View Full Version : I don't drink! So why should I pool/pay for others to booze let alone be ostracised?

6th Dec 2004, 13:18
Well the title says it all really. I made a lifestyle choice not to drink & it seems I'm constantly penalised for it in social situations.

Take the other day, my first time out with this group. I was sent an email asking me for a cheque for the meal in an upmarket restaurant, kinda cheap alright but I'm used to that since I'm in various organisations that get great group rates. Little did I realise that this was just the deposit. :\

Later on I got another email stating that it would be cheaper to get a group rate for the wine & would I prefer red or white. I emailed back stating I was a teetotaler thinking that I would be obviously discluded from have to pay for the wine.

How wrong I was, the meal was twice as expensive but to add insult to injury I was told to fork out the same as everyone else for plonk I didn't drink. I protested in vain & was told "It's the way it's done".

Not in my book it ain't & I sure as hell ain't going to made a luh lah of again. This attitude was justified by "Oh what if someone decided not to have a starter or dessert, we can't make special rules for everyone". Such an implausible argument IMHO it holds more holes than a sieve. To add further insult to injury someone decided not to pay so we all had to chip in extra to bail this anonymous cheapskate out. I couldn't believe it, mind you a nice man in the group paid the 1.50 for me saying "he'd drank all my wine".

Take the other social occasions where drink is included but I have to fork out for my soft drink or I pay a fortune to go & the wine is flowing freely served to the table why I have to battle my way to the bar while subsidsing everyone.

I don't agree with 'pooling' anyway, think everyone should pay for what they had be it food or drink. Splitting the bill equally I feel is unfair unless everyone partook of the same. If this is what joining a group means I think I'll opt out.

It ain't fair I say, it ain't fair. :*

Flip Flop Flyer
6th Dec 2004, 13:26
I don't agree with 'pooling' anyway, think everyone should pay for what they had be it food or drink.

So DON'T join the kitty then. Hardly a very difficult choice is it? If that excludes you from certain social functions, well, it's your choice innit?

Never trusted a person that don't drink.

6th Dec 2004, 13:29
Its very often the way with groups that the drink bill far exceeds the food bill and I have every sympathy for your predicament, particularly when the sum involved for everyone else's alcohol supply doesn't seem to include the odd soft drink for you.

The answer of course is to clarify the situation up front as to how the final bill is to be dealt with and to make it plain that you don't drink AT ALL and therefore - with all due respect - will not be subsidising those who do. When the sum involved can easily be £25 or more, I think you have a valid point in feeling p!ssed off.

[Just for the record, I have expensive taste in alcoholic beverages and a partner who, like you, doesn't drink at all. I am more than happy to pick up the bill for my personal indulgences.]

FFF - there are two huge advantages of a man who doesn't drink. One, he's always safe to drive. Two, I'm guaranteed a decent sh*g on a Saturday night.

6th Dec 2004, 13:39
Flip Flop Flyer, you write:
Never trusted a person that don't drink.

so I suppose you meant it. You are not the only one here to hold to that philosophy.

What bitter experience led you to it?

Flip Flop Flyer
6th Dec 2004, 13:54
Just the fact that the, very few it must be added, teetotallers I've ever come across was a bunch of sad BMW's (Bitching, Moaning, Whinging) with no sense of humour or how to have a good time and eternally trying to make you see the light and follow their lead. And they deffo would never join the kitty, which when you're out as a group is pretty anti-social behaviour.

Never trusted a vegeterian either, for the same reasons. They all remind me of religious extremists of that persuasion which name eludes me know. Last Day Saints or something like that.

I prefer people who know how to let their hair down, when the occasion calls for it, and whom I can swap hang-over stories with at the brekky table the next morning. Like minded people, I suppose.

6th Dec 2004, 14:17
Tell 'em to get stuffed. Is this a group you really want to socalise with? One of them, as you mention, is a spineless whatever that didn't even pay,

tony draper
6th Dec 2004, 14:18
You should have ordered two cartons of ciggies and a box of cigars for the table, can you imagine to comments from the none smokers?.

6th Dec 2004, 14:20
Can't think of a single good reason why someone who's not a drinker should join a kitty - doesn't seem any more appropriate to me than a non-smoker should pay for a smoker's tobacco of choice.

Funny how a non-drinker whose car is parked outside is suddenly the most popular person present when everyone else wants to get home and there's not a taxi in sight.

Fg Off Max Stout
6th Dec 2004, 14:57
Having attended numerous of Sqn curry pushes and reached the end of the evening to find the standard squabbling - Bloggs had one more poppadum than me so I'm not paying the same as him etc etc we decided this:

The ONLY way to go out for a group meal as to decide on the payment method first. Equal shares, individual bills or whatever - just decide first. If people don't like the deal they don't join in and it saves anguish at the end of the night. Admittedly, asking for individual bills for a party of 20 at the Ivy wouldn't look very cool but your average curryhouse couldn't care less.

Generally, the teetotaller, chap who's flying first wave the next day, or duly elected individual would do the driving and get a free meal and drinks out of it, as the rest of us would cover his share when splitting the bill equally. Everyone's a winner. The rest of us would obviously compete to drink more than the average, to get our monies worth. Sober chap would then rally the minibus back through country lanes, with wrangled chap in the passenger seat playing blade-fuse-removal-wheel-of-fortune (great when you find the headlamps), RAF Regt Officer trying to climb out one window over roof and in other window, a few survivors singing Jerusalem and everyone else passed out and farting in the back. Happy days.

ps Never trust someone who wears a single glove.

6th Dec 2004, 15:30
blade-fuse-removal-wheel-of-fortune :eek: Just spent about five minutes rolling on the floor ! Brilliant ! :ok:

Usually our food bill is just about DOUBLED :eek: when you add on all the bottles of wine etc. If I don't feel like drinking, I usually dismiss it with by saying I'd better stick to water "after what happened last time". Kinda defuses the situation without being blamed for a BMW.

And I think it would be more than reasonable to simply expect the non-drinkers to contribute twenty quid less to the kitty than everyone else. It doesn't have to be a complicated calculation.

6th Dec 2004, 16:21
Hmm, interesting replies.

My problem was it was my first time out so I was caught by surprise, infact I was amazed by the organises response when asked to fork out for the plonk when I reiterated the email I sent her. The further cheek in asking me to subsidise a dishonest freeloading cheapskate caused further verbal protest from me to no avail. I couldn't believe anyone would have the cheek to sit through while others dished our their hard earned money to pay for their meal. Of course some of the alcohol partakers there disagreed with me, why would they, I'm subsidising them!!! One even asked "Did I not think on my first night with the group would it not be better not to be causing waves" to which my surprise was "Not at all . . . ." I am NOT going to be walked over.

But I don't believe it even stops at drink. I've heard people complain about having to pool the bill when they've opted for cheaper choices from the menu. I've even heard someone being disgruntled when they did partake of some wine, say one glass but being forced to subsidise others much higher indulgence & being verbally branded a cheapskate when they objected.

I joined a club to meet people & socialise, not to be scrounged upon. As I said it won't happen again. I find it totally unacceptable, either they accept my stance on this & a better way of collecting the money to discourage unscrupillous freeloaders or much as nice as the people are it will be adios mate and I will stick to the myriad of clubs who have a far more fairer way of settling the bill and a less confusing way of filling in their members as to the final cost of everything.

