How to talk to an incredibly pissed person

YOU’RE out the pub when a pissed-up stranger, who seems to think he knows you, opens a slurred dialogue. Here’s how to cope:

Don’t look them directly in the eye

Oops, too late. You looked him in the eye for half a nanosecond, while the other five people standing at the bar gazed firmly at their phones, and now he’s sat next to you telling you that the bloke next door works for the CIA. Because the CIA regularly employ retired electricians from Northwich to spy on their neighbours.

Don’t disagree with him

Even if this guy is convinced that Putin was forced into the war to save Ukraine from both Nazis and anti-Nazis, never attempt to challenge him with facts and reason. The logical part of his brain has been drowned in Stella and he will react by taking obscure offence and offering you outside for a fight.

Don’t agree with him

He’s launched into a long, slurred rant about how his wife has left him and taken the kids. “I’m just a useless pisshead, aren’t I?” he says, self-pityingly. Even though that is clearly exactly what he is, don’t agree with him, because he will either start crying or nut you or both simultaneously.

Don’t suggest he’s been drinking

“Maybe you’ve had enough,” you politely say when he asks for another pint and three shots of Sambuca. “You saying I’m pissed?” he responds angrily, before trying to strangle you. Or is he trying to hug you? It’s hard to say, but you want to escape from him either way, as he reeks like he’s drunk a bottle of nail varnish remover. Maybe he has.

Don’t invite him back to yours to sober up

Even if he’s lost his wallet and can’t remember where he lives, don’t invite him home. It’s nice to make new friends, but not one who’ll be sick on your carpet and piss in your kitchen sink. That’s what your partner’s brother is for.

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The Guardian guide to whether supporting your football club is ethical

FOOTBALL fans love nothing more than running their support past the Guardian to check they’re meeting its ethical standards. Where does your club stand?

Newcastle FC

Owned by Saudi Arabia, Newcastle have gone straight to the top of the thinking Islingtonian’s League of Evil and are beyond all redemption. The squad should cease playing, Eddie Howe should be ashamed of himself and all fans should immediately switch their support to Sunderland.

Verdict: Evil

Chelsea FC

Technically still owned by Putin’s London moneyman Roman Abramovich, but now under sanctions. Is supporting them backing Russia or championing the West’s uncompromising action against Putin? It’s a moral minefield. Unless you’re chanting Roman’s name during a silence for Ukraine. Then it isn’t.

Verdict: It’s a grey area

Manchester City FC

Owned by Abu Dhabi which has no democracy, imprisons critics of the regime, tortures prisoners, flogs adulterers, criminalises homosexuality and allows women no rights at all. But Pep Guardiola’s silky pressing style has revitalised English football and is a joy to watch, so it’s a tie.

Verdict: Human Rights 1-1 Aesthetics

Manchester United FC

Owned by rapacious American capitalists actually responsible for all the ills of the world if you think about it. However since their 2005 takeover moral standards in the Premier League have plummeted and United have stopped winning, so they’re now fine. Anyone supporting breakaway non-leaguers FC United is ordered to return.

Verdict: Better than the rest

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

Owned by China, who do human rights abuses and torture and censorship and all that evil stuff but aren’t currently the West’s key bad guys because we need iPhones. So you’re fine to support them now but be ready to abandon your lifelong commitment instantly when the Guardian publishes an editorial.

Verdict: Wait for our signal

Milton Keynes Dons FC

Owned by whoever, this club outraged football fans by moving Wimbledon FC and their underdog history 56 miles north. But is that really so bad in current liberal thinking? Is not Milton Keynes the true underdog? Was this not just the redistribution of London wealth to the provinces according to socialist principles?

Verdict: A+ rated by Amnesty International, clean bill of ethical health