Tuesday, November 15, 2005

3 Pints & A Packet Of Crisps, Please

In the UK, they are trying to pass a law which would allow pubs to stay open 24 hours. Many think that this is disgraceful and that keeping longer licensing hours would mean more alcohol abuse, but personally I think it would cut down on binge drinking. I think this because if someone gives you a deadline by which you have to stop doing something you like, you will intensify your efforts to do as much of it as you can before the curfew. This remains true for absolutely anything.
I've been in pubs with friends and having a chat and a laugh when all of a sudden the last orders bell rings and there is a stampede of people (occasionally myself among them, ahem..) ordering 3 or 4 drinks each and then having to neck them in about 10 minutes, hence the binge-drinking. If you don't finish by drinking up time you just get thrown out and your drink taken away. I go to the pub to see my friends and catch up and I certainly don't count how many drinks I'm having - this doesn't mean I go out with the sole aim of getting drunk, but a good buzz as a side effect is always a plus! Most people know when they've had enough and have the sense to stop or leave. The ones that don't aren't really going to be affected one way or the other by what time the pub closes. There IS such a thing as responsible drinking.
A drinking culture exists in Britain and Ireland. The pub is the centre of the social universe. The pub is where we meet our friends, a rendez-vous point. It's where you go for "one for the road" after work. It's a place you can go to any time of the day and sit quietly and read your paper or get loud and rowdy if you prefer. It's the alcoholic equivalent of the coffee shop only slightly smokier. Except in Ireland.
Anyway, the new campaign warning of drunk & disorderly spot fines in the UK are pretty graphic, with one of the posters showing the fine amount elegantly spelled out in vomit. Nice touch. Bloody yobs.

Another nice touch is that in a small corner of the newspaper today it is being reported that the fine, ethically-minded inmates of Damascus' main jail are going on a 3-day hunger strike to protest the "unfair pressure" being put on Syria by the international community. Yes, you did read that correctly and I'm still looking for my "What the fuck?" section in which to file it.

Personally, I'm on cruise control waiting for Saturday to roll around bringing with it more Premiership fun. My lovely Chelsea go up against Newcastle and if we lose that, we have some 'splainin' to do....


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