Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Where's Mitch Buchannon when you need him?

There's many things swally doesn't mix well with: driving, flying, working, etc. Another is swimming.

Some drunken bathers got into trouble off an Indian beach and had to be rescued by lifeguards. One of whom was then punched by the rescued man.

Source: Times of India

Thursday, 16 October 2008

A Faller at the First

Alcohol is for humans. That's straightforward. However there is the occasional story of a horse that is barred from a pub or a donkey that keep abreast of the domino games down the boozer.
This week a story appeared of a horse that got steaming and ended up in someone's swimming pool.

Easy done.

The poor equine was called "Fat Boy" and after eating some fermented apples, slipped and fell into a woman's pool.

A wag may quip that they should rename the stables "The Nag's Head". But only a poor wag.

Story from BBC

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Daft B

Sometimes to have to take your hat off to salute the sheer That's the Swally-ness of some behaviour.

A man was stopped by police, taken to a police station and breathalysed. His wife drove to pick him up from the station in Ayr.

He was clear of the swally.

She wasn't.

By a factor of four times over the limit.

A source said: "She must be the stupidest driver of the year." No, but the maybe the swallyest.

Sunday Mail

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Assault and Fartery

A driver in the US of A was stopped by police and during his arrest for failing a drunk test, he is alleged to have performed an act that is not as popular with the police as it is in a Will Ferrell movie.

He was arrested for his troubles.

Fox News got wind of it here.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Going down nicely

Drink makes us do stupid things. I once ordered a fish supper. With an extra smoked sausage on top. What was I thinking? That's two meals on their own for goodness sake.

But one man will have more to regret than increased cholesterol today as he's been jailed for saying that the plane he was on had a bomb. On the plane they found no bomb, and in the court they found him guilty of being swallied.

That's the aerial swally

Monday, 8 September 2008

Alcoholic Pandamic

Everyone loves Pandas. When you combine that feeling with the dutch courage of the swally you can end up in a bit of bother. As the Chinese man who thought it a good idea to hug a Panda when juiced up found out.

More on what happens when you combine drink and large furry mammals.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008


A Minnesotan woman managed to perform what may be the daftest thing yet on the swally.

Driving and lost, she stopped at a house to ask for directions. A house where a sheriff's deputy lived. A sheriff who refused to let her leave until she'd been arrested.

That's the Swally!

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Stupid things while drunk #483

There's a long history of people doing stupid things while drunk, whether it's having sex with a pavement, trying to open an airliner's door midflight or trying to eat a fish supper while drinking a can of pop and texting your mates on the way home. (Which can only lead to a distressed scene when said chipper drops onto the pavement, spilling its golden wares onto the concrete).

Sometimes it can veer away from the relatively "normal" as above into areas that are termed: "criminal" and can lead to questions such as "What they f*@k were they thinking about?"

An Australian sheep-shearer, seemingly full of whisky, broke into a couple's hotel room, held them hostage, put them into a state of what can only be described as fear, hit one of them, before being apprehended by the hotel staff, one of whom he also hit.

The reason? He was refused more drink.

His lawyer told the court "He had far too much to drink. He remembers drinking whisky and that's not normally his drink."

The lawyer did not offer a plea of "That's the swally" and so it looks like he's going down, faster than a tinnie of Four X.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Open Door Polizei

Stories of air-rage are not difficult to find. Put some people in a metal tube and hurl them through the air miles above the ground and you will eventually get some reactions. In fact I'm amazed there's not more incidents.

The classic is people going on holiday get boozed up on the way, continue on the flight, do something stupid, get restrained by the crew, aircraft diverts and they get arrested.

This week's Act of Stupidity involves two women on a Manchester to Kos flight, who went a bit daft on the swally, one of whom went to open the emergency door to get "some fresh air".

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Not Dead Drunk

Roy Castle for years fronted the Record Breakers show. It showed people who had earned their place in the Guinness Book of Records, for eating so many beans in a minute, jumping so many cars on a tea tray, or running 100 metres in a fast time, that sort of thing.

Roy Castle is now sadly dead but if he was I'm sure he'd have a slot on his show for this man: Stanley Kobierowski. He was arrested by police in Rhode Island, America after his car hit a message board on a highway. He showed signs of being over the legal driving limit but when he was breathalysed they had no idea how over the limit he was: blood alcohol reading 0.491 %.

According to the article in the San Francisco Chronicle they were "
the highest readings state officials could remember for someone who didn't end up dead. "

"If you're the strongest, the drunkest, if you beat them all - you're a Record Breaker!"

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Hard Times, Hard Liquor

When the going gets tough, the tough get drunk.

A story in a Pennsylvania news website shows that swally holds a special and necessary place in many lives. While consumers are turning away from large cars, and expensive coffees, they're turning towards the drink.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board reports that sales of alchol have gone up almost 5%.

