The Tyson drinking model is of a traditional nature. Rounds are entered into and everyone involved knows the unwritten rules that underpin this fine English institution. This unspoken knowledge also prevents the round getting too large (law of diminishing returns) or individual abuse (fear of social exclusion) for example.
Now kittys are not an unknown phenomenon in drinking circles. They have their place in certain circumstances and are used for the Jolly Boys outings. There is, of course, always the one who doesn’t want to be part of the group and prefers to be on their own. See Tommy in Early Doors for illustration.
However, in my experience, kittys are the exception to the rule. Certainly I don’t tend to encounter them on ordinary drinking sessions. But is change afoot, I wonder? The reason for my rumination is that upon meeting up with some drinking acquaintances, I was surprised to see them establishing a kitty system.
It puzzled me at first as to why a group of four would require such a thing. The answer, apparently, was all down to me. After introducing them to the delights of the Port St Beer House and (indirectly) the bar of that award-winning Scottish lot; they felt it was necessary.
They felt that the range and price of beer in these places made the round system redundant. So instead everyone makes an initial £15 donation. Under the normal scheme of things-i.e. drinking cask ale, £15 even at Manchester prices, would cover everyone’s drink.
But with draught averaging in the £5-£6 bracket and bottles even more, a new radical approach was called for. Incidentally, the £15 figure was reached after an initial £10 limit was deemed insufficient in the wake of a £48 round. And so a new era dawns in the drinking life of a group of middle-aged Mancunians.
Now I was all set to dismiss this as a one-off. But then, blow me, if another group doesn’t pop-up and admit to the same practice. And I know some of the kiddies do it, although I believe they share the bottles. So exceptions or the start of a trend? Either way, I’m sure the answer lies in the bottom of an empty glass.