Flip Flop Flyer

eternally trying to make you see the light and follow their lead.
I didn't try to convert anyone that night, I respected their right to drink, I wish they had respected my rights. As far the rest of your ridiculous prejudiced ramblings I wouldn't justify them with a response. :rolleyes:

BTW I'm not going to the pub crawl they've organised after Xmas. :*

6th Dec 2004, 17:18
Although not a teetotaller i seldom drink when i go out choosing to drive instead.
I have never had a problem from my friends over this at all. I pay for my meals and for my soft drinks and when not drinking am never included in the drinks bill.
Often my soft drinks are absorbed into the overall drinks bill.
In return i generally drive my friends home which I have always been more than happy to do.

tall and tasty
6th Dec 2004, 17:30
Just the fact that the, very few it must be added, teetotallers I've ever come across was a bunch of sad BMW's (Bitching, Moaning, Whinging) with no sense of humour or how to have a good time and eternally trying to make you see the light and follow their lead

FFF I totally disagree with this philosophy you can enjoy yourself with out over indulgence of alcohol and still have fun. I op alot of the time to not drink and still have fun allowing those who want to, to have a taxi driver if you want to call me that. But I also know how to party hard including copious amounts of alcohol too and then happy to pay for what I have had.

I agree with Omaha though if there are some who indulge in the spirits at the expense of those who drink only the wine/soft drinks then yes they should pay for themselves. Maybe there should be more soft drinks included on tables as it is the norm now not to drink and drive and before you say I am a winger I have lost a very good friend to drink driving and another who holds a life ban because of drinking to much (but that digresses off the point)

Grainger has a fair point by reducing the total for the person who has not been drinking to a fair level and then everyone will be happy.


6th Dec 2004, 17:46
Whenever I go out with friends, we divide the bill x ways. Simple. No matter who is drinking or who is driving. Saves on arguing, bitching and it all eventually evens itself up anyway. We're friends after all.

Also, round here a pint of Orange juice and lemonade costs the same as a decent pint anyway. The costs differential ain't that much.

Can't stand it when one person wants to argue that they have a cheaper something or other so shouldn't pay as much - gets messy at the end.

Perhaps it's just the way we were all brought up.



6th Dec 2004, 17:49
If I go out and im driving then Ill flatly refuse to chip in an extra £20 for everyone else's wine, I make it clear that ive not drunk any of it so will not be paying for any of it.

6th Dec 2004, 19:22
I'm with Whirlygig. I can't stand tightarses who pull the calculator out at the dinner table! If you're not drinking have a bloody Hot Choc Fudge Cake with your coffee or some nice expensive fruit juices, or a non-alcholic cocktail, alternatively stop bloody worrying about it. Karma will ensure that what goes around comes around!
If none of these options appeals then go and find some other pennypinching miserys and go to dinner with them!:E

tall and tasty
6th Dec 2004, 19:29

I am not trying to say I will not pay for drinks I don't have and please don't think that all of us are tight*rses as you said. I am far from that but I was trying to say and I am not back peddling here if it is something like a company party where you may not know everyone really well then I don't see why. If I am with close friends I am always happy to put in my share if not more and say forget the change.

TnT :)

6th Dec 2004, 20:21
Nothing sh*ts me more than if your out to dinner with a group of people, and everybody orders roughly the same thing aside for the person who insists on the most expensive thing on the menu...........then when the bill comes says "Oh, are we going to diviide it up evenly?" A few dollars isn't an issue, but when it's obvious what they had was $15 more than everybody elses....that is a good way get on my bad side.

And unfortunately, I have pointed this out to somebody who tried it in a restaurant. Funnily enough, they never came out with us again (they tried to skimp on the tip as well, which annoyed more than just me).

tall and tasty
6th Dec 2004, 20:32

You have reminded me of someone: - if he is paying you have to order the cheapest BUT if anyone else is he always says "whats the most expensive on the menu" in a loud voice and then goes ahead and orders!

How totally totally rude in my eyes!


6th Dec 2004, 21:03
TnT, you're not wrong. As I said, who really cares about a few dollars here and there, but when it's somthing blatent like that, there's a line.

Reminds me of a guy I used to play basketball with. If it was his turn to go to the bar, he would come back with a jug (pitcher) of beer and however many glasses. If somebody else was shouting the round, he would alway, without fail, ask for a double vodka and diet coke. He could never work out though when he asked "Who's round is it" there would be a resultant chours of "Yours!!!"

6th Dec 2004, 21:03
Now, that's an interesting thing because I remember being told by my parents that, when somebody else is paying, go for the second least expensive (or second cheapest!) as going for the cheapest makes it obvious that that is what you are doing and your host might be embarassed. Second cheapest looks like that might be what you actually want. Similarly for alcohol; not the most expensive.

Good job I'm not fussy.

I don't think the problem here is one of "everybody should pay for themself" but rather that they should have the manners to be moderate. Then it all works out fair.



6th Dec 2004, 21:09
Thanks for getting back so promptly, Flip Flop. I can see that with your stated interests limited to beer and song it might be difficult to engage your attention, but what interests me is your focus on "trust". You do not trust teetotallers nor, I learn, vegetarians.

You find that teetotallers are a bunch of sad BMW's (Bitching, Moaning, Whinging) with no sense of humour.

Well I can see that we pretty much all fit that description, and I have often reflected on that, a bit ruefully, as I revelled in the sheer wit of your own postings.

I do not really care what you do. I do care about some people. My work takes me into the care of people who have foetal alcohol syndrome. I do not see them when they are babies: I see them when they are 45 year olds, and still unemployable. Tough, though, eh? Why should I care? Right? And then why should I care when I get the telephone call at home (Hey! Why me? I don't drink, so why me?) to go to the hospital to pick up the threads for a colleague who has checked himself in with alcoholism. Ever been there? I have. They have minders with them 24/7 to make sure they do not get their hands on any sauce. Not so good to see a Queen's Counsel in that environment, bitching, moaning and whinging (BMW, as we say).

As to the kitty, I have never protested against the blackmail. Not enough guts, I suppose. How well I remember the "run ashore", the dreary hop from pub to pub in Portsmouth as my oppos became more and more boring and thought they were becoming more and more entertaining. As you would say: "having a good time".

By "religious extremists" I think you mean the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints", or Mormons. There now, was that so hard to remember? You know, the ones who look like vegetarians.

You prefer people whom you can swap hang-over stories with at the brekky table the next morning. "Like minded people, I suppose." Yes, I suppose so too.

The bit that captured my attention is that you cannot trust teetotallers.

I can see that you do not like them. I am sure you do not like me, and I must learn to live with that. Some, no doubt, will resent subsidising your drinking, but if you are too cheap to pay for your own beer and song and social obligations call on me to subsidise you, I can live with that for a time and to an extent: but why distrust me? I am paying for your beer.

If a client tells me his secrets, professional or social, and clients do, he may be sure those secrets stay with me. I do not spill them at the bar. I do not retail them when I am drunk or just mellow and feel entertaining, because I never am drunk. Others are, those whom you trust, no doubt. I am very careful whom I trust, because trust lies at the very heart of what I do for a living. People do trust me. I hold many secrets.

Let me understand you: I should start drinking, and then you will trust me?

6th Dec 2004, 21:27
You guys that just divide the bill evenly and hate it when people want it exact - you are the people that prolly drink the most and eat the most aren't you?

If I didn't drink I would be annoyed having to pay for other people's drinks and yeah I would prefer to split the bill a bit more evenly - cos I often drink less ( more than a few drinks I am falling off my perch ) and often eat less than others in a group - and often can't afford to pay for more (poor GA pilot you see)..

But you shouldn't trust me of course - cos I'm a vegetarian :ok:

PS come to think of - I really only care about dividing the bill fairly when It is really obvious some people have had quite a bit more than others. It depends what sort of group you are with. If I had more money prolly wouldn't care at all of course.

