Sunday, 5 February 2006

Drink for yourself

STRESS: The condition created when the mind overrides the body's natural desire to choke the living shit out of some arsehole who desperately deserves it.

Stress. Anxiety. Boredom. Dealing with arseholes. Even days which are going great and you're 'in the zone' will still have their darker or lesser moments, and deliver idiots who do their best to get up our nose -- the more of a city dweller we are, sadly, the more such moments we're likely to experience. Just think for example how many times during the average day in the average city you have to override competely your natural desire to choke the living shit out of some arsehole who's just begging for it (or learn to repress such a thing for just a moment or two until you can safely get your hands around their throat unnoticed). Every day brings us these little (or large) repressions we need to exercise in order to get through the day productively, and intact.

The more such days we have, the more likely we are to get home, sit down and say, "Damn, I need a drink." And it's a damn good thing we do, because alcohol is good for us. Oh yes, there are studies galore showing the direct health benefits of red wine, and beer and so on, but alcohol has more than just health benefits: used properly, it helps us gently dissolve the essential 'shell' we build aounrd ourselves so we can get through each day with our soul and our emotions intact. Used properly and in the company of friends and the things that make life worth living, alcohol helps to enjoy life, and to truly savour our rewards for living: emotions.

Our emotional faculty is uniquely organised to give us our rewards for living well -- love, joy, passion, triumph -- and if enduring happiness is our aim then we have to ensure that faculty is not de-sensitised, and be able to fully enjoy and truly experience our emotions, no matter what sort of day we've just had and how many arseholes with which we've been confronted.

Alcohol helps us with that important work of shedding our outer skin, uncovering ourselves so we and our friends can get on and enjoy our real selves 'with the bark off.' If you want to see the unvarnished truth about someone, then get drunk with them. Works every time -- and it can be great fun.

Alcohol is one of the few things on which enormous effort and expertise is expended in order simply to produce something which gives pleasure. How 'bout that! And how much pleasure is there to be had in enjoying and savouring the hidden pleasures of each of these products of professional expertise. Fruity pinot noirs; peaty whiskeys; hoppy lagers; rich, dark stouts; crystal clear martinis ... beautifully crafted for the sole purpose of giving us pleasure.

But alcohol is dangerous, you say? Well, yes it is if you drink stuff that isn't well-made. Tui, for instance. Or Spumante. No, no, you say, doesn't alcohol make people violent, abusive and prone to getting off with people they shouldn't? Well, yes, it does with some people. Alcohol unveils the character of the person within; that person with all the bark off. If the person within is boorish, monstrous or criminally self-absorbed, then all will soon be revealed. Instant arsehole; just add alcohol. If that's you we're talking about, then leave alcohol to those who deserve it, and do something to sort yourself out.

Let the rest of us enjoy our drink in peace. And as it's almost noon, I'm just away to start mixing up a tall one. Cheers.

Links: Still flowing. Still in the zone. - Not PC

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