Join 3,415 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


One for the country!
January 6, 2012 5:42 AM   Subscribe

Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, 83, holder of the world record for downing a yard glass of beer, shows that he's still got it. SLYT.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot (25 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hawke's memorial at the Turf Tavern for downing a yard of ale (2.5 imperial pints or 1.4 litres) in just 11 seconds in 1963 [sic] while at Oxford University, a record at the time, and entered in the Guinness Book of Records. The record was actually set in 1953.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:49 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


In his memoirs, Hawke suggested that this single feat may have contributed to his political success more than any other, by endearing him to a voting population with a strong beer culture.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:50 AM on January 6, 2012


Let's see Bam do that! As if!
posted by ReeMonster at 5:53 AM on January 6, 2012


I'd vote for the guy on that alone.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 5:54 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love how he had that slightly confused look the aged sometimes do in chaotic environments until he realized that a beer was being offered.

A steel resolve showed itself while drinking that beer, a spirit that said, "Yeah and I'll kick anyone in the balls right now too if you give me any shit."

That is precisely the kind of guy I want to be when I get to that age.

Also, I want that hair when I'm 83.
posted by Dagobert at 6:00 AM on January 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Other Turf Tavern Plaques:
- Bill Clinton & Marijuana
- Famous figures (including a misspelled Stephen Hawking)
- Inspector Morse
- Thomas Hardy
- Cock Fighting

Now you have me missing Oxford! grumble grumble. Fascinating post, thanks!
posted by honest knave at 6:00 AM on January 6, 2012


When we visited Oxford, I dragged my poor wife around to pretty much every pub I saw Morse drink at.

By the end of it, I was glad she was there, lest I try to break into the Pitt-Rivers and swipe me a dagger.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:16 AM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


More background on the moment KokoRyu is referring to, from Hawke's memoirs as transcribed at AustralianBeers.com:
In more down-to-earth fashion I inadvertently achieved notoriety as a result of one the quaint and ancient customs of my college. A system operated at dinner in the Great Hall under which if an offence was committed - in my case coming to dinner without a gown (some bastard had borrowed mine) - one was 'sconced'. This meant having to drink two and a half pints of ale out of an antique pewter pot in less than twenty-five seconds. Failure to do so involved paying for the first drink, plus another two and a half pints. My chance of avoiding payment lay in downing the ale within the limit and hoping that the Sconcemaster - the President of the Junior Common Room - could not beat my time. I was too broke for the fine and necessity became the mother of ingestion. I downed the contents of the pot in eleven seconds, left the Sconcemaster floundering, and entered the Guniness Book of Records with the fastest time ever recorded. This feat was to endear me to some of my fellow Australians more than anything else I ever achieved.
posted by smcg at 6:17 AM on January 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Sweet
posted by Flood at 6:30 AM on January 6, 2012


Wikipedia mentions Hawke would have got an earlier start to his career but was hindered by alcoholism. He also suffered some sort of "physical collapse" because of booze.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:34 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


God bless Hawke, the Turf Tavern, and beer.
posted by tigrefacile at 6:42 AM on January 6, 2012


Yeah, I might not drink as fast as him, but I bet I could beat him in a beer enjoying contest. Crank up your fMRIs, Australia, and watch my brain light up like Vegas while his just twiddles and thinks about the fluid dynamics of beer sliding down his gullet.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:08 AM on January 6, 2012


Hawke's memorial at the Turf Tavern for downing a yard of ale (2.5 imperial pints or 1.4 litres) in just 11 seconds in 1963 [sic] while at Oxford University, a record at the time, and entered in the Guinness Book of Records. The record was actually set in 1953.

Damn you youtube for not existing back in 1963. DAMN YOU!
posted by Fizz at 7:10 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think this is worthy of cheering (or posting for that matter). It's not my place to judge Hawke's background connection to alcohol, but such a public display, when the general perception has been that he was an alcoholic (and he knows this), is a very poor message to be sending out. I don't have anything against the guy and he can do whatever he wants in private, but this does nothing but glorify a habit that causes a lot of problems.
posted by peacay at 7:31 AM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Another habit that causes people problems? iPhone video shot in portrait mode... Turn the device 90 degrees, Apple users - you know it makes sense!
posted by benzo8 at 7:42 AM on January 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I look forward to being able some day to vote for someone based on their ability to suck down a massive bongful of smoke.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:11 AM on January 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Disappointed ... I can't have been the only one expecting him to quaff a yard in 15 seconds, can I?
posted by mrgrimm at 8:23 AM on January 6, 2012


I look forward to being able some day to vote for someone based on their ability to suck down a massive bongful of smoke.

How about a strikeout competition. Take a bong hit, chug a beer, do a shot, then exhale. Last person standing wins.

I don't think this is worthy of cheering (or posting for that matter).

Me neither. An 83-year-old man setting (or even nearing) a record would have been cool; a (former?) alcoholic chugging a pint as young men egg him on, not as much.

Also, yeah, shitty video.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:33 AM on January 6, 2012


Hawke's memorial at the Turf Tavern for downing a yard of ale (2.5 imperial pints or 1.4 litres) in just 11 seconds in 1963 [sic] while at Oxford University, a record at the time, and entered in the Guinness Book of Records. The record was actually set in 1953.

Yeah, I was going to say... if he is 83 now and the record had been set 49 years ago -- well, it is not impossible still to be a university student in one's mid-thirties, but it is unusual.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:20 AM on January 6, 2012


Impressive.

Drinking a yard fast is extremely hard as the flow of beer must be managed to let air up toward the bulb while keeping the beer going down. Drinking a boot is much easier.

Back in the lawless 80s when I was in a fraternity, tradition was that once you were a brother you could have you fraternity mug only after chugging it empty from a full state. The mugs were 32 ounces (~1 liter). Being engineers, we would chant "positive meniscus" to ensure it was as full as possible.

The new class would all chug at once. Non-beer drinkers would drink soda, which was far worse due to higher carbonation. The record, set by a member of my pledge class, was 9.5 seconds which still stands today.

Tradition says that if you mug is damaged or broken and you want a replacement, you must chug again. At alumni weekends, I have seen many a 40+ year old chugging furiously to reclaim their mug.

Our faculty adviser and fraternity brother, Doc Medicus, a wonderful Austrian physics professor, would often join in the chugs. Even in his late 80s, he would join the group in chugging a cup of beer at the cry of 'social!'.

I hope I can perform as well as Mr. Hawke when I'm 83.
posted by Argyle at 9:27 AM on January 6, 2012


Video does not deliver. Where's the yard glass?
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:31 AM on January 6, 2012


Awesome! Old people are the fucking best. ;)
posted by V4V at 11:38 AM on January 6, 2012


haw-KEY haw-KEY haw-KEY
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:56 PM on January 6, 2012


Years ago, before he was prime minister, Hawke used a fire axe to break into the general manager's office of a Melbourne TV station so he could get to the booze fridge.

The axe became part of station lore and is mounted on the office wall. I know this because I have also raided that same booze fridge. Fortunately, because I am not famous, the door was unlocked.
posted by Kerasia at 3:30 PM on January 6, 2012


Zicke Hawkie zicke Hawkie hoy hoy hoy!
posted by Spatch at 9:27 PM on January 6, 2012


« Older On November 13, 1982, in an outdoor arena next to ...  |  Interview Transcripts from Wir... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments