It’s almost a serene, reverential atmosphere as pub regulars quench their 104-day thirst on Super Saturday


SUPER Saturday, Gin-dependence Day or quite possibly Barmageddon.

Call it what you will, I’ve a 104-day thirst that a four-pack of supermarket tinnies won’t quench.

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I’m one of the first in the early morning queue outside JD Wetherspoon’s Cliftonville Inn, in Hove, East Sussex.

I’m greeted at the door by a “floor associate” who explains the track and trace forms, the one-way system and countless hand sanitiser dispensers.

Masks are optional, standing at the bar is forbidden and tables are separated by six-foot Perspex screens.

“It’s like drinking in a piggin’ phone booth,” moans a regular.

Ordering at the bar, the nervous-looking barmaid eyes me warily and takes a cautious step back. No change there then.

She pours teasingly slowly before putting the gloriously creamy cold pint on the bar, with the firm instruction: “Hold the glass low down.”

It’s to keep your fingers away from your mouth.

Back at my booth, I savour the moment.

There’s almost a serene, reverential atmosphere as regulars quietly savour their own personal pouring of pub heaven.

But as the session progresses beyond lunchtime, gangs of rowdy women start piling in, fresh from the reopened hair salons.

It’s G&Ts and Quarantinis all round and to hell with the one-way system.

Within minutes, one of them starts dabbing hand sanitiser behind her ears like it’s Joop. “Ere lads I’m disease free!” No one looks convinced.

A worried floor associate starts dishing out urgent advice.

But she may as well have said “Don’t drink the hand sanitiser” because it’s only a matter of time before the ladies start shotting it.

As more punters pile in and consumption rates start to soar, I finish my drink and take Boris’s advice about not overdoing it. Yeah, good shout.

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