Your next night out, sponsored by Boris Johnson’s rulebook

Grouse shoots, poultry wakes and takeaways at 9.59pm – it’s about to get technical

So, the Covid pendulum has swung once again, taking with it any hope we had of our social lives resembling anything close to normality for the next six months. Presumably the only premises awarded a late license from here on out will be the visitors centre at Barnard Castle, and you need to be dressed like a twat otherwise you’re not allowed in.

The government clamped down on the dreaded but inevitable second wave this week with Boris Johnson announcing a new set of measures to ensure that we’re not all dead by Christmas (or worse, allowed to spend it with our families). The new guidelines include; all hospitality venues to shut by 10pm, something about bubbles, the rule of six and you must work from home again if you can, despite the entire Tory party wanking off Pret for the past two weeks and trying to tell us all how much we all love our commutes. That Dettol ad took the brunt of it. As Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh said a few weeks ago: ‘Choose Death.

So yes, we’ll admit, it’s not looking good. And it does feel like every week Dominic Cummings lines up all his puppets in ill-fitting suits pre-press conference and makes them choose a number from one ballot, a date from a second and a location from another, like a sort of humiliation bingo, and then forces them to announce the rules. “From… a week on Friday, only…. nine people, will be allowed in a… butchers.”


But at least it’s not full lockdown again. Think back to mid-May and you would’ve slowly killed one of your dearest friends in order to sink an ice cold pint in a beer garden and snog someone you’ll never see again in the smoking area. We can still pub, we can still restaurant, and there’s some quite unclear rules about takeaways but order it at 9.59pm just in case. There can still be a big night out. Here’s our guide on how to do it for the rest of 2020.

11am: Get up, put your mask on, go to the shop and queue for all the items to cook a giant fry-up.

12-1pm: Get the gang round (staggered arrivals), as dressed up as you like. Carb-load for the day and get the pre-drinks on the go. Remember to set your watches four hours forward, this is essentially 4pm and therefore OK to start boozing for a big night.

2pm: Leave the house in groups of six with your tinnies, spaced enough apart so that nobody will twig you’re all part of the same gang. But don’t drink them on the tube. Top Tip: Try not to live near any cabinet ministers, who have repeatedly said they would grass on their neighbours for having a gathering of more than six people. The same ministers who told you all to get back on the train to work and into the office. And who definitely don’t have more than five mates anyway.

3pm: Great. You’re all at the first location, a grouse shoot. You can now all congregate together in a group of 30 legally. You might ask ‘Where does one obtain a grouse?’ but we’ve all got that mate that can procure anything you need with enough warning and ‘know a guy who owes me a favour.’

Get as pissed as you can on your cocktails-in-tins (or Diane Abbotts as they’re now officially known) whilst having the grouse in your eyeline (maybe on a leash?) and saying things like ‘Phwooaaaar I cannot wait to maim and eventually murder this grouse!’ Which is what I imagine they say at game shoots. Sadly one of you must obtain a hunting gun license and kill the grouse to facilitate the next phase of the night out which is….


5pm: The Funeral Of The Grouse. Up to 30 people are still allowed at a funeral, and you’re all very sad that grousey had to go this way, so best to keep drinking. You may want to decamp to a traditional wake venue such as a village hall or a cordoned-off area of your favourite bar, one with happy hour deals, to really mourn this guy.

7pm: Split onto tables of six for the home straight. Set up a WhatsApp group for your night out so that conversation, dates for the diary and general bants can be swapped between tables and nobody feels left out. If you can still type at this point.

9.30pm: It’s important to note at this stage that if you think you may have pulled, they will have to move in with you on the way home in order for the sex to be legal. Really endeavour not to have a pregnant woman amongst your group as, if she goes into labour, her partner will not be allowed to attend the birth, so you’ll have odd numbers. Only those who gave birth in participating restaurants Monday-Wednesday throughout the month of August were permitted any company when another human was emerging from them.

9.58pm: Order enough takeaway to feed a school.

10pm: Get out of the pub. Assume your six-person formations, which will be easy to remember after 28 drinks, a grouse shoot, a wake, a night out and hook up. Mask up and get a taxi to someone’s office, sit at separate desks, and continue until 3am. Fin.

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