Saturday, 8 October 2011

The Bell(end) Curve

Everyone likes a drink, right? In fact I used to believe as a younger man that someone who doesn't drink is not to be trusted. To an extent that's still true.

However for various reasons over the last couple of years I've been a non-drinker. This has opened my eyes to a world less often seen. A world where drunks rule, and conversation is not the sparkling battle of witty riposte that the drinker probably thinks it is. It's a world where those that are drunk are often aggressive in a friendly way, or friendly in an aggressive way.

Over this period I've discovered that most nights follow a specific pattern, six particular steps, and most chaps degenerate at a similar rate. So for your delectation, I present, the journey of a night on the pop.



Opening hour- Tentative

Everyone has arrived at the pre-arranged venue and nervously shuffling round the bar playing first round shoot out. Someone twitches, and the deadlock is broken. Drinks are dispersed and everyone gets stuck in.

At this point, unless you're with a group you regularly drink with, most people are a little tentative. Small talk is mundane and people are desperately searching for that first beer buzz.

Drunkeness
Graph 1- how a night normally pans out (i'm aware there's a spelling error in the title of the chart)

Hour 2- Relaxed

A couple of beers in and everyone is easing into the night. Smiles are broad and warm, and most jokes, even if misplaced, generate amusement. The feelings are that it could be a good night.

Conversing
Graph 2- ability to converse through the six stages of a night out

Hour 3- The peak

This is the where all drinkers think there night ends. It's a period where everyone is relaxed enough to be enjoying themselves, and their inhibitions low enough to push certain boundaries without overstepping the mark.

Most drinkers think that this period lasts for the largest proportion of the night. In fact this window is very small due to the careful equilibrium that needs to be achieved by all parties. For the sober onlooker it does not last long enough.

Hour 4- The slippery slope

This is not too dissimilar to the peak, however tell tale signs of wear and tear are creeping in. A slightly louder than usual laugh, a misplaced step, sloshing pints, addition of the word 'fucking' to every sentence, and the emergence of the thousand yard stare, are all signs that the night is about to hurtle down the slippery slope.

Inhibitions
Graph 3- The path of inhibitions on a night out

Hour 5- Sloped faces

A stroke is not a funny thing, and nothing to be mocked. That said after a certain period the harder drinkers take on a key symptom of a stroke, the sloped face. When all around you, all you see are half smiles, and half blinked eyes, you're deep into the night surrounded by pissheads who all think they are spouting oral gold. It's more than likely they're just spouting phlegm.



Hour 6- Oblivion

If you're still sober at this point, it's more than likely you're trying to look after a drunk who has all the reasoning capability of a disgruntled four year old.

If you are the drunk this is usually the only other stage you are likely to remember. This is normally because there is either a shock to system, like a multi-coloured yawn, or a reasoning process required, should you sleep in that bush?



Pie charts
Graph 4- A breakdown of a typical chaps thought process throughout a night


To add some additional ideas to the journey of the night I've attempted to break down how a bloke's thought process might go on a typical night. To view properly it might be an idea to download it, or squint. It's worth noting that this isn't everyone. It's definitely not me. Definitely not.

At all.



Just to be clear, not me.







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