For a true bender to take place, one must be drinking from the time of waking up till the time of passing out! I don’t think this is monitored by anyone, so the person on the bender doesn’t have to have a drink as soon as they flop out of bed, but morning drinking is involved.
Also, this drinking must be kept up for a minimum of three days, meaning that it overflows out of the weekend glass, sloshing into the workweek! Some sources say two days are the minimum, but more say three.
Being drunk is required as well! Small sips at a wine glass throughout the day doesn’t quite fit the bill for an honest to goodness, full-throttle bender!
There are some argument to the origin of the word bender. Some say it comes from having to bend an elbow in order to bring the cup to the lip. Another idea is that because heavy drinking puts a strain on the body, the drinker has bent them self out of shape!
My favorite possible origin however has to do with London Alehouses in the mid-1800s. As the story goes, many British tavern owners were trying to drum up business. If a patron payed a tuppence, a coin worth two pennies, they could drink as much as they could consume, from the time the doors opened in the morning till they shut again the next morning!
A fourpence, also called a groat, could be laid on the bar and a patron could drink all they wanted for two days! There were probably only one or two types of ale being served, so it was like a booze buffet with limited variety!
A sixpence coin, known as a tanner, was a thin coin that could easily be bent. Because of the flexibility of the coin it was also called a bender! Due to its worth, it could pay for three full days of complete drunken stupidity! Hence the phrase, ‘Going on a Bender!’
If only bar tabs were that cheap now…
As always, bend safely!