Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Old Soak.

Fumbling gingerly in the ‘drug’ drawer in the kitchen, I rifled through sachets of various and equally unpalatable flavours of Dioralyte; Melolin dressings, Cystitis remedies, old antibiotics large enough to heal a horse and a few low grade paracetamol. Calpol wasn’t going to cut it. Where the hell was the Nurofen Express? They had to be here somewhere. Clutching my head in one hand and the kitchen drawer in the other, a wave of nausea washed over me.
“Oh my God”, I groaned, gripping the drawer. Hubby walked in, whistling a piercing tune.
“Feeling a bit shabby Alice?”, he asked breezily, “I should bloody well hope so”.
Now if there is anything worse than a shocking hangover with all its component suffering parts, then it is a pious husband, whose job it was the night before to be the designated driver and who is thus, the following morning, so bright and breezy that sunglasses are required to look at him.
“Don’t be like that”, I said quietly, not because I was attempting refinement but because if I’d spoken any louder I’d have been sick. “I think I’ve got a bug”.
Hubby let out a peel, of what was in my mind, cruel, maniacal laughter.
“A bug? A bug? Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha”. The man was bent double. I had to lie down. Very slowly I walked into the sitting room and lowered myself onto the sofa and pulled a throw around me. The TV was tuned to the Disney Channel and Zac and Cody were taking time out for some adverts. Appalling, high pitched jingles trilled into the room with nauseating American kids singing the virtues of moistened toilet tissue. The dog, which more often than not sits snuggled up alongside my youngest girls, seemed to know the adverts by heart because he too started to sing. I assume he was singing; he was howling at least, it may well have been in protest.
Hubby threw himself down on the sofa next to me and with infuriating bonhomie, slapped my thigh.
“So, me old shipmate. Unless three large Kirs, swiftly followed by another large glass of Pinot Grigio were unfortunate enough to be ‘off’, you, my dear, drank far too much last night”. Why didn’t he just stop talking? I was in no state to count units of alcohol.
“It’s a bug I tell you”, I repeated, hopelessly attempting to push a now silent dog’s insistent snout away from under my dressing gown. He is nothing if not tenacious. I wrapped the ‘throw’ around my knees and lay back on a cushion.
“A bug does not necessitate the telling of such blue jokes that they would make a mess deck of sailors blush, nor does it embolden the victim to offer ahem, matrimonial advice to the vicar and his wife, who also happened to be at the pub enjoying a quiet sherry”. I groaned again. Please God, no.
“What was my advice?”, I barely dared ask.
“’Go Commando on a Sunday’”. Holy hell. But there was more.
“’It’ll add a certain frisson’”. Cassocks. Deep, deep shame overwhelmed me. What was I thinking? There I was one minute, listening intently to the political etiquette of judging a Victoria Sponge at a Garden show and the next I was Marjie Proops? How so? As if reading my mind, Hubby answered.
“You were bat faced”.
Dying a death on a cocktail of wine and disgrace, I dragged myself back upstairs and crawled under the duvet, where I stayed until the Nurofen that Hubby finally found and brought me, worked their magic; then and only then, was I able to pick up the phone and dial.
“My name is Alice Band and I am an alcoholic”.
Mags laughed, but not uproariously.
“Not in the true sense an alcoholic. You don’t exactly add gin to your Shredded Wheat do you? More ‘alcohol dependent’. Like most of us in fact. Why the epiphany?”
I told her.
“Oh.My.God and what does Hubby have to say? Has he fired you as Commander’s wife?”
“Well that’s the weird thing, he’s been relatively calm, if a little holier than thou. Do you really think we are alcohol dependent?”
“Probably”, she replied, “How many women our age do you know who can quite easily knock back a bottle of plonk a night. We don’t think we’re chavs though because” and she lowered her voice, “ we are rarely out in the pub making fools of ourselves, but in our own houses, wine in one hand, Manzanillo olives or Marlborough Lights in the other. It’s the way the middle class woman keeps her weight off”.
“That’s true. Since I’ve been on my diet and keep fit crusade, not eating has been tolerable only because I’ve had a bottle of something white and cold to look forward to in the evening”.
“Yeah and I’ll bet that wasn’t half a pint of semi-skimmed either”, she quipped.
“Thing is after a mad day of work, kids, dog and husband, there is nothing like that numbing third glass to ease the fatigue of family life”.
“Exactly, which is why the ‘How Much is Too Much’ adverts are out there directed at us, the silent soaks who cause no aggravation to anyone apart from liver specialists.”That was it then. There was nothing else for it other than sobriety. An infected wisdom tooth and subsequent antibiotics warning me against the horrors of drinking whilst on these specific pills have certainly helped me on my way. I was much relieved though to find a text from the vicar’s wife which said: GR8T 2 Meet U. Most people only talk chutneys and church. Have put your jokes on my Facebook page, doubt they’ll make the monthly Courier though;) The Rev wants me to pass on that the rough cloth of his surplice combined with Commando caused more than a frisson.’


Anonymous said...

I want to meet your vicar!

I agree with the drinking though - all the stuff about drinking at home & the theraputic glass of pinot grigio apply to me & my friends in fact I might have one in a moment it's past 6pm in europe. Seriously though it does mount up, I have weeks where I don't drink at all & weeks where it's every night. Everything seems to be bad for us and I sure the govt only picks on women drinkers because we are more likely to take notice of the dire threats to our health.

It's just me said...

All I can say is phnar!

DL said...

Love it!