Great Britain. Says it all, doesn’t it? It sounds like bragging, but really it’s a statement of fact. And perhaps our greatest development is, in all actuality, drinking. Yes, you can argue that the consumption of alcohol has been going on since the first caveman gobbled down a few fermented grapes, started grunting on about how everyone was his ‘beshtest fuggin mate’, before cracking one of them over the head with a mammoth bone for looking at his bird. But it was us who developed boozing as an art form, hence the global domination of British pubs. And if you’re not drinking the British way, then you’re doing it wrong. Here’s how it’s done properly:
It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere in the Empire
Some countries will have you believe that it is uncouth to sup on an ‘eye opener’ before 5pm, and we British wholeheartedly agree. However, with an Empire that once covered one third of the world, by adjusting your body clock to imperial time you can have a tipple at any hour, safe in the knowledge that someone, somewhere will be hoisting their glass with you.
Eating is cheating
Doctors will tell you that drinking on an empty stomach is dangerous, but where is their sense of adventure? A good ‘sesh’ is meant to be a challenge, and eating before ‘getting on it’ is cheating, pure and simple. Why did Sir Edmund Hillary (though a New Zealander, a knight of the realm and therefore an honorary Brit) climb Everest? Because it was there. And he went from bottom to top, no ski lift, no cheating in any form. So, is a Kiwi more of a man than you? I should bloody well hope not.
561 years before Thomas Jefferson flipped open his thesaurus to ‘undeniable’ and said “hmmm, ‘self-evident’, I like it”, the British wrote the greatest declaration of independence of all: The Magna Charta. Amongst statutes asserting basic though inalienable human rights, this Great Charter* enshrines that there should be but one standard measurement of ale: the pint. 568ml of perfectly standardized beer. So, if your barman offers you a jockey, a schooner, a bottle or a half, throw it back in his blaggard face and demand a full pint; to do otherwise is a crime against our civil rights.
Eight Pint Piss
One of the most annoying things when out drinking with a non-British friend is when they slope off to the loo every few sips, thus ruining the flow of your important commentary or hilarious witticisms. According to the National Institutes of Health, a healthy adult bladder can comfortably hold up to two cups of liquid. This is a fallacy (or a phallusy, if you will). A proper British drinker should not break the seal until at least the eighth pint. Subsequent pisses should then be allowed at four pint intervals. Yes, this may sting a bit, but I again refer you back to rule number two.
Toilet talk? It’s just not cricket
So you’ve downed your twelfth pint and need to relieve that stabbing pain in your abdomen. You head to the urinal where the guy standing next to you nods and asks “Havin’ a good night, mate?” What do you do? Do you regale him with fantastic tales of the night’s revelries? Do you stare grimly with gritted teeth at the yellowing tiled wall in front of you? Or do you smack the mouthy prick in the fucking nose? Well, while the third option is eminently understandable, as a British gentleman it is somewhat unbecoming behavior. You instead ignore the fellow safe in the knowledge that he will soon realize his faux pas and do likewise.
Get your retaliation in first
Along with cricket, complaining about the weather and repressed homosexuality caused by spending formative years in the care of predatory pedophiles in boarding schools**, having a fight after a few pints is one of Britain’s greatest pastimes. However, there are strict codes of etiquette that one must follow. Firstly, never hit a lass. Secondly, take it outside – pubs are a place in which to drink and embellish the details of sexual conquests, not fighting. Thirdly, get your retaliation in first. So in a moment of clarity, as you stand in the pub car park with your missus screaming “leave it Dave, ‘e ain’t worth it,” and you look at the terrified guy in front of you, who is half your size, and you realize that he probably didn’t spill your pint after all, don’t back down. For all you know he could be a 10th Dan Karate Champion, and hiding behind those thick-rimmed glasses and walking stick is just a cunning ploy. Quickly, hit him before he has the chance to take your head off with a roundhouse. But don’t kick him on the floor. That’s for cowards. And the French.
If you follow these rules you will be able to hold your head aloft in British pubs the world over. Fall foul of them, however, and I may exercise my right to follow rule number six. You’ve been warned.
*That’s what it means Cameron, you chewed toffee-faced prick.
**Oooh, that explains why you missed all those Latin lessons.