Friday, 19 December 2008

Whatever happened to Christmas boozing?

When I was in my mid twenties me and a mate sometime mid-November decided for a laugh that we would go out on the piss every day in December. We had plenty of money, no bird and a penchant for the good life so we did it. We were already accustomed to the old turn out Thursday come back home Sunday routine week on week and this seemed like the natural progression of festivities given our standard levels of alcoholic intake. Darts & Doms down the local Monday, Tuesday night football, Wednesday night at the Pier, Thursday night at Maximes, Friday night in the Springfield Triangle, all day Saturday and all day Sunday in town punctuated by the odd game of football. Great Stuff! Of course some nights are bigger than others, and during my youth as a drinker these are what they meant to me:

Mad Friday

The day that someone started calling it ‘Mad’ was the day it stopped becoming so. I think I started off as a student thing and of course a student dropout/doleite thing of which I was much more familiar, then all the Wigan based office dweebs and counter assistants got in on the act, before you know it Sharon from Credit Control is puking her ring up behind the Bees Knees at 4pm while wearing a Santa hat. When I got my first proper job in Wigan, I was in Steppes with the bosses of the firm, talking football and having a few beers when one of my mates came in giving me the thumbs up and grinning away ‘I’ve just shagged a bird outside, fucking give it to her doggy style over the bins round the back of Parker Franks’ while I stood there horrified looking into my Coors. It was 5.30pm.

Christmas Eve

Chrimbo Eve used to be all about ‘doing the Lane’ and used to be a big Goon Squad/Wiggin Park lads thing for many a year. There was one year in particular I recall United were playing Liverpool at midday and I walked into the Bellingham and there must have been 100+ lads there and tables full of beer, when Sky telly was still something of a novelty. Of course it all ended in tears later that day when one of them got turned away from the recently opened Bellablu wine bar and proceeded to engage in a spot of pugilism with the Iraqi bouncers followed by some air conditioning of the establishment’s windows with a litter bin

Boxing Day

It took me till I was 30 that I realised that they only do this in Wigan, I thought it went on everywhere. Like most things though it’s 90% shite and 10% genius. For genius read Beany dressed as Chubby Brown, Teletubbies directing traffic, Surfboarders rolling about in the snow with nowt but a thong on when its six inch deep in snow and some twat with a Bo Selecta Craig David mask. Plenty amusing sights but prepare to spend your evening queuing for hours and paying through the nose to get in everywhere as the whole idea of a pub CRAWL is defeated. What was original became commercial and now drags them in from far afield. It’s also a crock of shite.

New Years Eve

Me and a few of my drinking buddies used to always spend NYE in the Turnkey (or wherever) with a large JD in our hands toasting each other – no matter what birds were on the scene, they were always told to do one at 12, cos mates are mates innit? And then came the Millennium, where I was unfortunate enough to find myself in Surfers Paradise. At 20 to 12 I went to the bar to get our drinks in, and at 10 to 12with the bar now 3 deep instead of 6, the triple-time bar staff all fucked off onto the stage to celebrate in the New Year leaving behind one solitary bouncer to serve 50 people in no particular rush. My empty glass was symbolic as many others then saw the light and going out on New Years Eve now is an exception rather than the rule, with local boozers tending to get the custom rather than greedy club owners and serves them bloody right!

As for the rest. Well if you are like me, you will spend your works do trying to glug as much free ale as possible and when it dries up piss off and find your real mates and you will have one day (usually a Sunday) where you get absolutely paralytic and need to be put in a taxi at seven bells and then it’s straight back on it the next day

Binge drinking = big and clever (if under 30)

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