Sunday, August 29, 2004

Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder

It appears I have been guilty of talking absolute cock.

No, no, don't try to deny it, it's true. In the previous instalment of this august journal I may have given the impression that it was my intention to seek out every opportunity to suck up booze like there was no tomorrow.

Not true.

Since my brush with divine bartendering in the form of miracle beer, I have emerged a deeper, finer Colonel. Armed with a stiffened resolve and a will of steel, I have nobly forsworn all alcohol since then. The effect caused has been little short of sensational. Fellow drinkers, with whom I have spent many a golden hour throwing the stuff back, have expressed concern, scorn, derision and incomprehension in equal measures. The rumours abound in the local drinking dens and plague spots.

"He's got the clap."
"Nah, he's turned into a queer"
"I reckon he's found God"
"He's an arse anyway"
"Can we talk about football again? Good."

And so it goes.

There is a considerable upside to a period of abstention. One's pocketbook enjoys a respite due to the lower price of soft drinks, always a consideration in these straitened times. There is also something comforting about waking up in one's bed at the weekend and being in full possession of the facts as to how you got there. The absence of a thumping headache and the slow onset of shame as you gradually recall some of the less dignified antics and lo-jinks you indulged in while in your cups is a positive boon also.

There are also some new-age quacks who claim there are health benefits associated with laying off the good stuff, but like all right-minded folk I tend to steer clear of that type of wacked-out, left-field, weirdy beardy, looney bin theory. Their reasoning is clearly specious, one instinctively feels.

However, I am not a fundamentalist muslim and anyone who says I am is a damned lying hound. All good things must come to an end. On friday this coming week I will rejoin the land of the topers to join my fellow revellers at a stag weekend. The groom-to-be appears to regard Whitby as a fitting location to see out his last hurrah as a footloose man about town. Whatever the merits of Whitby as a destination, I am sure of one thing; they sell beer there. And I will be sloshing it back until it bubbles out of my eyes.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And it says "Drink beer".

And in slightly smaller letters "But don't go daft, eh?"


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