Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Trollied Tuesday: Drinking a Lion Under the Table

A moment's silence, please. Now raise your glasses in honour of Californian bar owner, champion eater and drinker extraordinaire Eddie 'Bozo' Miller.

Although he was best known for his eating feats – such as eating 27 chickens in one go – Miller was a drinker on a truly heroic scale. "Before lunch, I'd have 10 to 12 martinis, every day," he told the Oakland Tribune last November and he was also, apparently, noted for his ability to pack away 2 litres of whiskey in the space of an hour. This latter was a world record, apparently, I bet that Guinness doesn't allow such reckless feats of drunkeness into its record books these days.

His most entertaining exploit, though, was drinking a lion under the table.

His encounter with the lion came, like most of his exploits, as the result of a bet. "Some guy from the circus came into the restaurant - Reno Barsocchini's, I think - with a lion on a leash," he told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I drank them out of a glass, and they put the martinis on a soup plate for the lion. I maybe had about a dozen. The lion, he kept lapping them up until he just fell asleep."

That lion sounds a bit of a lightweight, to be honest. Still, to paraphrase Dr Johnson, it's not so much that it's done well, but that it's done at all.

No matter, if anyone deserves a Trollied Tuesday valedictory it's Eddie Miller. His life stands as a rebuke to the narrow, reductive puritanism which seeks to drain all the joy out of life – and not just because he lived to be 89. His exploits, like those of other great lovers, gamblers and other disreputable types, provide a dash of colour, romance and excitement – in other words a spectacle which helps to make life at least a little bit liveable.

By contrast, the idiotic idea that drinking a fair bit is destroying society has taken on the proportions of a national epidemic. A particularly asinine example comes in today's BBC story Men Drink Far More Than Women. You can insert your own drippingly sarcastic comments to this. The actual "story" – that people with some spare cash drink more than people who are broke need not detain us, save to observe that it does tend to suggest that enjoying a drink does not preclude you making a moderate success in life.

Or to put it another way. What has more value to you as a reader? Pious, by numbers tut-tutting from a bunch of bibulous hacks about the Middle Classes destroying their health? Or reading about Eddie 'Bozo' Miller?

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2 Comments:

Blogger Glamourpuss said...

Lions are just big pussycats really...

Puss

2:53 pm  
Anonymous Generic Viagra said...

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11:40 pm  

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