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.