Why Aren't More People Drinking?

I can’t quite recall who it was now — maybe Linford Christie? — but a couple of years back some athlete, having found himself in hard times, recounted his terrible tale of woe and explained that his burdens had become so difficult to bear that he was drinking a bottle of wine a day. The revelation was supposed to illustrate just how far the fellow had fallen, but all I could think was, a bottle of wine a day? I have a bottle of wine with dinner. I absent-mindedly had half a liter of Wild Turkey yesterday before “Monday Night Football” started. Now, sure, I am probably not the world’s greatest example of alcoholic restraint here, but I am trying to give a little perspective to my feelings of underwhelmedness on this report that Britain is the drinkiest nation in the world.

Around 84 per cent of Britons are drinkers — way ahead of the lowest nation, India, where just 27 per cent ever have a tipple — compared with the international average of 71 per cent. The survey found nearly one in ten Britons admit to drinking every day, almost twice the number in France. Around 41 per cent of Britons drink regularly, more than our nearest rivals in Australia, 27 per cent, and the international average of 17 per cent.

I mean, are we supposed to be impressed by these statistics? Who doesn’t drink every day? And, more importantly, how the hell do they get through life that way? It’s unthinkable.