You don't necessarily have to be a Shane McGowan-calibre alcoholic to enjoy regularly getting drunk in public in the middle of the day. All that boring, menial life stuff like work, school, university and parenting is way more exciting when you've doused your liver in a couple of thimbles of 70 proof. The main problem with getting loaded in the middle of the day, though, is that soon your breath is going to smell like the floor of a Hungarian distillery and when that happens, people are going to start noticing. Important people, like your boss or your teacher or your wife.
Philippe Starck, the ridiculously prolific French innovator of product and interior design, recently unveiled a new creation that might be able to help with that. Confusingly, it's called WA|HH (how do you pronounce that? Wah? Wah-jee? Wah-eee-hurrrrrr?) and it's a little aerosol spray that aims to provide "the feeling of being drunk, without actually being drunk or feeling sick". The spray contains a small amount of booze that tastes disappointingly clinical – like the ethanol you used to take sips of in chemistry class, under the wholly misguided impression that it made you look cool. Supposedly it stimulates your brain and makes you feel like you've necked 20 shots of Appalachian moonshine.
Anyway, WA|HH is apparently way more effective when sprayed over food, so we figured we'd try some with our lunch.
Everyone taking part had to eat something that encapsulated the kind of exquisite, indulgent dining that's come to be expected of Paris. Sylla got a £2.50 sandwich that looked like a cheap plastic toy from the 70s and tasted of less than nothing.
Elen got herself this pasta box of congealed abortion.
And Adrien grabbed a tub of the Senegalese classic; mafé au poulet, which translates into English as mess of shit.
After spraying our food thoroughly with the WA|HH, we quickly devoured it and went outside for a smoke while we waited for Starck's genius daytime drinking tool to work its dirty magic.
Adrien was the first to succumb. To be fair to the guy, his meal was mostly large slabs of undercooked chicken slathered in a sauce hotter than James Gandolfini's crotch after the Sahara Desert marathon, so I'm guessing that probably helped the alcohol along a little. Not long into his spray-induced wobbliness, he rushed off to the coffee machine to down espressos until he could walk straight again.
While Adrien was off nursing his insides with more chemicals, Sylla claimed to feel like he was just "floating around". He picked up an aviation magazine we keep around for all the billionaire private jet owners who pass through the VICE France office and spent the next 40 minutes totally engrossed. He later admitted that he spent that whole time reading a one-page article without understanding anything, which is pretty impressive, considering the magazine is written for idiots who only read it so they can take away a couple of plane-related buzz words to impress their friends at the blood diamond polo game, or whatever it is rich people do.
Elen got all high and mighty for a while about the fact that she stayed sober longer than everyone else "even though [she's] Asian", but she eventually ended up as shitfaced and sleepy as the rest of us.
After an hour or so, we figured we should try to crawl back to our desks and at least pretend to ourselves that we were doing something productive. I'm not sure what happened, but five minutes later we were all gathered round Adrien's laptop, watching Yellowman videos on YouTube and eating curry chips.
In case you weren't aware, reggae and chips are scientifically the quickest route to lethargy, so we thought we'd carry on binging to get us through the afternoon. We'd run out of food, so took the direct option; straight into the mouth. There's something about the ritual of drinking that spraying a clear, scentless mist into your mouth kind of lacks, but we were drunk enough by this point to forget all about that.
To our horror, using the spray for a second time didn't make us feel any better. In fact, all we wanted to do was scoff a load of chocolate, watch funny videos of cats running into walls on the internet and exorcise the impending headache that had already begun to tear our brains apart and punch us behind the eyes.
We all ended up passing out at our laptops, before waking up at the end of the working day, dragging ourselves home, broken, and vowing to just get fucked up on glorious beer, wine and spirits in the future, rather than aerosol sprays created by an interior designer. It's not a particularly fun kind of drunk and it makes you feel terrible very quickly, which is only made worse by the fact that you haven't even drunk anything, you complete fucking pussy.
Who are these things for? They're over too quickly to help homeless drunks forget about the mess that is their lives and rich people only drink booze because it tastes nice. It's difficult to imagine a version of Melancholia in which Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg decide to toast humanity with one last spray of WA|HH as a rogue planet falls out of the sky to destroy the Earth forever.
Seriously – we have about 16 of these things left. Please come to the office and take them from us, it's bumming us all out having them sit there, reminding us of how awful we all felt from consuming a flavourless mist.
Bored of getting drunk normally? Try these instead: