Now I remember why I don’t drink

First posted on 1st February 2004.

Most of the time, I choose to drive rather than drink. This choice stems from a time when I was the only one of my friends who could drive so I would collect them, take us all to the pub and drop them off at the end of the night, making a bit of petrol money and an entire evening’s worth of free soft drinks into the bargain. As the years went on, the idea of hanging around in the cold at the end of an evening for a taxi whilst sobering up just enough to make the wait appear that much worse, seemed like a bad plan compared with taking my lovely warm car complete with own choice of music. Also, the cost of alcoholic drinks plus taxis compared to soft drinks plus parking (if I can’t find somewhere for free), made sure that I became used to having a good time without drinking. Sometimes, however, I reckon it might be worth not driving. Most of those times, including last night, I am wrong.

We got to the bus stop to find out that the next one going in the right direction was thirty minutes away, so began walking towards Chris‘s place instead. I’m very unfit and so a plan to walk all the way there was quickly shelved in favour of a bus that smelt like sweaty changing rooms, and we only arrived ridiculously late rather than stupidly so. Turns out that this was a proper cocktail party full of well-dressed people, so I decided that plenty of alcohol was needed to calm the nerves brought on by totally underestimating the phrase ‘smart casual’ and only knowing three people out of (what seemed like) the hundreds that were there.

I don’t remember much of what happened next. I do remember listening to Pink Floyd and sipping excellent whisky at about 2am whilst some of the group tried to show the rest of us how to tie a Full Windsor knot. I also remember walking half of the way home in the pouring rain, giggling like a fool because Topper was jumping triumphantly into giant puddles on the roadside, much like a small child would do if given half the chance. Today has been spent nursing a small but steady headache while trying to dry Topper’s water-logged shoes out in front of the fire. He’s still in bed.

Next time, I’m driving. Maybe.

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