Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Red Red Wine ... Stay away from me

I must admit, these days, I am not the party animal I used to be. Well, to be quite honest, I was never really much of a party animal, but there certainly was a time when I could finish work at 2am (ah Rembrandt's .. so many memories), and then kick on until 7am, and then do it all again the following night. Trying to maintain that sort of pace these days is neither possible, nor desirable, and when I do, I probably don't drink anywhere near as much as I used to. Having said all this, last Friday night I got absolutely sh!t-faced ... It was never my intention at the start of the night, or at any time during the night, to go completely nuts, but I was drinking red wine (as opposed to my usual choice of beer) like it was cordial, and boy did I pay the price.

While beer suffers the reputation of being the predominant cause of significant bulging in the gut region, it does have the unique quality of causing considerable bloatedness. As such, I can usually rely on the physical limitations of my gut to step in before my liver cries "abort!" When drinking wine, however, I'm on my own, and clearly not to be trusted.

Thankfully, my intoxicated exuberance went largely unnoticed (until the final hours, at our friend, Ben's place. Prior to this, I was at the PARSA Christmas party, where most of the drinking actually took place. It wasn't any kind of wild party either, very civilised in fact. Amanda and I organised the BBQ for the night, and around 17 or so PARSA reps (and partners) came. We sat around, ate cheese, chatted, played Conga Cranium (which was introduced to the party with a traditional conga-line opening ceremony), and yes, some of us partook in a tipple of wine or beer. I say some of us, because we were indeed in the minority. A significant proportion of the PRC do not drink at all, which is probably just as well, because Amanda's house would have been a lot messier at the end of the night had we been 17 piss-heads - one (me) was probably enough. I should point out that apart from reportedly making ridiculous comments with impressive regularity, I [reportedly] did not make a complete goose of myself at the party. I was, however, alarmed to see in Amanda's photos of the night, just how many involved me holding a glass of red wine, and the apparent deterioration of my sobriety:

The quiet listener:

becomes the philosopher:

who becomes the camera flirt:

who becomes the annoying guy in every photo:

who becomes the rowdy one:

and who ends up like this:

So as I say, not a goose at all ?! I kept that for later on, when Aff and I left the party at around midnight, to head over to our friend Ben's place in Lyneham.

Ben was hosting a bit of a poker night with his partner Jen, Michael and Lisa, and Tim (back from the UK for a visit). As I walked up the stairs to Ben's apartment, I knew things were on the way down. Those who've drank to excess (you know who you are!) know exactly what I mean - when the target you are fixated on, in this case Ben's front door, starts to move to the side, and then as the most sickening of dizzy spells hits, another identical looking object (in this case, another door), appears to separate itself from the original one, rendering you a navigational vegetable. From previous experience, I have learnt that the trick in these situations is not to try and head towards any particular duplicated object, but rather, to take the average of the two, and put your arms out in front of you so as to compensate for your lack of depth perception. However, with Ben's stair case to also traverse, I decided to let Aff find the door, while I waited at the bottom of the stair case for Aff to collect me.

After entering Ben's place, I celebrated with another beer, which as any sports commentator would say, was probably the final "nail in the coffin". The next clear memory of the night was a very familiar one from years gone by - on my knees, staring straight down the toilet bowl. I'll spare you the rest of the sorry tale, except to say that Saturday morning felt about as close to a near death experience as I have had in recent times.

Red Red Wine - Stay AWAY from Me -e -e!


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