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Posted: February 2nd, 2004, by Chris S

I rediscovered a drink last week and at the same time entered into a strange conversation.

I drove to a gig in Derby so even though there was a bar and people were drinking and a band was playing – a band I love too – get this; I COULDN’T DRINK. I know, it’s messed up.

I was moaning about this to my friend Alex. Alex is a teacher of Design and Technology and he also appreciates the finer points of the Saab 90/900 range of automobiles. So I knew if anyone could offer me advice on how to deal with this it would be him. Actually he also plays drums in a band that sound like Refused (Fixit Kid) but I’ll overlook that.

He suggested something absurd.


And he had a strong argument to back up his case.

The thing about drinking is that it’s all about show and also about comfort on the part of the drinker. I drink pints because it’s the norm and I feel comfortable drinking from a large solid pint glass.

So, I’m driving so I am allowed a pint let’s say to be on the safe side. My normal approach to shoot my load in one go and buy a pint then drag my heels around the rest of the night with a Coke.

I tried drinking coffee instead but it’s so damn long winded.

Another option is the half pint. But then you get it in a half pint glass and it looks stupid. And you drink at a faster rate than your fellow drinkers and you are out of step with the round buying flow. A bad move.

You could ask for it in a pint glass – which I’ve seen done – but even though we all know drinking is an exercise in machismo this act is akin to loudly broadcasting that you have a one inch chap. You would overstep the mark by doing this.

So the answer is Shandy.

A half and half allows for 2 pints. If your friends are on a mission then simply divide the predicted intake up and ask for 1/5 booze in your shandy if you have to. This way you don;t get drunk but yet you still drink pints and you know what? You actually feel like it’s a normal night such is the comfort of the fat glass in your hand and the rushing sensation of the weak bladder that us more experienced boozers get.

But that leaves one problem. How do you order a shandy? You might fool everyone else into thinking you’re on the hard stuff but not the barperson.

I consulted Alex for tips and he coached me through the process.

“You say it like this

Hi, can I have a shandy please – half and half if you will

then pause, look away, laugh to yourself as though you heard a good joke and add

ha ha…I’m driving

then smile”

So I approached the bar and went for it. And it was easy. It even cost the same as a pint so I had that warm feeling of being ripped off too. And get this, as I went to open my mouth the DJ played John Fahey. Incredible.

May I also take this opportunity to advertise the long delayed return of the rock band I play called Wolves! (of Greece). We will be playing in March in Nottingham and London with Oneida and then on April Fools Day we go head to head with Lightning Bolt in Leeds.


Chris S

Chris lives for the rock and can often be seen stumbling drunkenly on (and off) stages far and wide. Other hobbies include wearing jumpers, arsing about with Photoshop and trying to beat the world record for the number of offensive comments made in any 24 hour period. He has been married twice but his heart really belongs to his guitars. All 436 of them.


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