6th Dec 2004, 21:48
You guys that just divide the bill evenly and hate it when people want it exact - you are the people that prolly drink the most and eat the most aren't you?
No, I thought I made the opposite point. Bizarrely, as an accountant, I don't want to have to use my brain to add up all the different bills!!

I think there are two scanrios here; group of friends going out for a meal, in which case bill should be divided by x plus equal tip and group of "colleagues or acquaintances" going out in which case, it should not be beyond the wit of the waiters, restaurant or hotel to calculate separate bills for you all.

Gatfield, if you were a member of my circle of friends and were financially embarassed, then allowances would be made just as my friends did when I was recently unemployed. But, that's what friends are for. Anyone who was has manners and has say, the fillet steak whilst everyone else has chicken and chips, should offer to chip a bit more in. And those with manners do.



6th Dec 2004, 22:11
Fg Off Max Stout has it right I reckon.
It all comes down to people being reasonable.
It gets right up my nose when there's a load of you and one or two start saying mine was cheaper etc - we just want to divide and pay.
But when one person takes all the most expensive things and wants to split - irritating again.
If no one takes the p*ss splitting should work just fine, especially if you go out with the same crew a fair bit, it evens out in the long run as your meal makes up for my dram etc etc.
In Malaysia once though sitting with 2 friends a fat yank came and joined us. We were drinking pints and next round I got in he took a large Chivas Regal and coke (cost about the same as 5 pints). He did this for three rounds. He then got up to leave and I alerted him to the fact it was his round. We all ordered large more expensive whiskies and he had the cheek to get angry!
Again, if folk are reasonable about it and don't take the p*ss it works. When someone does they need a talking to.

6th Dec 2004, 22:20
Gats, when I'm with a group of close friends, I couldn't give a rats ass who has what and how much it costs.

When I'm eating/drinking with a group of people I have only just met, or don't know that well, as I said, a few dollars (pounds, sheckles, whatever) under or over doesn't worry me in the slightest. But there are people (as a few peeps here have demonstrated) that do take the piss out of social occasions because they think they can get away with it, and probably have in the past. I totally agree with Whirly regarding manners, unfortunately, I have seen both ends of the spectrum socially on numerous occasions. What's that old saying "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me"

And returning to Omaha's post, for somebody in that situation where " One even asked "Did I not think on my first night with the group would it not be better not to be causing waves", the waves I personally would be making would be that of "Bye!!!!!!!"

Atlas Shrugged
7th Dec 2004, 00:04
:\ :\ hiccup :\ :\ :bored: :zzz:

7th Dec 2004, 00:18
Surely it all comes down to common sense and consideration.... Ah, I see, therein lies the problem. :rolleyes:

In an 'aquaintances' situation as far as I'm concerned if things are fairly consistent then an equal split is fine. If one or more individuals chose to indulge considerably more or less than average then a simple rough adjustment is easy enough to implement for the sake of harmony, but probably best mentioned by those intending to consume to a greater or lesser degree early on so as everyone knows where they stand.
If there were objections to this in a group of aquaintances I (theoretically at least as I'd likely drink and eat averagely well so wouldn't face the issue) would probably not be inclined to share a supposedly enjoyable occasion with that group again. Where's the pleasure in a post meal wrangle?

As far as friends go, me and mine some years ago came up with a system whereby on someones birthday or other significant celebration they themselves choose to rally the troops for would choose the location etc and foot the entire bill, on the basis that it all comes around in the end and evens out and also promotes unrestrained exuberant indulgence by all present.
It's been a highly successful method, very fair and leading to many a memorable night out ending with much hilarity when bill's exceed four figures. Bills arriving just short usually promote the hasty ordering of a last round of assorted obscure liquors to ensure the 'target' is met.
The second advantage is that the pain of any hangover pales into insignificance when compared to that of the first tentative glance at the receipt the next day. :eek:

As far as works gatherings go, where's the issue? Isn't that what expenses are for? :suspect:

7th Dec 2004, 00:22
I've been in groups where two separate bills were requested, food and drink, it depends on the overall affluence of the group.
The drinkers split the drinks bill and the eaters the food bill, (obviously the majority pay a share of both bills). Haven't come across any eating establishment yet that won't do this with pleasure.

7th Dec 2004, 01:47
The ONLY way to go out for a group meal as to decide on the payment method first. Equal shares, individual bills or whatever - just decide first. If people don't like the deal they don't join in and it saves anguish at the end of the night.You've gotten it in one try, Fg Off Max Stout.

Often I go out with a group after a day's flying, and you end up with people from all parts of the spectrum.

Some have money but are frugal, some have money but love to spend, some have no money and need to be very careful, some have no money and no idea how to be careful!

Some consume large volumes, some would like to but health does not allow it, some just don't eat much at all ever.

And through all of this, it always works out best if payment is discussed before hand.

Maybe it's less cultured to do so, but to be honest no one takes visible offense at this discussion, and if we dont have such a discussion it seems we end up with the kitty system and at least one or more goes away unhappy.

One chap in particular goes away unhappy and inevitably he voices his unhappiness the next flying day, or the one after that, or the day after that. But sooner or later, it comes up.

I'm all over the spectrum: some times I'm a teetottler, other times I swill with the best of them. And when I'm on the side of over-indulgence, I always offer to put in more money, and almost always my offer is refused.


7th Dec 2004, 04:16
ok - yes I agree with Jerricho, Whirlgig and Co. If you are with friends and I mean friends not just work colleagues, couldn't care less about diving it up .

7th Dec 2004, 08:11
Had a meal with 3 mates over the weekend - came to just over £70 so all chipped in £20 to include tip. As I was the driver my soft drinks were split between the 3 others - a fair method with no losers (50 mile round trip for meal)

7th Dec 2004, 11:36
Went out last Friday after work with six colleagues and we had four rounds between us.

Next time the two non-payers will set the ball rolling by buying.

We have a group of about ten of us and numbers always vary - however there is never any resentment if somebody has a more expensive drink for a change or more drinks!

There IS resentment however if a 'stranger' or 'a number 11' joins us but does not offer to buy a round. It's not whether he or she does pay (after all it can be expensive and it can be a struggle. If you know that they are strapped for cash then they can be let off*) but it's whether the offer is made or not. That does start to annoy when someone does do a bit of freeloading. :*


* often arrange beforehand as in "it's your birthday and our treat".

7th Dec 2004, 12:19
Omaha sounds like a right ball of laughs, doesn't he?

Sort it out beforehand, Omaha. A teetotaller anything past 18 should be aware of the potential situation. I bet they're just busting to get you back again for a few laughs. :}

7th Dec 2004, 12:41
Yeah, a right old barrel of laughs Binos... :hmm:

You a teacher perchance Omaha? I think I've met you.

Here's one for you.... If you're not prepared to spring for the drinks then don't go... SIMPLE...


CarltonBrowne the FO
7th Dec 2004, 15:20
Binos, sounds like Omaha tried to sort it out in advance.
Fishtits, if the organisers of this event wanted him to stay away, there are diplomatic ways of saying so- perhaps along the lines of "Usually at these things there is a fair amount of drinking, it gets a bit merry/emotional/chaotic <choose one adjective depending on the target>, are you sure it's your thing?" If you talked to me in the same manner you posted to Omaha, I'd wait till you passed out, take your wallet, and go to the bar and buy the whole place a drink. Let you experience the joy of unwillingly supporting the indulgences of a bunch of strangers.
I don't drink- I have other ways to spend my money having fun, none of which I expect others to subsidise.

7th Dec 2004, 15:30
Carlton AKA Omaha,

Guess Flip Flop was right though:

Never trusted a person that don't drink.


