Monday, 4 January 2016

Join the January onslaught on pubs

The Daily Mash has published an item under the headline 'Non-alcoholics enjoying pretend battle with drink'.

I do love the spoof idea of the once-a-year drinkers struggling with their alcoholic demons, or rather imps, throughout January, but I did begin to wonder who actually follows these campaigns to give up booze for a month. A friend of mine has told me he won't be drinking in January, but he's scarcely a heavy drinker; in fact, he doesn't very often exceed the official weekly guidelines. I can't think of anyone else who is giving up for January.

January abstainers may decide not to visit the pub at all for the duration, not even for a soft drink or a coffee, in order to avoid temptation, but people who live alone may then feel isolated: a month is a long time not to see your friends. If they consequently lapse, they'll probably feel guilty for the failure of their will power, when in fact they were just lonely, and if you'd given up the demon drink for charity, the thought that you had let your chosen charity down just for the sake of a pint wouldn't improve your self esteem. Do the Dry January zealots ever think of such things? I doubt it.

As others have pointed out, including my local recently (see previous post), hitting pubs during their worst month of the year could drive some to the wall, but I believe the anti-alcohol campaigners would regard pub closures, not as an unfortunate side effect, but as a success. Let's not fall into the trap they set. Cut down throughout the year if you want to, rather than abstain for the month, but if you see no option but to stop completely, let's not all do it in the same month.


  1. Pete Brown apparently doesn't drink in January - see his posting of 5 Jan 14 where he makes some interesting comments about the topic. I just wonder about how much better for you are the sugar laden soft drink concoctions that are otherwise on offer? Personally, I find I visit pubs less and less over Christmas/New Year, and much prefer the more civil conditions found at this time of year (January). More and more pubs seem to assume that putting on a deafening racket is something that people can be charged for, despite the awful acoustics that many have (at least locally). I just feel that for the regular pub goer the whole Christmas/New Year experience is something to get over and forget.

    I've never been sure how much more profitable the period id for pub owner and operators. I'd prefer to spend my money keeping them going over January.

  2. Your point about the non-alcoholic options is a good one: they certainly won't appeal to taste buds more accustomed to the taste of beer, which is generally dry, especially as compared to soft drinks such as J2O or Coke.


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