Friday, October 30, 2009


When you're drunk you're 'locked'. And when you go out 'on the piss' you're having a 'session'.

Wednesday night I was all of the above. It started out very innocently with a grown-up dinner at 8. A reasonable few glasses of wine sipped with the 3 course meal of mushroom and leek soup and sea bass with tomato salsa followed by Toblerone cheesecake. See, grown-up. Something happened to me between the cheesecake and the bill. A session switch clicked in my head and I was on my second wind.

We stayed in the restaurant until they asked us to go downstairs to the pub. We stayed in the pub until they asked us to go outside to the late night bar. And we stayed there until they turned on all the lights and they asked us to go home.

I have always wondered where the expression locked comes from and I think I've gotten to the bottom of it. We used to have lock-ins at the skating rink where we would stay all night skating and playing games like who can make the best mummy with a roll of toilet paper. And the church youth groups have lock-ins to raise money for charities or church trips. A very different kettle of fish.

When we were in the pub portion of our evening they locked the front doors. This was common practice back in the days when pubs were mostly for men and rules were easily bent. The doors were locked, the few remaining regulars ensconced inside drinking the early morning hours away. Locked.

To leave the pub we had to follow a circuitous path behind some men of a certain age through a tiny Alice in Wonderland door and into the makeshift outdoor bar. This area is usually part of the restaurant but there must be some elastic regulation regarding where people can drink until late (or early) so they've industriously come up with a plan. So really it's the opposite of a lock-in now.

One more expression solved. I am getting such an education. You're welcome.

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