So you’re a man or woman down on the way to the club. You turn around and see them puking in a bush, attempting to leapfrog a bin or trying to start a fight with an inanimate object.
You've got a problem drunk on your hands, but which type is it and how best to deal with them? We take you through the characters you could be faced with and give you some expert 'handling' advice, so you can continue to enjoy your evening.
1. The Mike Tyson wannabe
One dirty look or a slight spillage of a drink is all it takes for this dude to kick off. Next thing you know they're trying to take on a 20 stone bouncer and you’ve all been kicked out of the club.
Exclaiming 'Oooh look! That girl/guy's flashing!’ can ingeniously prevent any potential confrontation - all thoughts of fighting are forgotten in seconds, replaced with eager hope descending into a vague cloud of disappointment at having missed it.
For the more persistent types, carrying a few spare lollipops on a night out could save the day. Yes that’s right, Canadian police officers have been handing out lollipops to aggressive drunks. I suppose it’s harder to shout the odds whilst sucking on a chupa chup!
2. The drunk in denial
Familiar with the infamous ‘I’m not drunk, I’m fine’ being slurred whilst they simultaneously slide off a chair, knocking everyone’s drinks over in the process?
Lock them in the bathroom alone for a few minutes. Reality soon slaps them in the face (maybe something to do with the mirrors?) and they start to slow down a little.
3. The emotional drunk
The worst kind of drunk, you can’t even laugh at them or take revenge with evil facebook tagging and it’s quite frankly, just depressing.
Quite often, drunk dialling/texting is a major cause of a wailing man/women in the corner. Confiscate certain people’s phones in advance so the night doesn’t end in disaster.
For those who will cry at literally the slightest problems like a broken nail, a disapproving look and a reference to third world poverty usually does the trick.
4. The honest drunk
Drunkenness often leads to increased honesty and the release of all inhibitions, potentially leaving the more sober members of the party a little deflated, questioning their outfit choice and whether they have put on a bit of weight recently.
Take all drunken ramblings with a pinch of salt. Most of the drivel that comes out of the inebriated mouth is exaggerated. And it's quite fun playing 'who's going to get insulted next' and 'who's been insulted the worst'.
Or retaliate just as offensively. Let all those demons off your chest knowing that none of it will be remembered in the morning. Potentially a great night of entertainment, although risky, as you could tip them into The Mike Tyson Wannabe drunk. So make sure you've got lollipops.
5. The look-at-me drunk
Jumping around to Carly-Rae Jepson may have been a laugh at first but now they’re stood on the table half naked and drawing in the wrong kind of attention. That uncontrollable friend that likes to express how drunk they are to the world (usually with a screech of ‘I’m sooooo drunk!’ at some point) can become quite an embarrassment.
Seeing as they’re having such a great time anyway (they’ve only mentioned it fifty times) it may just be best to detach yourself and go and party with everyone else - thus avoiding direct association with this lunatic (you can keep an eye on them from a distance - the noise and spectacle they're making makes that bit easy).
6. The 'obsessed with someone who obviously wants nothing to do with them' drunk
Sometimes the drunken friend will become romantically fixated on a person who it's obvious is desperately trying to have nothing to do with them. Your friend could be mentally stuck earlier in the evening when some flirting may have happened and romance was a possibility. But that was seriously over 4 or 5 shots ago.
See if you can find a friend to play 'an alternative object of romance' to lure them away. This one's risky because then the problem may simply be transferred to your helpful friend. But at least they were prepared for it.
You can try turning the romantic obsession into a a kind of angry disgust by whispering in their ear 'come on let's go, they're flirting with everyone', 'not worth the effort', 'how rubbish are their shoes' etc, etc. It's amazing what drunk people can get angry about, so it's worth a try.
7. The all-round mess
This is when it's got to the point where being in public is no longer a viable option. In the Wild West they'd throw 'em in the drunk tank. You've got a couple of options.
Get some water mixed with salt, take them to the toilet, make them drink it and hold their hair back whilst they puke. Take them to a quiet corner where they can rest it off/ have a little nap. Keep an eye on them and sooner or later they may be ready to re-join the evening.
Someone needs to get them home (walking or taxi). You can set up a Florence Nightingale rota, so the person that does it this time shouldn't have to again for a good while...