Never fear. The last thing I would try to, is impress upon you my wisdom of the detriments of alcohol. Yes, it’s a poison. Yes, it costs the nation millions of dollars every year in additional Policing and the like. Yes, our livers would no doubt thank us if we swore off the stuff – but no. For as long as our idiot Government keeps it legal and freely available, why the hell should we abstain? Same goes for cigarettes. Admittedly, these two products are, unequivocally, drugs. No two ways about it, but they are legal drugs and my God, are they readily available. They are everywhere.
If you will allow however, I would like to focus today’s script solely on alcohol. As I’ve already mentioned, I have no desire to preach or to try and cleverly manipulate your thinking away from alcohol; this piece is intended purely as insight. It might open a few eyes as to the reasons we do things; but before that, let it be known, I have no qualifications in this field other than what I have observed. Also, I am currently a smoker and a big scotch drinker, so I’m about as impartial as they come. If that offends, please leave now.
As I said, insight. Picture this: you work outdoors, the weather’s been uncomfortably warm and humid, you’ve had a physical day; you’re hot, sweaty, tired, fed up and all you want to do is sit down. Yet the first thing you do after walking in the door, is open the refrigerator and crack a nice cold beer. Then you sit down and my God, that beer tastes sweet. You finish that one, you help yourself to another. Then another during you evening meal. Then perhaps another after your meal – because that beer just tastes so damn good – right? Wrong. Beer tastes like shit. Sure, I drink whisky, but come on..? Beer is bitter and leaves an awful aftertaste. Come to think of it, so does scotch. But beer is just so refreshing, right? Wrong. Well, partial credit. If it’s cold of course it’s refreshing, any cool drink is. Like water. Hell, come to think of it, I’ve had a hard day too. Splitting firewood – and not the sissy way either – with a six pound block splitter. So when I’m done, what’s the first thing I do? I pour myself a pint of scotch and ginger ale – half half ratio. Does it taste good? (As I sip it now I’ll admit, it’s an acquired flavour.) So no, not really. But it is refreshing…
People, come on. Wake the hell up. Like I said, water, fruit juice and to a lesser extent, cordial would have the same effect – in fact any liquid substance would do it. So why do we choose beer, or wine, or whisky, or rum, or some other homebrewed concoction with which I am unfamiliar? Is it the refreshment factor… or is it the alcohol? I know, I had some trouble with that myself, but sadly, I must concur. (Well, given that I’m the one speaking, it’s not so much a matter of concurring as it is, just saying stuff.) The point though, is that, while we might think that our bottle of booze is such a wonderful revitalising tonic after a hard day, ultimately, it’s the alcohol that lies within that ‘tonic’ which makes the whole experience so damned appealing. Still don’t believe me? Fair enough, I have difficulty believing myself from time to time; I’m not saying that alcohol is bad, no no, not for a second, I generally can’t get enough of the stuff; it’s simply that I feel people are tending to delude themselves on the matter. The reality is, the alcohol content in our drink is what’s making us feel good about the work we have done, making us feel proud of what we’ve achieved; giving us that rewarding, gratifying feeling of self worth that we as people, strive to harness and are quick to embrace. We choose booze when we want to relax, because it helps us to relax; we choose booze when we want to have a good time, because it helps us to have a good time; we choose booze when we want to be mellow, because it helps us with that, too. Gosh, what a wonderful, versatile beverage God has made for us. (Blasphemy? Perhaps – but what are you gonna do about it?)
On that note, my final word: drink alcohol if you’re into it, enjoy the shit out of it, just don’t kid yourself; be aware of why you are drinking it.