And Alex Said: Booze

8 November 2002

Column 5: Booze, 8th November 2002

I’m sure Imperial could sort out all its financial difficulties if it just replaced the optician’s on the walkway with an off-licence. Lack of spectacles and alcohol-induced bleariness might mean a small investment in replacing the library’s textbooks with large-print copies, but it would mean no top-up fees – and, regardless of background, students will all still have exactly the same opportunities to come to university. And get completely rat-arsed.

Probably because alcohol has destroyed my memory, I don’t remember what age I started drinking at, but it was probably quite young. Some people think targeting alcopops at children is morally wrong, but I disagree – the more kids we have lying unconscious in gutters, or in hospital beds undergoing liver transplants, the less of the little bastards we have taking up all the space in McDonalds. If they’re spending money on alcohol, they won’t be spending it in HMV, and perhaps that will mean the charts will be free of S-Club Juniors. So, we should be promoting alcohol more heavily to the under-16’s. There could be an advertising campaign like that badly dubbed Kinder Egg advert of several years ago…

The Scene: A Supermarket. A woman is standing in the drinks aisle with her three disgusting children.

Woman: Right, shut up, and I’ll buy you something.

Precocious Child 1: I’m hyperactive and thirsty – I want a drink full of artificial colourings!

Irritating Child 2: I’m too happy – I want a natural depressant!

Ugly Child 3: And I want a surprise!

Woman: Artificial colourings, a natural depressant… and a surprise… all in one… it’s not possible… it’s not possible…


Woman: What a good idea! There you go kids.

Children: Yay!

Ugly Child 3: But where’s the surprise?

Woman: The surprise is that I haven’t given you a good wallop for being so bloody impertinent.

Ugly Child 3: What a rubbish surprise.

Woman: OK then – you were adopted. Surprise!

Getting kids into drinking also means that they should be well prepared for university life. Students would come to Imperial with a greater alcohol tolerance, which can only mean more money into the college coffers. And perhaps we’d see less vomiting in the union.

What better way to finish a fun night out than with your arms around a toilet bowl, retching so hard you can almost see your own intestines? While feeding your new ceramic friend your previous meal, you can find yourself asking questions – like, was there ever a man called Armitage Shanks? What is the Ideal Standard? All that graffiti on the cubicle wall – just why did all these people take a pen into the toilet? Why isn’t Kimberley Clark among the 100 Greatest Britons?

Just think, if it wasn’t for our Kim, you’d have nothing to clean the sick off your jeans with, except perhaps for spare copies of Felix. Now, this column may be full of bile, but I don’t want to see bits of sweetcorn in it as well.