Thursday, November 17, 2005

Pub chucking-up time.

Britain has a drinking problem. As countries go, it's like the pleasant co-worker who's great fun until he's had one too many, at which point he'll start telling you his interesting views on minorities, demands to know why you're looking at him like that, and then fall off his bar stool whilst attempting to attack you for saying imagined nasty things about his mother.
11:10 PM, any night of the week. This is when the chaos begins. Ten minutes ago, every pub in the land threw all of its patrons out into the street. Some of them will stumble off home, but some of them won't. For them, it's too late to call it an early night and too early to go home, and so what's a bored, half-drunk, semi-employed football hooligan to do? On a good night, he might careen down the street singing some godawful modern britpop drinking song ("I GEH KNOKH DHAHAHA BAGGHH AGHH GEEH UH AGAEEEH!") whilst stealing the lids from the rubbish bins on my street. On a bad night, he'll vomit, then break something, then break someone. Frequently it'll be another drunken moron that gets broken, but it isn't rare for innocent bystanders to be attacked.

So now the government has decided to change the licensing laws, allowing pubs and bars to stay open much later. Starting next Thursday, local councils will be able to regulate the pubs in any way they like. In many areas, this will result in pubs staying open until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. Keeping the pubs open longer, the theory goes, will reduce binge drinking and violence, thus restoring a modicum of order to the lawless, yob-ridden city centres of Britain.

Allow me to explain: The 11:00 closing time for pubs means that you've got to do all of your drinking for the night before that time. That means drinking quickly. Drinking quickly gets you very drunk. Generally the Brits also do their drinking before dinner (restaurants stay open later than pubs.) So they're getting drunk on an empty stomach. The idea is that extending the opening hours of pubs reduces the need of the clientele to drink quickly, thus reducing the drunkenness, spreading out departure times, and avoiding the roving drunken mobs that appear everywhere immediately at 11 o'clock.

This brilliant idea has the potential to do more damage to Britain than anything since the plauge. And I support it wholeheartedly. My reasoning is fairly simple:
Most people will adapt to this just fine. Those who aren't raging alcoholics are unlikely to become AA case-studies because of the rule changes. But the yobs won't adapt. They won't slow down. Suddenly freed from the confines of the 11:00PM alcohol curfew, they will simply drink at a high rate for longer periods of time. The drunken rioting will worsen... for a while. But then something wonderful will happen. Many of the hardcore violent drinkers will die of alcohol poisoning or be beaten to death by the mobs of angry neighbors and overworked police that will soon surround every pub and bar. Many more will simply slash each other to pieces with broken bottles. Few innocents will be killed, because everyone will be too frightened to leave the house. I figure there will be a two to three month crime wave of epic porprotions until this sorts itself out. Then perhaps the rest of us can get some peace.

Unfortunately, all of this comes too late the rubbish bin lids of every house between 55 and 127 Hills Road. They are forever lost.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry, blog is too long again. i couldn't get past "Britain has a drinking problem."

pictures. must have pictures!

4:52 PM  

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