Across the country those returning from work or those who have been home all day because they’ve lost their jobs are reportedly using news reports on the financial crisis as stimulus for ‘dangerous’ drinking games.
As the six o’clock news titles thunder onto the screen it’s the cue to reach for a small, steadying beer or perhaps a gin and tonic, reports suggest. Growth forecasts of under 1% or hints at double dip recession and financial pain for the next ten years trigger an autoreflex response for somehing a little stronger, like martini with a creme de menthe chaser, although regional variations are apparently permitted under the rules. And when the phrase ‘structural fiscal deficit’ is mentioned for the third time it’s the signal to grab the triple brandy and get it down your neck like there’s no tomorrow.
The game continues with ever increasing volumes of stronger and stronger spirits, and by the time Robert Peston comes on it becomes a free-for-all with bottles flying everywhere while otherwise law-abiding citizens, crying ‘Oh God Oh God Oh God’ try to find that bottle of Ouzo at the back of the drinks cabinet, which under the rules has to be downed in one. After that, it’s basically goodnight Vienna.
Health professionals are warning of the potential harm caused by the seemingly fun pastime, ‘particularly as the game will need to be repeated every day for the the next 10 years,’ said about-to-be-unemployed consultant Peter O’Liver, ‘at least that’s what the OBR says. Did I just say OBR? Nurse, I need a glass of surgical alcohol. Now, Godammit, Now!’
The government has urged responsible behaviour during news programmes and for the nation to keep calm, although accepted that it helps many overcome what would otherwise be a complete sense of national terror as after 6.30pm most people are oblivious to anything. ‘And the duty’s coming in pretty handy at the moment,’ added Chancellor George Osborne, reaching for large glass of malt whisky donated by the taxpayer.