The other night, I found out how to drink from a closed bottle.

I was with a group of various students of various disciplines in various states of chemical headfuckedness. We were sitting around at your typical rented student household: dirty bathroom, toilet seat up, mismatching second-hand furniture, debris over most of the grimy carpet, housed in an old ugly building which is overpriced only because it's in a trendy part of town. It was your typical student party: not really a party in the invitation sense, more a random collection of likeminded hedonists who all knew the host or a friend of the host, a group of gatecrashers who were nevertheless welcome not through hospitality but through drunken apathy.

So while the rest of them are inside yelling over the CD, or drinking or dozing or sucking slowly swirling smoke out of a cokebottle bong, a few of us are out on the dark balcony talking shit and lazily flicking phosphorescent cigarette ash over the edge to be swallowed by the night below. One of the guys announces in a slur that he can do magic, and offers as proof his ability to drink out of a closed bottle of port without removing the lid.

The rest of us immediately begin guessing all the obvious explanations, most of which revolve around breaking the bottle in some way to allow passage of alcohol with the lid still in place. For a moment the "magician" raises the bottle above his head dramatically as if to smash it on the bricks, and there are cries of disapproval from those of us who know him well enough to know that he's actually crazy enough to do it. But he doesn't, of course, and as the guessing continues and the guy smugly refuses to reveal his secret, I realise that reverse psychology may be a useful technique with which to extract the explanation.

So I pretend not to care: I shrug, say "I don't really want to know, anyway", and then steer the conversation elsewhere. It takes a few seconds before the realisation that he's out of the limelight penetrates his groggy mind, but when it does, it hits hard and immediately he's begging to be allowed to tell us. We agree, and the ridiculous trick is revealed:

He turns the bottle upside-down to show us that, like many glass bottles, there is a slight rim around the bottom edge which forms a very shallow cup. He dribbles some fluid out of a nearby glass onto the bottom of the bottle and then, very carefully, slurps it up, thereby drinking out of a closed bottle.

Yeah, I know. We weren't very impressed, either.

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