Welcome one and welcome all, to the Beginner's Guide Part 6, everything you need to know about drinking.
Close the saloon doors behind you, pull up a bar stool and tip the barman a few coins, and we'll share a wee dram of your favourite poison whilst discussing the intricacies of the nations favourite pastime.
From the very dawn of time, man has sought to forget the foibles of the day, to erase the cares and worries of modern living, by the easiest means possible. That way has always been through drinking.
Here we will explore some of the why's and wherefore's, the how's and how not's, the do's and do not's of drinking. This guide could possibly save your life. Or at the very least, your liver.
1. Alcohol was invented by Gerald C Braeburn in 1325. Gerald had just had an argument with his wife Noreen, about leaving his hunting smock untidily on the hut floor, when he left abruptly. Retiring to his shed, he inadvertently picked up the wrong bottle, while reaching for some water.
The bottle contained some old apple juice, left in the jar for some months. The mysterious fermentation process had performed it's magic upon the musty liquor, and after just one healthy sip, Gerald was 'drunk'.
His wife locked him out, and refused to speak to him for days.
2. There are many words to describe being intoxicated by alcohol. Drunk, pissed, bladdered, blotto, pie-eyed, fucked, monged, three sheets to the wind, one over the eight, wankered, shit-faced, bolloxed, mashed, smashed, drunk as a skunk, half-cut, full-cut, arse-holed, trousered, legless, annihilated, blitzed, bombed, wrecked, trollied, tanked, hammered, sloshed, inebriated, plastered and litterally hundreds more. However, in recent times people have begun to use any word at all to describe someone who is under the influence. Even inane, everyday words, that seemingly have no real baring on the actual description of the intoxicated person present. Tented, badgered, curtained, sofa'd, chimneyed, potted, clothes-lined, eagled to name but a few. Where this will end remains to be seen, but with plenty more words in the English language, the supply will not run short for a long time. We can look forward to someone seen falling out of a pub and being described as being 'totally Renault Laguna'd' or 'he was really soap-dished' in years to come.
3. Despite the Governments proclamations, drinking is cool, kids!
4. Stanley Brian Fotheringay, 36, held the world record for most pints of Stella drank in one session. He consumed 19 and a half pints of the immensely potent amber fiz, before falling asleep at the bar. And in another first, he never once got fighty during his record breaking attempt. Other stars of the drinking circuit include Martin Shuttlecock, 31 who was trained by Fotheringay, and can easily down 18 pints before losing his hat, and Croydon Ron, a local tramp who can easily consume an inordinate amount of Special Brew, before shouting at people for no apparent reason.
5. The word alcohol is derived from the Latin alc, meaning potent and hol, meaning piss. The middle 'o' was added merely for pronunciation purposes.
6. Beer and wine are by far the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world. Enjoyed by millions everyday, they are however, not the only drinks. Gin, whiskey, rum and vodka are all popular in their own right. Many drinks are now being specially manufactured with a target audience in mind, such as alco-pops like WKD, Smirnoff Ice and Magner's. The drinks industry, whilst maintaining a caring, concerned façade to the very public it is slowly killing, is all the time trying hard to snare it's young.
7. Bailey's is a girls drink, and should be treated as such, at all times. Men who ask for Bailey's (or Malibu for that matter) should have derision heaped upon them and be hounded from the bar with all speed.
8. Scientific studies have proved that alcohol has a very acute impact on the human brain. After the consumption of only a few pints of medium strength beer Heather off EastEnders appears more attractive, spending money you don't have seems like a great idea, darts becomes interesting, the massive guy with tattoo's becomes 'not all that' and the broken nose and lost front teeth won't hurt until tomorrow morning, when the effects of the beer has worn off. Alcohol also enables usually normal, healthy, educated and well-spoken people turn in to gibbering, crass and annoying dip-shits. The two things are probably linked.
9. To discover if you are an alcoholic, try this simple test. Just answer this question, can you go for a whole week without having an alcoholic drink?
Now, if you thought seriously about this, and considered your answer for more than about 3 seconds, then you're an alcoholic and you need help. The fact you even asked yourself the question in the first place, means you're drinking too much during the week. Now go and get a hobby and give your liver a rest.
10. Fact-flood!! Drinking is legal in most countries. The countries it's not legal in, are not very popular as tourist destinations! The traditional pint glass was banned in 1985, and was replaced by a new safety-glass style vessel, so as to cut down on the wave of people smashing them in to peoples faces during bar brawls. Fighters now use bar-stools, knives and bottles instead! There are over 600,000 bubbles in one pint of beer! Guinness has it's distinctive dark body and creamy white head so it would tie in with Rutger Hauer, who used to be in the adverts. Before that it was just amber in colour! Drinking is the number three pastime in Europe, after smoking and suicide. A Christmas themed pub, called 'Bar, Humbug!' was closed after being sued for copyright violations by the Dickens Foundation!
Join us next time for The Beginner's Guide Part 7: Ten Things To Know About Folk Music.