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A Guide to Public Drunkenness in Ottawa

A Guide to Public Drunkenness in Ottawa


By Adam Slight
One could say that I am an expert on public intoxication in Ottawa. Rickshaw runners work late hours, pandering to the bar scene in the Byward Market to earn their daily bread. Having once been a member of this bar scene, seeing it from the sober eyes of a rickshaw runner brings a lot into perspective. As a result, I have compiled this guide. I call it the Guide to Public Drunkenness in Ottawa. I want you to recognize yourself in this list, self-improve, and pass the information on to a friend in need of some lessons in drunken conduct.

Be a Fun Drunk, Not a Mean One:

Confucius said, “Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.”

This is sort of a golden rule for being drunk in public. If you and the boys/girls are out for a night on the town, you’re probably feeling pretty good. You’re prowling around in a group, like a motorcycle gang fueled by Jager-Bombs. Your over-confidence may lead you to ridicule strangers, kick over benches, and shout random racist slurs at people across the street. We don’t need this. Continuation of this kind of conduct will only end up with you curb-stomped on the side of the street—and frankly, maybe it should.

However, it is never too late. You can be saved. The Fun Drunk is the one who hi-fives every stranger in the Rideau Center, hands out $10 bills to homeless people, sings rowdy songs, and encourages excellence in their peers and those around them. These gallant paragons may be a nuisance at times, but they embody an infectious attitude that delivers a saving golden light to the hearts of surrounding drunkards.

Be Careful Where you Pee:

Peeing outdoors can be one of the most liberating things a human being can do. I admit, dropping your shorts and taking a pee on the corner of Dalhousie and George is a good way to relieve yourself in an emergency, and will lead to stimulating and nostalgic Facebook interactions for weeks to come. However, you must make sure to be considerate and remember that the act of being urinated upon is considered a grave disrespect in most cultures.

Remember the unfortunate case several years ago when the young man decided to relieve himself on the Canadian War Memorial. He wound up with a photo on the front page of the Ottawa Citizen and was publicly disgraced–Not to mention that public urination is illegal. If you are about to burst, find some nice wild flora off to the side, pretend you’re talking on your cell phone, and return your water to the land. Do your part to restore nature to its former prestige.

No Shirts, No Shoes, No service:

Early human evolved to wear clothing about 650 million years ago. This was to protect them from their harsh surroundings as well as to cover up their disgusting human shame. Let us not undo evolution after we’ve made it this far!

Nothing horrifies me more than seeing young ladies walking the streets after the bars have closed in bare feet! They’ve been dancing in high heels all night, and their feet are sore—I get it! Well then pack some flats! In some cities you can actually buy disposable shoes in a vending machine for just such occasions. Girls, while you’ve been in there dancing, I’ve been watching these streets get peed on (see above), puked on, and pooed on…seriously! There is even broken glass and discarded needles lying around in some parts of town.

And guys — leave your shirts on. I don’t care how hot it is in Tila, or how many of your friends are doing it. You look like a dumbass. You’re not impressing your friends, and you’re certainly not impressing strangers. Basically, you look like that scene in Top Gun where all the pilots are slapping Tom Cruise’s butt in the shower (maybe I made that scene up…)

Don’t Stand Up to the Bouncer—you will lose:

There is a certain nobility in justly resisting the powers which govern and oppress us. This is, however, not the case when resisting the powers of the bar’s bouncer. The bouncer is a titan, whose whole purpose is to reject your pickled behind from the premises. You may think their judgment is unjust, and you may wish to rebel. You will only fail. Even if you are juiced on steroids, and your Ed Hardy shirt is on extra tight (and even if the designs on the Ed Hardy shirt are extra badazz), you cannot win. You will only get your ass kicked, and everyone will eagerly gather to observe your destruction.

Respect Cars, and their Rules:

Cars are high-speed, metal monoliths that threaten the safety of mankind. Because of this, there are many rules surrounding the usage of cars. One of those rules involves crossing the street: Don’t walk out in front of a moving vehicle when you’re crossing the street. If  you’re intoxicated, and decide to disregard this rule, don’t get mad when the car honks at you, and don’t slam your body down on the hood of the car. You’re in the wrong and should be ashamed of yourself, especially if there are impressionable children nearby. You will see this disregard for vehicular-dominance a lot on George St. in the Market.

Also. don’t pre-drink in your car. You’re playing with fire here, even if your keys aren’t in the ignition. You’ll probably end up on the side of the street filling out a police report, with passersby thinking you were apprehended for drinking and driving.

While we’re on the topic: Don’t drink and drive either— It’s stupid and everyone hates you for it.

Tip your Rickshaw Driver Well:

Your gratuitousness will bring good karma your way. You never know — you may need an emergency getaway vehicle some day. When this day comes, you’ll be happy you shared the love when you did.

Don’t think that this guide ends here. How do you think drunk Ottawans could class up their acts?