“Within a few millennia, everything will have turned to liquid anyway. So yes, I'll have a seventh midday beer, danke.”
This is a midday meal that consists mainly or entirely of booze. It is still regularly enjoyed by millions of people in Britain, particularly office workers who hate their jobs and need a little help to get them through the day.
A liquid lunch frequently consists of a beer followed by another beer and then another, and so on. Often the solid aspect of the meal, though it may have been planned earlier, is forgotten as an alcoholic haze overcomes the consumer and he or she becomes ratted, legless, and pissed in the British sense.
So is it healthy?
Not usually. Most doctors, nurses, physicians, pharmacists and other people in white coats spend hours looking askance at people who take no solids with their midday meal, unless they are wee babies. And then they certainly shouldn't be drinking any alcohol. Oh no, most certainly not.
If you really must have a liquid lunch, never take it as a packed lunch. Even a seemingly watertight plastic lunchbox is likely to leak alcohol all over the interior of your briefcase, permanently damaging the latest edition of British GQ, or that copy of The Da Vinci Code you keep meaning to finish. Regular booze leakage over a period of months or years will also impart a certain odour to your briefcase, one that is extremely likely to repel attractive women and attract vermin such as stoats and Jonathan King.
Solid lunches are always better, is that right then?
Not always. Big lumps of food without any moisture can be difficult and/or dangerous to ingest. You should always have some liquid with your food, whether it's a sloppy sauce on your steak or a nice cool drink with your curry. So in a way, all lunches should be liquid lunches - and they don't need to contain alcohol. Is this all becoming clear as a fog?
What about liquid dinners, etc?
Liquid dinners or suppers are much more socially acceptable than liquid lunches. This is partly because the evening is closer to bedtime and you can legitimately sleep off all the booze without looking like a disgusting waster or ne'er-do-well. Liquid breakfasts are even less acceptable than liquid lunches because, guess what, breakfast is even earlier in the day. But some posh people love to have an early-morning Buck's Fizz, particularly if they are at a smart function, such as a society wedding or Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot. This is because it is very difficult for sober people to keep a straight face at an event where all the men look like overdressed penguins.
"We'll fight them on the bar stools"
Winston Churchill had a liquid lunch in June 1942 that lasted for more than seven days. Accompanied variously by Joseph Stalin, Franklin D Roosevelt, Cary Grant, Mae West, Tallulah Bankhead, Donald Duck and the attractive woman in the first Hoover television commercial, Britain's greatest wartime prime minister consumed 34 pints of mild and bitter, 20 pints of Mackeson stout, 41 Napoleon brandies, 15 glasses of Burgundy, eight flutes of champagne, 12 pousse-cafés, nine gin and tonics, and one tequila sunrise. Though he was offered food such as toast, shrimps, whelks, Smiths crisps, pork scratchings and bubble and squeak, not an ounce of solid nutrition passed his lips, because they were permanently occupied with a succession of fine Havana cigars. This legendary liquid lunch kicked off at the old Beaver & Cucumber public house in London and continued at divers hostelries on the Monopoly board, finally culminating in the famous marble-tiled Turkish bath in the gents' toilet at St Pancras station. Churchill would not stop talking about the seven-day lunch for the rest of his life. He also jabbered away about Germans now and again.
The long-haired footballer George Best, who drank for Manchester United and Ireland, was a regular liquid luncher and had the liver to show for it. He would occasionally get legless in the daylight hours with the singer P J Proby, who was taught how to drink by the late Dean Martin. The late British newsreader Reginald Bosanquet would often down pint after pint (of spirits) before telling the world about big events like the moon landing and the arrival of a UFO in Whitby, Yorkshire. Another famous consumer of liquid lunches was the late Reg Varney, a British entertainer who opened the first of Britain's telephone boxes after consuming nine pints of Guinness shandy at the now-defunct Beaver & Cucumber pub in London. Notice how many times I used the word "late" in these examples. The moral of the story? If you want to be late too, have a liquid lunch, my friend.