With the recession approaching Britain, it's safe to bet the mortgage (which may be not such a enormous gamble as it was 10 minutes ago) that similar figures will apply.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Label warning

Doctors at a British Medical Association conference in Edinburgh this week have discussed the possibility of putting pictures of diseased livers on labels on bottles of swally.

As someone who was put off smoking by seeing a graphic public health information film of smokers with gaping holes in their throats caused by lung cancer, I can verify this type of approach can deter potential users.

But maybe when you're older it doesn't work. Those horrible colour pictures of dying people, or bloody just-born babies, in Benetton adverts put me off going into their shops, in case they had these images inside. (Plus their clothes seemed to be in similar colours to those of the post-birth photos - Bright Placenta is not a colour that I suit).

But there must be other possibilities with this preventative image approach.

  • Pizzas - images of fat folk's spare tyres
  • Mountain bikes - pictures of people in A&E with cracked skulls
  • Lonely hearts clubs - pictures of partners cutting their toenails in the living room
  • Nightclub flyers - images of standing in a rainy taxi queue at 3 in the morning
  • Political party election leaflets - pictures of Boris Johnson
These are only blue sky thinking suggestions - anyone can send their's in.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Smirnoff Mice?

A great source of entertainment for those interested in the swally is to wait for the latest survey to come along telling you to:

1. Stop drinking
2. Moderate your drinking
3. Start drinking.

Well, it's rare that the last one comes up very often. A rarer one is "Keep drinking or you'll get depressed" but that's what a study from the University of North Carolina says. (Or at least, that's what the Daily Telegraph made of their study).

A key quote was " “In mice that voluntarily drank alcohol for 28 days, depression-like behaviour was evident 14 days after termination of alcohol drinking."

There's much to ponder over on this:
  • how much were the mice drinking beforehand?
  • if some are voluntarily drinking swally, are some being force-fed it?
  • how do they get the psychiatrist's couch into the cage to let the mouse lie down and discuss how they're feeling?
  • do they let them back on the swally to get them out of their slump?
This type of study only brings up more questions.

Two mice, possibly discussing whose round it is.

Photo: flickr / Stephen Barnett

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

A Rantin' Rovin' Jimmy Nelson (64)

The Scottish Sunday Mail has printed a story this weekend past of an incident that can be laid at the door of the swally.

New Year in Scotland is a time when if you're not drinking, you're not really there. It was always a holiday in Scotland, from back in the days when people worked Christmas. You could say it's because if you had the choice, there's more boozing to be done at New Year (although it's more to do with the distaste for celebrating a religious holiday stemming from those awfy Catholic rituals, in the staunch presbyterian land up north).

But nowadays, with Christmas starting off the holiday festive season, the swallification begins at least a week before Hogmanay (31st December) and come New Year's Day, quite a few people can feel a bit indifferent to taking any more drink.

Not the people of the Hawick Robert Burns Club.

On 1st January they gathered to celebrate the start of the new year. The catalogue of what happened can be read in the story itself but basically a man was found guilty of sexually assaulting two women: an inexcusable crime.

Though it's hard to get on the moral soapbox when the swally seems to have muddied that high ground.
  • One of the victims had flashed her chest at the accused, and straddled him, hiking up her skirt to do so.
  • The other said they'd been drinking vodka and cokes from midday.
  • One of the witnesses did admit to drinking about 10 pints.
The Mail quoted a club member: "What happened that day was out of character for the man and obviously drink is to blame."

No keich, Sherlock.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Full Steaming Ahead

One man who could have done with a magic swally bus was the 78 year old Swede who tried to row his way home. From Denmark.

The septagenarian had seemingly spent all his money on swally, and was left without enough for the ferry. So he did what most would do in that situation - he took a dinghy and attempted to get home that way. His cunning plan crashed on the metaphorical rocks of him falling asleep halfway across, in the middle of a shipping lane.

He was recovered by harbour police, towed back to Denmark, given the fare for the ferry and not prosecuted for stealing the dinghy.

What is Swedish for That's the Swally?

Monday, 30 June 2008

Three wheels to the wind

There has been talk of the magic swally bus that somehow transports the inebriated safely home after a night or day's session. Usually it's really a lift home by a mate, a ride home in a taxi, or maybe even a staggered meander in a homeward direction - all of which are wiped from the memory banks by the time you wake up the next morning. (Assuming you do wake up and haven't been run down or expired of exposure trying to get home).

A driver in America thought he'd spare the magic swally bus the trouble and drive himself home. He'd either had a bucketful and wasn't aware, or was and didn't care, that the car he was steering, only had 3 wheels. It wasn't that his motor was a Reliant, he was driving on 3 rubber types and one metal rim.

