It’s Friday night and it’s time for me to consult with the spirits again (56% alcohol by volume)! Sadly, in Singapore have to get up and go to work again tomorrow. Sigh. They can take my rights, but they can't dampen my spirits (the bottled kind)! And Fridays I get soaked as if I have all of Saturday to recover. It is usually when I reach the state where my skin becomes flammable that my hands must be untied to write!
I think alcohol has largely given a bad rap by society—especially one as conservative as Singapore's. I never used to drink in SA. I hated alcohol. I mostly only saw the negative side of alcohol: people losing their dignity, their jobs, and their families. It was one late afternoon of my so many thousandth day spent sober that I actually thought seriously about my aversion to alcohol. I am a hell-bound atheist and could not be happier with my condition. I live to defy the gods and spit in their faces every chance I get. Why then do I follow this puritanical practice? Whose eternal praise party was I hoping to join?
I had seen what milk of amnesia can do even to highly intelligent people. So, I never thought of myself as ‘the one’ for whom the rules would be suspended. I had enough research data from studying drunks at clubs, bars, and parties to make a final ruling on the wholesomeness of alcohol. And that turned out to be the problem. I hated alcohol not for what it is but for how other people behaved under its influence. So I decided... neewat, dis tyd om die sondes van Babilon te proe! I sat down with a bottle of Johnny Walker to hear his side of the story.
I was not going to be a chicken about it either. I took Johnny like a Hillbrow hooker takes a Metro cop: straight up. And that is how my journey down the vineyard started…
As Johnny told me his life story, I recalled from memory how I saw other people become stupid, loud, angry, catatonic, and horny. I, on the other hand, discovered alcohol slowed down my thoughts just enough for me to finally make sense of them. I could finally understand myself! With old Johnny talking in the background, I did not just hear the music, I FELT it… every drumbeat; every harmonic. I got so into my music it was like hearing it for the first time again—only better!
As I finally regained the vertical—albeit with a throbbing headache and some real effort—I felt reborn.
To this day, I seem to have some natural immunity to alcohol, as it does not reduce my cognitive abilities in the slightest. I dare say it fine-tunes them. (I know all drunkards say this, but I proved it to myself.) I tested this with a tough physics book at hand. Whilst drunker than a Somalian pirate that recently took captive a ship full of affluent white women to rape over the coming weeks, I finally grasped a part of Einstein's general relativity that had eluded my comprehension for all of my sober life.
I could finally enjoy sex with my wife again, because the more I drank, the more she looked like her friends! Later on, I'd see two of them, and so I had my first threesome. And yes, they both came... at the same time, I might add.
So you see, despite the odds, the two were married—neotard conservatism with runaway alcoholism, and it’s been a blessed and happy union to this day. And while others in my family lost their jobs when on Satan's Oros, I not only kept my stressful graft, I started excelling at it! I started raking in promotions left right and center. Therefore, like most religious people, I attribute my rising success to my newly found ‘spirituality.’
Of course, one can't escape the prophets of doom on matters of substance abuse. My mother frequently preaches to me, "but all that pain that comes the next morning; Is it worth it?" Pain is just weakness leaving the body, mother! You should go see Doctor Walker sometime—he may be able to sort out that gout permanently.
Alcohol has been part of human culture for thousands of years. One of the great crimes of modernity is that we silence the drunkard before he delivers his message. In so-called primitive cultures—as dusk approaches—all the people of the village gather around a bonfire to partake in a ritual that runs deep into the night. As the sun escapes view, the barman brings forth jungle juice for everyone, but the real poison is reserved only for wisest and most experienced amongst the people: the clan leaders, shamans, and legendary warriors. As the ritual progresses… one at a time… as if summoned, people stand up, limbs flailing about in alcoholic ecstasy, and they deliver their message of wisdom to their peers. And this process is repeated multiple times per week. Who says functional alcoholism is a myth?
I truly pity those chaps who have wives and religion that play the role of alcohol in their lives. You don't know what you are missing out on. Now I’m not saying that one must smite thy own liver in anger or mark it for eventual replacement. But abstinence should only be practiced by that joyless and sterile regime—christianity. Though, even in christianity’s holy book, you will find the odd reference to the power of the grape and the grain. Who can forget the Sunday-school sermon about Jesus turning water into wine? It is, as the late Christopher Hitchens used to say, “The only worthwhile miracle in the bible.”
Even though alcohol is blamed for failed marriages, family disputes, and performance degradation at work, it really ought to be the people who drink beyond their limits who should collect the blame. When used properly and in moderation, alcohol can help one not only find boring people interesting but also make old friends even if you didn’t grow up together. When one is alone, alcohol can make even a rebroadcast of a rugby match entertaining to watch. If one’s team loses, alcohol can help one maintain one’s loyalty during such trying times.
Another pleasure of alcohol is that one can have so much fun with alcohol jokes—especially in SA. There we have this whole culture dedicated to making alcohol sound more dangerous and ridiculous than it actually is. We even sing about alcohol in SA, and Loftus Versfeld is the only place on the planet where you can get oranges and watermelons with 40% alcohol by volume. In Singapore we have nothing of the sort, and it saddens me somewhat.
My attempts at revelry with the locals, whilst pissed to kingdom come, simply left everyone (myself included) feeling awkward and embarrassed. And so, off I fucked, because over here people actually take alcohol seriously (which makes it boring).
To end this article, let me see if I can kill the old clichés regarding certain types of booze and come up with some new ones. And for added educational value, I listed the various alcoholic beverages I’m retitling in on order of lethality:
· Black Label - The only blacks that don’t want your land
· Guinness - Learn to understand and speak Irish
· Papsak - A pillow when you need it most
· Osbloed - A headache is the least of your worries
· Vodka - Antifreeze for people in cold regions
· Cane - This is how Columbus discovered America
· Red-heart - The Terminator is just a movie; You’re the real thing!
· Tequila - The best panty remover in town
· Three Ships Wiskey – The Sharks lost/won again! (the whiskey for all occasions, as I like to call it)
· Johnny Walker Blue Label - If you can afford me at least you're insured
· Klipdift – Learn the art of projectile vomiting - Exorcist style
· Heavy peated whiskies (or as I call them ‘Groot Piet’) - Experience Down Syndrome for yourself
· Old Brown Sherry - Get tanned whilst staying indoors
· Cask-Strength Single Malt Whiskies (my poison of choice) - Charcoal pills not included (I found this out the hard way)
· Stroh Rum - Never grow old (simply die young)
· Witblits Mampoer - Not even god punishes like this
· Home brew (made by people who think commercial hard liquor is for sissies) – Declared blind on the scene
· Everclear (mixed) - Turns your pee into red slush puppy
· Everclear (straight up) - Permanent out of body experience GUARANTEED!
And remember the Contrarian’s advice when it comes to drinking:
Spare a kind thought for your liver because getting a new one means someone else loses one. Never drink on an empty stomach; it turns a slow and passionate session of alcoholic love making into a violent act of rape. Never force someone to drink more than they can, and never drink more than you can, either. Always drive sober and well rested. And finally, do take advantage of drunken women but remember to pay the child support later (that kid needs to grow up and drink one day, as well).