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Looking Sober when Drunk

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Alcohol drinkers fall into two categories regarding self-consciousness - those who become embarrassed by their drunkenness and those to whom nothing and no one matters as soon as they chuck the first pint of Guinness down their gullets. If you happen to be unfortunate enough to belong to the former category, then here are a few strategies which may or may not make you appear less inebriated than you actually are.

Conversational Tips

  • Talk intellectually. This tactic should be attempted only after the consideration of three criteria:

    1. Do I have anything intellectual to talk about? Politics, film directors and books may be acceptable subjects. Whatever you do, don't go over the top - discussions focusing on Aristotelian ethics may make you look like a prat.

    2. Will this be so far removed from my normal style of talking as to make me look even more drunk than I already am? If so, move on.

    3. Can I cope? Here you will have to honestly assess your state of drunkenness, taking into account the stumbling blocks of pronunciation associated with words such as 'conspiratorial,' 'revolutionary,' and 'hullabaloo.'

  • When questioned about your level of intoxication, do not reply 'I'm fine. I'm not drunk. See?' - then stand rigid with a blank expression on your face. This rarely works for more than four seconds, at which point giggling begins.

  • Don't pester the waitress. It is a well-known fact that waitresses are only pestered by the highly intoxicated. If you leave her alone, you'll seem normal.

  • Loudly accusing other parties of drunkenness helps: 'I'm not drunk! You must be drunk.' (It often helps if one is not wearing the lampshade at this point.)

  • Be a good listener: occasionally say things to encourage the person talking (who in all likelihood will be drunk as well), like 'Hmmm' or 'yeah, yeah' or 'you're dead right' or 'they're not laughing at you, they're laughing with you.' The bonus of this approach is it works even if you're too drunk to understand what they're saying.

Actions Speak Louder than Slurred Words

  • Appear reluctant to dance. If you see dancing as the last resort of the foolhardy and desperate, this may be the right tactic. However, sitting aloof in the corner watching others have fun may not be the best way to go about making friends.

  • Appear reluctant to engage in 'childish' pranks and games. This may emphasise your maturity. However, considering that everybody else in your party will have to be pretty far gone to take part in activities like the 'South Park whisky drinking tournament', then it may well be pointless.

  • Maintain reasonable eye contact with everyone. This is good if this is your normal behaviour, but liable to make you seem a bit weird if not. If people start to avoid you, stop this.

  • Flag down taxis on the way home. This will make you very popular. Just make sure that light on the car's roof isn't a flashing blue one.

  • Restrict your toilet visits. Everybody knows that your need to use the lavatory rises exponentially with your drunkenness, so why not make it look as if the sound of flushing water is the furthest thing from your mind. Beware, though, unpleasant smelling puddles under the table will indicate that this plan has backfired.

  • Keeping a low profile and not making a noisy a**e out of yourself is a good way to go. The trouble is, this path more often than not leads unavoidably to catatonia.

  • Relativity - get everyone else around you more drunk than you are, and you will seem less drunk.

  • Avoid performing REM's 'Losing My Religion' as beat poetry - for one Researcher this is an early indicator that they're getting squiffy.

  • When you are drunk, people will often suggest that you do things. At the time, these things seem sensible and funny. The following morning they do not. Kids, just say 'No!'.

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