Story here.

A Reliant Robin - a car that is meant to have 3 wheels

Photo: Flickr / Matt Seppings

Friday, 20 June 2008

Crazy little thing called swally

It's a difficult job keeping up with the madness of King Swally. People all over the world are falling over themselves to get in this blog it appears. Well not really but they are falling over themselves while being intoxicated.

Two great examples that could have required the legal defence of "That's the Swally!".

From Russia
A drunk driver in the Khabarovsk region drove for about a mile with a traffic policeman on his roof after knocking him down. He only stopped when the policeman, who might have used a Lethal Weapon or Bevely Hills Cop movie as a training guide, shot his gun through the roof at the driver.

From Scotland
A drunk driver led police on a 20 mile car chase, drove through a school's pedestrian crossing, hit cars, and then delivered a punchline to her endeavours. The convicted driver told police when she was stopped "I'm not bothered".

Perhaps she could have also used the Fast Show's "I was veh veh drunk".

What is it with curtains and swally?

This could go in a planespotting blog.

A passenger refused alcohol on a flight to Vienna tried to set fire to the curtains on the Boeing jet he was on. At first it was thought he might be a terrorist, but no, just pissed.

There must be something about alighting curtains when you're steaming though. Lord Mike Watson of Swaldonia was sent to prison for setting fire to curtains in the Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh - also after being refused swally.

Note to any licensed premises, whether airborne or ground-based: ditch the curtains, or at least get them asbestos lined.

Are these safe from a swally-induced fire?

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Cask and over a barrel

With our streets teeming with drunks, binged out of their heads, our schools chock-full of drunken primary pupils and every body else waiting to become alcoholics it's time for a government consultation exercise.

This consists of some ideas aired to the public, under the guise of "proposals", some of which are then laughed at, ridiculed, then torn apart, leaving some which get crow-barred into an Act of Parliament, so making the country shiny and new and beautiful again.

The Scottish Government are tackling Swalba head on. This is what they're saying, with my comments in red:

  • The total cost of alcohol misuse in Scotland is estimated at £2.25 billion per year - £500 for every adult living in Scotland

  • The GDP of Scotland is £86billion, so we must be able to function somehow. (And I never quite understand all these missing days being so bad. Surely your work is still there for you to do when you come back? Like holidays? And if you've been on the swally the night before you probably contributed quite a lot to the economy)

  • Alcohol-related visits to Scottish hospitals have increased by almost 50 per cent over the last decade and alcohol-related death rates have more than doubled.
  • While this looks a bad thing, it could also show that more people are able to get into a hospital to be seen due to increased efficiency of the NHS. In the past they might have been just keeling over in their houses, while the waiting lists kept them at bay.

  • Scotland has one of the fastest growing liver cirrhosis death rates in the world at a time when cirrhosis rates in most of Western Europe are falling
  • Indeed it has and it's worrying. But is alcohol the only cause? Er, no. Obesity also has its place (though not the main one) and with the amount of fatties in the country it'd an interesting study to look at that effect.
  • Almost half (45 per cent) of Scottish prisoners in 2007 said they were drunk at the time of the offence
  • Which would mean that 55% of prisoners weren't drunk.
  • 95 per cent of respondents to the Scottish Crime and Victimisation Survey (SCVS) 2006 saw alcohol abuse in Scotland as a problem
  • There goes one of those surveys again, was it the main problem? A problem? One of many? The propensity to commit crime is a bigger factor amongst perpetuators.
  • Alcohol is a contributory factor in one in three divorces.
  • And alcohol is probably a factor in 100% of weddings. What do we do? It's used as a social lubricant and many asking people out need a bit of inhibition inhibiting, which comes usually after a few swallies, so should we rely on online dating? Tea dances?
  • 65,000 children are living with a parent or carer who has an alcohol problem.
  • Another stat. Still a terrible one, but it's lined up to suit the chosen argument. Over 110,000 children in Scotland live in over-crowded housing (According to Shelter). What is worse for their development?

The Scottish Government recently launched Homecoming Scotland 2009, one of the themes of which is whisky.

In response to the Chancellor's rise in taxation on alcohol in 2008, the Scotsman reported:

"Mr Swinney (the SNP Finance Minister) said whisky was already at a disadvantage compared with other forms of alcohol and called for taxes to be levied according to the alcohol content of drinks. "

That's the Swally!

Monday, 16 June 2008


A report by the BBC says that affluent drinkers, 75% of whom admit to one binge-drinking episode a week, are in denial about their drinking.

No I'm not.

Enemy at the pub door

In the 50s the Commies were the enemy, in the 60s it was short skirts, in the 1970s it was the swearing punks, in the 80s it was the miners. Through the 90s there was only one baddie and that was Saddam Hussein. In the noughties smoking started off as being the Number One Social Evil Threat to Our Lives, now it is swally.

