"For those of us who have any active associations with wassail, they are probably musical. 'Here We Come a-Wassailing' is about as likely to turn up on your supermarket’s holiday Muzak loop as 'The Christmas Song' or 'Frosty the Snowman.'" —Today in the Times' Dining section, Rosie Schaap provides a recipe for and history of the traditional holiday drink wassail. Wassail is a warm punch made of cider and ale and spices that is enjoying a comeback in Brooklyn cocktail bars. It is intended to enliven spirits and lower inhibitions so as to encourage people to join in a Yuletide sing-along. But Wassail comes from England, which [...]
Fellow in Britain is having dinner at a restaurant. At a nearby table, a couple is unable to comfort a crying infant. Our diner walks over to the couple and suggests that perhaps the baby might need to be put to bed. You can guess what happened next.
Everyone is talking about the death of the British pint—the government of Knifecrime Island has proposed allowing pubs to serve "schooners," a serving size that contains two-thirds the amount of the traditional measurement—but no one is asking the obvious question: How will this effect the storied British tradition of glassing? I mean, two-thirds the size? You're going to cut your hand smashing it before you even get a decent swipe in on the other guy.
Are the Germans becoming more… British? "While certain crimes are down at Oktoberfest this year, there have been more attacks with an unlikely, yet readily available, weapon: the one-liter beer stein. Some of the victims have been whisked away in ambulances with concussions and fractured skulls caused by fights involving the heavy glasses. Police at the Munich Oktoberfest say crimes such as rape and theft are down this year but attacks with glass beer steins are on the rise."
The Wall Street Journal turns an eye to Knifecrime Island and its drinky, stabby ways. Regular readers of this site will not learn much new from this video, but there is plenty of imagery of inebriated Britons in Cardiff-home of the shrieking knickerless ladette-as well as a lovely slideshow which includes a photo of drunken women walking barefoot through streets filled with urine and glass. Speaking of glass, I did learn something from the accompanying article: There are 87,000 glassings in the UK each year. That is double the number of students at Oxford and Cambridge combined.
"It's one thing hitting someone in the face. But to use a bottle on someone you don't know is just outrageous." —Glassing victim Amy Steel speaks out about the attack in a Newcastle club which left her with permanent facial scarring.
Actor Sean Bean, out having a drink with "a topless model" (who was, presumably, clothed at the time) this weekend in London, was punched and stabbed with what is believed to be broken glass by an unknown assailant who made "lewd" comments about the model. In the course of defending her honor, Bean sustained injuries to his arm and face. "Despite his wounds, Bean refused medical attention and opted not to go to a hospital. Instead, the actor kindly accepted a first aid kit from the bar staff, then ordered another drink." [Related: Stormy Monday is a really underrated movie. Even Sting is good in it. Sting!]
"Liquid was deliberately thrown but the glass accidentally travelled through the air due to the glass having been made wet." —Knifecrime Island defense attorney Stuart Driver argues that his client, "soccer badboy Andy Carroll," did not intend to glass a man at a Newcastle nightclub, but was merely attempting to throw his drink at him when the glass slipped from his hand, slicing open a spot above the victim's eye. Carroll plead to common assault and was fined £1,000.
To Britain, where it is estimated that 300 denizens of that misery-sodden isle find themselves on the sharp side of a glass every week: The Royal College of Surgeons of England and the British Medical Association, alongside Knifecrime Island's emergency room doctors, are calling for pubs to make a switch to shatter-proof polycarbonate glassware.
Greetings from Britain, "the glassing capital of the world":
I was glassed/bottled once a year for three years running. The first happened in Southport because I was wearing a long scarf. The third time was for accidentally spraying somebody with beer in the Old Blue Last. The second, and worst, was on Charing Cross Road in London by a guy who attempted to smash a bottle on the wall three times to stab me. I laughed at him but then he smashed the beer bottle in my face and ran off while his girlfriend cried: "Oh my gawwwwd. What â€˜ave you done!" I put my hand to [...]
British Science takes on glassing! Engineers at the University of Leicester have for the first time created a way of measuring how much force is used during a stabbing using a broken bottle. The advance is expected to have significant implications for legal forensics…. Stabbing is the most common method of committing murder in the UK. Injuries and assaults related to alcohol consumption are also a growing concern in many countries. In such cases the impulsive use of weapons such as a glass bottle is not uncommon. In approximately 10% of all assaults resulting in treatment in the United Kingdom (UK) emergency units, glasses and bottles are used as [...]
"I think the production of the skull-cups is ritualistic. If the purpose was simply to break the skulls to extract the brain to eat it, there are much easier ways to do that. If food was the objective, the skull would be highly fragmented. But here you can really see they tried to preserve most of the skull bone; the cut marks tell us they tried to clean the skull, taking off every piece of soft tissue so that they could then modify it very precisely. They were manufacturing something." —Paleontologist Silvio Bello, on research that indicates that 14,700-year-old human skulls found in Gough's Cave in Somerset, England were [...]
Here is a video of the famous langur monkeys that have been deployed to patrol next week's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. They look pretty effective. But, as the broadcaster from Sri Lanka's ITN news channel notes, "It's doubtful if Olympic officials will be considering a similar approach for the London 2012 Games." He's right. Monkeys won't work in London. The problems there will have to be solved by recruiting bigger, drunker yobs than the normal drunken yobs-langur yobs, if you will-and arming them with even sharper shards of broken glass.
As Knifecrime Island rubs its eyes and gazes in wonder at its new politics, it also begins to return to the more prosaic elements of life, which is mostly spent down the pub, a horrid experience where the soul-numbing qualities of alcohol are often ruined by the shrieking harridans who fill those spaces (and the copious presence of vomit). Fortunately, the nation's youngest scientists are hard at working thinking of ways to make that terrible existence more tolerable. Behold: the giant fishbowl head enclosure!
A little late to this one, but with so many of our favorite trends coming together it would be remiss of us not to mention it: "A hairdresser who glassed another woman in the face leaving her covered in blood on the dance floor was identified by social networking site Facebook." Also: The presiding magistrate told the defendant, "In nine times out of ten people that glass people in a club go to prison when they have a record. You now have a record and if you lose your control again, which you did that evening, you will end up going to prison." Glassing! I cannot get enough of [...]