The seasoned, year-long drinker ought to know the warning signs by now, yet each year we always seem unprepared. Suddenly, it’s the second Friday of December and an apocalypse clad in Marks & Spencer is about to engulf you. There are about a dozen of them and they always ask the bartender the same question as they sway through the door: “Is this the Horseshoe?”
Very soon afterwards a lady in the company will ask for “one of those Metropolitans”. Immediately upon entering the licensed premises they will accost the bar staff over the heads of other drinkers. Then loudly they will profess their irritation at how slow the service is, as if they are all Doc Holliday.