I like to enter a cocktail party

through a side door near the back of the room, at breakneck speed, as if I had a four foot length of 2×4 held in both hands. And listen to the sound in my brain as my imaginary 2×4 goes thwack, thwack, thwack across the foreheads of any party goers leaning against the wall. And I let this imaginary violence slow me down, to a respectable striding speed. And then I scan the crowd, checking for anybody I know.I give myself five seconds. And then calculate my limit.

I award myself an extra drink per hour for every four acquaintances I spot in those five seconds (close friends count as three acquaintances).My allowance is 3 plus the acquaintance bonus. (e.g. If I see 7 acquaintances in my five second scan then my limit is 3+ (7/4) = 5 drinks per hour). So then, off to the bar to drink half my hour’s allowance rightaway.

Now, when I’ve described all this before there has been some confusion. To make things clear. I’m not comfortable at cocktail parties. I’m not about to get drunk at these things. I always drink some non-alcoholic cold beverage, whatever they have with the highest caffeine content. And if I’m not thirsty, or am already abuzz with caffeine from some chocolate binge or something, I just get really small glasses.