Well done Cat, for getting her letter printed in the Guardian this weekend. Reprinted here for your enjoyment:

Intrigued by your experiment where Brits got “pissed” on placebos (Under The Influence, November 20), I decided to try it with my housemates. The plan: we would match each other drink for drink, except every other drink of mine would be water. After four drinks, the vote was tied as to who was the most drunk. After eight, Kevin was declared the drunkest. Conclusions: I can drink half as much and still have a good time. More interesting, however, was that voluntary abstinence provokes a strange response – many expressed sympathy that I was the one who “had” to drink less. It seems we all want to encourage each other to get as drunk as we would like to, perhaps so we don’t have to feel guilty about the amount we all drink. Advertisers aren’t the only ones who want us to drink to excess.
Cat Bardsley