When reading through the National Guardian, I am always very amused when I read some of the ways that people lie to try and get out of trouble. In this article from January 1890, John Johnston was convicted of being drunk and incapable. Johnston then tells them that he hasn’t drank a single drop, but it was someone spilled whisky near him and he got drunk off the fumes! the snippet is below.
JOHN JOHNSTON, a tramp, convicted at the Police Court on Saturday of having been drunk and incapable on the previous evening asserted that he had not tasted drink, but had been overcome by the fumes of whisky which a man had spilt in passing him, the bottle having fallen out of his hand, and thus got broken. A Glasgow evening contemporary is surprised that John had the temerity to blame the present sultry weather for the extraordinary phenomenon, but an Edinburgh fail states that he may not have been the outrageous prevaricator that the worthy Bailie who sentenced him probably imagined. Intoxication has ere now confused the brain through more senses and more substances than one. there is said to be such a thing as obfuscation on green tea, and De Quincey records a case in which a sufferer got drunk on a beef-steak.
Who do you think is right? Is John Johnston telling the truth like the Edinburgh Daily suggests or do you think he was lying to try and get out of trouble, like the Glasgow evening contemporary believes?