This is where I will be taking you back to some accidents and mis-adventure that occurred in my first three years after my first wife left. I went off the rails in a huge way, she one day took me out for dinner in late 2003 and asked me why I was drinking so slowly, a whole 15 minutes on my first pint, I had to explain to her that two hours previous I had finished my 7th pint of the afternoon, before an hours kip, shave, shit and shower, before going out to meet her. To be honest, i had hoped to have shocked her by telling her that, but it was her to shock me when she simply said……….. “Wow, I though you were stone cold sober, I couldnt tell you had been drinking”
I had become the big hero drinker i wished to be through out my whole childhood, I counted down the hours until I could legally drink, which is strange when you think that neither my parents touched alcohol, maybe a bit of Asti at Christmas or Snowball, but it was the only time. So here you go, you may love this, and please feel free to laugh, I did at the time, no matter how much damage I have done to myself.
Now, living like this, in the grip of your favourite tipple twenty five hours a day, does have some side effects, surprise, surprise, I hear you all cry, but yes my Alco-frolic friends. It makes me cringe now to even think of what I have been through over the last four years. I still kick myself for getting into those situations but as I have said I’m here to lead you round this and help you to avoid similar side effects causing you too much bother. There are times when I read this I feel as though I am reading about someone else, but alas a quick look in the mirror reminds me of what I have done to the delicate fleshy parts of my anatomy, the pain and discomfort a distant memory, but the tracks of my tears all too evident. Read on, if you’re eating finish first then read it. It could well put you right off your food.
What is about to follow are a few drunken accidents.
Now that’s all well and good a little accident, a touch of claret, a stitch or two or a bit of a plaster. Lovely all fixed up and on your way home you go, nice, But the human form in all its beauty has one minor fault, it’s very fragile. The distance between a couple of stitches and a wooden overcoat is, in real terms, fractional. As you will discover over the next few pages, I have learnt that from first-hand experience.
So read on, laugh at my slapstick antics while on the black nectar, remember and avoid those things yourself but most of all just read and laugh.
Accident number one.
The first incident happened on the eve of the world cup game between England and Brazil. It was the summer of 2002, and like all world cup years, when we qualify, we thought our boys would be bringing the cup home, even more so after beating Argentina in the previous game. The scene was set and we join it on the evening before the big match……..
After work on the Thursday night, about ten thirty we headed down to a local hostelry to imbibe a few swift sherbets, I was going to go to Tesco’s to get bread and bacon for the morning as I had a few lads coming to mine at six thirty in the morning for the match. Upon entering the pub we found a few friends on a small session and thought it to be rude not to join them. We played pool, chatted about the game the following day, discussed what the line-up may be, whether we could win, and of course drank. By one thirty in the morning Tesco’s was out of the question, so we all proceeded to “walk” home. I was very, very drunk.
The alarm went off at 6am and I ignored it the best I could, alarms are far shriller to a hung over mind, I was that bad it was not easy to lurch out of bed and just as hard to snooze the clock. The lads came round at 6.30, hammered on the door, I dragged myself out of bed, shrouded my near dead body in a soft comforting dressing gown, feeling like death had chewed me up, spat me out and then trampled my arse, I hobbled down the stairs like an old man grasping for his Zimmer frame, and let them in, although the shock, horror and laughter on their faces said it all, and that look was one I would see on many faces for many weeks after accident number three.
I made a large cafetiere of coffee for them, all I could face was water, and a day without the caffeine kick to start my body was going to have me flopping around like a fish on damp sand by eleven. They were a bit pissed off there were no bacon sandwiches, but realized by my appearance the trip to Tesco’s hadn’t happened for obvious reasons. I was still so inebriated that the game is mostly a blur. I still could only drink water and the Bombay belly was raging in full force, although upon England going one goal up I did muster a huge, albeit croaky yell in ecstatic joy and pride.