In Scotland the Scottish Government are attempting to:

- get teenagers voting at 16 rather that 18

- stop them buying drink until they're 21.

So you can get involved in the political process but have no way of drowning your sorrows at the sheer depressingly obvious nature of most of it. They're also keen to ban teenagers from tanning studios so you can't even cheer yourself up by livening up your peely wally skin tone with a boost.

Another wheeze the Government have thought up is to impose a system of minimum pricing for alcohol. If you own an off-licence, supermarket or pub with off sales this must be great news.

The intention is to stop people drinking too much. But in all the years I've been going out I can hardly remember a single occasion where someone has said "I don't want another drink, it's too expensive." (There have been tight barstools who won't put their hand in their pockets, but that's a different thing. They'll never say it's too dear, they'll just let everyone else buy them swally and then eff off home before it's their round.)

When faced with dearer swally people will still pay up. Who ever asks "How much is that pint of lager?" when at a bar before deciding if they want one?

One of the other factors in people ending up swallied out of their heids is the pace they drink at. You can drink cheap low-strength pishy lager but if you drink it fast enough it will have an effect all right.

Will the Scottish Government issue devices like pedometers, designed to be worn on your arm to monitor how quickly your elbow gets bent lifting the glass for each drink? It can only be a matter of time.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

I'll have a snakebite, barman

I was worried that tales of swally gone wrong might be difficult to find. No fear.

In California a man, who was alleged to have been drinking, picked up a snake and was not that supringly bitten. He managed to call out the emergency servies who took him to the hospital. On the way there a description was given of his condition:
"...he became visibly ill and nauseated and could be seen shaking, gagging, shedding tears and kissing a cross hanging from his neck."

Symptoms millions waking up on post-swally Sundays can identify with.

The bitten man was still alive when this report was filed, unlike the snake who fell victim to a policeman's knife.

Story from

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Off the wagon, on the wagon?

A man who left a party, seemingly steaming, and who expressed an interest in seeing some trains was killed by a train.

Story by The Arizona Republic

A night on the hospital tiles

It's common for mothers about to deliver a baby into the world to have epidurals, or gas and air, or maybe even a paddle in a birthing pool. It's not too common for them to tank down some swally however.

In Poland, a 38 year old mum gave birth to her baby while being six times over the legally allowed amount of alcohol in her blood.

Doctors are said to be concerned for the child's future development but reckon after a roll on sausage and a can of Irn Bru they'll be right as rain.

Story here

Take life on, take a drink - but not everyday

You have to admire the sheer determination of public health officials. Faced with the swally nation that is Scotland*, they have come up with a new campaign.

It doesn't say don't drink. It doesn't say why don't you give it up for a bit to let your amazing liver recover itself. It says: why not drink for 2 days a week?

I can imagine meetings where it was discussed what they could get away with.

"How about: drink one day a week why don't you?"

"No chance. They'll never put up with that."

"Okay, how about: drink at the weekend, and call it quits"

"Nah. This is Scotland. At best they'll not drink for 2 days."

"Two days! Is that all?"

"Yup. "Gonnae no take a drink, on say Monday cos you're still suffering a 72 hour hangover from the weekend and Tuesday, cos there's no fitba on"

"Okay, I'll get the creatives to come up with an ad."

The scope of the campaign shows a certain resignation to what can be achieved. The Scottish Government Minister who was dragged out to give it plaintive, said:

"It doesn't mean making big sacrifices or cutting out pleasures altogether. Small changes like walking to work, aiming for at least two alcohol-free days per week or cutting down on crisps and biscuits by making switches to fruit or vegetables, all add up."

Take Life On - Bring It On.

*If you don't think it is, then turn up in the pub on a Friday and say you'd like a mineral water please. You have three Acceptable Excuses, but only three. They are:

# Pregnant
# On antibiotics
# Driving

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Eire rage

There's a long history of airline passengers succumbing to what is known at "air rage", exacerbated by swally. Alcohol has a stronger effect in a plane due to the quantity of oxygen in the air that's pumped around the cabin. Add that to the passenger's anxiety and possibly fear and you've got potential trouble on every flight.

This week's air rage story involves a flight to Glasgow that saw a passenger who reacted to not being given more swally by swearing at the cabin crew, passengers and singing pro-IRA songs, and then being fined £600 at the subsequent trial.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Crazy little thing called swally

Different cultures have different perceptions of when a child reaches maturity, when it becomes an adult. For some areas of life there are strict age limits. You have to be 16 or over to be married in Scotland, to buy cigarettes you have to be 18. To buy drink in some places, you have to be over 21.

To be in a car owned by your drunk mum, you can be as young as one.

