The Bamboozlers

My father taught me the value of self-sufficiency, of not being beholden to others, of facing down capitalism by taking control of your finances and therefore your life.

He did this primarily by concealing neat gin in a tonic water bottle and taking it to pubs and restaurants. There he would order a glass of tonic and keep it topped up with his ‘pocket Gordon’ for the duration. He calculated he saved thousands of pounds over the years, which he spent on more gin to take into jazz clubs, cricket matches and, later, hospitals.

Things are tougher these days. Only last week I had my bottle of Badoit sniffed at length by a hi-viz brute at the gates of Woking FC. He didn’t find any vodka, though. My mate The Masini had that in his back pocket, the hero.

But the truth is, there isn’t a gig or a festival or a sporting occasion that isn’t improved by a drop of the hard stuff. Or consider the theatre, where it’s an absolute fucking necessity. And when queues are long, prices are high and security is tight, you have little choice but to get creative. For this, Amazon is your friend. They may not pay their fair share in taxes but they can save us a small fortune, which amounts to the same thing, sort of. 

Here’s our guide to getting your booze in:



We say

Looks and feels like a real umbrella but this one gets you wet where it counts – on the inside. The handle unscrews to reveal a flask that contains 390ml of fun.

They say

This is NOT a working umbrella. Umbrella bag may be different color or pattern than shown. We change it to keep the fun police guessing.


Nadia – ‘Bought this for my mother in law, it was the best present she got for her 70th. Nobody will question a sweet old lady with a brolly when it comes to sneaking alcohol in somewhere.’

Stell – ‘Excellent. Bought 6 now for friends and family.’



We say

Double your options with two separate chambers. Perfect for the opera, race meetings and the Slimbridge Wetlands Centre.

They say

This two chamber liquor flask disguised as binoculars holds 16oz (13 shots) of your favorite drink. It comes complete with a shoulder strap, funnel, and gift box. Just screw off the eye pieces and fill.


Giovanni: ‘Great. When you drink directly right from them everyone is wise to you. If you pour your drink into a cup, only the guy sitting next to you will know.

Jan: ‘If 16 oz. of 80 proof isn’t enough for you, seek help.’


Bev Brush

We say

If you don’t have time for 100 strokes a day, just settle for giving yourself a stroke by consuming 100 of these little beauties.

They say

Fully functional paddle brush that holds over 6oz of alcohol. Great for concerts and sporting events! Not suitable for children under 3 years.


Jo: ‘Got through security without a problem. Just add a bit of hair for authenticity!’

Starman: ‘Brilliant. Was a Christmas present for my alcoholic girlfriend.’


Bev-Can Body Spray

We Say

Who cares what you smell like when you’ve got a pocket full of booze? That’s the Lynx effect, right there.

They say

This flask will pay for itself the first night you use it. We have made the Bev-Can look so realistic, it will not get a second glance from any security check. We call it the flask that bouncers walk past.


AB Newcastle: ‘Worth every penny. I have several different festival flasks and never been stopped with any of them. Did get a policeman ask why my friend was drinking from a sun cream one but I said “She is pregnant, leave her to it, we have”’.


Tie Flask

We say

Perfect for those long business meetings. Also ideal for flirting or making new friends afterwards, as in, ‘Do you want to suck my tie?’

They say

For the ‘executive on the go’ a full length, pre-knotted tie with a slim flexible inner flask discretely concealed. Not recommended for hot drinks. Tie Flask means you can enjoy a thirst-quenching beverage while leaving both hands free. Drink responsibly.’


Daniel: ‘Nice tie.’


Tampon tubes

We say

It’s obvious tampons should be available for free, like toilet paper, but they’re not so you’re forced to carry them around in your bag for emergencies. Or are you? No, these ones are filled with booze. Up yours, patriarchy.  

They say

The untouchable! Guys won’t even look at a tampon much less handle it at security.


Anne: ‘Imagine my surprise when I found my daughter’s Amazon cart filled with these tampon flasks. After we had a discussion about her alcohol consumption, I realized she was actually being quite sensible. Why pay $10 for an overpriced vodka cranberry when you can just tuck a couple “tampons” into your evening bag for those nights when you have a “heavy flow”‘

Amazonuser: ‘I put them in my purse before going into the show and there was no issue at all. I did get some weird looks drinking from them.’


More on this on the Deserter Pubcast:

Thanks to Miles Eames

Follow the Dulwich Raider and Deserter on Twitter

Like our Deserter Facebook page

Join our mailing list to receive a weekly-ish email update

Image credits: Main image is the Bev Bag (not currently in stock)