As I mentioned to you all in my previous post, I live on a small Island isolated from mainland UK by one of the most expensive (cost per mile) stretches of water to cross in Europe. Although this is fine by me since it keeps most of the muppets and scumbags penned in like zombies across the water, it does have its disadvantages, and one of those is the lack of variety when it comes to an evening out. Such delights as theatres, opera, large nightclubs and party venues are frowned upon here as the work of the devil, and are left on the mainland for those who wish to visit them. But given that most of us do not have the funds to keep hopping across to The Big Island whenever we choose, these occasions are few and far between. So how do we compensate for this??? How do we keep ourselves entertained??? Easy – we indulge in the time-honoured English National Pastime of casual binge-drinking.
Beer is the glue that binds our fragile co-existence together. I know many of you live in cities, and are familiar with the sight of many bars in one place. But when you consider that I live in a small rural community, the fact that there are 13 bars within a ten minute walk of my front door might hint at the fact that we rely on beer a great deal to salve the woes and worries of our daily lives. However, as we have all witnessed in the past, consumption of alcohol in great quantities often leads to foolish behaviour or disastrous consequences in those who have failed to weigh up the risks before tying one on. So in my infinite sympathy and kindness, I have decided to outline some of my favourite rules and observations related to the art of getting hammered.
1. One quick beer: The phrase ‘one quick beer’ is not only a fictitious phrase, it is a physical impossibility. Due to the law of diminishing returns, the ability to resist the infamous ‘one more won’t hurt’ pint of beer is severely impaired by close proximity to any glass of beer that is nearly empty. This effect is also exaggerated if said beer consumption takes place in sunshine, or during a work lunch hour. It IS possible to stop after two, but only if number three results in MAJOR problems, such as the loss of employment or the inability to make a long drive home. MINOR problems like alienating friends and family or being shouted at by a spouse are scientifically proven to have no effect on resistance.
2. Drinking Games: Drinking games are a fatuous waste of time. Everyone drinks at their own pace, and any construct that attempts to force you to drink at an accelerated rate will only end in early onset of Vomitus Publicus. Alternatively, to the more hardcore drinker the drinking game is a pointless waste of time spent observing rules and regulations of the game when you could be getting drunk. Either way, any attempt to initiate a drinking game outside of the confines of a teenage slumber party is to be met with absolute mockery and derision.
3. Buying a woman a drink: It is perfectly acceptable to buy a stranger a drink. However please do not assume that this means she i) finds you attractive, ii) wishes you to join her or iii) is remotely interested in anything to do with you whatsoever. If she does not initiate eye contact or conversation, walk away. If her friends instinctively at the sight of you form a protective wall around her, like a team of drunken ninjas, walk away. If she opens with the question “Do you picture yourself having children one day?”, run away. Also, if attempting to initiate a romantic encounter via the medium of alcohol, DO NOT buy her a highly alcoholic drink in the hope of lowering her inhibitions – it will merely make her more likely to resort to groin-based violence to rebuff you. If, on the other hand, a woman offers to buy YOU a drink – you’re well in there my son.
4. Monetary debts to friends and drinking: Firstly, it is perfectly acceptable to repay any debt valued at less than a twenty to a friend in beer. Research suggests that if your friend insists on being repaid in cash, the appropriate time to do so is at the bar, during Happy Hour, immediately prior to their round. On the other hand, NEVER borrow money from a friend when out drinking. You not only reduce their ability to get drunk, you publicly announce that you were too poor to go drinking in the first place – shame be upon thee.
5. Drunken communication: Do not shout out your request for a beer to a friend who has queued to reach the bar. Either arrange their purchase on your behalf beforehand, or wait until you reach the bar yourself. Those other people queued behind your friend all want drinks too, and they will not appreciate you jumping your order past them – and they may well be drunk enough to communicate this annoyance using the universal language of the fist. Also, if you feel you may be slurring your speech a little, chances are that you are speaking like a victim of Downs Syndrome. If you feel you are slurring a lot, you have probably invented your own language. Please also be aware that your voice is approximately 175% louder than you think it is when drunk – that secret about the barmaid you just ‘whispered’ to your friend was just heard in the next county. Regrettably, if attempting to communicate with another drunkard, volume is also no replacement for comprehension.
6. Bar-side interaction: The queue to the bar is there for a reason. Not only should you observe it (see drunken communication above), you should immediately get out of the goddamn way as soon as you have been served. Do not bar-hang or attempt a long conversation with your barman/barmaid – chances are they find your conversation about as interesting as watching paint dry. Also, never ask a bartender “what’s good today?” – they aren’t brewing the stuff out back fresh every day moron. Any hesitation of more than five seconds after the bartender asks for your order equals an immediate loss of place at the bar – return to GO! and do not collect £200. Never argue over the cost of your round of drinks – you’re drunk – this is akin to arguing about quantum mechanics with a physicist. Unless you are a physicist, in which case it’s like you getting into an argument about sex.
7. Special rules for non-bar-based drinking: Drinking before noon is acceptable – somewhere in the world, it’s Happy Hour. If you bring shit beer to a party, you must drink at least 3 of your own beers before hitting the premium stuff in the fridge. In the tight confines of a house party, anyone carrying three or more drinks has right-of-way. In the case of confused ownership, the fuller beer is yours – the only thing better tasting than a free beer is a stolen one. If you co-habit with someone who is a non-partner (housemate, college room-mate etc) it is acceptable to steal their beer (even if hidden) provided you leave at least one bottle/can as a consolation prize – but do not attempt this under any other circumstances unless you are prepared to advance to number 8.
8. Fighting when drunk: Do not attempt to fight anyone when drunk if the person you are fighting is sober. Your chances of winning said confrontation are equal to Stumpy No-Legs McNo-Legs of the Legless clan’s chances of winning this years three-legged marathon. On the other hand, if you are the sober one then fighting a drunk can be the funniest experience you will ever have – I used to be a doorman, trust me on this. Beer multiplies your perception of your fighting ability by a power of fifty, so don’t overestimate yourself – if beer ACTUALLY improved fighting skill then Oliver Reed and George Best would have been ninjas. Never fight a friend when drunk unless they have spilled your pint. Never fight using a bottle or a glass as a weapon – someone could be using that to drink beer whilst you get your ass handed to you. But above all else, men – NEVER fight a drunk woman. It is physically impossible to throw a punch whilst simultaneously covering your balls and your eyes – either way it will not end well my friend.
There we are friends – just a little of my wisdom I’ve chosen to share with you today. I hope, as always, that you’ve enjoyed reading, but I take no responsibility for the accuracy of these observations or their application in the real world – after all, I was drunk when I wrote this. Let me instead leave you with words of wisdom from one much wiser than I………….
Have a great day – I’m off for a beer. Just the one, mind you….Just the one……..