Overheard in the pub yesterday

–Do you have any non-alcoholic ginger ale?
–Yes.
–I’ll have one of those with a shot of vodka in it.

Obo buys a pint

Buying alcohol at Sainsbury's…

Checkout lady: Having a party?
Me: Erm… No.

Forward planning

Some chap in front of me in the queue at Sainsbury's today bought £190's-worth of Budweiser and a packet of paracetamol. Admirable forward planning.

He then rather spoilt matters by attempting to pay in cash, using Scottish bank notes. Checkout chaos ensued.

[Yes, I am aware that ‘forward planning’ is hideously tautological.]

Not wishing to be pedantic, but...

Spectator: The myth of the 'middle class drink epidemic'
[…] The hook for all this is a study (in reality, a glorified survey) published in BMJ Open which found that successful, wealthy, middle class people over the age of 50 are more likely to exceed the government’s drinking guidelines than their peers.

No. Successful, wealthy, middle class people over the age of 50 drink, on average, exactly the same amount as their peers. That's because they're in the same peer-group.

What the article means to say is that successful, wealthy, middle class people over the age of 50 are more likely to exceed the government’s drinking guidelines than people in other groups (who, by definition, aren't their peers).

Do you see what I did there?

Irish Mick and I went for a slightly up-market pub dinner above Windermere on Tuesday. Afterwards, I went back to the bar:

Barmaid: Did you two enjoy your venison burgers?
Me: Yes, thanks, they were very nice—but they were dead deer.
Barmaid: …?
Me: Sorry, that was just a joke.
Barmaid: …?
Me: … A pun.
Barmaid: …?
Me: … Well, a double-pun, really… Venison: dead deer.
Barmaid: …?
Me: Two pints of bitter, please.

Shaken, not stirred

BBC: Cambridge Five spy ring members 'hopeless drunks'
Members of the Cambridge Five spy ring were regarded by their Soviet handlers as hopeless drunks incapable of keeping secrets, newly-released files suggest[...]

A short passage describes Burgess as a man "constantly under the influence of alcohol".

Written in Russian, it goes on to recount one occasion when Burgess drunkenly risked exposing his double identity.

"Once on his way out of a pub, he managed to drop one of the files of documents he had taken from the Foreign Office on the pavement," translator Svetlana Lokhova explained.

Moving on to Maclean, the note describes him as "not very good at keeping secrets".

It adds that he was "constantly drunk" and binged on alcohol.

Not wishing to be pedantic, but it sounds to me as if Burgess and Maclean, far from being ‘hopeless drunks’, were actually extremely accomplished drunks.