Police in Ohio stopped a car to find the driver, who was over the limit, with her son driving the car.

"Let's be honest, a one-year-old child doesn't have the skill to drive a car. We all know that," the police spokeswoman said.

That's the swally!

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Swally - good thing / bad thing #234

Researchers have announced that drinking alcohol can reduce the risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis.

Even better, if you drink more, the effects are better.


Don't fancy yours much

The Drug and Alcohol Service for London are running a campaign encouraging women not to end up like men. The "Drink like a man, look like a man" poster has a graphic image of a woman slowly turning into a not too attractive man.

The final image might cause some men some cause for concern as the resulting photo of a tousled hair woman with garish makeup and burst nasal capilliaries may look exactly like someone they know. I can't get the thought out my head that he-she looks like a cross between a clown and Eddie Izzard.

If you're brave enough you can insert your own photo, how much you drink, and see the results.

Try it at the DASL Bebo page.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

News just in: Man drunk in charge of a horse

Man drunk in charge of a horse.

Fox 6 have more on this.

Resveratrol and be thankful

Yet another piece of scientific research that may or may not suggest that swally may or may not be beneficial to humans has appeared.

Researchers at a university attempted to find the answer to the "French paradox" - which is: why aren't the French keeling over with heart attacks considering the saturated fat food they manger?

They reckon that a chemical called resveratrol can help prevent the heart from ageing at its normal rate.

The release from the scientists and industry members who compiled the study said:

"In short, a glass of wine or food or supplements that contain even small doses of resveratrol are likely to represent "a robust intervention in the retardation of cardiac aging," the authors note.

They are not suggesting that taking more than this will have more of an effect. Drinking a couple of bottles of wine a night will not mean you'll live forever. But do they know that for sure?

A woman who, if she was French, could be close to 80 years of age, thanks to resveratrol

Picture: Flickr / Fergal Carr

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Drunk 'n' snog

A teenage driver in New York state, USA, tried to get off a drink driving charge by saying that the alcohol on her breath came from kissing. The 17 year old driver was over the limit by a factor of two and had been seen swerving across lanes.

She was stopped in Manhasset, on Long Island. Next to Manhasset is an area called Great Neck - reflecting that shown by the defendant. When she was pulled over she said to the police: "I didn't drink! I was kissing a boy who was drunk."

She may also have offered the watertight legal defence: That's the swally!

Story link

A total moosehead

A Canadian drunk driver made what is in swally terms, one of the biggest boo-boos possible.

The driver mistook the garage of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the famous Mounties) for his own. He smashed into a pillar on the way in and a car on the way out before being arrested.

Story from Calgary Herald.

A Mountie

Photo: Flickr/kris krüg

Do you want another round?

You know things are getting desperate when guns are being brought in to control those on the swally. In California a policeman opened fire on a suspected drunk driver when he failed to stop.

The motorcycle cop chased the car but when it turned and came at him he opened up. And despite firing two shots, didn't hit the motor vehicle.

You have to wonder, who was drinking the most?

Story in the Mercury News

Friday, 30 May 2008

Drinkers, are doing it for themselves

Great story in the Australian Daily Liberal newspaper about how the swallied will not be stopped.

The government have brought in tax rises on alcopops to combat the global epidemic of binge drinking. It's not had quite the effect intended as all it's done is make the drinkers change tactics.

They're now drinking at home, making their DIY drinks, based on pure spirits such as vodka.

As one of those interviewed, a Ms Crowley, said:

"Why would we spend more money on pre-mixed drinks, when we can buy better and more alcohol for the same price?"

Hard to argue with that swalogic.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

I'll have a double, your honour

A Wisconsin man turned up in court on a drunk driving charge, while being drunk in charge of himself.

The 54 year old Verlyn R Deitrich was noticed to be swallied by the judge and his defence attorney admitted he was steamboats, when he appeared on his fifth time for DUIS (Driving Under the Influence of Swally).

To add to the sad tale, the trial was also his birthday.

Story from Chicago Tribune.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Jail or booze?

A swally merchant has been told that if he goes to buy drink he'll be jailed.

He was arrested for shoplifting some cider and if he tries to even buy booze he's going dahhhn.

The Mirror newspaper reported that his lawyer wanted the ban to only apply to cider.

Mr Davies said: "He does not misbehave when he has a couple of cans of Foster's but when he drinks white cider this happens."

Photo from Flickr / warriorgrrl

Monday, 26 May 2008

Three sheets to wind, part II

Continuing the nautical theme, a speedboat driver in the United States was arrested after her craft left a lake, went onto an island and jammed itself into some trees.

Police charged the driver (captain? pilot?) with being drunk while in charge of a boat. The incident happened on Happy Family Island, whose name will be put to the test as the woman and her husband were both treated for injuries at a local hospital.

