WHETHER YOU GREW UP IN GORTON or spend your student days in Salford, there’s a good chance that if you spent your formative years in and around Manchester, your hardened drinking habits may have been influenced by some of the ingredients in this potent cocktail of quintessentially Mancunian drinking experiences…
1. Your first taste of drunkenness was in a park near your mates’ house with a 2-litre bottle of Diamond White or other cheap fizzy cider bought with a fake ID from Costcutters. You spend the night chundering over the swings and resolve never to drink again. You stick to this promise for around 72 hours.
2. You once raided your parents’ drinks cabinet as a teenager for booze to take to a party in Longsight and found that all they had was half a bottle of sherry and some angostura bitters. You stole them anyway.
3. You’ve fallen arse over tit on the sticky dancefloor at the OP Bop in Fallowfield after one too many Snakey B’s.
4. You’ve attempted the Didsbury Dozen, got bored halfway through and made a drunken getaway on the Magic Bus to Rusholme for a chicken vindaloo on the Curry Mile.
5. You can’t drink a pint of Boddies without thinking of Mel Sykes sticking a flake in it.
6. You know the pain of trying to use logic against a bouncer of an aspirationally upmarket bar on Deansgate who aggressively refuses you entry for not dressing smartly enough whilst guarding a doorway flecked with vomited stomach lining.
7. Your last choice of flat was heavily influenced by its proximity to the Spar with the late night booze licence.
8. You have stood in the aforementioned Spar at 3.23am after a Saturday night out counting your loose change to see what nightcap you can afford and whether you’ve got enough left over for a Macca’s and your bus fare afterwards.
9. Your Saturday night out seems incomplete without having seen one of the cast of Hollyoaks or Corrie propping up the bar.
10. You’re nervous about trying out new pubs after the time that you went to a random boozer and a bloke with tattooed knuckles rested his nose millimetres from yours after clocking your Man United/Liverpool/Partick Thistle mittens to tell you with barely veiled menace that you’re in a City pub.
11. You claim superior negotiation skills after that time at 5th Av when someone knocked the few remaining droplets of nasty house vodka and coke out of your plastic cup whilst flailing about to the Stone Roses, but you somehow persuaded them to buy you a double Smirnoff and Red Bull to compensate.
12. You’re on first name terms with the local minimart owners, who sells you vodka brands of dubious origin and legality with names like Smirnova and Stolichnovska.
13. 83% of your tooth enamel has dissolved thanks to discovering Cheeky Vimtos at Poptastic.
14. You’ve pumped enough money into the pub quiz or fruit machine in the Piccadilly Wetherspoon to pay for the liver transplant that you are in desperate need of after consuming their bargain basement pints and doubles.
15. You have seen fistfights by inebriated revellers in the taxi queue outside Deansgate Locks which make the Pacquiao-Mayweather bout look like a game of Girl Scout pat-a-cake.
16. Your local kebab house in Withington knows your Saturday night order off by heart and you know that after your seventh pint, you’ve forgotten all about the rumours that they have appeared on Watchdog for selling pigeon burgers and serving yoghurt sauce containing 14 kinds of semen.
17. You’ve fallen asleep on the night bus after a night of heavy drinking and ended up in a mystery Mancunian suburb that you never knew existed.
18. You know that the Metrolink announcement that ‘trams on the Eccles line may be delayed for up to 12 minutes’ means that it’s time to take a swig from your emergency hipflask and start walking into town.
19. You have hazy memories of that Wednesday night bender which started out with a quick post-work glass of Pinot Grigio in Castlefield and ended up with a hungover phone call at 8.57am the next morning to Jacqui in Human Resources about how you won’t be going into work because of a terrible case of food poisoning.
20. You’ve learnt the hard way never to play the drinking game ‘I have never’ with your work colleagues following the shocking revelations that you disclosed in a momentary lapse of honesty during your Christmas do in the Northern Quarter.
21. You’ve done the walk of shame on Sunday morning past the Macca’s mountain of rubbish on Oxford Road.
22. You’ve done twice as many things on this list than you realise because you were too drunk to remember doing them…