7th Dec 2004, 16:01
P.R.V.I. alert folks?
Omaha, username how many now girl?

fishtits, your remarks fit your standard SOP; stupid, puerile and offensive. Strange how you seem to need an anonymous forum to get your rocks off. :rolleyes:

edit: thank you someone for removing that rubbish!

7th Dec 2004, 17:03
CarltonBrowne the FO and Omaha one and the same? I think not. CarltonBrowne is rather too well known in certain moderator circles....

7th Dec 2004, 17:21
As far as works gatherings go, where's the issue? Isn't that what expenses are for?

Funny this should come up. A certain individual Mrs J worked with in Blighty was out one evening with us and some mutual friends. The bill came, we all chipped in the cash, and the "individual" said he would put it on his card as he needed the cash. Turns out the "individual" then pocketed the cash and receipt and then went and claimed it back through company expenses. What a prick.

7th Dec 2004, 17:42
Don't worry Davaar I'm definitely not getting involved in this discussion!! :p :p

7th Dec 2004, 17:50
Ach One World! Thank you for that! I truly did "Laugh Out Loud"! I may buy you a Guinness some day!

Mr Chips
7th Dec 2004, 17:52
Fishtits Here's one for you.... If you're not prepared to spring for the drinks then don't go... SIMPLE... If you bothered to read the post, it was more a case of not being prepared to spring for someone elses drinks...

I am strictly teetotal, never try to convert anyone, but i get annoyed at paying for someone elses drinks, and also annoyed when soft drinks are included in any bills. Recently there was a "company" evening out, all calculated to fall in line with our expenses. meal and bottle of wine between two was £25, to be claimed on expenses. Any other drinks to be purchased at the bar and not claimed. If I had gone, I would have had to buy my own softdrinks while others got their drinks at the companies expense. Fair? Clearly not

Its intersting to look back over this thread and see that the most confrontational posts (along the lines of pay up or pi$$ off) come from drinkers... any correllation there? :hmm:

7th Dec 2004, 18:00
Davaar, I'll take you up on that and buy you a Highland Spring mineral water and a lovely box of traditional scottish buttery shortbread.

If Drapes shows up I'll buy him a box of Woodbines!

7th Dec 2004, 18:04
I've never been to Dublin, but you're on my list.

I did have an Irish great granny, from the South, gone before my time, but living still in the tradition of the Shan Van Voght, which she would sing to my late Father, and he to me.

CarltonBrowne the FO
7th Dec 2004, 20:23
Guess again Fishtits. I think you might find there are rather more non-drinkers on this forum than you believe.
Among my friends, when we do a kitty, the non-drinkers usually pay a smaller contribution than the drinkers. Incidentally this was at the suggestion of the drinkers.

7th Dec 2004, 21:12
I don't drink anymore, but before I stopped I could certainly hold my own and probably a couple of other people's too :}

I still go out and still have fun. That's what friends are for. Recently went down to Philadelphia last week and like many others have said, make the rules before the party...not during and certainly not after.

In our case, we get seperate food bills (business expense) and pool the drinks on one check. When it comes time to pay for the drinks, we scan the bill for what we drank...beer, wine, mixed drinks, soda and pay our share. No arguing, no hard feelings, no whinging.

Works for us at least.


7th Dec 2004, 21:28
There are two separate issues here...

Whether to split bills evenly or fuss over who had exactly what? 'm generally in favour of the even split because, as people have pointed out, with friends it generally balances out over time.

However, the teetotaller's situation is a special case - because it won't balance out over time. They will inevitably lose out in the long run. So I can understand why the even split can be annoying. I would suggest - split the food bill (including soft drinks & coffee) evenly among everyone - then split the alcohol bill among the alcohol drinkers. Reasonably fair since even the booze drinkers will probably have some mineral water.

Some research on the subject here (http://www.res.org.uk/society/mediabriefings/pdfs/2004/Apr04/haruvy.asp)

Now while sympathising with the situation of the teetotallers when it comes to being forced to cover the cost of booze - I do get the impression that some of the people complaining about this would also complain about splitting the bill evenly if alcohol wasn't involved.

Also - one thing to bear in mind - the booze drinkers may not be deliberately trying to rip you off. They may just not have the mental capacity at the end of the meal to deal with the maths involved in working out who had what!:confused:

7th Dec 2004, 22:06
It may seem odd coming from me, but on the split of the bill my practice is pretty much to go along with the boozers, much as with any tax. It is like the payments in a divorce. If you were stupid enough to marry her, and you really want out, you have to pay the freedom tax.

Equally, you know very well why the merry group is going out on their pub-crawl. It is to crawl pubs. That should be clear even to you, boring BMW teetotaller that you are, and that objective is not teetotal. It is, as they put it, to have a "barrel of laughs" and to acquire hangover stories ("Yes! And there he was at 0700 next day, on parade/ airborne/ OOW as we left harbour, and no one had any idea about the night before. He's a great guy. What a man. Yuk Yuk. God, that was a great run ashore!").

In fact, it will not be a barrel of laughs. Not for you, anyway. You know that at the start. If you really do not want to go, stay at home.

In the military and, less insistently, some office environments that is not a real option. The "run ashore" is a command performance. This is one reason for opting against a military life.

They will not trust you if you go, but they will hate you if you do not. Unlikely as it seems, they do need you and your approval, and this may be why they "do not trust" you. After all, you are saying explicitly or implicitly that you do not need them, or at least that particular entertainment.

This is just my speculation, but since they never tell me themselves why they do not trust me, it is all I am left with. Of course, they do trust you, a whole lot. You know that from the things they ask you to do for them. The people they do not trust are themselves.

If you do go, the last thing anyone needs is the resident teetotaller rubbing noses into these facts, or -- if you prefer --mistaken speculations, or manifest errors. Whatever they are, these are uncomfortable. So my practice is just to pay the damned share and be glad the pubs must eventually close.

The thing I did not like was being the "designated driver" in, say, the mountains, because I knew that whoever owned/ was charged with the car would feel just great for the drive home afterwards through the passes, and would never feel the least bit under the influence, and would insist on driving in any event. Yuk, as we say, Yuk.

8th Dec 2004, 12:28
Thank you for all your interesting replies. I'm new to the forum so it's interesting to see the varied responses.

No, I'm not a teacher, but the organiser was and behaved like one to a tee, bossying me around and she was younger than me. :\

She did come up to me later and say a new quarterly fee of £20 per quarter is going to be charged to new members joining in the New Year but present members are exempt, perhaps this was a way of placating a very annoyed me. Also she told me the cost, time and effort she has to go into arranging things in a rapidly growing club. Its a fairly new club though it was her that recently advertised for new members so she brought it upon herself I believe. She's young and inexperienced and it tells but she is a lovely lady and I don't believe for one minute that any hurt or offence was intended. I sympathised with her because she has to go into internet cafes to contact members and it costs her a minor fortune, I offered to help in whatever way I could.

However I was upset to hear that much of this potentially wonderful multicultural clubs' activities will be centred around drink. The people are lovely, great company and intelligent. Infact one gentleman I spoke to in the bar after the restaurant said "the reason he'd joined the club is that all his friends are pissheads and he wanted to do something different and get away from it & look where he'd ended up, in a bar again". He may be in for a dissappointment.

