God, I hope so.
I’m lookin’ at you, Jimmy, and if that’s what you look like a’ the time I dinna want to sober up.
The business of being drunk is a curious one. At one time it seemed to be the most frightening and disreputable state of being that you could experience. It was not hard to get to the edge of it when I was 17 – a small glass of 4.7% Swan Lager was enough to do it to a youth unused to alcohol. Fortunately my parents were smart enough to pour this for me before or during a family dinner and I could be induced to recognise the effects without being out in public or on the road.
Drunk is a relative word – as the police are not your relatives, they apply a more stringent definition of it than the family at a Christmas party, but the basics of it are an altered sense of balance, perception, and thought. When you have altered these enough to be herking on your shoes, you have gone too far, but it is possible to stop before then. And at the prices that they demand for rum these days, you will be straining to get anywhere near the footwear.
I value the afternoon tot of whatever is in the cabinet as a release from the cares of a morning spent not caring about anything in particular. That is the benefit of retirement – you can hand the need to worry to others and then wander off. But that little burst of ethanol opens the hatches and lets the air in and the fumes out. It must have been dreadful when the Royal Navy stopped the rum ration. I’ll bet the Russians issue vodka from a tub to this day.
There are a lot of posts written post-tot. They tend to be brilliantly funny at the time but are censorable the morning after – that is why I never send them while they are fresh. Some survive the editing process next morning and can be transmitted. Some are trashed.
Both you and I are better for that.
I live at home.
That means I get to drink at home as well. And I ‘m not talking about buttermilk. I have a liquor cabinet and a wine rack and enough clean glasses to host a block party.
The advantages of drinking at home are many:
a. There is no danger of being over the .05 % alcohol limit on the road. The car is parked in the carport, I am parked at either my dinner table or in front of my fireplace and I can have that cocktail without trepidation.
b. The cost of the drink is much lower than the same thing in a pub, club, or restaurant.
I do not begrudge the licensed premises their prices and profits – I realise that they pay far more in maintaining their business than just my pint or martini. They must have a fair return to be there.
But I do growl when I see the price of half a bottle of whiskey being charged for a cocktail that has one jigger of liquor in it tricked up with a show and a shot of water. If I was incapable of making a better cocktail I would have to accept this, but I own a Savoy book and good implements and know how to measure and shake.
c. I can have what I like, rather than what is on offer at the bar. My tastes are pedestrian enough that my local bottle shop can cater for any whim. I do not whim often, but stick to what I enjoy and to what does me good..
d. It does me good. A daily tot ups the spirits without drowning the intellect. I feel the master of the house when I can call for a glass…even if I then have to go and prepare it.
e. I can afford to treat friends who call. And there is none of that multiple buying frenzy that happens when a group meet in a pub. I am standing the rounds in my own house and while I might pour many, I only need to drink the amount that suits me.
f. No Zone Of Smoke to pass through coming in and out of my house.
g. I can go to bed when I like. This may involve putting out the cat and the visitors, but the mat is a big one and accommodates them all.