Sunday, June 1, 2008

Tally Ho

So I had a bright idea on Friday while I was busy counting down the hours till playtime. As I was about to embark on a 48 hour bender for Laurence’s birthday, I knew I’d be drinking enough to write home about. And so, rather than rant on about how a train was late or a ticket inspector dared to demand my ticket, I thought I would do a little observing of my drinking habits.

I’ve never monitored how much I drink when out on the lash, but I often wonder why I don’t stop drinking when drunk, why it just becomes automatic to keep going to the bar, and why, when I care so much about calories, I don’t care what I drink. (it’s liquid, how can it be fattening?)

So my brainwave was, to do a little tally in my notebook, like they do in prison, for every drink I consumed over the weekend. Not to try and control it, but to try and see how much I consume. I hear the government thinks three drinks and over is binge drinking, so they’ll be in for a treat when this tally adds up.

By the time Mike and I arrived for dinner at Laurence’s house on Friday night, I was already drunk. We’d had a few on the train and then bumped into a friend of ours on the walk to Lazza’s, (recognised by his bottom.) and as I had hardly eaten all day (hungover from the night before and couldn’t stomach anything…) the wine had gone straight to my head.

Arrived at Laurence’s, delicious tuna steak dinner, few more bottles of wine, relatively early night to save ourselves for the following, bigger, evening. Did I once remember to tally in my notebook? Did I hell. I’m guessing I managed two bottles of wine. Take that, Gordon Brown.

Saturday, Lazza had arranged for proceedings to kick off at the Sports Bar at 3pm. The idea of starting that early daunted me, and I knew I’d be the first to sleep if I did, so I went for lunch and shopping with my Ma and Sis first. Why not just drink soft drinks for the first few hours, suggested my sister. Er, no, it doesn’t really work like that, Tammi. Laurence would never allow it.

I would like the world to know, all at least, my five readers, that Busabi is the best restaurant in the whole world, and I get sad just thinking about how long it will be until I next get to eat there. I had monkfish thai green curry and it was so good I don't even see the point in other food. It is a sin that there are no Busabi's outside of London.

Arrived at the Sports Bar (the worst pub I’ve ever had to go in. Disgusting. Chicken wings and snake bite everywhere.) at 5pm and started with a cider. I was right, Laurence and his beer swilling, sexist, racist mates were already drunk and I was very pleased the infallible Mike was there for me to sit under the wing of.

And so the night went on. I decided I was bored of always drinking rose so drank high percentage cider all night, at the same speed I’d drink rose. I don’t remember much.

Tammi wouldn’t let me take my massive camera to the pub because she, for some reason, thought I’d get really pissed and mislay it. I don’t know what gave her that impression. As I complained this to Gareth, he pointed out that rather than having no pictures of the night, I'd have no pictures of the night AND no camera if I'd taken it. Stupid other people always being right with their clever suggestions and their smug rightness.

But being without a camera meant I had to try and remember the funny things that happened instead. And for some reason, I started remembering things as if they were photos. I have snapshots in my mind, hazy memories, of Mike doing terrible cartwheels down a cobbled street to try and impress a street performer who had just done 5 flips and a somersault. Bemused, the performer didn’t really get why Mike got a louder cheer. Laurence and Willy G impersonating Jack Bauer on the London Underground (it involves pretending your fingers are guns and doing a lot of roly poly’s while shouting ‘Jack Bauer’ a lot), Laurence wearing nothing but his boxer shorts and my dress (we were playing 4 Kings) Laurence’s balls falling out of his boxer shorts… I’m glad that’s just a mental picture and doesn’t have to be inflicted on anyone else’s eyes. They were very pink and I don’t think I’ve ever shut my eyes more quickly. Scarred for life.

My memory comes back in glimpses. I vaguely remember trying to do a citizen’s arrest on a policeman because he wouldn’t let me pee in his hat while pretending I was pregnant. (apparently that’s the law). We picked up a Polish girl on the Underground and Laurence brought her back to the flat. Brave girl. We started playing 4 kings, for which I was rubbish because my energy had been sapped by all the cider and I wanted to sleep. I guess when you are not trying to sleep with a Polish girl you don’t have the energy to sing Bruce Springsteen songs and down Vodka. Maybe I just don't like vodka. Maybe Laurence is an alcoholic. But I stayed up long enough to swap clothes with Laurence and watch Mike and Laurence kiss.

In the morning, Mike went to check on Roma, our new Polish friend. All I can say is, today could have gone very differently. It could have gone like this:

Well, officer, we met her on the tube, she was sober, she’d been at work. We took her back to the flat where she drank most of a bottle of vodka. No, we'd never met her before. Why is she wearing Mike’s trousers and a bra? It was a game, officer. She must have passed out. Now she’s dead. Choked on her own vomit. But we didn’t mean any harm, Laurence just likes bringing girls back to his flat in the hopes that they will sleep with him. Please can we go home now?

Luckily, although she had been sick in her sleep and the sick was down her bra, in her hair, on her face, and quickly seeping through the sheets, mattress protector and mattress, the girl was alive. Whoop whoop! The girl was alive.

She refused the offer of a shower as I think she knew Mike and I were leaving and she’d have to be alone with Laurence. So she came with us to the tube, sick still highly visible in her hair.

What a lovely weekend. I feel so enriched, so wholesome and so soulful. Did I remember to tally my drinks the second night either? Thank goodness, no. I don’t want to know. I don’t even like drinking anymore. Mike and I had a long discussion about how bored of it we are. I want to wake up without a headache, my skin having not aged ten years over night, the smell of kebab not still permeating the room. I want to rise, do something fun that I’ll remember with my day, and if I do spend money I want it to be on something I can still hold the next day, not something that makes me wake up with nothing to show for myself but a new set of bruises.

So I’m giving it all up and eloping. Aren’t we, Gareth?


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