US Alcohol Usage Survey Results: Early signs show significantly lower levels of binge in the US compared to UK

1912 U.S Postcard. Turns out, MJ didn’t invent the lean move — it was this judgmental rozzer!

Lower levels of binge discovered in the customs of the Cleveland native when compared to the Yorkshire population.

Or, perhaps, a metaphorical brown paper bag of social decency has simply hidden U.S. alcohol consumption and kept it at home (this of course allowing for the critical advantage that a human can stay within a 20-meter radius of their personal road shuttle at all times)?

Hats off to the ONS for providing a guide on how to make a bottle of beer last for at least 8 years

Speak to the more wholesome inhabitants of any sizeable Yorkshire conurbation and I am sure this alternate reality of fewer people drunk in public would be refreshingly alluring. No more enduring the unearthly lowing sounds from central no-go areas that have been seized upon at weekends by troglodytic creatures who, overstimulated by under-priced and copious binge, embrace, cheer and bludgeon each other, seemingly with equal flippancy.

Robert Louis Stevenson: “Man is not truly one but truly two” — the same can be said of many Yorkshire cities on a weekend

So where has the rest of the binge gone?

Well, it’s hard not to notice, amongst humans who have developed beyond the troglodytic stage, the current consensus: a persistent drive to delay mortality (for who else is going to read all the frivolous things you like on the internet? Wait, I take that back, reading frivolous internet things is very good for you!). Perhaps this accounts for some of the reduction.

Even so, Mesopotamians drank twice baked barley bread beer, Roman soldiers savoured an exotic spiced calda and it is well documented that the all-female population of the planet Lambrini do, in fact, just want to have fun.

Yes, imbibing has been an integral part of human civilizations for eons, so read on as I set out on a scrimp burdened voyage to unearth how it is still a part of Cleveland’s…

I have just landed in the cold and dark suburb of Cleveland Heights. Travelling with caution along a wide suburban thoroughfare, I spot a green sign: Lee Road.

Shuffling down Lee Road, something catches my eye, a joyous green olive head with a cheery obsequious disposition and looking almost like a brother to an alien like myself.

Henceforth: Martin the Martian Martini

Jazzy gold tassels streaming down the wide windows confuse me into the conviction that this must be a late-night fancy-dress shop. As I doubt my research, which did not indicate that hurried late-night purchases of wigs and a tutus was a necessity for native Clevelanders, I look up and shining out of the darkness I see a word so welcoming, so reassuring and so noble in my home planet.

A word which has offered respite, recreation and refuge to so many weary space travelers. A word sparkling with the possibilities of indulgence…

This is Rudy’s Pub and the affordable events that follow truly did take place on a Friday night in Cleveland.

Upon entering, I was struck by sonic funk waves. They originated at the start of the earth’s second millennium but were now emanating from the jukebox and beamed me to a stool at the bar. In stark contrast to Ashanti’s days, which were still cold after all these years, I immediately warmed to the shadowy interior of Rudys’.

My objective this Friday night and for all entries in this galactic log of bargains, of course, was to have a good time but maintain the thrift levels to which a Yorkshire inhabitant is accustomed.

Key to this was getting my drinks in during Rudy’s happy hour which included: wine (red, white — they saw no need to get specific here), lagery domestic beer and the enticing ‘mixed drinks’*.

*Only just becoming acquainted, I feel honesty is important here: if you want to drink craft beer like most of the world these days (I include many earth associates in this ubiquitous and often bearded mass) then this is not your spot — don’t worry there are probably some other places that sell craft beer in Cleveland.

Mixed drinks, as was explained to my naivety, are a selection of classic cocktails. With the bargain induced a-priori knowledge that the name Long Island Ice Tea provided, I ordered my first one (long = larger ∴ more; ice tea = refreshing ∴ nice).

One of the things that really assisted me in having a good time in this place was the feeling of ease. It was closer to the relaxation and ambience I look for in a local refreshment outlet. In fact, that was the essence of what I savoured about Rudy’s Pub and was what made me feel as though I would want to go back.

In the planet of Yorkshire, countless establishments have been built so that the people can exercise their time-worn leisure ergon of just sitting and having a few drinks, nothing more and definitely nothing less*.

Rudy’s casually and effortlessly accommodated this purpose. From the free little sample of shrimp and rice we were given, it was clear that you can come here and order flavorsome food but you aren’t made to feel it is an expectation. Obligatory TV screens around the edges of the room steadily show sport but they did not take priority over the consistently groove soaked jukebox.

*In fact, one can witness the highest levels of incredulity possible when a Yorkshire being is refused drink.

A schedule adorned with Martin’s ever suggestive optimism informed me that other nights here included karaoke, a chicken wings and beer deal and a perennial happy hour deal every, single, day! The former seemed to kick off later in the evening so you could certainly avoid the ‘empty orchestra’ and still enjoy a few drinks. Equally, you could make a real night of it, enjoy happy hour, a meal and the evening’s frivolities (although, of course, this would mean straying from January’s strict voyage of saving).

Absorbing my second loaded Ice Tea, it was all revealed in a moment of clarity. Yes, under Rudy’s dim lighting, Martin spoke to me and said: “Yorkshire Alien, you just chill, get a little swerve on and have a good time.”

I gave a satisfied slow nod to Martin, marveling at his sage understanding of my thrifty yearning. Then, I realised that Martinis should not talk and these Long Island Ice Teas were not half steppin’!

Father Dougal

Settling my highly reasonable $14 tab (including tip!), I reluctantly left my stool at the bar. I was suddenly very grateful for walls, in particular, for their potential use as bannisters. I was very grateful for Rudy’s and all its charm. Finally, I was grateful for happy hours, here and the world over.

So, with a sated wobble, I transported my alien-self home. My recommendations, matched only by the strength of the drinks that inspired them, are next time you find yourself in Cleveland Heights, head to Rudy’s Pub.

Recording my thrifty experiences of recently landing in the U.S from the frugal planet of Yorkshire. Stay on the cosmic shoestring whilst still being a human.

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