Story from Newsday

Three sheets to the wind

A couple on the swally had to be rescued from a mile out into the Forth near Edinburgh at the Bank Holiday weekend.

Cramond island, so named as it sits just off the picturesque village of Cramond, is a favourite destination for the casual walker, as it can be strolled to quite easily.

You have to time it right, however, as access is dependant on the tides. If you wander across, and sit about while the water flows across the causeway, you'll be there for a bit. And this is exactly what faced a pair of Edinburgh residents this Sunday past. Following an afternoon on the drink, they didn't realised that the tide had come in and they were stranded. (There aren't any amenities on the island, no Costa, Pret or even a Greggs. What made it worse this weekend was despite it being sunny, temperatures were severely lowered by a force five wind. )

Facing the prospect of re-enacting some of the scenes from Oliver Reed and Amanda Donohue's Castaway, they elected to get into the water and swim for it.

They were picked up by a lifeboat shortly after and were said to be "heavily under the influence of alcohol".

The watch manager at the Forth Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre said: "The sea and alcohol do not mix."

UPDATE: The Scotsman on Tuesday 27 May ran a story entitled "I fell in: Cramond rescue man denies drunk swim attempt".

He said he was attempting to walk back when he slipped and fell into the water. So that's all right then!

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Baby shambles

Many drinkers have experienced the sensation of waking up and wondering what they did the previous night. Having gaps in the memory is nothing unusual. Blackouts form part of the experience for the swallied.

If you have gaps in your memory while you're still out on the lash, then it suggests you've drunk a fair bit.

An extreme example happened in Canada , where a woman called in the police - at 2am - saying that her car had been stolen, with her baby daughter in the back. The police carried out an immediate search of the car park but nothing was found.

The car was found, not where she'd thought it was though, but outside a bar with the tot inside the locked motor.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Drunk driver caught quarter of an hour after drink driving ban ends

A driver convicted of drink driving was convicted of drink driving 15 minutes after his previous ban ended. Fifteen minutes!

Peter Savage had been given a three year driving ban and fine in May 2005.

He was celebrating the end of his ban by visiting a bowling alley, having three or four pints, driving home, getting pulled over. And getting banned again. He was banned for another three years so maybe we'll see him here again.

That's the swally!

From G&T to A&E

Alcohol-related admissions to hospitals have doubled in 10 years.

The NHS have said that over 200,000 patients were admitted in 2006, compared to under 94,000 in 1995-6.

Now the politically cynical could say, that's pretty much the time span since New Labour became the government ho ho, but there's plenty other reasons probably lying under it:

  • cheap drink
  • longer opening hours
  • the state of the economy
  • the state of the nation's sporting teams
  • the state of the environment
  • the state of law and order
  • David Cameron's face
  • and perhaps more relevantly: the state of our drinking culture.
These depressing statistics would drive you to drink.

There are proper real reasons that any social scientist worth their salt (not around the tequila glass) will be able to ascertain. Whether they can do anything about it remains to be seen. Britain, like most other countries in the world, has a long history of participation in swally.

Maybe it's time to look not at the reasons behind the drinking but maybe devote some resources to coping with the results.

A new Manhattan Project? Apollo program?
In other words, it might be time for the government and scientists to work on a project that will come up with some drugs or potions or something that will counteract the swally effect on our bodies. With proper resources mankind could make it safe to continue the swally.

There was a drug going round for a while called R U 21 which promised the taking away of hangovers. You could still drink away, take a pill with each drink and you'd wake up fine. That's the kind of thinking that should be looked at and expanded upon to include alcohol's effect on our livers, hearts, stomachs, bladders, etc.

Basically: If you can't beat them, join them - in a round?

Never mind the 12 step programme, should we be looking to take that "small step for swallykind"?

Friday, 23 May 2008

Don't you know who I am?

A police officer found himself in a part of the court room not normally inhabited by those who wear the dark blue.

Kenneth Burnett, 44, was found guility of conducting himself in a disorderly manner, shouting, swearing and committing a breach of the peace at an Aberdeen Falkirk football match.

He only lasted 15 minutes inside the ground as he was seen to be staggering, after drinking about 8 pints of beer. He then tried to force himself onto the supporters' coach and this was where the aggro all kicked off.

He denied all the charges but the sheriff said: ""It is concerning that you have acted in this way and let yourself and the police force down. This conduct would not have occurred if you had not consumed so much alcohol."

The shamed copper will be gutted that the "That's the swally!" defence is not yet permissible in court cases.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

You can't make it up #2

Alcohol addiction expert Paul "Rowdy" Yates was fined and banned from driving for... being over the alcohol limit while driving.