I've not started this thread to deliberate the rights and wrongs to drinking or preach to anyone but I can't help wonder why so much of social life is centred around drink and why many people don't seem to realise that there's a whole wonderful brave new world out there to be discovered and enjoy sober, beyond the realms of continuously having a pint in ones hand, so what! Besides you'd have alot more money in your pocket. :rolleyes:

P.S. Next time you're holding a big social occasion please remember us teetotalers and at the very least stick a jug of lemonade in the middle of the table, preferably homemade. :O

8th Dec 2004, 14:37
I can still remember the days when someone would pick up the whole tab after a well-irrigated meal. In those days, it was done in 1 of 2 ways: either, one excused oneself from the table, ostensibly to visit the loo but discreetly paying the bill and organising a final round of digestifs then when someone asked about the bill, saying nonchalantly "it is taken care of..." or, doing the same thing rather more loudly. Nevertheless, the effect was similar. If you won't afford it, then perhaps you're dining in the wrong company...?! :O Can't afford it shouldn't be an issue with the right company though. :ok:

Davaar, ve haf vays of making you spill ze beans...! :)

8th Dec 2004, 15:12
Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding what some of you are saying but a disclination to drink alcohol doesn't mean that someone doesn't enjoy company. I rather get the feeling that some of you take the view that if an individual doesn't drink, that individual has no business being out in a social capacity at all.

I'm speculating here, but I have observed that the non-drinkers (the ones I have encountered through PPRuNe anyway) tend to be rather slimmer and fitter than those who do drink. Is this something the drinkers don't really like, especially when women notice?

8th Dec 2004, 16:02
I'm probably just speculating a bit here too. But I have got the distinct impression from around that just because one is inclined to smoke, ...that individual has no business being out in a social capacity at all. I have personally made the observation that smokers tend to be slimmer than they would be otherwise. Cough...splatter...! Excuse me, miss, fancy a...cough...snog? :} :uhoh: ;)

PS. I'm not a fitter, just a turner...:)

9th Dec 2004, 01:20
You know I feel sorry for people that don’t drink.

When they wake up in the morning that’s the best they will feel all day.

Newarksmells, you live in Newark and don’t drink? My hat is off to you my man!

Onan the Clumsy
9th Dec 2004, 03:20
He doesn't need to, what with all the hydrocarbons he's breathing in all day.

Maybe later I'll tell you all the story about the incident at the Bombay Castle in Manhattan.

9th Dec 2004, 05:08
It has to be said that there are some advantages in some social settings to drinking, alcohol that is. And if non-drinkers are unaware of them then someone should tell them. Spose I'll do.

An advantage is that if one is unexceptional in some respect, say for instance one is of quite ordinary stature and appearance, then a session on the booze magically transmutes one's self image from being positively ordinary to being absolutely gorgeous. It's true. Damned if I now how. Further, it seems that the index of attractiveness is proportional to the square of the blood alcohol content.

Another advantage is that increasing alcohol consumption improves one's wit. While this is also true, I'm not sure if the index of hilarity is a similarly exponential function. But boring old farts transform themselves into outrageously funny geniuses of entertainment. Try it, you'll be amazed.

But there's more.
Tired of being a tight-wad? A night on the turps with friends will find you serially buying for them late into the evening as an inducement for them to stay in your extraordinary company. This is true. And later you will buy for mere aquaintances (where did your friends go?) and then total strangers. Finally, a skinflint no longer, you will feed stray cats...find homes for lost dogs...tip taxi drivers.

All this is true. How do I know it's true? In veritas vino.

9th Dec 2004, 07:37
This site being an aviation site, many of us find our available drinking time rather limited. Do we have to miss out on a night out simply because we are unable to drink, are we likely to be any less the company because we are unable to drink?
Although there can be a perception that teetotaller's are rather dull and are often grouped in the same category as vegans and those who choose the macro biotic lifestyle, most of us not drinking are doing so either because of work or having to drive.

I abhor people who get out the calculator and try to pay for just what they have eaten, even known people who will only pay for their percentage of the bread that has been placed on the table !!!.
Alcohol and especially good wine can add significantly to the bill. When 4 bottles of wine say have been consumed and have added an extra £100 to the bill and all you have drunk is 2 diet cokes that totalled £ 2 it does seem churlish to expect someone to have to pay for the alcohol. When i do join in the drinking i seldom get through more than 2 glasses of wine but I have no objection to pay my equal share of the drinks bill as it was my choice not to drink more.

As I said my friends are superb in that way and have never made an issue of it, hopefully my lifts home have more than made up for it and I willingly do that for them.

surely not
9th Dec 2004, 12:49
Several non-drinkers, either full time tee-total or for other reasons, have mentioned how they become the designated driver for the evening. I assume that the moralising drinkers on this thread always contribute towards the running costs of the car?

There are some very odd views expressed on here. Personally I'd trust a Tee totaller before I trusted an alcoholic. hey ho

9th Dec 2004, 12:56
I assume that the moralising drinkers on this thread always contribute towards the running costs of the car?

Whether they use it or not. :E

9th Dec 2004, 15:16
You put me on the spot, *********:
.... the non-drinkers .................................... tend to be ................ slimmer and fitter than those who do drink. Is this something the drinkers don't really like, especially when women notice?
.... there are two huge advantages of a man who doesn't drink. One, he's always safe to drive. Two, I'm guaranteed a decent sh*g on a Saturday night.
but you’re right. It’s a fair cop. I am the man the authorities, I almost dared say you, are looking for and I’ll come quietly. Heh Heh.

I, none other, am the slim, fit, non-drinking driver, Dirty Dingus Davaar, still willing also to try the ummmm. Not yet just a memory. Of course the women notice, frail creatures, impressionable hearts a-pitter-patter, as they emerge from their designated conference room, the ladies’ loo, twisting the pochette in nervous fingers (Ah! How much better we could employ these!), and cast the smouldering flashes ‘neath downcast lashes. It’s hard not to overhear: “See rerr, ra slim, fit, up-through-yer-gears-ma-dears, romantic teetotal-idiosyncratic geriatric! See him in ra overdrive, thon yin! He’s never erratic, he drives me frantic. Exotic erotic. Oh ra handsome! If he’s gemme fur a bang Ah’m right alang, ra boozer gate-crasher-masher”, for sometimes they are surprisingly direct to connect. Of such are the comments.

For my taste-bud make mine never a Bud; nor for me the sud, m’lud; I grieve not the loss of the sauce; for the Guinness leads to finis (Latin, no’ French, wee wench. Let’s awa’ ben, ma chooky-hen) and the hootch means less smooch. It is a burden, of course, but Que voulez-vous? Noblesse, et non-noblesse, obligent. Ah’m no a boozer, mair wi’ ra antis; no’ wi’ ra loser, mair wi’ ra panties.

The topers are mopers. They are a "barrel of laughs", to adopt their essential phrase, as they plan to:
swap hang-over stories .... at the brekky table the next morning.
A. Hear aboot Wullie?
B. Naw.
A. Aboot his hangover?
B. Naw.
A. Sair heid an’ honkers.

C. Hear aboot Tam?
D. Naw.
C. Aboot his hangover?
D. Naw.
C. Sair heid an’ honkers.

Biggles Flies Undone
9th Dec 2004, 15:28
Davaar - I'll give up the demon dwink if you'll just send me a few pints of whatever you're on! :p

9th Dec 2004, 16:13

Is it OK to get back to you in a couple of days? I need CarltonBrowne to translate.

9th Dec 2004, 17:22
Sheeeeeeeesh Davaar,

I'm away to Bonnie Scotland in the morrow and don't have a Scottish/English Dictionary.

I have no chance! :D

10th Dec 2004, 22:56
Used to not drink. Never a problem. Now I do, on average it's good.

Non drinkers shouldn't be expected to subsidise drinkers and in the group of friends I associate with, they don't. From my vague memories of trips home after being suitably refreshed I'll wave cash at the driver. They are usually so glad I wasn't violently ill that they usually refuse. :)

If someone doesn't drink then that's fine. I have been known to refuse a drink but the last time was a long time ago. Possibly in the last century.

Omaha, sounds like you'll have to muster up all your diplomatic skills to get around this one. Let us know how you get on.