By the end of the game, and the end of our world cup dreams, I felt no better. A quick shower and shave still didn’t help. I was a little unsteady on my feet, on the five minute walk to work the pavement was rocking, every footstep crashed through my tender mind and echoed down my spine. With a very busy day ahead, a wedding and a buffet in the evening where I was due to serve the food, I pulled myself together. Phil’s, (my head chef), motto being work hard, play harder, ringing through my head I just got on with it the best I could. Mid-way through the day I was looking for my heavy chopping knife and, what was about to transpire I’m glad I never found it; all I could find was my 10” chef’s knife. I started to chop peppers, something I have done thousands of times over the years, when all of a sudden a searing pain shot through my finger tip, all the way up my arm and into my brain, giving me the message that I had removed part of my finger nail and cut into the nail bed. Now cuts and burns are part and parcel of the trade, and don’t get me wrong I am not a wuss, but fingernails always make me cringe, and they hurt like a bitch.
Well as customary in this situation, I swore and cursed, put on a blue plaster and disposable glove, Phil called me a twat, and we carried on. Now, the finger of the glove began to fill with blood and, once one finger had filled the next one would start and so on. So I changed the glove and this carried on all day. By 3pm it seemed to have stopped. We went home and I slept off the last remaining effects of the night before. I went back to work at 6pm changed the plaster, which had already started to knit its self to the nail bed, I gritted my teeth and with one quick pull ripped it off, bringing the pain up my arm and into my brain back with its original intensity and the claret began to flow again (I’m clenching my teeth just at the thought of it 16 years later). I re-plastered and gloved with the same effects as earlier. Phil decided that it was far too off putting to the guests to have me bleeding profusely while serving on the buffet and sent me to casualty.
At this point Emily (my first wife), and I were separated but still trying to make it work, so a quick call to get her to drive me to the hospital followed. Four hours spent in casualty ending in a tetanus jab was not my idea of a fun date or hers. Then again I know how to show a lady a good time. Now if you’re like me, injections are not something I relish, so when I was asked when my last tetanus was, I lied. My reply was
“Oh, couple of years ago”
Leaving Emily to drop the hint to the nurse that it was more like 12 years ago. Yeah, thanks love, remind me to do the same for you one day. I did ask if they had developed it into tablet form but alas no. When I was asked where I wanted the jab,
“In her over there!” I replied pointing at Emily.
I think, through guilt Emily bought me a curry on the way home so it does have a happy ending. What is it about doctors in casualty? Whether you’re bleeding profusely from a removed fingernail, have a broken limb or are badly battered, they prod, squeeze or in some way try to manipulate the painful area and say,
“Does that hurt?”
Leaving you only to reply………
“Does my blood curdling scream not give it away?”
Of course it bloody hurts, that’s the reason you’re in casualty. The other stupid question is what have you done, I got a bloody headache; just ignore the blood pissing from my finger.
This brings me to another point, while I’m ranting about silly questions. Tesco’s, has to be the home of the stupid questions. Can I help pack your bags? “No, piss off, I have a case of Guinness and a bag of dog food, why the hell would I want my bags packed”
I’m a single man with his weekly shopping not an invalid. I don’t know whether it’s just me but I want to beat them to death with the bag of Butchers complete, or,
“Do you have a club card?”
“Have I given it to you? NO!!! So therefore take it as read that I don’t have one!”
My ex has custody of that little offending item, along with my children, my wages and my self-esteem. Checkout rage is caused by those smug bastards with their nasty nylon uniforms, chirpy smile’s and the gaze of the long dead. It’s enough to make a saint swear, let alone a starving alcoholic with a hangover, would it be justifiable manslaughter? I think so! With a jury of men who divorced I would probably get a knighthood! I’m going to get a t-shirt printed saying no I don’t want my bags packed and I don’t have a club card; ask at your own risk!
So, that was not too bad was it? I thought I would get off to a gentle start, the next one is slightly worse….hang on tight………