Juliette Bains: Online boozing game takes beer pressure to a new low

Photo of NekNomination Facebook page for Ireland.
Photo of NekNomination Facebook page for Ireland.
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You know you’ve found that perfect pal or special someone if they can gulp down a litre of Lambrini in less than 10 seconds. Said no-one. Ever.

Being able to down a drink in a short space of time hasn’t been seen as a particularly impressive skill before.

But thanks to this NekNomination malarky, it’s not only being thought of as a skill but a competition, and a popular one at that.

The craze has seen thousands of student-aged men and women post videos of themselves on Facebook performing a ‘NekNomination’ by drinking a pint of pretty much anything they can get their hands on (examples include entire bottles of wine, spirits, drinks made up of urine, eggs, whey protein, milk, pasta sauce, wine, butter, even a goldfish).

After successfully consuming the stomach-churning concoction, participants then nominate a few friends to do the same stupid stunt, or to better it.

For some people it’s a laugh, and they’ll drink a pint of water or beer.

Fine, no-one’s getting physically hurt there.

Even if it is mundane and utterly pointless at best.

But what happens if someone gets nominated and they don’t want to take part?

I doubt they’d be championed for being able to actually think for themselves.

It’s more likely they’ll be labelled ‘boring’ or called a wimp by their so-called friends.

There’s no denying that there’s a worrying peer pressure aspect to it, especially for younger people.

So it’s no surprise that worried parents have branded the craze a form of bullying.

Whilst that’s a strong word to use, NekNominations are certainly taking peer pressure to a whole new, very public level.

And it’s clear that some are getting swept up in the madness and are failing to realise that drinking something disgusting at speed doesn’t make you a better human being or mean that you’re winning at life.

For those taking it to extremes, filming themselves ‘necking’ these drinks is a cringeworthy, self-indulgent show of pure stupidity that sums up the ‘laddish’ attitude that I find excruciatingly thick.

But hey, if there are idiots willing to drink their own urine or pasta sauce, why stop there?

Why not start Eating Elections where you have to consume the contents of your condiments cupboard in 10 seconds?

Or Sniffing Suggestions where participants must smell as many unpleasant scents as possible?

The answer is because all of these are pretty dumb and pointless.

And you’d like to think people have better things to do.

Yet the NekNomination fad has gone global and it’s certainly been hitting the headlines – for all the wrong reasons.

On a more serious note, two men aged 19 and 22 are reported to have died following NekNomination stunts.

It’s gone from a game to something potentially dangerous.

But one guy from South Africa is trying to turn the NekNomination phenomenon on its head.

His video went viral after he filmed himself giving food to a homeless guy, and nominating a few mates to do the same and keep the good deeds going.

One of my mates also spotted someone pledging money for a Leeds charity rather than choosing to booze.

Something positive coming out of something so negative starts to restore my faith in mankind.

But for now, the Neknomination craze, and the sheer number of idiots taking part, is all proving a bit too much to swallow.

Bombarding overweight with texts to help battle the bulge

How much do you think the diet industry is worth in Britain?

Take a guess. £10million? £50million?

Not even close.

After having a quick look online, it seems the industry is worth a reported £2billion in Britain alone.

It’s no wonder then that almost every day it seems like we’re faced with a new fad, whether it’s Beyonce’s maple syrup and vegan diets or the increasingly popular 5:2 Diet, which Jennifer Aniston is rumoured to be a fan of.

But stepping away from LA’s celebrity lifestyles, a new weightloss project in the slightly less glamourous city of Stoke-on-Trent is taking a slightly different approach in a bid to help people battle the bulge.

Those who sign up to the project will be sent text messages to encourage them to shift the pounds.

The ‘motivational’ texts (and I use that word loosely) include phrases such as “Use the stairs more”, “Eat fruit and veg” and “Keep a check on snacks and drinks”.


What’s more, the 10-week project will cost £10,000 – that’s an impressive phone bill.

The project will be available to 500 people, which works out at £20 per person.

That seems a bit steep to me when you could just get your mate or a family member to do the same for free.

I’d be interested to see how much weight is actually lost as a result of people being bombarded with these text messages.

Because I’m not convinced this rather large phone bill will help others slim down.

Teddy bear bond after facing a cuddly toy confession

Last week I confessed to still having a teddy bear – a bright pink one – at the age of 26.

It’s something only my closest friends knew about so I did have to stop and think about it for a while before deciding to go public with it in the YEP.

But, thankfully, it seems I’m not the only one.

After the column sparked a few confessions from colleagues, I started feeling a bit less of a loser.

And then I received a lovely letter from a lady in Cookridge who told me she’s had a teddy for almost 75 years.

Denise Marsden’s teddy, called simply Bunny Rabbit, might be slightly bald but apparently still has both beady eyes intact and still jingles when shaken.

Denise has advised me to be brave enough to dare to be different and to not hide my teddy away anymore.

Thank you for your lovely words Denise, and for letting me know I’m not alone.

Next time I think about hiding my best bear buddy, I’ll definitely paws for thought.

If anyone else has a nice story about their teddy bear, let me know!

BE CURIOUS: One of the events at a previous Be Curious festival.

Reece Parker: We want Leeds residents to be curious