The research fellow at the Scottish Addiction Studies Group was facing trial for one alleged drink-driving charge when police pulled him over in his 4x4 and breathalysed him. This charge he admitted, while denying the previous one, when his weaving vehicle led the police to speak to him at his home.

He claimed he had drunk a small amount in the pub, driven home, and then had a few whiskies in his shed - and so when the police breathalysed him he was over the limit.

His lawyer said in court that his client: "does find it ironic that he finds himself before the court for these offences."

The Original Rowdy Yates Who Hasn't Been Done For Drink Driving

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

What's your poison?

The lure of the swally can be a powerful one.

In Southern India a batch of bad homemade alcohol has so far killed 160 people. The problem became apparent at the weekend and the death rate started to rise quickly. What's made it worse is that people are still drinking the contaminated swally.

India is seen as an emerging, developing nation in terms of economic prosperity, productivity, education, etc. Good to see that it's also following the western nations in a fondness for the swally.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

You can't make it up #1 "I'll have a triple, please"

A councillor, who was the convenor of a licensing committee, has been banned for driving after being convicted of three driving offences - one of which was a failure to give a breath test.

Seemingly, returning from a golf club dinner, Councillor Robert Higgins lost control and according to the BBC:

"After demolishing a row of roadside marker posts, he veered across the road to the opposite carriageway and ploughed along the opposite verge before hitting a wire fence and stalling the car."

As if it wasn't enough of a clue all was not right, it's the stalling the car that gave him away!


Technorati Profile

Monday, 19 May 2008

Swallyban be gone

Pakistan's Daily Times reported on Saturday (17 May) that Indian-held Kashmir is turning to the drink in a big way. No problem with that you'd think, everyone likes a drink. Except that it's the only part of the country with a Muslim majority in the population.

Following the social upheaval and trauma of an armed insurrection that started in 1989, peace has now broken out between India and Pakistan and more and more are breaking out the bottle openers and corkscrews. Excise officials claim over 1.2 million bottles of alcohol have been sold in the past year in the Kashmir Valley.

There's something almost reassuring to know that whether it's after a hard day at the office, or after two decades of warfare that people see a drink as the perfect way of relaxing and "taking the edge off".

The kids are all drunk

Teenagers are not always renowned for being the brightest kids in the class and a report from Fife doesn't help. A bowling green was vandalised: a bench was thrown onto it and messages were left gouged in the grass.

"I love Stewart"
"I love Chazy xxx"

were those reported. (I think the last one is txtalk for "To Kate").

With community officers and special constables being drafted in to patrol the scene, things are on high alert. There have been reports of teendrinking and 14 litres of alcohol has been seized, which is quite a lot to be poured down the sink, (or hived off for a polis party).

While Stewart, Chazy and Kate might sound like the presenters of a garish children's TV show, I think they might well be the first ports of call for the Fife police.

C u l8r.

Take a drink. But not two. Or fifty.

News just in.

A government campaign will try to tackle Britain's Booze infatuation by pointing out the damage that can be caused by over-drinking. Sounds eminently sensible. (Though most people know it and just don't care, but if that was realised we'd have to shut down a lot of anti-swally charities and government-financed bodies).

Part of this campaign is to target the over-35s (hello!) who drink 2 to 3 glasses of wine a night. They risk long term damage to bits of the body such as liver, heart, bladders, spleens - pretty much everything.

And they also point to the risk of doing yourself an injury due to being steaming by falling over, getting run over and the like. This has direct relevance as I once stumbled and dropped my fish supper on Edinburgh's Leith Walk. Like the scene in Battleship Potemkin, it all went in slow motion, as the just-unwrapped supper left my opened grasp and fell onwards and forwards to the concrete slabs. I stood like Richard Dreyfus in front of the spaceship in Close Encounters of the Third Kind - stunned and amazed. How could this happen to me? Well, yes, I wasn't hurt but, like the Proclaimers would say, my heart was broken.

Anyway, a few year's ago it was discovered that drinking red wine each day would do your heart some good. (Cabernet Sauvignon in particular, seemingly).

Now, the government recommend that the daily limit per person is:

2/3 units for women
3/4 for men.

So what's the problem? If a glass of wine is one unit, and you drink 3 of them, then you're inside what the government tell you to drink.

Ah, no. You see what's happened is that people don't realise the strength of what they're drinking and so go over the limit.

Absolute rubbish.

People know exactly what strength the swally is. That's how we buy it, by inspecting the label for the small (usually gold) lettering saying 12, 12.5, 13, or if going that extra mile: 14%. We compare it off against the price and make an informed decision.

You've got to admire the pluck, determination and character of the government and associated bodies: fighting the good fight against an ever-increasing wave of booze coming over us all.

The minister charged with stopping the swallnami, Dawn Primarolo (which I think should be a cheeky pinot grigio available for £3.79) said: "It's primarily aimed at over-35s because it's clear from research that that age range is less well-informed, at time clueless".

