Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Drinking a Russian under the table

My Grandfather was the champion drinker of the British Royal Navy Eastern Fleet. This was sometime between the Boer and World War One as far as I can work out. His ship was on a courtesy visit to the Russian Naval Base, maybe Vladavostock, more likely Port Arthur. The Russians had recently been clobbered by the Japanese and lost much of their fleet. Anyway it was decided that the champion Russian drinker and he would have a drinking contest. The last person to fall off their chair, each at the end of a long table, would be the winner.

The drinks to be the national drinks of each country in the world so one can image a hellish concoction going down their gullets .... whisky, gin, vodka, and others I simply don't know the name of.

Grandfather was rather nervous because the Russians have a name for holding their drink so he organised a plate of raisins and between each drink he ate a few raisins. This worked well becuase as he told my grandmother on his return to the UK he just remembered seeing the Russion fall off his chair before he joined him on the floor. He suspected that the raisins had absorbed enough of the alchohol to reduce the effect long enough to see out the Russian.

The sad tailpiuece to this story was later when in hospital with alchoholic poisoning and in considerable pain the Ward Sister organised a bottle of whisky to help him with the pain. But sadly it had no effect becuase he was completely pickled inside.

No comments: