“I’m never drinking again!”, declares man holding drink

As part of the UK’s ongoing commitment to total annihilation and an early, gin-soaked grave, millions of Britons have started 2013 by lying loudly about never, ever drinking again.

The absolute stone-cold fallacy comes in the wake of New Year’s Eve, where otherwise modest alcoholics traditionally attempt to drink a unit of alcohol for every year since the birth of Christ in a grim attempt to forget the horrors of the previous pointless lap of the Sun whilst wearing something nice which we always think won’t get ruined, but which always does.

Dry January is making this man want a quick nap.

Dry January is making this man want a quick nap.

This ritual of drunken carnage is, by law, interspersed with questionable decisions and at least one person wondering aloud why nobody has started kissing as soon as the first firework bursts over the London eye. In my own personal case our party strolled down to a nearby bridge to watch the side of the London fireworks. There was merriment all round in the large crowd, who began a good old-fashioned singalong. Sensing his opportunity, one of my more vertically impressive flatmates raised his arms and screamed ‘ORGY!’ to the crowd of families and young children. At least five hundred million similar incidents were recorded on the night.

Waking on New Year’s Day to be greeted by a hangover the size of France, questions like “Who am I?”, “Why am I?” and “Is that beer in the washing machine?” and, often, a bewildered moose shitting in the living room, 97% of people immediately forswear alcohol and vow to lead a quiet life of meditation, running and lying to themselves.

The moose has vowed not to get drunk again until May. It's lying.

The moose has vowed not to get drunk again until May. It’s lying.

I predict that this newfound sense of inner peace, in no way driven by shame and a throbbing liver, will last until roughly Friday, when Dry January will experience it’s first light shower – roughly coinciding with people realising that they really bloody love drinking. From this point, Dry January will be dry in the way that 2012 was dry and as such will likely result in the permanent ‘Atlantisisation’ of large swathes of the West Country. Hurricane Brandy is expected to make landfall no later than January 9th.

Pint?

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“Try to avoid drinking until at least breakfast”, haggard-looking government tells nation

“Or at least stick to something mild on your cornflakes. Gin? Oh, for Christ’s sake.”

Having utterly failed to convince even a single man, woman or child in Britain to slightly moderate their drinking habits, or “lives” as they are otherwise known, parliament has released a set of guidelines ironically entitled “We Give Up” to try to corral the average Brit into simply laying off the absinthe for as little as 48 hours.

A standard Tuesday morning in the UK

The report has been met with laughter, derision, and in true British style even got its face kicked in by some tanked up arseholes in Nuneaton.

Aside from the frank admission that Britain as a concept is now pretty much constantly blitzed (look at a map of the globe. Britain would describe itself as existing at a ‘jaunty’ angle, but we all know that that lean is way more of a ‘four pint stumbly’ angle), two overriding truths have been revealed about our great land.

First, it has become apparent that whoever is in charge of alcohol guidelines is an absolute, perfectly formed moron. The new guidelines, published 2012, have come about because the old guidelines, published 1995, “appeared to endorse daily drinking” (direct quote that, a real one too and not one I’ve just made up for a change).

It has taken in excess of 16 (SIXTEEN!) years for anybody in a position of authority to notice that guidelines which suggest that people imbibe no more than 4 units of booze daily might, just might, make it seem like daily drinking was ok. Apparently the word ‘daily’ was meant to be taken in a much less literal context than the word ‘daily’ is often understood. Or in the lesser-known alternative meaning of the word, which must be ‘not every day’.

Perhaps if they were trying to avoid daily drinking, they might have used a less misleading word than ‘daily’ to achieve that end. Just a thought.

“You must eat your 5-a-day. And what we obviously mean by this is three carrots a year.No, I don’t see how you could have interpreted that statement in any other way.”

The second, more heartening revelation is that the people of Britain are capable, and have indeed been engaged in, mass collective action on an astounding scale.

According to the figures, 90% of people are aware of the existence of alcoholic ‘units’ but an astounding 107% of people are unable to specify what this translates to in the glass. This is, of course, bullshit. We all know a unit is about three measly sips of Tesco value wine, or an eighth of a pint, or something equally unrealistically tiny. So we have entered into a mass deception to fool the authorities whereby units are a complete mystery, and we can thereby continue getting absolutely slashed with a squeaky clean conscience.

Most people choose to describe a unit as “a quarter of what I have drunk and will drink this evening”, but others are bolder and more fanciful and claim that a unit is an incredibly rare bird that lives in the Amazon, and it is therefore difficult, not to mention unethical, to consume four in a day. Some have bastardised the “one glass = one unit” methodology with gusto, becoming wonderfully liberal with what constitutes one drink. ¬†Triple whisky. One glass, one unit. Yard of White Lightning. One glass, one unit. Industrial-sized bottle of Ouzo. Technically¬†One glass, one unit.

It’s as though acknowledging something exists exempts us from any further knowledge of it.

“I’m aware of the existence of ‘the law’, but as I can’t conceptualise it adequately I’m going to stove this man’s face in with a sharp lizard and you will have no power to stop me.”

Would be an extreme example of this logic.

To celebrate the new alcohol guidelines I’ll be having two days away from drink and then enjoying a rather large bottle of Scotch with supper on Friday.

One glass, one unit.

Fun linked to cancer

Scientists have today confirmed that anything you could conceivably enjoy will eventually kill you. With the prized addition of alcohol, the medical world has now ‘collected the set’ of all the good things in the world and confirmed that each and every one of them will give you big nasty cancer.

This picture is highly carcinogenic

Booze, smoking, sex and sugar are being renamed “tumourfests” in homage to their supposed deadliness, as the scientific community rejoices in taking almost all the fun out of every aspect of life. A leading cancer research scientist was surprisingly frank in a recent interview:

“We’ll link anything to cancer. Doesn’t have to be true, mind, but if we say link then nobody can sue us, no matter how flimsy the evidence or misleading the statement. My personal favourite is “Doubles the risk of”, which is great because we know full well that the ‘risk’ of a particular cancer is only 0.0000001%, so if we double it there’s still fuck all chance of you getting it, but it makes a great story and I’ve got a career to further. I could say anything! Prolonged exposure to carrots is linked to cancer. Stroking this puppy is linked to cancer. I’m linked to cancer. Anything! Isn’t science great?”

When quizzed on the questionable morality of trumpeting tenuous connections between certain substances or behaviours and a life-threatening disease, the scientist was somewhat more pragmatic:

“Basically we need the money. Well, not need the money, but want it. And the only way to get the money is to do a very preliminary study and then make wildly bold claims about everything giving you cancer. Then they start giving you research funding to further research the bold claim and find that the claim was exactly as dodgy as when you first made it. At which point, you don’t really give a toss because all that research money has kept you in fine burgundy for a couple of years.”

“Look, I don’t make the rules.”

In realistic terms, if everything that was ever linked to cancer gave you cancer then you wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning without a dirty great lump springing up on your arm. As to the question of why it’s only ever the fun stuff, the official answer is that the fun stuff sells more newspapers. The news that each drink is sending you closer to an early grave is much more likely to grab attention than, say, each time you mow the lawn sending you to an early grave. Ambiguous science, sensationalist journalism and slow news days combine to cause mass panic about what’s going to kill us all next.

Don’t worry about it. Or you’ll get cancer.