‘‘I inadvertently achieved notoriety as a result of one of the quaint and ancient customs of my college. A system operated at dinner in the Great Hall under which if an offence was committed – in my case coming to dinner without a gown (some bastard had borrowed mine) – one was ‘sconced’.
‘‘This meant having to drink two-and-a-half pints of ale out of an antique pewter pot in less than 25 seconds. Failure to do so involved paying for the first drink, plus another two-and-a-half pints.
I was too broke for the fine and necessity became the mother of ingestion. I downed the contents of the pot in 11 seconds, left the Sconcemaster floundering and entered the Guinness Book of Records with the fastest time ever recorded.
‘‘This feat was to endear me to some of my fellow Australians more than anything else I ever achieved.’’
Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke
The Hawke Memoirs (1994)