Sidenote: the RATM-esque title is due to the fact that, as I discovered recently, eighteen months on from the bizarre campaign to get "Killing In The Name" to the UK Christmas Number One spot, nightclub DJs are still shoehorning this nineteen-year-old profanity-filled metal anthem into their sets between heavily quantised numbers by Akon and Lady GaGa.
One of the reasons I can often be a little dubious about going for a "night out" is because I dislike being pressured into drinking drinks that I don't like.
If I'm drinking, I will generally have whisky - straight, with no ice. (This is another contentious issue, but not something I shall go into now.) Ideally, a decent single malt Scotch is preferred, but on the whole I will drink most whiskies. Very occasionally, I like a glass of wine.
Unlike a lot of men (if I can call myself that), I don't really drink beer. And I certainly won't go anywhere near those lurid "alcopops" concoctions!
This isn't simply snobbishness - it's about personal preference. Some drinks I like, other drinks I don't. All I'm asking is that other people respect these likes and dislikes - as I will always try to do for them.
What I dislike about the whole "night out" culture is the complete lack of discernment, in regards to beverages. The idea that you will throw anything down your throat, providing the alcohol content is high enough, and not give a fig what it actually is that you're drinking. I like to drink drinks that I actually enjoy - not just any old muck that happens to be around.
What's really silly, though, is the way someone will offer to buy a round of drinks, and then get the same drink for everyone.
I don't want "a pint" of something. And I most definitely do not want to "do a shot" of anything. And I never so much as hinted that I did! People just assume that everyone's taste in drinks is as vulgar as their own.
This most commonly occurs with a drink called the Jägerbomb. Comprising a shot of Jägermeister submerged in a glass of Red Bull, the mere smell of this vile brew is enough to make one feel nauseous. Yet people persist in buying me Jägerbombs - despite the fact that I cannot stand them!
I have a friend who doesn't like olives. I wouldn't buy him something - say, a pizza - with olives, just because everyone else is having that. It ought to be the same with drinks.
If you want to buy me a drink, that's very generous of you, and I really do appreciate it - but surely, you'll first check what it is that I actually like? Otherwise, you're just wasting your money, buying things that no one wants.
Recently, I decided not to do this any more. No longer will I screw up my courage, and force myself to down these rancid potions, purely because of social pressure. Some people will construe this as rudeness, no doubt. But if someone is going to take offence because I don't enjoy drinking cheap tasteless lager, then that person probably wasn't that great a friend of mine anyway. My real friends, I am sure, will be as considerate of my tastes as I will always be of theirs, and will make sure to ask who would like what, before ordering a round of drinks.