COLUMN: Alcohol consumption brings out the worst

2016-10-06 06:00
on the run lunga adam

on the run lunga adam

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A wise person once uttered these words: There are only two truthful people in the world, a child and a drunk person; in vino veritas.

I am not drunk at this moment, nor am I a child any longer, but I want to bring to attention people’s habits whenever they are under the influence of alcohol.

Let me mention that alcohol is not necessarily a bad thing, needless to say, an alcohol-free nation would be the ultimate utopia. I doubt this will happen in my lifetime, though.

For we are not in the Middle East(where alcohol consumption is banned).

We are in the southernmost part of Africa where braai, beer and belles make the perfect combination for a good weekend.

It is when people allow the waters of immortality to control their conduct that the act of imbibing alcohol takes a nasty turn of events.

Peeps tend to forget that alcohol should be used as a means to socialise, instead of bringing weapons to watering holes.

It makes us all sit uneasy.

Some of the habits border on the ridiculous, while others have some fatality about them.

I felt obliged to pen this piece after witnessing a guy seated not far from me taking in his beer in the strangest of manners.

He was drinking the beer straight from the bottle through the side of his mouth. Perhaps this gave him the thrills, but seemed very strange to me.

This act brought to mind the antics of a friend who also drinks his cerveja straight from the bottle, but with an added twist: He would stick his tongue out, seemingly for an undisturbed and mighty guzzle down his throat, before taking said gulp.

The disgust on the faces of fellow imbibers would be there for all to see. Every time he lifted the bottle, his friends would contort their faces in anticipation of what was to follow!

Seeing him do that would be enough to make you want to throw up all of the previous day’s alcohol.

The last time I saw him, he was drinking all by himself, and I assumed his other buddies may have taken flight from his ‘tongue lashing’, if you get my drift.

I can’t blame them either. His was a disgusting sight.

Then there is this laaitie from the neighbourhood who can go aggro after a few glasses. Sadly, he is a lost cause.

Every time he is in the joint, you know some trouble is going to ‘brew’.

Patrons always complain of his behaviour.

I have seen the shebeen queen giving him a few good chesa mpamas, Black Coffee style, before throwing him out, Andy Cap cartoon style.

Somehow, he always finds his way back to the establishment, though.

Havoc seems to follow him, like a camel to a nomad in the desert.

To cap it all, he has this favourite t-shirt, emblazoned with the inscription: Own Worst Enemy.

At least he has the sense to foretell his character.

Years ago, I was with friends at a drinking place in Nondlwana Road in Lower Crossroads.

Seemed one of us had one too many and dozed off in ‘mid-session’. When it was time to leave, we had the unenviable task of carrying him home, which was quite a distance away.

I tell you, even the pressure of deadline for this column pales in comparison to the heavy load on my shoulders that evening.

Then there are also the wine drinkers. There is a grog called ‘igumla’, which is popular among the old folk. I am told that if you drink it sitting down, it might be a struggle to get up, which explains why a lot of its consumers often pee on themselves.

My favourite pastime, it seems, is ukubhantsa. need I say more. It seems I’m also my own worst enemy.

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