With the Devil out and about in Edinburgh cadging free drink from anyone dumb enough to let him into the premises, what better moment to take a look at "Britain's Binge-Drink Hell" (copyright all tabloid newspapers everywhere)?
Some 29.2% of adults in Newcastle binge drink, followed by 27.6% in Liverpool and Durham. This compared to just 8.8% in East Dorset. The Centre for Public Health analysed statistics from the past two years for all 354 local authority regions. [...] Experts warned that England had gone from a country "enjoying a harmless tipple" to one developing "a dangerous alcohol addiction".
Those of us who have to pay standard Edinburgh prices for our drinks might be quite happy, just out of spite, to see DK become part of this statistic, but wait: you haven't heard the definition of "binge drinking" yet...
consuming double the recommended daily limit - the equivalent of a large glass of wine for women and a pint-and-a-half of lager for men - in at least one session a week.
While alcohol problems can end people’s lives at any age, across England the average loss of life due to alcohol is nearly 10 months for men and five months for women.
This statistic is clearly meant to scare us. It doesn't scare me. The last ten months of my life will, as likely as not, be spent in a care home, dribbling into a cup of lukewarm, milky tea. And for that I'm supposed to forgo the unquantifiable pleasures of a life lived to the full? Fuck you, doc. You might as well put out a press release warning that there's a small but statistically measurable risk of being blinded by a sharp elbow every time I bang a supermodel. I'll take my chances.*
There is a binge-drinking culture in this country, but there's also a culture of treating us like brain-damaged children; and, as has been noted on these pages several times before, all these reports, and surveys, and warnings, add inexorably to the clamour for the state to step in and extend its control over our lives still further - for our own good, you understand. Well fuck you, Jack, I'm off to the pub.
*Fat fucking chance, of course.