So, we're old, drunk and stupid.

It's enough to drive you to the place where they sell drink.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Oh mother!

There's a sad tale in the Bolton News today. A mother received a phone call from the police telling her that her daughter had been found, drunk, in a park.

When the mother turned up the police held out a bottle of vodka and some cans of beer to her. "No thanks, officer, I'm fine" she said. No she didn't really. They were explaining to her why she was face down, covered in mud and puke.

The woman reacted in the most caring and sharing way possible: she wrote a letter to the newspaper and described which park it was and while not giving her name and address, described her other children and what they were doing at university, so making it not that difficult for anyone who knows her, to identify her, and her 16 year old dipso daughter.

"Thanks, mum"

She then went on to warn other parents that it's not just the "feral" kids who carry on in this dreadful way, but that even "nice" kids can succumb to the demon drink. And not only that, but that teenage children can make things up and lie about what they're up to and who they see.

Will there be letters next week explaining the workings of bears' digestive systems while out amongst trees?

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Oh Manchester, so much to answer for

May the 14th saw thousands of Rangers fans travelling to Manchester for their team's appearance in the Uefa Cup final. Was it 100,000, 150,000, 175,000, 200,000 who travelled south down the congested M6? Who knows how many turned up.

What is certain is that a lot of them got tore into the swally as soon as they arrived - or had arrived already buzzin, man.

There was trouble:
  • at the ground where a Russian fan was stabbed
  • in the city centre where a large TV screen went bust near the start of the game
  • and after the game where running battles with police appeared on CCTV and various news sites.
There were plenty reasons for this all kicking off:
  • Swally. It was available from the likes of Tesco at 7am. A local councillor was so aggrieved by this he marched into a store and demanded they stop sales.
  • The heat. It was a hot, sunny day and little mineral water would be drunk.
  • Opportunity. The police allowed on the street drinking, whereas normally it's prohibited. Fans were there all day waiting on the evening kick-off with little else to do. There are no signs of the art galleries seeing increased attendance.
  • Rangers got beat. A lot of hype and pre-match coverage encouraged the fans to think they could win this, while the polished Russian team just got on with it and had the technique and guile to achieve their victory.

There are arguments and counter-arguments about whether the council put on enough screens, or police or were prepared for such an invasion of over a hundred million fans arriving en masse but one thing that is certain is that the swally was the rocket fuel poured on anything resembling an ignition source.


42 arrests

15 police officers arrested

52 assaults reported by ambulance crews

100 tonnes of rubbish cleared away

1 football club's reputation damaged

1 city's image as being inhabited by violent drunks underlined

1 nation's image as being inhabited by violent drunks also confirmed

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Minister in cooking swally jibe scandal

Scottish minister for justice Kenny McAskill was forced to apologise after describing a well-known beer as "cooking lager".

McAskill, who has embarked on a public programme of attempting to lessen Scotland's taste for the alcohol and its effects, described Tennent's lager in a derogatory way in an email to the head of external relations of the brewers of the golden lager.

He wrote: "I was in the pub the other Friday night with my son. I had three pints of Tennent's cooking lager and a glass of wine when I got home." Sounds a nice little night there, enough to make the hardest of binge drinkers merry.

When the brewers took umbrage at this slight on their magnificent product that slakes any thirst and goes wonderful either sitting outside on a hot summer evening or a cold winter's night, the MSP - who was lifted by London police on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly in 1999 before a England v Scotland football match - immediately offered his apologies.

There are no plans to bring back the Tennent's Lager lovelies with Nicola Sturgeon, Linda Fabiani or other SNP cabinet ministers.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Hundreds of pounds needing to be spent

Hundreds of pounds will need to be spent to remedy the actions of pupils at an Aberdeenshire school in a prank that saw the whole year's worth of pupils sent home early.

The sixth-year pupils - on their last day of school - ever - covered the floor of their common room with turf, and by doing so incurred the wrath of the staff at the school who 'punished' the guilty and also the innocent by sending them all home.

It was reported that some of the pupils had been drinking. Turfing while under the influence is not a specific offence under British law, but you never know, it soon could be.

BBC link - Pupils sent home after turf prank

I don't give a XXXX (about the kid)

An Australian motorist was fined A$750 (about £400 in British money) for allowing a child to go unseatbelted in his car. The offence would have been bad enough in itself, but was compounded by him using the seat belt for strapping in his beer.

Police pulled the car over to find two adults in the back, separated by a 30 tinny pack of beer, with the child sitting on the floor.

When he was given the on-the-spot fine, police reported the driver claimed he "didn't know anything about it".

Next time he might offer the sound legal defence of "That's the swally!".

BBC link