Friday, 20 April 2007

Alcohol - The hungoverd's guide

Alcohol. Love or hate, drink or abstain, we are all surrounded by it. I say this because last night, I got hammered. Not one pint more than I should have, but full on hammered.

I was on an empty stomach, in a late closing, cheaply priced pub and decided that the best course of action would be to drink as much as humanly possible.

And now as I sit here, wallowing in the repercussions, I'm force to admit one thing. I've been here before. A lot.

This is one of those moments when I have been sipping coyly at a cup of coffee and thinking "why?". We don't seem to directly benefit from drinking. Nothing incredible happens. In my experience though, its often the fallout of drunken acts that make life so interesting. Its those times you sit down with someone you got drunk with and take turns reminding each other of embarrassing moments and saying things like "oh god, I can't believe I did that". And here's the weird thing. We like to do this. Its actually enjoyable. And I can't figure out why. In any other situation that we fell in to a bush, made a hash of chatting someone up, threw up in someone's garden or stole government property we would try to cover it up. We would never speak of it again and pretend that it never happened. But not when we have been drinking. These moments become the centrepiece of anecdotes, where everyone else laughs along. If I had said to you "Yesterday I fell into someone’s hedgerow", it might make you say something like "Oh dear, were you okay?". But if I change the story to: "Yesterday, whilst so drunk that I couldn't see more than 5 feet in front of me, I tripped on my own feet and went head first into a bush and didn't even have time to raise my hands to break my fall", this suddenly becomes very amusing (and yes that's what happened).

Alcohol gives us a license to treat things differently. Not just what we do, but how we judge others who have had drunken revelries. Its an excuse, a reason behind stupidity. And it's socially acceptable. My parents if they ever read this (lets hope that they never do), would probably just tut and laugh.

We actually use alcohol. Not to get us drunk, but to allow us to do these things. How many of you have done something stupid when drunk and just thought "well I was drunk"? Its a free pass to the land of inhibitions. People often say that alcohol lowers your inhibitions, but I don't believe that its a chemical thing. You are actually expected to behave like a tit when drinking, so of course this is what you do.

Now that I have finished writing this, I feel much better. I have justified stupidity, and so I'm probably going to go out tonight and do it again. Because life without misfortune is just plain boring.

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