Category Archives: drunkards

Why did Lamb commence sot?

In Confessions of a Drunkard, Charles Lamb writes:

About that time I fell in with some companions of a different order. They were men of boisterous spirits, sitters-up a-nights, disputants, drunken; yet seemed to have something noble about them.

In other words, says Dalrymple, Lamb

fell in with the wrong crowd.

Bring on the burqa

No one, writes Dalrymple,

who has been to the centre of Newcastle on a Saturday night can fail to appreciate certain advantages to the burqa.


The white peril

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 11.49.13England football fans

It is association football time yet again, says Dalrymple, and

apparently it is to last several weeks — though probably not for England, who are not usually very good and can be relied upon to put in a poor performance and exit at the early stages of any competition.

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Rei (wisdom of God). Ki (life force). Available on the NHS for repatriate England supporters who are experiencing post-riot trauma, reiki promotes healing of wounds sustained at the hands of Russian or other fans. It is administered by laying latex-gloved-hands on the beer belly, and is based on the idea that an unseen life force flows through the England fan and is what causes him to be alive. If the football supporter’s life force is low, he is more likely to feel stress, with violent consequences

Tattooed, beer-bellied, ugly, sunburnt and drunken England fans have, he reports, been rioting in Marseilles,

a city not much given to sentimentality when it comes to the treatment of the ill-behaved.

The French police, Dalrymple notes,

had helmets, an open invitation to violence.

He says the trauma for the England fans is such that they may require reiki therapy.

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A not altogether despicable garment

The point Dalrymple is making can be readily appreciated after a visit to any town centre in England after nightfall on weekends

No one, writes Dalrymple,

who has been to the centre of Newcastle on a Saturday night can fail to appreciate certain advantages to the burqa.

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White-puddingy thighs exposed to the freezing winds of two or three in the morning

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Alcohol-induced amnesia: evidence that one must have had a good time

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Vomiting consequent upon severe inebriation is viewed by young Britons as psychotherapeutically beneficial

Vomiting consequent upon severe inebriation viewed as psychotherapeutically beneficial

British youth culture: vomiting is self-expression

British youth culture: vomiting as self-expression

Miseries annexed to a vicious course of life

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 09.14.15Dalrymple writes:

Not so long ago, I was asked by a newspaper to write an article denouncing the second liver transplant given to a late drunken footballer.

He declined.

Drunken retching as self-realisation

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 08.15.24The British, Dalrymple points out, are

despised throughout the world wherever they congregate in any numbers.

In any English town on any night of the week you will see

scenes of charmless vulgarity, in which thousands of scantily clad, lumpen sluts scream drunkenly, and men vomit proudly in the gutters.

It has been suggested that the English might be able to develop civilised Mediterranean café culture. Dalrymple remarks:

You might as well preach the comforts of the igloo and the tastiness of whale blubber to the Maasai.

Much of the British population believes

not only that it has no duty to control itself, but that it is harmful to try to do so. It believes that screaming, smashing bottles, vomiting, urinating against walls in full view of others, swaying drunkenly in the gutter, and hailing strangers to give them lifts, are essential to its health and emotional wellbeing, that drinking in this fashion is Aristotelian catharsis.

For the English,

there can be no higher accolade for a night out than that no trace of it remains in the brain. ‘Getting wasted’ and then behaving antisocially before passing out is the pinnacle of social life.

Just as the British government is so corrupt that it does not know that it is corrupt, so the British people

are so lacking in self-respect that they do not know that self-respect is desirable.

In England, drunkenness

to the point of brutish amnesia is regarded as admirable, a high achievement.

Boozehounds should bring themselves to heel

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The sublime pink elephant: Dalrymple describes Belgian beer, accurately, as nectar, and one of the best examples of the strong pale ale style is Delirium Tremens (8.5% ABV) from Brouwerij Huyghe in the East Flanders town of Melle. ‘Kleur en uitzicht: bleek blond, de fijne en regelmatige pareling zorgt voor een fijne, stabiele schuimkraag. Geur: Licht moutig, flinke touch alcohol, kruiderig. Smaak: Een flinke scheut alcohol ontvlamt als het ware in de mond, die de tong en het gehemelte werkelijk opwarmen. De smaak is ook gekenmerkt door zijn rondheid. De afdronk is sterk, lang en droogbitter.’

Binge-drinking is not a fate but a vice, albeit a delightful one

Inebriates can easily, writes Dalrymple,

control their drinking, if motives—including fear—are strong enough.

Among the things that encourage sobriety are



the hospital experience.

The problem of compulsive, chronic, unbridled and joyless dipsomania

lies in the psychological, spiritual, and moral realm.

Pull yourselves together!

Inebriates possess

the freedom to resist it, unlike an impersonal force such as gravity.

They should get a hold of themselves.

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The human rights of drunken, violent youths

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 21.50.20An incident outside the Cirio

Belgian beer, Dalrymple points out, is


In order to partake of some while enjoying the ambiance of the place, he and his wife pay a visit to the Cirio,

a fin de siècle establishment in the heart of Brussels.

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 22.01.20As the Dalrymples emerge, greatly refreshed one imagines, from the bar, an inebriated student, who is celebrating the university’s special day,

throws a glass at us and other people nearby. It shatters on the ground in front of us.

A number of people could have been badly injured.

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 22.06.04Policemen who happened to be in the vicinity

charge after the student, who sobers up at once in his flight into the crowd.

But Dalrymple makes this shocking statement:

I confess, though I am ashamed to admit it, that when I saw the police giving chase, my first thoughts were not of the student’s human rights.


Dalrymple is rather fond of a drink

He admits that he 'scarcely ever lets a day go by without one'. However, he also says that 'the role of alcohol in drumming up customers for our casualty departments has not entirely escaped me'

Dalrymple admits that he ‘scarcely ever lets a day go by’ without the imbibing of liquors. However, he also says that ‘the role of alcohol in drumming up customers for our casualty departments has not entirely escaped me’.

Incontinence of urine and fæces consequent upon severe inebriation

The British no longer manufacture anything the world wants or provide any services the world wants, but in one field they are world-class: binge-drinking

Dalrymple describes his experience of working as a doctor on a British government aid project in Africa.

We were building a road through remote bush. The contract stipulated that the construction company could import, free of all taxes, alcoholic drinks from the UK. These drinks the company sold to its British workers at cost, in the local currency at the official exchange rate, which was approximately one-sixth the black-market rate. A litre bottle of gin cost less than a dollar.

Drunkenness among the British workers

far outstripped anything I have ever seen, before or since. I discovered that, when alcohol is effectively free of charge, a fifth of British construction workers will regularly go to bed so drunk that they are incontinent both of urine and fæces. I remember one man who very rarely got as far as his bed at night: he fell asleep in the lavatory, where he was usually found the next morning.

Half the men

shook in the mornings and resorted to the hair of the dog to steady their hands before they drove their bulldozers and other heavy machines (which they frequently wrecked, at enormous expense to the British taxpayer). Hangovers were universal. The men were either drunk or hung over for months on end.

In these circumstances

even formerly moderate drinkers turned alcoholic and eventually suffered from delirium tremens.

When the company inquired of its workers what it could do to improve their conditions,

they unanimously asked for a further reduction in the price of alcohol.