Tuesday, 13 December 2016

The Kitty Delusion

When a large group of people go out drinking together, it is sometimes suggested that a kitty - a shared moneypot - is a sensible and fair way to pay for drinks. Prima Facie, this may seem like a good idea. Almost a socialist idea. Let's all share our money! This is what bartenders call "the kitty delusion" and outbreaks of it are pretty common at this time of year. 

Before agreeing to pay into a kitty, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who's holding the kitty?
Remember, far from being a fair pooling of resources, the kitty is essentially a way that alcoholics fund their excess and bully others into drinking at their pace.

  • Does he drink faster than me?
Those who have paid into a kitty are forced to go at the speed of the lead drinker. Slower drinkers are faced with downing or abandoning their drinks.

  • Are his drinks more expensive than mine?
Chances are that he is getting himself a double vodka and red bull for every pint of bitter you order. 

  • Does he like shots?
Shots are a terrible way to get drunk. I like watching the faces people pull after drinking them. Faces of horror and disgust at what they have just done to themselves. In particular, cheap tequila is so horrible and disgusting that the only way to hide the taste and stop your stomach from hurling the vileness back out again is to trick your taste buds with salt and lime. 18 Jaeger bombs please, barkeep. Small wonder the kitty needs topping up again.

Time to top up the kitty.

Let me give you the bartender's perspective. Remember, all a bartender wants to do is serve everybody as quickly as possible and get back to solving the cryptic crossword. The most efficient size of group to serve is about four. Large groups - twenty or more - pose a problem. The person holding the kitty won't think to ask anyone what they want before coming to the bar. He will order his own drink first, drink it while everybody else shouts over each other to get their order in, then get himself another at the end of the round. People will inexplicably wander off to play the fruit machine mid-order. The bartender will be blamed for any missing or incorrect drinks in a round that has been produced more by a miracle of inductive reasoning than response to instruction. When the bartender tells the kitty-holder the price of the round, the latter will exclaim "How much!?" in the time-honoured fashion, while his friends laugh sycophantically and secretly wish that they had thought of making the hilarious joke of pretending to be shocked at the price of a round of drinks!    

If you are going out for a drink with a big group this Christmas, don't succumb to the kitty delusion. Find two or three people in the crowd that you like and who drink at about the same pace as you and take it in turns to buy each other drinks. You might even find that you enjoy yourself. 

Feeling festive? Read previous Finnginn Xmas blogs hereherehere and here.

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