“Stranger,
here you will do well to linger; here our highest good is pleasure”
Epicurus

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Fastidious Decisions

December 11, 2019

If you are one of the many Britons pondering an epoch-making choice this week, perhaps you would permit us to share some advice taken from the 260 year old book which inspired the Broken Clock Vodka legend.

In ‘The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman’ the eponymous character’s father takes enlightenment from the ancient tribes of the Goths whenever there’s a fastidious decision to deliberate. The Goth clans “—had all of them a wise custom of debating every thing of importance to their state, twice, that is,—once drunk, and once sober:—Drunk—that their councils might not want vigour;—and sober—that they might not want discretion”.

Neither us nor the book’s author Laurence Sterne would condone drunkenness of course and so it is that both Tristram and his father had adapted the technique for more sober deliberations.

Tristram made a point of making judgements once on a full stomach and then a second time in a state of extreme hunger... fasting encouraging cautious thoughts and indulgence giving more care free consideration.

His father it seems being rather more retrained would make crucial decisions by discussing them in bed with his wife over the course of two evenings, with an agreeable resolution inevitably come upon after the second night’s long deliberations, a process he called his “beds of justice”.