Friday, December 17, 2004

This clamp down on 'binge drinking', as somebody somewhere has decided to describe the art of knocking back anything more than two pints, looks set to ruin Christmas. Heck, if you can't make a complete arse of yourself at this time of year by imbibing a few legal intoxicants, when can you? No doubt while the police are foisting £80 spot fines on incoherent revellers who've wet themselves, smack heads will be wandering around as per usual, breaking into the odd house (or doing the odd Babyshambles gig) but allowed to go about their business untouched by the long arm of da law, as it's called here in the ghetto (or the streets, if you're vicar's son Tim Westwood. Merry Christmas, Tim, and long may there be room on the airwaves for your Al Jolson-style entertainment. Just like the black and white minstrels, it's harmless fun). If we are no longer allowed to get inebriated and indulge in a bit of old-fashioned public disorder they may as well ban alcohol and pubs outright, driving it underground, where everything is always so much more fun. Imagine scoring four cans of Carling Black Label off that dodgy mate you've known for years. "I want the £1.96 up front," he'd say, before turning his mobile phone off and disappearing for weeks with your money. In the meantime, you'll get into homebrew in a big way and start supplying the more leftfield members of your own family, especially that uncle who likes the Rolling Stones. As soon as you've got more homebrew on your hands than you can reasonably redistribute without drawing attention to yourself, forcing you, inexplicably, to install some tacky wrought iron gates and fencing all the way round your house, the dodgy mate will turn up. "I could only get you Kestrel," he'd announce, smelling of lager, generally wobbling a lot and passing you just three cans with no explanation about where the fourth can you asked for has disappeared to. Merry Christmas, Richard Caborn, may your wine be corked on Christmas Day.

A final weekend of reviewing awaits me. Godber's Going Dutch at Hull Truck tonight and two Aladdins - one in Scarborough tomorrow afternoon and one back in Hull on Monday evening. Then, perhaps, I can concentrate on making Christmas a right (alcohol-free, visiting Home Office surfers) riot for all the people I love.

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