The UK seems to be awash with New Puritans if the newspapers are to be believed. Something in the region of a quarter of under 25s are teetotal, young people smoke less than ever, all that stuff. In some ways this is laudable, but there is a tendency for them to be a bit po faced, a bit holier than thou, and I find that an irritant. (Yes, I know I find many things irritating.) However, now and again something happens to redress the balance and restore a bit of faith in young people. There’s the usual caveat that I’m not suggesting anybody should actually follow this line of behaviour.

A friend of mine, 21, had a day out in London with her brother. They had a hearty breakfast of Prosecco at 9:30 while waiting for a train, then another couple on the journey to London. When they arrived at 11:30, they were, as they say, well on the way.

They’d agreed that each should decide on an activity for the day, and Bro though that walking over the O2 Arena in Docklands would be a wizard wheeze. If you don’t know what the O2 is, it’s the old Millennium Dome. Despite appearances, build work is complete.


My friend wasn’t too impressed, as she doesn’t like heights, but them’s the rules so she acquiesced. Now my friend is normally quite quiet, not one to draw attention to herself, but on arrival the demon drink took a hold of her commonsense, and she volunteered to be leader of the group. Bear in mind the O2 rules say you shouldn’t be under the influence when attempting the crossing, but it seems it’s not policed too rigidly.

The crossing went without incident but with a fair amount of physical effort, and she decided they should treat themselves to a trip to the extravagantly expensive Absolut Ice Bar in Mayfair.

ice bar

This is where things got a bit messy. She remembers the first cocktail, then pretty much the next thing she recollects is waking up in bed. There’s a hazy memory of Maccie D’s (normally she eschews the place, and can’t recall what she even ate that night), but then that’s about all.

She found when she ran a systems analysis that she had acquired mysterious bruises to her upper arms, shoulder, small of the back, and bum. I diagnosed these as UDIs. Best of all, she lost her debit card, which has a contactless facility, so she has no idea how much she spent, and how much might have been spent by a scallywag who found it wherever she lost it.

I should point out that my friend doesn’t make a habit of this. Most of the time she hardly drinks, and is generally the designated driver. But if you’re going to misbehave, at least do it in style.