10th Dec 2004, 23:31
Reddo....you used NOT to drink.?? Nobody told me.....
Next thing you will be telling me that Bertie Ahern is the Prime Minister of Ireland. Hah.!!

Omaha.... There are FAR too few Teetotallers around.
I know...let's start a unit here, in West London.....lot's of Teetotallers there I do believe.

Also, the West London Mob are ALWAYS welcome at Hundred of Burnham meetings,

Call Secretary 01189 34169

13th Dec 2004, 16:49
I've just been invited for a sociable booze up session with the club before Xmas & I sent a return email saying:

"I'd love to go as long as I only have to pay for the drinks I consume in future"

Hee hee :D

We'll soon see how it goes down, if they say adios, it's fine by me otherwise there not worth knowing IMHO. If they don't get the message by that I don't know how they'll get it. I'll keep you updated.

The invitation to visit a local historical prison was turned down however. Can think of far more cheerful things to do in this festive season rather than looking at some place where loads of people were executed. :ugh:

BTW while we're on the subject does anyone ever notice how often one gets bottle of alcohol/alcoholic sweets as presents even though you may not partake of alcohol and dislike the taste, just because there's others in the household that do. Don't know about you but the lack of consideration in choosing a present that would be acceptable to all the recipients tends to ruffle my feathers a trifle, nice as the intention may have been. :\

13th Dec 2004, 16:54
you may not partake of alcohol and dislike the taste You see, here we have a basic problem. Alcohol comes in many different "tastes". So, you need to do more research Omaha on the different and wonderful types of taste that alcohol can be found in. So I don't buy the "don't like the taste" reason that TTs give for not imbibing.


13th Dec 2004, 17:18
What are you trying to imply Ozzy, that I'm lying?

Let me see what other reasons would apply for not imbibing so I can honestly discount them one by one.

Religious: Not on your granny.
Pruddish reasons: No
That I had an alcohloic parent/granny/friends that I saw devastated by alcoholism: No, well actually I lie, a sibling was, along with his poor long suffering family but I wasn't close enough to the problem to be personally affected enough not to choose to drink.
Health Reasons: No, in some cases alcohol has even been proved to be good for you.
Financial Reasons: No again though no doubt I'm far better off financially the someone who spends half their time in the pub getting locked every night. :rolleyes:

I will let you in on a secret though. Somebody a while back let me have a sip of Smirnoff Ice & I thought for an alcoholic drink that's not too bad so at a social gathering recently for the first time in my life I purchased for myself a whole bottle of alcohol. Turned out a sip of it & a whole bottle produced a completely different reaction for me. It took me about 5-6 hours to consume the only glass. Why. Because I

dislike the taste
I would easily have gone through three to four glasses of minerals in the same time.

Why would I lie about such an issue and why should I spend weeks if not months forcing myself to adapt to a taste that doesn't initially appeal to me and making myself sick into the bargain. IMHO alcoholic drinks and by products all have a similar taste to which I cannot attune, maybe its the fermenting process. I trust my taste buds, they've never let me down so far.

surely not
13th Dec 2004, 17:33
If I was buying chocolates for a household, and I knew that all but one of them thoroughly enjoyed chocolate liquors, then I would assume that the 1 person who didn't wouldn't be so selfish as to give a jot!!

Having read this thread I find my position changing. I started off thinking that you had been harshly treated by the 'club' that you went out with. I don't expect non-drinkers to contribute to my drinks bill when I go out, but others obviously think differently.

Then as the thread developed I began to think that actually you are a stirring, mean spirited, humbug who only considers their own position and is quite happy to stamp their feet and cry 'unfair' if you don't get your own way. You don't seem to have a good word to say about your fellow 'club' members so I can only assume that the only reason you go is to use them for personal benefit of some sort.

I hope I'm totally off beam with that assessment, but that is how you come across to me. I also accept that what I think won't affect your life at all and is an irrelevance to you.

13th Dec 2004, 17:35
Sorry, didn't mean to imply you are lying, just that your research was not exhaustive :rolleyes: Interesting to note that you found a drink that tasted fine but that in a larger quantity it had a reaction with you that was not good. Now that's a fair enough finding. But to say it all tastes the same is IMHO dead wrong.


13th Dec 2004, 18:10
Like surely not I'm starting to become less sympathetic as this thread has developed.

You're moaning about getting something like chocolate liquors as a present? Why not just smile, say thanks and give them to someone who likes them?

And when someone does make the mistake of buying your household a bottle of something as a present - why not just let the people in the household who like such things enjoy it and leave it at that? Surely it balances out and you sometimes get given things others don't like?

13th Dec 2004, 18:13
I've just returned from the office Christmas Doo which I arranged. I did a kitty for the drinks, £10 drinkers £5 non alcoholic drinkers, no one complained, everyone happy, no problems.
It really only becomes a problem if you make it one.

13th Dec 2004, 21:39
I have to admit to being slightly concerned about all those teetotallers out there, I didn't realise the problem was so widely spread.
There are courses in the north west of Scotland (where I originate from) to help people with that sort of difficulty.
They are run in many wee roadside buildings, easy to find but let me know if you need guidance


13th Dec 2004, 23:00
Well I symphasize with your issue, but think you might find a more interesting hill to die on.

Mr Chips
14th Dec 2004, 09:39
Mr Chips is confused.....:confused: :confused:
a sibling was, along with his poor long suffering family
According to my copy of the concise Oxford Dictionary, "Sibling" refers to Brother or sister...... so if you Sibling's family have a problem... thats your family too....


I'm teetotal, I get given bottles as gifts, so they just sit in my kitched waiting for a dinner party or a chance to give them away, its the thought that counts. I have only objected once to a bottle as a gift at work - a moslem lady was given a box of chocs instead, so I did point out that a liitle thought from my boss would have been nice... Still, my dad enjoyed the red wine I gave him next time I saw him!

I have to agree over the taste thing, I am amazed that anyone can be teetotal due to taste... When I did drink, I avoided some drinks, and drunk copiously of others.

In short Ozzy my problem was that I DID enjoy the taste of alcohol!!!! :E :E :E

14th Dec 2004, 12:35
Okay I knew that comment wouldn't be popular but as someone who hates shopping like the plague and is invariable complimented on the gifts I give why shouldn't I. I think it's important and I put alot of effort and time into choosing a gift that will match the person and their lifestyle by picking up on non deliberate hints in their conversation through the year. Yes I do notice when others don't. What's even worse is when given a bottle of alcohol etc by someone who knows me well and knows I hate the stuff, I instantly recognise if the present has been recycled and if no thought or consideration has been put into it. I will traipse the streets for hours to buy a gift for someone I know they will like, if buying for a couple or a family again I make sure that the gift/s will be suitable for all members, not just one. It's just the way I am, take it or leave it. I want to please people, make them happy and bring a glow into their lifes by my gesture, not offend them.

Call me selfish if you like but I notice these personal touches and feel there important and like them to be reciprocated. Sorry if that doesn't appeal to you.

Call me selfish and all your 101 rude insults along with it if you like but what's selfish about having had to listen to and comfort the spouse of my sibling for ages, day after day as they sobbed their heart out about the person whom they'd married and loved slowly turning into a demon. The person whom they loved becoming unrecognisable, destroying their marriage and family as their children sobbed and strangling their love as they stagger in pissed again (wow BIG deal :rolleyes: ), acting like an overgrown bollox at all hours of the night. While of course into the bargain wasting their limited money on another bottle of stupid unhealthy booze, money that was badly needed to put food into their childrens mouth. No for a long time before that I chose the teetotaler path but to be honest if I hadn't, listening to this person sobbing down the phone to me day after day would have been enough to turn me in that direction.

