Thursday 8 April 2004 4.53pm
The forthcoming four day break from the office may tempt some people to overindulge a wee bit in the pub.
Here is a helpful crib sheet for nights out, that you may want to have handy, if you are popping out for a drink over the weekend.
THE FIVE STAGES OF DRUNKENNESS
Stage 1 - CLEVER. This is when you suddenly become an expert on every subject in the known universe. You know you know everything and you want to pass on your knowledge to anyone who will listen. At this stage you are always right. And, of course, the person you are talking to is very wrong. This makes for an interesting argument when both parties are CLEVER.
Stage 2 - ATTRACTIVE. This is when you realise that you are the most ATTRACTIVE person in the entire bar and that everyone fancies you. You can go up to a perfect stranger knowing that they fancy you and really want to talk to you. Bear in mind that you are still CLEVER, so you can talk to this person about any subject under the sun.
Stage 3 - RICH. This is when you suddenly become the RICHEST person in the room. You can buy drinks for the entire bar because you have a bottomless wallet. You can also make bets at this stage, because of course you are still CLEVER so, naturally, you will always win. Anyway, it doesn't matter how much you bet because you are RICH. You will also buy drinks for everyone that you fancy, in the knowledge that you are clearly the most ATTRACTIVE person present.
Stage 4 - INVINCIBLE. You are now ready to pick fights with anyone and everyone, especially those with whom you have been betting or arguing. This is because you are now INVINCIBLE. At this point you can also go up to the partners of the people who you fancy and challenge them to a battle of wits or strength. You have no fear of losing this battle, because as well as being INVINCIBLE you are CLEVER, you're RICH and you're more ATTRACTIVE than they are anyway.
Stage 5 - INVISIBLE. This is the final stage of drunkenness. At this point you can do anything, because you are now INVISIBLE. You can dance on a table to impress the people who you fancy because the rest of the people in the room cannot see you. You can also snog the face off them for the same reason. You are also INVISIBLE to the people who want to fight you. You can walk through the street singing at the top of your lungs because no one can see or hear you and because you're still CLEVER you know all the words.
THE FIVE STAGES OF SOBERING UP
Stage 1 - STUPID. As you regain consciousness and begin to enjoy the headache, the churning stomach and the cold sweats, you realise that you have lost not only several hours of your life but also the ability to concentrate on anything whatsoever. You are now STUPID and will remain so for a minimum of 12 hours.
Stage 2 - UGLY. Never entirely happy with the effects of the bathroom mirror first thing you are horrified to discover that you have now become even UGLIER than you previously thought possible. Not only have you bloodshot eyes and a glorious collection of spots but you are shaking so much that your grandfather probably looks healthier. Unfortunately you are still too STUPID to know better than to try and shave or apply make up whilst shaking.
Stage 3 - POOR. Having crawled out of bed and got dressed you are about to shamble out the door when you discover that the money that was to last you the week is now missing from your wallet. Being STUPID, you have no idea what happened to it but the traces of curry on your clothes allow the possibility that you might have treated everyone to a takeaway at some point. Alternatively your pocket could have been picked or you might have given the taxi driver £150 by mistake. Rationalising that you couldn't possibly have been that STUPID and that you would remember being robbed, you come to believe that you were the only one who bought any food or drinks all night and start to loathe all your friends.
Stage 4 - FRAGILE. As you are now STUPID, UGLY and POOR, your consequently FRAGILE self-esteem plummets. Your already FRAGILE physical condition ensures that you feel liable to shatter if anyone even speaks to you.
Stage 5 - CONSPICUOUS. This is the final stage of sobering up. Unfortunately, everyone can spot this CONSPICUOUS condition and its cause from a great distance. Even worse, they know that they can complete your misery by making fun of you, and that you are too STUPID to retaliate, too FRAGILE to hit them, too POOR to bribe them and too UGLY to hide.