Here Kitty Kitty

How long before the exception becomes the norm? I recently found myself pondering (not for the first time, it has to be said) this sociological conundrum after observing some unusual drinking patterns. Unusual, that is, in the context of my drinking world.

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.


Cooking Lager said…
I think its a logical move if there is a large price disparity. No one gets stung in the expensive bar, no one gets away with the Wetherspoons round.

The days of a round price being not that much different across the course of a pub crawl are long gone.

Pity really. I'm a master of getting forward and getting them in, in the Spoons and hanging back before the pricey bar. Tying shoe laces is a good gambit to hang back.
RedNev said…
Only occasionally do I get involved in rounds; I get fed up waiting for my next beer while everyone else dawdles over their pints. So I invented the tweeny - a quick drink between rounds - but now I prefer not to bother with rounds at all. I have no intention of going into places where the drinks are £5 or £6 a pint - at least not until inflation has taken us all there.
Curmudgeon said…
I've heard your "tweeny" described as "a slotter", Nev.
Tyson said…

Well I think most drinkers would find it difficult to keep up with your drinking pace in a round:)

Anyway, unless I want to be Billy-no-mates, I have to go where the drinkers are.
Cooking Lager said…
It's not pre or post loading Nev. Mid Loading?
Sue said…
Okay if everyone's on roughly the same price/measure, otherwise there may be someone who's subsidising the others e.g. if I was on halves and everyone else was on pints. I'd lose out unless I had the strongest/most expensive beer.
Tandleman said…
Seems to me you are drinking too much expensive keg Tyson. You need to get your feet back on the ground.
Tyson said…

Why? is cheap smooth Mild the only acceptable keg these days?
Tandleman said…
Tyson:Yes. A distress purchase which can be justified on the grounds there is bugger all else in the circumstances I drink it.
RedNev said…
Tyson: for your slander, you will be hearing forthwith from my lawyers, Messrs Sue, Grabbit and Runne.

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