Saturday, 22 January 2011

Racketty young roysterers

The British. What a bunch of unruly pissheads. Give them a bit of free time and what do they do? Get drunk and make a nuisance of themselves.

They behaved just the same way in 19th-century India. Except it was IPA rather than cheap, super-strength Lager they got tanked up on.

A Deesa correspondent says :—" The hot weather has come upon us very unexpectedly this season, and parties are already preparing for Mount Aboo, that delightful retreat, far above the arid dusty plain. Under some slight regulation by the authorities, this charming spot might soon be rendered all that the most fastidious could desire; not to mention the unseemly barns that have been put up, devoid of all taste, and so out of keeping with the lovely rocks and dingles around, the whole margin of the pretty little sheet of water has hitherto been so unapproachable, from various unnameable nuisances—tents and tattoos allowed to be pitched and picketted on the paths leading to it— that it appears to one of my choleric temperament to call for notice, and, it is to be hoped, amendment. Invalids and the quieter sojourners are driven far back towards the ever-to-be-avoided Missionary Row and jungle, by the yells, firing, and nightly sounding of the cracked bugles of unmusical amateurs, without any bowels of consideration for their poor bilious Hindoo neighbours, or nervous young ladies. Why should the edge of the lake be wholly appropriated to the racketty young roysterers, who run up in dozens at a time, and whose sole object is to drink up their baskets of pale ale in the eight or ten days' leave usually granted, perched in very light attire on every rock in the Brighton cliff and Cheltenham district? The preservation of the trees and shrubs is also very desirable; every one caught hatchet in hand should be warned off to exercise their destructive propensities at Goorooo-Sekar, or Gaee-Mook, with the tigers."
"The Indian mail, vol 1, May - December 1843", 1843, page 390.

How did such a bunch of drunks manage to take over so much of the world?


Sid Boggle said...

"How did such a bunch of drunks manage to take over so much of the world?"

A lot of things seem like a good idea when you've had a few pints...

Anonymous said...

It wasn't the soldiers that took over the world-there were far too few of them to do that-it was traders and settlers.
Put a lot of young men together far from home with just a few days to relax and beer on hand and roystering is pretty well inevitable:)

Craig said...

In celebration of this post I shall prepare and dine on Mutter Aloo Gobi accompanied by Samuel Smith's India Ale.