Real ale campaigners CAMRA have blamed the ban of vuvuzelas from certain premiership grounds and Uefa-sanctioned games for the sudden increase in unregulated yard of ale drinking competitions across the country, as people look to find an alternative use for the plastic trumpets bought during the long-passed and prematurely halted World Cup frenzy.
Drinking a yard of ale is a dangerous pastime, best carried out in a controlled environment by a trained real ale connoisseur, warned CAMRA spokesman Trevor Wotniss: 'What we're talking about is more of a traditional craft than a sport. Staged ideally in a country pub with a roaring fire and a few fusty old Labradors, you have to be a seasoned and preferably middle aged imbiber of real ale to handle the glass - a yard long receptacle with a bulbous end - properly. And yes, I'm well aware I said 'bulbous end' thank you very much.'
CAMRA has expressed its fears for what it describes as 'amateur' drinkers: 'we are receiving reports of so-called yard of ale competitions throughout the UK - mainly in inner city areas and council estate pubs where the only convivial ambiance is supplied by the music from the slot machine. Would-be yardies, some of them barely under the age of 45, are making a mockery of the sport by guzzling fizzy pop like Boddingtons or Tetleys Creamflow from oversized polyurethane hooters with tins glued to the bottom,' said Wotniss. 'Boddingtons! I mean, come on, I wouldn't give that to my dog!'
This latest craze of impromptu ale-related vuvuzela usage has also led to certain worrying social trends, Wotniss claims. 'We're seeing increasing numbers folksy youths with beards and beer-stained pullovers, wandering around city centres at night singing 'all around my hat' at the tops of their voices in a pathetic effort to emulate their real-ale drinking heroes. My message to these kids is simple: stop - I've heard that song sung properly a thousand times by yard drinking balladeers throughout the Lake District and frankly, I'd rather have a plastic horn blown in my ear hole at the next Man U game than endure that again.'