I know who the real selfish people of these worlds are and among them are the drunkards who can't see the misery they inflict on those around them or a life beyond drink or what dull bores that they are.

14th Dec 2004, 13:07
Complete teetotal is easier than perfect moderation and don't say you can't swear off drinking; it's easy. I've done it a thousand times (Free to WC Fields)

Mr Chips
14th Dec 2004, 13:07
I'm not a big fan of drunks, I am not a big fan of the alcohol culture prevalent in the UK... BUT I am certainly not a puritan, and i try not to judge others for their drinking habits. I choose not to drink.

Your sibling sounds more like an alcoholic than a "drunkard", and for a long time, alcholism has been recognised as a disease needing treatment and understanding....

C'mon someone.. is it or isn't it???

14th Dec 2004, 13:19
It is.

Huge difference between someone who's been a tad over refreshed to someone who's addicted to the stuff and is in dire need of treatment.

I've been the former, my dad was the latter.

You pick your friends, you can't choose your relos.

Yes, alcohol is destructive if consumed in too vast a quantities. Oxygen is also toxic as well.

14th Dec 2004, 13:40
Yes, alcohol is destructive if consumed in too vast a quantities. Oxygen is also toxic as well. I concur, the thought of Earth without both is worrying enough to drive one to have another drink...BRB ;)

surely not
14th Dec 2004, 14:27
wow now this is thread deviation on a grand scale!!

Omaha, you stated earlier that it was a dislike of the taste that made you TT; now you are stating the much more understandable reason of having witnessed the harrowing problems caused by someones addiction to alcohol. Is this the final reason?

Quite how this squares away with you getting upset at having to pay for others alcohol I don't know. Surely two seperate issues?

I am very pleased that you like traipsing around shops for hours to find the ideal present for someone, and I'm sure that you have always chosen well, but you cannot demand that others behave in the same way. I loathe shopping, but I also prefer to give a present rather than money, as I believe that giving money (unless specifically requested) is a cop out. There are occassions when I have made an error with an individual present, such as giving after shave to a relative who had a beard, but equally there have been several presents from others for Mrs SN and myself which have clearly been bought with her in mind and not me. C'est la vie, I don't suffer any deep and long lasting trauma about it. Are you really that shallow? Do you also get upset if you have spent more on the present you bought than the one you receive?

I hope you have a happy Christmas and enjoy the receiving of presents as much as you do the giving.

14th Dec 2004, 14:32
I hope you have a happy Christmas and enjoy the receiving of presents as much as you do the giving. Please cop out and send me some money. I'm always glad to receive. Even if it's only recyled money...:O

surely not
14th Dec 2004, 14:34
hmmm where did I leave that monopoly money I snuck away last Christmas??

14th Dec 2004, 14:48
...in the freezer, in the mattress, under the floorboards, in the teddy bear, in the Guernsey bank account, buried 3 paces north of the birdbath in the garden, uhmmm? I give up! :)

14th Dec 2004, 15:35
Whenever I can't find any thing I look in the freezer. Chances are that's where my last memorable action was. (Reaching for the gin or vodka.. or... :E

14th Dec 2004, 15:47
WARNING! Objects made of plastics and/or synthetic rubber can be severely affected by storage in freezing temperatures. Also, batteries are especially affected by the cold... :E ;)

14th Dec 2004, 16:21
Strewth I reckon my expression would look more like :ooh: than :E or even :\ if I stored any thing other than booze (and food) in the freezer.

Although, knowing how rubber can freeze, I guess :} might happen if I get forgetful and careless. Too much booze just leads to :yuk: and then :zzz:

Onan the Clumsy
14th Dec 2004, 23:11
rubber can freeze Reminds me of the old joke about the eighty year old man who married a twenty year old. On their honeymoon night, he undressed then fixed ear plugs and a nose clip.

"I can imagine what the earplugs are for" said his new bride "but why the nose clip?'.

"Well" he responded "if there are two things I cannot stand, it's the sound of screaming women...
...and the smell of burning rubber.".


15th Dec 2004, 00:55
I prefer not to draw attention to the fact that I don't usually drink alcohol (I would probably average two to three alcoholic drinks a year) and just chip in the requested amount. It has happened that someone has noticed I'm not drinking alcohol and refused to accept any more contributions from me to the grog pool but there is no way in the world I would be so discourteous to my friends as to make an issue of the matter.

I've been to events where the amount of orange juice (and OJ is not all that cheap) I've drunk has well exceeded the monetary value of the two or three beers consumed by someone else. The whole idea of a pool or kitty is to avoid the messy and sometimes acrimonious result of trying to work out individual consumption.

The easiest way by far is to just divide the bill by the number of people present. It would have to be a fairly mean-spirited (no pun intended) person who would want to argue the issue. The miserable few dollars you might save could cost you dearly in friendships.

15th Dec 2004, 05:42
Well it's interesting that the question posed at the start of this thread has developed and gone off in several directions.

I am a non drinker and became one whilst in the RAF, and after about 5 years of trying to find an alcoholic drink that I liked that was refreshing. It caused enormous amusement when I asked for 'an orange juice' in a bar full of post exercise pilots the first time. After a couple of weeks the amusement passed and I found that I had collected a couple of mates who also did not like the taste of alcohol and preferred a soft drink.

As for the bill - and how to split it. Well I always offer to split with everyone else, but seldom am I actually allowed to pay for the drink that I have not had, and the group will opt me out of the booze part. Backs up a previous comment about the group make up.

And I really have heard all that needs hearing about 'the discussion of hangovers' and 'how can you enjoy yourself without a drink' and 'have you had/got a problem?' If you (who said those things - or thought them) knew me, then you would know that I am known for a very keen sense of humour, a sharp wit and an unfailing capacity to enjoy myself and enable others to enjoy themselves - not boasting but trying to lay to rest the notion that you really have to vomit/behave in an extraordinary manner(usually obnoxious)/have a huge headache the next morning and feel really 'iffy' for most of the next day - preferably with dark glasses on - to enjoy yourself. All the above seems to be the hallmark of the so called 'good time'. Oh dear!!

We are all different and I am not anti drink. It is just that I do not like it, but I do not lecture anyone else. Mind you I do not expect to be lectured on my disgusting and anti social smoking habit. Thought that I would just throw that in to let you all know that am a low life really!!

Cheers (while I go and have a cough!!)

15th Dec 2004, 09:09
As preface let me say that it is a given that most restaurants make their profits from the sale of drinks rather than food. Check out the mark-up on a glass of wine compared to what you might pay for a bottle from the store and you can see how this works.

I went to dinner once with one of our top neddies, a couple of we 'line slime', a customer rep, a couple of factory pilots... and this one unfortunate salesman who joined the merry dinner group late, uninvited, and only had a salad with grilled chicken strips and one beer.

Before he showed up the top neddy had said, 'We'll just split the bill, okay?' and then ordered the best dish on the menu and an expensive bottle of wine in the next breath. I was off the sauce for some reason, so that I was on mineral water, but I just had to grit my teeth and go with the flow. I could drink the wine if I wanted to, I guess, so that was held to be fair enough. Oh, and I could make a jerk of myself in front of one of my bosses as well. It was my choice, after all...

I have a general dislike for salesmen (Sorry!) so that I watched this poor fellow's pain mostly unmoved when he had to pay some horrendous sum for his very modest meal, after being snubbed most times he tried to stick his oar in to the dinner table conversation.

Then next morning at breakfast I was sat facing the neddy when the salesman came in and sat at the next table, behind him. My man asked me if I had ever met such a jerk as that guy at dinner last night. I coughed a bit, which went down as just SARS, before finally pointing out that, uh, one of the people from dinner was sat right behind him. So the poor guy got slagged off after being ripped off. And then the factory went bust soon after, so that he was out of a job.

