I don't have an alcohol problem

John White. Web site http://www.whitebeertravels.

I drink…I get drunk…I fall down…no problem!

A few years ago, I was working in Cardiff and had a South African colleague called Thys. Great guy and a great laugh. As he was South African he was able to get Sambuca Gold and Aftershock that… didn’t conform to european standards shall we say. They were somewhat stronger than their British counterparts, and the Aftershock had the added bonus of crystalising when the lid was off, which increased the strength of the stuff.

So it was with much merriment that a friend and I decided to consume a bottle of Sambuca Gold and a bottle of Aftershock Red before going out. I don’t know why we did it, we were perfectly sober when we started drinking…it can’t have taken much to get us to the “good idea at the time” stage.

All I know with any certainty is that a few people turned up at the house, more drinking was done and the decision made to go to the pub. Upon arriving at the pub, I ordered a round for everyone. The barmaid asked me for the money, so reached into my back pocket to get my wallet. It was only when I tried to open the wallet to extract cash that I (along with everyone else) noticed I was trying to pay with my stereo remote control.. Unfortunately this is not a currency widely adopted in the UK and I was forced to perform a veritable stagger back to the house to collect my wallet.

It was also around this time that a friend and I decided that a “Leo”* was called for. We spent the bulk of it drinking lager at the Snooty Fox. At some point we decided to move onto Harvey Wallbangers, which we decided to use as chasers to the beer. Then, my friend decided that he would also quite like to do Tequila shots, which we chose to be the chaser of the chaser. Unfortunately, I hate the taste of Tequila, so I needed either beer or more Harvey Wallbanger to wash it down with. So the order was changed. Tequila shot, followed by Harvey Wallbanger, followed by a lager chaser.

It was with no small measure of shock that we were plastered by around 5pm. I remember Sarah driving past us both, me leaning on the wall and waving and my friend attempting to do the same. Unfortunately the wave took him a little more off-balance than me, and he slid down the wall and onto the floor….where he stayed for a little while.

My fave story though from around this time is that of a house party that a few friends and I were invited to. Having nothing better to do, and probably not really thinking, we arrived at the party precisely at the invited start time. Now this is normally a mistake in party attendance terms, as being the first people there tends to make the initial part quite dull. Still, in an effort to gee it up, I started handing round a bottle of Smirnoff Black Vodka that I had taken as my bottle of choice in the “bring a bottle” stakes.

What I failed to notice was that, as I passed the bottle to the next person, the bottle was simply passed around, without anyone drinking any…until it came back to me. Essentially, this meant that consumed a 1 litre bottle of this stuff in a little under 40 minutes. I was “reasonably well oiled” by the time the party really started going strong. A friend arrived with a bottle of some Vodka that a Russian visitor had given to him and the same pass the bottle strategy ensued…although at least this time there was one other person actually drinking the stuff.

Suffice to say that in less than 2 hours, having consumed 1.5 liters of Vodka straight from the bottle, I was a little worse for wear. I decided to go outside for some fresh air and, in a vain attempt, to clear my head. I ended up kneeling down on the driveway where I could hear the plans being concieved to go outside and strip me…just for fun you understand.

My overriding issue at this point was not, as some might imagine, being stripped naked for a laugh. No no no, my only issue was that if they wanted to strip me, that would involve moving me…something I definately did not want to happen.

Most of the rest of the night is a blur, although I definitely remember being put into a taxi, complete with head hanging out of the window like a pet dog….taken to my mates house and placed in the toilet with my head positioned over the bowl. Just at the point I was starting to fall asleep there, Simon decided to pour a bucket of ice water over my head.

After the initial shock, the effect was instant sobriety and we headed back to the party.


*Leo = Leo Sayer = All dayer = All day at the pub

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