So here's some advice that might come in handy on New Year's Eve.
"To a Lovely Little FoolRemember kids, it’s not smart or funny or clever or "modern" to drink too much.
I SPOTTED her the moment I entered the restaurant. I could hardly have done anything else. For it isn't often you see girl so truly ALIVE and so dewy-fresh in London these days.
Her hair was rich gold and its waves never came from a machine. Maybe she'd powdered her perky little nose, but I swear that the flush on her cheeks and the red of her laughing lips were God’s own gift to someone young and very lovely.
And from her deep blue eyes looked out soul that was Tree and gay and innocent . . too innocent. I realised that when I saw the man at her side, a sallow, flabby, overdressed fellow with a film of talc powder over the short black hairs on the back of his swollen neck.
She threw her head back, laughing at something he’d said, and his bloodshot eyes fed greedily on her white throat. Something made me avert my eyes from this spectacle of Beauty and the Beast.
* * *
When next I looked at them he was holding her hand, and the waiter was uncorking another bottle of wine, to replace the bottle which had been on the table when I arrived.
He filled their glasses, and as she lifted hers, I noticed that the wine slopped wildly inside it in her unsteady hand. She put it down.
"I don’t think I'll have any more,” I heard her say, for her voice was now high-pitched. He put his arm round her shoulder and whispered something in her ear.
She blushed, wrinkled that perky nose . . . and drank.
Before they left, her unpleasant companion had a couple of brandies. I saw him persuade her have one, and, though she didn't finish it, when she stood up to go, she had to grab at the table to keep herself steady.
I followed them out. His arm was round her waist, her head flopped loosely against his shoulder The doorman got them a taxi, and as the man shoved her in I heard her say. "Ooh, dear! I must be a wee bit tight! ’S lovely!"
The cab drove off. I only hope it was her own home that the gross lout was taking her to.
* * *
I wish could have had a word with that lovely little fool, I'd have told her that it’s not smart or funny or clever or "modern" to drink too much.
And I’d have told her that no man worthy of girl’s respect will allow a girl who’s his guest to do so.
Melodramatic and old-fashioned it may seem, but giving young girls who don’t know when they’ve had enough too much to drink is still the oldest and the most successful trick employed by a certain sort of man.
And without making yourself appear a silly little prude, there are one or two tips worth knowing which will enable you to make him keep his distance.
* * *
Don't mix your drinks. Particularly don't mix Grain and Grape.
That is to say, if you have sherry (grape) to start the evening, don't switch to beer or whisky, both of which are made from grain.
A glass of wine or port after sherry won’t do any great harm. But if vou've started on with gin-and-something, I'd advise you not to put anything different down on top ot it. Gin’s a tricky drink in any case, because its taste isn’t very strong.
A girl who will drink a glass beer is appreciated as being easy on a man's pocket, and if you don't like ordinary bitter beer, try lager, which is lighter and not so sharp.
Don't take more than one drink if you haven’t had anything to eat.
And finally, when you begin to feel a glow, and the knock-kneed oaf you're with begins to look like Tyrone Power, STOP RIGHT THERE.
That glow is the danger signal. It's a grand feeling, but let it remain just that. ED. HERBERT."
Daily Mirror - Monday 12 August 1940, page 8.