Auld acquaintances will be forgot, and you can't even blame the booze
Elderflower cordial is not a fair swap for champagne
Or worse, lukewarm ginger beer. Or even worse, orange juice. Stick a doughnut on the side of the glass and we might be getting closer. But the only way to ensure you can definitely drink something halfway decent on New Year’s Eve is to bring your own bottle, and clutch it all night like a raffle prize.
No one knows the lyrics to the second verse of Auld Lang Syne
Everyone knows this, obviously. But only sober people know that during the first verse everyone is actually singing, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot, shmmaa doobie-do fnar farr, should auld acquaintance be forgot, something-something … AULD LANG SYNE.”
Of course while the rest of the party was necking mulled whatever, you’ve googled the lyrics and can regale the assembled crowd with all five verses, including the line about ‘tak a right-gude willie waught’. This won’t get the applause it deserves. Even when you're doing it in those sweet Mariah harmonies.
Midnight comes around far too quickly …
The apex of your night is definitely going to happen at 12 whether you like it or not, so getting to your destination is probably more important than making another round of ironic snowballs before the taxi arrives. Spare a thought for the non-drinker in the group, twitchily checking the time and panicking you’ll have to see in the new year standing at the petrol station cashpoint. They only do it because they’re sober enough to care.
… but the journey home will take about half a year
Is it pancake day yet?
The perfect party outfit is long johns and a bikini top
Getting dressed for a sober New Year’s Eve party is like playing body temperature roulette. Without a pair of vodka tights (like a beer jacket for your legs) you could spend half your night blue-limbed and shivering, trying to steal some warmth up against a heated towel rail or illuminated bus stop advert. Or on the other hand, the potent mix of central heating, polyester and human excitement might leave you red in the face and shiny as a newly-boiled gammon. If you’re really lucky it’ll be both!
Nobody ever serves enough food
A bowl of crisps and half a leftover prawn ring does not a New Year’s feast maketh, guys. Particularly when you’ve been eating such stomach-stretching volumes for the past week (OK, month) that half an hour without a carbohydrate top-up makes you feel hungry to the point of fainting. Don’t they have a spare Stilton tucked away somewhere? Cold bubble and squeak? Ferrero Rocher? Don’t make me start gnawing the tree decorations.
Auld acquaintances will be forgot
It’s your Uuntie’s second cousin’s hairdresser’s niece, of course! You know, thingummy-bob. What’serface. With the ears. Being publicly sober on New Year’s Eve doesn’t mean you’ll be any closer to recognising every person you happen across in the queue for the toilets either, but it does mean you’ll notice each time someone lurches in to kiss your ear and call you "Susan". Especially if your name isn’t Susan.
You’ll have the wittiest, most accurately punctuated 'Happy new year everyone!' Facebook status around
But this is irrelevant because you won't be able to get the 3G signal to post it until 10am the next morning when nobody cares any more. At most, it will earn a sympathy "like" from your Auntie Joan, who had a wilder night than you did.
Nobody will play your hilarious parlour game properly
You emailed round the rules three days ago and brought your own special supply of marker pens for the occasion, but still nobody has quite got a handle on how to play Names-In-A-Hat-Sing-and-Mime-ulate and it’s really ruddy frustrating. You said one pass each and no conferring! How hard is it?
Strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet!
The kind of friends who seem so charming when you get chatting at the bar six hours earlier, but who you will inevitably have to ditch in a kebab shop because it’s 4am and they’re insisting everybody carry on the party somewhere called Dave’s Lava Lounge. As the sober person, it befalls you to shout “Look! Over there!” and make everyone run in the other direction.
... and the Hootenanny really isn’t half bad
Until you discover Jools Holland and his menagerie of celebrity pals actually film it in early December. The frauds.