Monday, July 21, 2008

Old Lived in Face


The world of newspaper journalism used to be full of Lunchtime O'Boozes, their shabby suits sporting stains of indeterminate origin, their breath reeking of scotch and chicken vindaloo. Alas, their kind is extinct, killed off by the vicissitudes of Thatcher and the evil digger Rupert Murdoch.

I knew one of the old school in Bristol. He had raised bedraggledness to an art form and drove an ancient Ford Granada dangerously. Sobriety was not his strong suit, nor were morals as he would happily have shafted his grandmother for a story. I spent many an entertaining evening in the pub with him as he reminisced about serving with the Gloucesters in Korea, or shagging Sue Lawley in Cardiff.

The long liquid lunch survived for a long time after the Thatcherite enema had supposedly purged the country of such inefficiency. The weekend began at 12.30 on a Friday, the only sign that work took place in many offices a jacket draped on an empty chair.

On the whole I preferred that world; the country may have been a bit of a dump, but at least it was a good laugh as long as the beer kept flowing.

8 comments:

EmmaK said...

I agree, liquid lunches were great, only sometimes I couldn't find my way back to the office and once I vomited in the hallway after a midday bender. It went down, well,like a cup of cold sick.

MJ said...

My "old school" friend kept a bottle in his file cabinet for the times he had to meet deadline and couldn't make it cross the street to the pub.

garfer said...

A sterling effort enmak.

I take it you were his sub editor MJ.

KAZ said...

In them there days even teachers had a few pints at 12.30 on a Friday.

But Sue Lawley had to come over from Cardiff and get shagged in the store cupboard.

garfer said...

No doubt by the art teacher.

Drunken wastrels the lot of them.

Crazyrivergirl said...

I once worked for a government department in London and every Friday my boss would hold lunchtime meetings from 12.30 - 2.30ish. After they'd left I would then clear away all the gin bottles, empty the ashtrays and wash the glasses. In return I could have as many unofficial days off that I wanted.
I loved that job.

garfer said...

A most satisfactory state of affairs. I imagine the gin would fall foul of company policy these days, let alone the ciggies.

pissoff said...

Them good ole days. I remember them fondly. I used to work in Knightsbridge and we'd go over to this little pub on the corner by the old Royal Bank of Scotland. We'd come back pissed and everyone would just laugh. I don't think that was ever acceptable here in Canada. And we thought the British were stiff.