It's Chriiiiistmas! Time to go out and drink until your ears bleed and your toes fall off.* In the words of that earnest sage Dylan Moran, we judge how good a night out was by how much it messes us up. Like Michael, who hurled all over his best work suit and wound up attached to a saline drip. Excellent!
Michael is the prize doofus as The Times travels with the London Ambulance Service's booze bus, which returns this festive season. The bus operates in central London on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and can carry up to five patients at once, with such serious ailments as “lying in a gutter and in danger of hypothermia” and “cheap vodka poisoning”. There are also field hospitals for the walking wounded at Liverpool Street and Croydon. North London hipsters need not feel left out: before New Year Camden will have have its very own booze bus to stop you ruining your skinny jeans.
LAS point out that they're handling 60,000 alcohol related calls every year – that's 6% of their workload, rising to 15% on weekends. "The way to think about the impact of booze is this,” says Nick Lesslar, LAS duty station officer for City and Hackney, in the Standard, “your grandmother has collapsed with chest pains but there's no response vehicle because our crew are dealing with someone who's collapsed drunk in the street. That's the reality."
LAS have also produced a video showing life in the booze bus. (Hint: it's not full of ruddy cheeked revellers singing 'Once in Royal David's City'.) They've also got a series of tips on how not to get utterly wrecked. In case you feel like being sensible. If not, be nice to the people scraping you off the street.
* Londonist does not recommend drinking until you go blind, but we know what you're like.
Image by lemoncat1 under the Creative Commons licence