Monday 23 April 2018

Anna Nolan on 12 Pubs 'dopes' - 'Loud, rude and wearing stupid jumpers - they show no respect for anyone'

Christmas Beer
Christmas Beer

Anna Nolan

There are some Christmas traditions I have yet to experience. 

One: eating goose on Christmas Day. Two: caga tio (literally the ‘pooping log’). This is a Catalan tradition where a wooden log is hollowed out, ‘fed’ from December 8 and on Christmas Eve it ‘poops’ candles, fruits and logs. Delightful.

And three: getting absolutely out of my head on booze while visiting 12 pubs.

The traditions of Christmas from around the world are bizarre and funny, but they normally have some meaning behind them. This new drinking tradition of ours has no history or no meaning. It’s just good old fashioned ‘getting drunk until you puke or fall home’.

Which I suppose is an Irish tradition for many.

This ritual wasn’t around when I was younger. Firstly you couldn’t afford 12 drinks in a pub. Especially in the city centre.


A glass of wine today can be anything from a fiver to ten euro. So that’s €60 – at least – on the gargle.

Secondly, back in the day alcohol binges were done in the comfort of your home or your pal’s apartment, so at least you were with friends who would mind your dignity as you belted out Mamma Mia (again), at four in the morning.

But now it’s all about notching up a boozer’s dozen.

You can get helpful tips online about ‘surviving the 12 pubs’. Pearls of wisdom include: eat beforehand, keep hydrated and plan your route. Heaven forbid you take a wrong turn towards pub no 6 and get lost (sure you might sober up and that would be no fun at all).

Then there is the dilemma of what to wear. Ideally you want a cheap Christmas jumper, one that can be discarded after a messy kebab at the end of the night.

Personally, I hate the 12 pubs of Christmas gangs who burst into the pub while I’m having a quiet drink with pals. One minute, you’re telling a deadly joke and all eyes are on you. Next minute, the dopes land. 

You can spot them immediately. They’re loud, brash and rude, pushing their way in, shouting things to each other like “You’re drinking a full pint this time, ya Christmas fairy”, before bellowing at the barman.

They have their stupid flashing jumpers on – a drunken superhero outfit– as they elbow their way through the crowd.

And because they know they are only going to be there for one drink they show no awareness of or respect for anyone else.

If I owned a pub, I’d have a big flashing sign on the door at Christmas saying “Take your stupid 12 pubs out of here and go find another bar to annoy”. 

I’m not the only one who is thinking along these lines. The Swan on Aungier Street, the Long Hall and the Grafton Lounge are reportedly politely asking customers not to arrive with 11 drunken pals.

We may not have pooping logs in Ireland.

But I’d take that tradition any day over the booze-stained mess that is the 12 pubs of Christmas.


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