Now I know I told you a story about a day of alcoholic excess recently, but at least it took place over a period of several hours and I was decent enough to be ashamed of myself the next day (well, feeling sorry for myself anyway) but some people take things just that little bit too far.
Back when we lived in Sussex, a bloke died after drinking a whole bottle of Jack Daniels at a party, apparently your body just shuts down when that much alcohol is dumped into your bloodstream and you simply stop being alive due to overloaded and anesthetized internal organs.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
When I was at school there was a craze for a card game called Top Trumps, in which you had to read out statistics based on the prowess of the sports car/warplane/athlete/racehorse etc in your hand, hoping to outdo your opponent so you could take his card.
There was a craze for those plastic things (what the Hell were they called?) with a spring underneath and a sucker cup which, when pushed down onto the base would, after an unspecified number of agonising seconds, spring up into the air as the suction let go.
There was yet another craze that involved smacking a wildly oscillating, lethally inaccurate tennis ball tethered to a madly swaying pole (which was simultaneously gouging a huge hole in your parent’s lawn) back and forth until the flimsy plastic thing on the top broke and snapped off to show somebody had “won”, or one of the players was given a black eye/bloody nose/concussion by a surprise backhand from one of the unreasonably solid bats.
There were spacehoppers, skateboards, skipping ropes, Cabbage Patch dolls, Rubik’s cubes and Slinkys. All crazes which, at one time or another, were the thing everyone was doing, the thing everyone was talking about.
I’m not expecting this to be news to any of you, but I thought I’d remind you of some of the innocent pleasures we kept ourselves entertained with, back in the days before this huge, life-eating monster called The Internet arrived and swallowed a generation’s youth, only to spit them out, pasty-faced and squinting, into a reality fast becoming an imitation of the games they’ve been living in for years.
Because some crazes that have appeared amongst (and I’m perfectly aware of sounding like my dad here) “the youth of today” are nothing short of jaw-dropping in their crass disregard for basic human decency.
When I first heard about Bumfights, it seemed like we’d reached the very bottom of the barrel in human-on-human exploitation for entertainment.
Then I heard about Happy Slapping and realised that we can always find a way to plumb further depths of despicable behaviour.
That particular craze seems to still be with us, albeit in a new, more hardcore form, The Knockout Game.
All of which are internet “games” based on videos of abuse against innocent victims, generally filmed by the perpetrators or those responsible for inciting violence between others.
But today I have been hearing about a craze that appears to require idiotic amounts of abuse to be inflicted upon the perpetrator instead, and self-inflicted at that.
NeckNominate is the latest internet fad to hit social networking sites like Facebook, one which has the potential for tragic or even fatal consequences if it continues to spread.
I shan’t promote it any more than I have to, but the point of the exercise seems to be to rapidly consume (or “neck”) any type of alcoholic drink in an outrageous or “amusing” way, the more extreme in volume and mixture the better, then post video of yourself doing so on your chosen social network.
You should then nominate someone else with pronounced antipathy toward healthy liver function to engage in the next in a chain of booze-themed Jackass sketches, thereby perpetuating the whole horrendous process
(I’ve since heard of at least one serious injury, the result of a participant falling backwards down a flight of stairs after “necking” a bottle of spirits)
Yesterday I unwittingly watched a 4 minute video on Facebook that was tagged with a friend’s name, not knowing that this was a NeckNominate challenge.
Expecting any second that there would be a twist or trick at the end of the short clip, what I actually watched was a man in his kitchen, in his underpants, drinking in rapid succession; a pint of lager, a pint of bright red, berry-flavoured cider and a pint of Smirnoff Ice.
And that was it.
Strange. But there’s lots of strange stuff on the internet so I thought no more about it.
Today I got to work to hear a young lad in his early twenties telling anyone who would listen about his hilarious high-jinx the night before.
I paraphrase his description;
You should see the state of my kitchen, we were doing neck nominate last night and my mate was sick. He was drinking a bottle of scotch while I was throwing eggs at him. One of them smacked him right on the side of the head and he puked all over the place.
Then he chucked eggs at me while I drank half a bottle of scotch and half a bottle of wine, it was brilliant.
All this was delivered in the proud tones of one who has done something that should be applauded, so was somewhat crestfallen when he was met with responses that were variations on a theme of “You’re a fucking idiot, you could kill yourself doing that”
He really seemed to be hurt that we didn’t share his pride at his achievement but I’m sure there will be someone out there who will see his video and think; “That looks like fun. Spending a whole night’s money in five minutes, then puking all over yourself and trashing your kitchen. Wicked!”
Really, can we get much lower in our endless hunger for new ways to demean ourselves in the name of entertainment?
And I thought ITV was bad…