01 February 2008

"Not a factor"

I'm all too aware of my track record for missing few opportunities to score points of the cheapest. I tread at my daintiest here.

I have seen that face out east where I was raised, hardy old colonials out to pasture and nowhere but the club to head for. Mottled, brutal in its mapping of every tantrum and tincture. I see it here today in my new home where Ionian zephyrs make it all too easy for leisured ex-pats to be persuaded into "just the one" before the goat track home.

As I sit here, no one to monitor me, a mansion stacked with every type of booze, I want to drink. I want a cigarette.

I have music to play, loud as I want, and witty emails to compose. I have a blog in which to primp and preen and weave self-serving tales.

Don't hold me to self-discipline - who would know? Give me that Icarus draught and throat-tickling dopamine.

This is the most extroadinary report I have read in a long while and I have walked round the garden after the first reading and talked to Sam and asked him to bite my goblet hand to the bone if he so much as glimpses me eyeing the drinks cabinet. To sink his canines deep into my wedding tackle if he scents even a whiff of that sweet Karelia 'baccy.

  • A bloke keels over close to death and a close pal comments,
    "He was at the pub when he collapsed. I was not there - I have a number of other businesses."

    Excuse me? Of what relevance is it that you have "other businesses"? We all have other calls on our time that save us from frequenting boozers 24/7. No. You have one business, to lead a healthy life. Your responsibility is not to be at your compadre's side to push or validate a dram too far. "I was not there." Period. Say no more, chief.

  • The tippler collapsed "after spending a week drinking whisky following the breakdown of his marriage."
    Save me the marriage bit - a week drinking whisky? A week? A marriage doesn't disintegrate on hot chocolate every night and then you decide, 'Soddez cela pour une alouette, I'm trying the hard stuff.'
  • Not alcohol-related. Exhaustion from "six weeks' work at his restaurant in Thailand".
  • Everyone knew he 'liked a drink' (weasel euphemism). Favourite tipple, Scotch.

    But hold - despite that, it's never been a problem ... doubts are firmly expressed that it was ever "a factor in his collapse."

  • Further down the news report we find the poor wretch was "banned from driving for 32 months after being involved in a car crash ... three and a half times over the legal drink-drive limit when breath-tested."

    Not a factor? To quote my favourite Kris, "Oh puleez."

  • It gets worse. The sort of tasteless tragedy Tom Lehrer could have latched on to for a cruelly hilarious anthem for AA:

    The poor blighter is "believed to have been staying at the pub to help launch a newly-refurbished bar."

    Believed? A celebrity of this standing, undoubtedly wired and celled for 24-hr contact, and the newshounds can only guess?

    And is 'flamboyant' Fleet Street's current euphemism for someone who enjoys a noggin? Inclined to end up 'tired and emotional'? Or did the journo know they were going with the rubicund Falstaffian visage and slip in a pun on flambé'd?

    Oopah! I've helped 'launch' umpteen booze-oukia and the only one I effectively bade bon voyage to was myself, on an ocean of Mine generous Host's gratis mead.

    This posting sounds like the most vicious gratuitous attack on a decent hard-working man who managed to put it back *and* head a serious department. His pals will be on me and I will bite the dust and retract until the nails on my guitar-picking fingers are down to useless pads.

    It is not a comment. God knows I'm the last to cast the first ice cube, and I will do penance this evening when I read this out to the local Al-Anon.

    What a sad revealing exposé this news item is - laid out for all to see.

    And me? Just trying to pick a sensitive way thru unblaming vocab has banished thoughts of bottle or baccy.


    rwells said...


    Busker said...

    Shup, Wells ;-) (Luv ya really)