Prudent Boozers, or PB, is an age-old secret society of bon vivants around the globe who have adopted the practice of "Nursing the Third", or brandishing their third libation, as opposed to drinking it.* Members often reach this point after enduring years of embarrassing shenanigans and poisonous hangovers induced by bacchanalian excess.
Having adopted PB's Four Floor Program - Savor the 1st, Sip the 2nd, Nurse the 3rd, and Skip the 4th - they find they are able to wet their whistles while maintaining the Four Ideals of Prudent Boozing: Dignity, Clarity, Pleasure and Charm (aka DCPC).
THE BIRTH OF A MOVEMENT
Prudent Boozers began in Wales in 1878 when Henry Nurse III, a local inebriate and member of the gentry, fell down the ancient staircase of The Skirrid Mountain Inn**, his local tavern, for the eleventh time in as many weeks. Exasperated, his wife cried out his name, but in his delirium, Henry thought she was offering him advice: "Henry, nurse the third."
"By jove, you're right!" he is said to have exclaimed. "Henceforth, I shall nurse my third."
That day Henry sat down and feverishly began to write The Prudent Boozer's Handbook, extolling his newfound philosophy of temperance. "The third drink," he scribed, "should be brandished like a shield against Louche Boozing, or worn with pride, as one wears a fine wristwatch." Word soon spread of this amazing new practice and Prudent Boozer chapters began to form across the land.
In 1884 Henry was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Oxford University for his pioneering work in the field of Habitual Moderation.
The first half of the 20th century saw lengthy periods of Prohibition, or Dry Law, being enforced around the globe. These laws, which banned the manufacture, transportation, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages, effectively forced PB underground. The movement flourished during this time by becoming a secret society.
Subsequently translated into 16 languages, though long out of print, the Prudent Boozers Handbook inspired boozers around the world to adopt the practice of Nursing the Third. Today the Prudent Boozers Historical Society continues Henry's legacy of promoting moderation in the boozing habits of good time Charlies everywhere.
< THE PB CREST
1. A more balanced life (the Scales)
The Prudent Boozer crest was created in 1882 by Cyril Kent-Dudley, a devout PB member who later designed the gates of Buckingham Palace. Kent-Dudley set out to pictorially describe, using ten coded references, the myriad life advantages offered by the PB Four Floor program. They are, as depicted:
2. Getting the monkey off your back (the Creature, at top)
3. Greater success in love (the King/Queen of Hearts)
4. More potent sexual congress (the Male/Female symbols)
5. Improved health (again, the Heart)
6. Increased physical strength and safety (the Helmet)
7. Superior fiscal acumen (the Purse)
8. A slender waist (the Monkey's Sash)
9. A heightened sense of aesthetic appreciation (the Laurel)
10. Sounder judgment (the Knight's Ear)
< THE 4 FLOOR PROGRAMSavor the 1st
Nurse III originally conceived the PB movement as a Four Step Program:
Sip the 2nd
Nurse the 3rd
Skip the 4th
Visiting London in 1882, however, he enjoyed his first encounter with an elevator, an apparatus then considered the height of innovation. The experience had such a profound affect on Henry that he immediately upgraded the PB Program from Four Steps to Four Floors, feeling this offered a greater measure of safety, comfort and efficiency.
* Female members, on the other hand, have long brandished their second, recognizing that their bodies require a more demure approach.
** Many claim that Henry's ghost is among those that haunt the Skirrid Mountain Inn.