Sunday, December 13, 2009

Troll the ancient Yule tide carol

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me Four Pints of Beer, Three Frenchmen, Two Sausages and Lubomir Visnovsky.

We have a bag with about one hundred Christmas bows in it and the baby is working hard here, bringing them to me from the living room, one by one.

I don't get out as much as I used to, at all. After hockey we'll generally get out for a pint or two but I'm either driving or have a driver and so its a short night. As for really tying one on, well those nights are far and few between, almost always reserved for nights on the Island or when my inlaws are visiting. Our last time out where we really fired them back was a surprise birthday get together I had for my wife, twenty five friends meeting at a bar for drinks. We ended up downtown at a hotel and were able to get a sleep in. This was nearly two months ago and before that it was in July, a pub crawl across Charlottetown that ended at four a.m. in a boat on the harbour.

When you have little kids you can't really justify missing a day becaue you've had too many beers.

These days the highlight of my social calendar is the once or twice monthly nights out at a pub with a friend or two. And on those nights, I have found, I drink four pints. No more, no less.

Its a wonderful number really. You can take your time and drink them over hours or you can fire them back quickly. I remember one time when my oldest was a toddler and my wife was pregnant with the boy, as usual our lives were quite busy and I had a friend who had become the father of twins a few months beforehand. It was late May, one of those first glorious warm sunny days that lets us know that summer is coming. We hadn't gotten out in months and we've been getting around for nearly twenty five years now so it was a bit of a hard case, anyhow, out of the blue he calls and says he has a window, can I do it, and my wife is sainted when it comes to these things and so I trotted down to the Communist Bar and we shook hands and we sat down and just over an hour later we headed home, four pints heavier.

I got home and my wife said that after we had our daughter in bed that maybe I could run down and get some fish and chips from the neighbourhood takeaway and I said that unfortunately I could not as I just had had four pints very quickly and was a little drunk. (I stand about five nine maybe.) Meanwhile my buddy got home where his wife accused him of being drunk to which he replied that it was impossible, he had only been out for an hour and that the pint he had just had had hit him a little hard, that is all, how many pints do you think a guy can drink in an hour anyways?

So twice in the past couple of weeks I have been out and twice I have had four pints. The perfect number. Space them out over three hours and have a glass of water at the pub and one at home and even getting to bed at one you're okay to get up five or six hours later and get to work, no harm done. With four you can have one of a type and then one of another and then finish up with whatever hits the spot that night. You ease into that first and then the second and you get that slow warm boozy feeling, not too jumpy or excited, just nice and easy, the conversation flowing, looking at the pretty girls, enjoying the evening and then handshakes and out into the warm summer's night or the silent snow falling, walking home in a slight daze or swaying on the subway car.

Four pints.


doritogrande said...

Four pints and driving, or four pints and walking/cabbing?

I can handle three in a night and still feel safe about driving. Anything more, and well, all my friends have couches.

Black Dog said...

dg - I never drive after any more than two drinks

After four its definitely walking, subway or cab depending on where the pub is.

Cory Klein said...

Damn your prowess with the literary rapier, it's 11:30am and if not for a final tomorrow I would certainly be starting the first of four pints right now.

macaotim said...

3 Pints for me is magic...4 and I need to drop some Advil in addition to my hydration schedule.

Here in Macao beer is expensive in the bars but super cheap in the stores. You can also drink in the street. We walk everywhere, so one for the road really means drinking one on the road while walking home. I will, no doubt, be arrested once I return to Edmonton and am found walking home drinking a beer in the middle of Whyte Ave.

Anonymous said...

Pat, I'm a fan I gotta tell you. I just got back to Calgary after spending two years in Raleigh and yours was one of the first blogs I started reading on my return. There *is* a distinctive Canadian voice for men of our age (actually I'm a tad older but am becoming more immature with age). I never heard that voice south of the border. You've got it in spades. And to use it to lead into a hockey segment. Awesome.

I worked for several years on the oil rigs in the North. Work all day, drink all night. Your phrase - "that slow, warm boozy feeling" - is wonderfully evocative of those first few drinks after a day spent in the bitter cold. Thanks for the memories!


P.S. Another of my favourite examples of the Canadian middle-aged grew-up-in-a-mining-town male voice is the "Jesus Murphy" blog.

Dennis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Good Muckin' Tonite said...


Just got off the ice and enjoying a nice Guinness nitecap as I wind down - beer in hand, ice bag on knee. 4 of em's a great amount except for my 9 yr old girl bladder that kicks in mid-way through the 3rd. Cheers.

hunter1909 said...

My record is 14 pints.

Black Dog said...

GMT - I have that same problem, with the bladder I mean

hunter - yeah I've been up in that neighbourhood too although these days I think the high water mark is around ten

over a loooong period of time

Black Dog said...

Thanks Charlie I appreciate it. I'll have to check out that blog too.

Tim - I've only been a couple of places where you can drink while walking about, I'm a huge fan. My bladder, not so much.

Good luck on that exam Cory - then you can tie one on, man I remember those post exam releases.


Dennis said...

I drank 12 on Saturday nite but I found myself more full than buzzed.