Drinking

Hey gals, guess what? Bad news I’m afraid. Apparently next time you have one too many VK’s down at the Union Bar and end up spewing all over guy-with-bad-breath-from-your-medieval-literature-module, you’re not just accepting a fate of notoriety within the English school. You’re actually also saying “hey babe, I know I haven’t given you a second look all night but you know what, I’m really gagging for a shag…how about we do it here, on this badly lit, secluded park bench. I might act a little nervous or even pass out half way through, but ignore all that. I know I’m paralytic, but trust me, I want you”.

According to the NHS, over 20,000 people were admitted to hospital last year with alcohol poisoning, but were drinking games the cause? After all that Olympic hype, let us not forget the games that happen every night of the week, where anyone can be an Olympian. The drinking games. Drive, perseverance, ambition, stamina…these are all necessary traits to be successful in your next round of Twenty-One.

We all go on them. Many of us several times a week. But do we know what makes a good night out? Surely, the answer is obvious: plenty of friends, plenty of booze, plenty of music. If there’s money in your pocket and nothing to do the day after you’re sorted, right? Not necessarily. In my humble experience, often the biggest bashes are the least entertaining. The more people there are crammed into a room, the harder it is to have a proper conversation, and the less chance there is of actually having somewhere to sit or stand comfortably. Perching on the arm of a sofa wondering whether to partake in the conversation to your left or introduce yourself to the people on your right isn’t actually much fun. As exciting as it is to be in a large group, numbers alone don’t signify a good night.

Admittedly this may not be a phrase we would normally see in connection with the modern day drinking culture, particularly amongst students, but it would seem that there is a light at the end of the squalid, drunken haze of a tunnel which is student life. With the rise of independent bars and microbreweries, particularly in and around Leeds, it is not surprising that a new thirst for difference has arisen amongst beer lovers.

Sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, cigarettes, beer, coffee: some of the most sought after and enjoyed things in life. Satisfaction vs. health, thrill vs. guilt. As humans, this battle is one we face daily; hence the renowned and frequently used phrase ‘guilty pleasures’.

Walking through a distinctively nondescript social gathering, (birthday, or leaving do? It doesn’t matter, everyone is surreptitiously aware of the fact that the ‘occasion’ is merely a front for the inevitability of intoxication) almost before saying hello to anyone a beeline is made towards beer and whatever else.

Picture the scene; its 8pm, you’re sat on the sofa in your PJs, finally finding out who’s won that episode of ‘Come Dine With Me’, when you receive a text containing the immortal words; ‘you out tonight?’ Here you have two choices, put your slippers on and open up another bag of Malteasers because Free Willy 3 is on, or crack open a beer, down a few pro-plus and get your gladrags on for the crazy night  out ahead. Which sounds more appealing?

 

Something I never thought I would see: my friend slipping and sliding through urine. Ok, maybe I could have expected to see this, the unexpected part comes from the fact that it was an organised event. No, he hadn't taken an unfortunate stumble somewhere along the lines of a messy evening; this was a normal Monday afternoon and carried the unequivocal stench of sobriety.  This was his inventive, albeit unhygienic, way of raising money for charity. And after witnessing the air of serenity that fell across his face as he took the plunge, hats off to the chap.

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