Six years off the piss.
After today, when I never once thought of scuttling off to the bar during a Melbourne Adelaide match which would have driven better men than me back to the bottle, it's prohibition time.
Get off the booze you pathetic people. Seriously, don't give me any "but I always enjoy one after work" or "what's wrong with one wine during dinner" or "Jeez, I could murder a cold one or ten". Sad. Soft.
Give it away.
If I were you and you were me, we'd try this: every time you feel like a drink in May, grab a softy; every time you are offered a drink in May, say no thanks. Then, if you haven't had a drink in May, try the same in June.
I dare ya.
The whole country is on the piss. The news is full of people getting shit-faced, fighting, drink driving, getting cancer, going to wine bars, listening to the Veronicas and other ghastly behaviour. What does Rudd do? Raise the price of tart fuel. Typical Labor. Fiddling about at the edges. There's only one workable solution: ban booze outright!
Five years off the piss. Five years and two days, actually. Been off the piss so long, I forgot I was off the piss.
To mark four years off the piss I give you the story of grog, courtesy of Brewer's:
Grog. Spirits; properly rum diluted with water. In 1740 Admiral Vernon, when Commander-in-Chief West Indies, substituted watered-down rum for the neat spirit then issued to both officers and men. The admiral was nicknamed Old Grog from his grogram coat and the name was transferred to the new beverage.
A mighty bowl on deck he drew;
And filled it to the brink;
Such drank the Burford's gallant crew,
And such the gods shall drink,
The sacred robe which Vernon wore
Was drenched within the same;
And hence his virtues guard our shore,
And Grog derives its name
~~ TT: Written on board the Berwick
Grog was originally issue twice daily, as a quarter of a pint of rum with a pint of water. The ration was cut to one issue in 1824 and reduced to a half-gill in 1850. The issue to the officers was stopped in 1881 and to warrant officers in 1918. Grog ration to all ratings ended on 31 July 1970.
I'm back, but stuck for enthusiasm to write. Break the rhythm and it's a fucker getting going again. Give yourself time to dwell on this blogging lark and you can't help but conclude it's almost a complete load of pants. Almost - it fills in the time. So much so it's been three years today since I gave up the sauce.
As of today, I haven't had a drink for TWOOO YEEEARS!
James Thurber once said something like "One drink is alright, two too many and three not enough." That's close; two maaaay be too many and three definitely not enough, but one is never alright.
People often say to me "Cmon, Tone, why don't you have just one drink? It won't hurt." Those people are idiots, I may as well take advice on kite flying from Charlie Brown. What is the point of having one drink? There is no point. And what is one drink? I'll tell you what one drink is; one drink is nothing. So there you have it in a nutshell. By having nothing to drink, I'm actually having one drink. Christ, it's really that simple. People are morons! Never listen to people, I tell you.
This weekend I went out late Friday night. Saturday afternoon I went to Money Valley -- no result. Saturday night went to the London Tavern in Richmond -- Go Dees! Sunday I had lunch with a good friend. And Sunday night caught up with another old friend for dinner. At all places bar Sunday lunch, everyone around me was getting stuck into the juice.
The upshot? No sauce for me. And as of today, it's twelve months exactly and still going strong -- one day at a time.
Apple Logies for my recent vanishment from the Blogosphere. The reason? Sauce. Or more correctly, lack of it. That's right, the After Grog Blog's been on the wagon. Taken the pledge. Off the schicker.
Why? Well, I figured another hell session two Friday's ago was a sign I needed to give it a rest. I'd ignored all the other signs. There are only so many times you can wake up dazed and bemused and wonder IF, or more accurately, WHY you'd made such an arse of yourself the previous night. Then again IF. Not sure if you'd misbehaved or not. And seeing I can't write like Raoul Duke used to, I'm not about to put it in a Book and make a career out of it. Even in Russian!
You'll remember that Friday was Anzac day. Because I was taking a couple of Excellent Earthlings to the Pinks/Demons game that night at the SCG, I'd decided on a light one. Fat chance! About three quarter time in the afternoon's Coll'wood/Esss-a-don game there set in only blurry juice-grabs of "Latté! Dot.com! Gay Mardi Gras! No passion! Chardonnay! Red + White = Pink!" Sydney Swan fan-fights. An aging bouncer pissed off that he couldn't stomp my arse because I'd kicked myself out before he got the chance. A hideous blue chrome nightclub full of muscle-heads and their hair tossing poppets. Dingy (Little boat? Doesn't look right) backstreets. I got lost. A flying barstool and accompanying sore foot. Burger rings. THIS. That one's good. Better. Bugger it. BEST! Best live album ever! Bar none! Another reason to like TB. The only other person I know who owns it. In vinyl too. Respect.
Sound like fun? It's not. It's stupid. The upshot? Well, I haven't had a sip since last Saturday night when I had one glass of wine with dinner. That's nine days off the laughing lolly. Longest I've been without a drink since I was at school. Longest by double. I left in 1979.
Anyhoo, you'd think I'd be all clear headed and churning out loads of luscious bloggage. No go. I was clear headed alright. Clear of ideas. No go on the luscious.
I don't know how this is gonna play out but as of now the After Grog Blog is operating on a whole new dynamic and taken the name to it's logical extension. At least I won't have to change it. I'm not making any promises but let's see how it goes. One day at a time.
PS: I'm keeping my heroes! HST. Sam Peckinpah. Pete Townshend. Keith Richard. And the two Warrens, Zevon and Oates.