Drunk of the Week

I have a new bar to add to my list of favorites, and I owe it all to my favorite Scotswoman, Julie Docherty. It's somewhat surprising that I remember her or the Streets of London Pub (1501 East Colfax Avenue) at all, because several members of the Institute of Drinking Studies joined me there to celebrate my 35th birthday one recent night, a night during which everyone on earth -- or at least those who drank as much as I did -- aged ten years. This bar over-served me so badly that I was in the dumb phase of my hangover for at least 36 hours. But I can forgive this bar anything, since it has on tap John Courage Amber, the greatest beer of all time; it not only blows away any other beer, but it's also really cool to say, "Grab some liquid Courage."

In addition to serving the true king of beers, Streets of London is very generous with both its fine bar food and its Happy Meal-sized drinks. One Institute candidate ordered Crown Royal and Coke all night, and the drinks came in glasses so small that I asked if he got some cheesy toy from The Incredibles with each one. Meanwhile, full-fledged members of the Institute wisely opted for doubles that were more like quadruples, if the aftermath of the night is any indication. But complete inebriation was necessary just to wade through the air in the bar. In a nod to authenticity, Streets of London is as smoke-filled as any real English pub, where everybody smokes -- including newborn babies. Luckily, in England they don't have modern medicine, so they don't realize the dangers of either smoking or bad teeth.

My advanced age was the ostensible focus of the night's activities. The assaults had started early that morning, as friends from across the country who can't remember their own parents' birthdays called to ask if I'd received my AARP card. My daughter took the cake, wishing me a happy "seven millionth birthday." She is currently serving the second week of a lifelong grounding.

But, our group agreed after hours of disjointed conversation, aging is not all bad. In fact, the Institute has decided to put an end to the vicious discrimination that results in retirement communities being populated entirely by elderly people. Yes, we've determined that geriatric colonies in Florida and other semi-tropical places need to start admitting forty-somethings. And we'll use force, if necessary.

Many of you who are responsible and contributing members of society may disagree, feeling the need to work and improve your communities well into your sixties. However, we think these homes could be put to better use as middle-aged fraternities, à la Old School. No longer will admittance to a retirement community be based on the ability to wear black socks and sandals, eat dinner at 4:30 p.m. or bitch incessantly about how things were so much tougher in the old days (although this will continue to be a favorite pastime). Instead, Institute Estates and Country Club will require potential residents to rush the community by performing stupid, dangerous pranks, undergoing brutal hazing and displaying the ability to drink a twelve-pack without passing out.

The advantages of living in such developments will be endless. We'll bounce around town in golf carts, which everyone knows are better operated by somebody with a few beers on board. We'll own a community bus driven by someone who makes stops at the liquor store and picks up the crew at bar time. The dining facility will feature the best in hangover breakfasts, greasy lunches and dinners designed to get you through a night of drinking without weighing you down. The on-site pharmacy will dole out complimentary Viagra-roofie combos to enhance the free-love atmosphere.

We will build an old-fashioned watering hole on site, where only real beer will be served -- all on tap. Single drinks will come with toys to encourage people to grow up and order doubles. And there will be ample golf-cart parking.

Until this utopia is built, you can get a taste of it right here in Denver. Gather your crew and have a blast at the Streets of London. By the next day, you should be more than ready to move into our retirement home.

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Patrick Osborn