American jar generally 16oz. as against the Imperial 20oz.). This might explain something about Americans and beer. Also the one food&drink measurement, AFAIK, in which the USA is a world leader in slimline portions. Curious.
A swift return beckons, if only to sort out the tab…