I don't drink alcohol since a few years now. I find abstinence easier than moderation, I guess. I still hang out at our bar, just for the craic, even buying a round every so often even though mine's usally just a soda water. Everyone seems to be very nice about it, since I am seen to be trying to fit in. If I didn't want to do that then I guess I would just be awkward about not drinking. Certainly I wouldn't let myself be stuck with a drinks bill as a general rule. People who would do that to me wouldn't be counted as friends in any case.

16th Dec 2004, 16:21
Although I am a life-long teetotaller I have long been accustomed to going out in company that does not share my eccentricity, and I go along with the charges. Maybe I am just a wimp, but I do not want to make a social occasion into a tub-thumping exercise. It means I just about always pay too much, but que voulez-vous? It is usually not a whole lot too much.

Last night Frau Davaar and I were guests at dinner. Our host entertained us with a recent experience. He and three other lads of the village went out for a convivial dinner at an expensive and we may hope good restaurant. Our man (A) was to pick up the food bill for the four, another (B) the drinks bill.

All went well. The preliminaries accomplished, the food being served, they coordinated with the wine. As you were: with the wines. A man has to have a good wine with a good meal, that we all understand.

The first bottle came in at $300.00. Bottles two, three and four were of a similar class, between $250.00 and $350.00.

By the time bottle four had been sunk it was accepted by all that they would not be driving home, would all be checking in at the hotel, and all were happily, as A put it last night, "gassed".

Let's move on, the silly boys agreed, with one accord to bottle five, although A told us their palates, and perhaps noses, had by then lost that first delicate sensitivity.

Anyway, in response to the request for a good bottle five, the sommelier made his recommendation. B took a swift look at the wine list. Aha! $250.00. Okay, go for it.

The bills duly arrived. A high amount for the food, a higher amount for the drinks. Bottle five carried a tag of not $250.00 but $2,500.00.

I suppose this falls in the class of good hangover story. A was pleased that they had made clear arrangements in advance about who paid for what. C and D were guests anyway.

Does this anecdote change any views?

16th Dec 2004, 16:44
Haven't heard back from the top neddy yet, my I love that expression, I'll have to adopt it. :ok:

She never normally takes this long to reply. :confused:

Am I upset no. We'll see if it's just a late response and am I being snubbed, if it's the latter I don't really care. I do not want to remain the member of a club who feels they can treat me as a walk over.

BTW re: my sibling, I do not want to appear too judgemental cause this wasn't the case. I invariably stood up for the person and tried to make their spouse understand that this person had problems and alot of emotional baggage and also deserved sympathy and understanding for their problem even though I recognised how hard it was on the family. It didn't stop the spouse or the children from undergoing considerable suffering while waiting for this person to realise they had a problem and get something done about it. Fortunately things seem to have quietened down for a long time now, I hope it remains this way.

P.S. Was just sent an email from club organiser sent to all members. Looks like I'm still in though my email to her wasn't mentioned. I just hope she got the message.

Now I'm off to have a glass of diet coke. ;) :D

11th Apr 2005, 12:16
Well I confronted the club directly the other day by email. This is the reply I got.

First of all I completely agree with you in that it is unacceptable to expect people who did not consume alcohol to pay for those that did. At the moment we are trying to get our heads around a solution to solve this. Rest assured that this will not happen again. An issue that has cropped up as well is people ordering expensive bottles of wine and really going to town. The last thing we want is people to feel ripped off or people who abstain for drinking discriminated against.
Score, game & match to me, I'll leave out round. :ok:

11th Apr 2005, 12:41
Perhaps a small topic drift, but re-reading this thread brought it to mind.

My dear companion, the one that's lots and lots of years younger than me, is another who does not drink alcohol. He drinks coffee: each variety painstakingly chosen and purchased by the bean, carefully stored in the fridge to be ground to his precise requirements immediately before use. In short, he is quite the connoisseur and (dare I say it) almost a snob in his devotion to his beans.

Is this common to others who shun grape and grain?

11th Apr 2005, 12:51
That's really interesting, ********* ... I'm almost a non-drinker (usually average 2 to 3 alcoholic drinks a year) and am very selective about coffee. It always disappoints me when a beautiful meal at a restaurant is followed by mediocre coffee. Surprisingly, this can even happen at some very expensive places too. I buy my own beans from a small shop at the Fremantle Markets where they have a huge variety to choose from but I keep them in an airtight container in the freezer and grind as needed.

Solid Rust Twotter
11th Apr 2005, 12:58
Heard somewhere that keeping coffee in the fridge/freezer releases certain chemicals that are better kept contained. Advisory was to store in a normal, non sealing jar at room temperature and drink as quickly as possible before purchasing small quantities of a fresh supply.

Cunning marketing ploy, perhaps?

Loose rivets
12th Apr 2005, 06:30
I could never understand it...ever. What possible motive could there be for ordering ‘rounds'?

Each person will not only be prompted to make the mass purchase sooner than they would normally, but then have the onerous task of going to the bar while trying to memorize a massive permutation of mixtures. Standing four deep in a gaggle of blokes...how much fun is that?

To be sure, it serves the hotelier or publican well, logically you are going to drink more to get your monies worth. But the odds are, you would sooner be enjoying your tipple at your own pace, and indeed catch the end of the joke.

In my gang at home, several lifelong friends are Mormons. For some reason they seem to get as silly drinking fruit juice, as the rest of us on booze, but that aside, they always insist on an equal carve up of the bill. I don't know why they would do this...part of the religion perhaps.

I, on the other hand, consume as much food as I can wash down--with the best wine on the menu--then try to slide under the table before making good a track towards the emergency exit. ( I know many of the legs intimately, so therefore navigate quite well.). They all take no notice, cos they know that Mrs R has my credit card, and when she's stopped kicking me, pay our share.

They're dear friends, but still seem to be divided on the issues of sharing, often missing the point that a single mum or the like, is sitting there with a bill for 30 quid for a salad and a coffee.

There is a huge divide in the available funds that people have available for enjoyment–as we have seen on this thread–but it would be ridiculous for someone to sit alone at home cos a thoughtless soul has not thought it through and finds it convenient to make hard and fast rules.

12th Apr 2005, 22:11
Oddly enough, I found myself in this very situation recently. It took place after this thread had initially been posted, and furthermore, it took place in the UK and other ppruners were involved, although I do not know whether they were jet blast readers or not.

Initially, it was agreed that we would all get separate checks. However, upon conclusion of a festive, friendly and delicious meal, when only one check was presented, I decided to suck it up and chalk it all up to a convivial, warm and enriching experience, and that it would not be worthwhile to quibble over the bill.

I would not be comfortable doing this on a regular basis however. The fact that many of us were also meeting for the very first time also kept me from making a bigger issue of the matter as well. But for non drinkers who enjoy the company of others who DO drink, it is an issue that will not disappear.

13th Apr 2005, 09:57
The least stressful way that I've found of dealing with settlement of a restaurant bill where both drinkers and non-drinkers have partaken is to ask for two bills: one with the food and water/non-alcoholic drinks and another for the booze. The food bill is shared between all and the drinks bill between those who did the drinking. This method obviously isn't appropriate with a small group of people or one of close friends but if you're a fair sized crowd and the bottles of wine are disappearing at a steady rate all evening, it's a reasonably balanced way of sorting finances out at the end.

Amazing how often the wine bill can exceed the food bill!

13th Apr 2005, 10:16
That's been there a while! A moderator, whose blushes I will spare, bestowed that on me a long time ago. Likewise a few other people's titles appeared in the same way....