Friday, 23 January 2015

Is he really an alcoholic?

It’s very easy to label everyone who likes a drink an alcoholic. Not so.

There’s a big difference. A man who drinks too much on occasion is still the same man as he was sober.  An alcoholic, a real alcoholic, is not the same man at all.  You can’t predict anything about him for sure except that he will be someone you never met before.
- Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye



  1. Thank God it's wine night Friday: because I'll have to think on this over a few drinks.

    (And on the upside our Martini night Saturday starts with the usual Manhattans', but finishes for 'dessert' with an espresso martini I've just learned to make - blasphemy I know: shot espresso, shot vodka, shot Tia Maria, shot Baileys, shaken vigourously over ice.)

    In other news, the Eurozone has become a confirmed alcoholic though.

  2. Nice quote, but not really anything to do with reality in my experience. I've met utterly predictable alcoholics and completely unpredictable occasional drinkers. In fact, alcoholics are often defined by their predictably banal rituals. The best way to spot an alcoholic to watch for them rolling out all sorts of codswallop to justify their drinking, kind of like this post.

  3. @Mark: Not sure you've been reading the dictionary under "martini," Mark. Mind you, my current favourites are either a Gimlet (2 gin, 1/2 lime juice, 1/2 Roses lime cordial; perfect for summer), or a vodka martini with a green chili garnish.
    Yes, the Eurozone punch bowl is even more dangerously spiked. This won't be fun.

    @Cheese Funnel: Speaking of fun, a drink with you sounds like it might be the opposite.
    Anyway, alcoholism in Mr Chandler's view, and mine, is nowt to do with the regularity of the drinking, and everything to do with its effects. Which is that a few drink reveal somebody a person with the bark off. Most people are the same all the way down. But with some people, that bark conceals an awful lot of darkness.

  4. "I'm not an alcoholic, I'm a drunk. Alcoholics go to meetings."

    @PC Your dictionary is broken. Vodka martini? Might as well just mainline ethanol! Gin is king! Now, where's that troll face emoticon?

  5. Some people think I'm alcoholic but I'm not. I'm a drink enthusiast.

    Falafulu Fisi


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