When I discovered Modern Drunkard magazine and its '86 Rules of Boozing' last week, I rashly promised to formulate a similar - but more stripped-down, straightforward - list of my own. True to my word (and after only 6 days!), here are....
Froog's 'Rules of Drinking'
1) Know your limits.
[Drinking is about having fun, not making yourself ill.]
2) Always buy the first round.
[If you can't afford to buy a round, you shouldn't be out drinking anyway.]
3) If you don't manage to get the first round in, buy the second round.
[You don't want to be thought a cheapskate.]
4) Choose your drinking companions carefully.
[There's not much benefit to observing these rules yourself if you are associating with people who don't.]
5) Always be nice to the serving staff, even if they're not doing their job very well.
[Remember what a stressful and poorly remunerated job it often is. And there are almost invariably more arseholes on the customers' side of the bar than behind it; don't add to that statistic.]
6) Always return your glasses to the bar, and tidy up any litter you see in your area of bar or table.
[If you've ever worked in a bar, you do this without even thinking about it. It is, I believe, a key element of being nice to the staff - Rule 5 above.]
7) There is no shame in drinking water to maintain hydration.
[It is absolutely essential in a hot/humid environment, or if you're drinking spirits or overstrength beers.]
8) Always ensure that you can get home early enough to allow at least 5 hours' sleep before you next have to work, or do anything else important.
[Adjust according to individual body requirements. I don't sleep much these days: 5 hours is usually plenty for me - or enough, anyway.]
9) There's no need to SHOUT.
[If people at neighbouring tables are wincing at your conversation, you are being unnecessarily loud.]
10) Avoid any situation which could lead to a fight.
[Froog has 'Rules of Fighting', too. The odd-numbered ones are all 'DON'T!']
11) Never talk to people who are significantly more drunk than you are.
[At best, it's going to be awkward and boring. At worst, it could lead to a fight: remember Rule 10!]
12) When The Weeble wobbles, it's time for us all to go home.
[Unfortunately, we often don't.]