Ever been to a London Pub, after ten o’clock at night, sober? You will be the only one to notice the bar-top is AWASH with spilled beer and there’s no toilet paper in the ladies loo.
A lot of the top drinking countries are in the Eastern Bloc, like Belarus and Bosnia. I’ve been to Russia a number of times. I was at a business lunch in Moscow once, with about fifteen people at a long table. Our hosts began what they described through interpreters as “the tradition of the toast” and I believe it is where the expression “toasted” must come from. A servant pours a large shot of vodka for each participant, and then all of the hosts and a selection of “special guests” (in predetermined order) give a toast. Several times. After each toast, the whole merry group drinks the shot. And the servant refills. Let’s do the math – most people I know don’t drink 32 shots of vodka at lunch. One of the guys at the table, a stiff accounting type, was found (after a haphazard search) passed out in the men’s room, where he had voided into the trousers of his three piece suit…
After lunch, the Russians WENT BACK TO WORK.
I found out later, that it’s okay for women to just sip the shot with each toast. I was having VISIONS like Rasputin, people. There is no scenario I can imagine, at a traditional Russian toast, where someone could say, “I don’t drink.” It would cause an international crisis…
The Social Issues Research Center says, “Alcohol has played a central role in almost all human cultures since 4,000 BC. All societies without exception make use of intoxicating substances…”
It’s why I’ve decided to stay home today.
Today I’m not drinking, I’m not traveling – in fact I’m staying home…!
How come you’re not drinking?