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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

New Years Resolutions, like promises, are things that I like to avoid making, and if I do accidentally make them, I love to break them as soon and as glamorously as possible. That said, this year we have started the year with a total lack of booze, and have resolved to continue to avoid the demon drink for the duration of the month of January. This is not a New Years Resolution, though. We just happen to have unintentionally resolved to not do something at the beginning of a New Year. Anything else is mere coincidence, and I reserve the right to beat you around the head and face with a cricket bat if you ever say otherwise. I hope that’s clear.

The reasons for our enforced sobriety are various and diverse, and indeed manifold. We’ve got no cash to spare on Mr Booze. Our livers are feeling the strain and have applied in writing for a break. Our house is new, and we are still unsure of the layout, and we thought it might be helpful to become accustomed to the structure and design before we begin bumbling about it and walking into walls. But the biggest reason is to prove to our good selves that we don’t need the drink, and we could give up any time we want to – it’s just that up until now, we have chosen not to.

He Who Only… has taken up this challenge on a number of years previously, delighting as he does in self sacrifice, suffering and whinging. As he’s now officially an “old hand” at this malarkey, he’s been enchanting me in the previous weeks with tales of how the first week is hell, the second week can be quite easy until you realise there are still over 20 days to go, and the third week is spent merely counting down the seconds until your best mate Uncle Alcohol returns while sobbing and rocking and rubbing your face with a security blanket steeped in valium.

And the most irritating thing about the first week of our alcoholic abstinence, is how flakingly easy he’s finding it, and how dreadfully difficult I’m being. Every time we’re out on the street, walking to anywhere from anywhere else, I can’t help but point out each and every public house we pass. When sitting at home of an evening, happily watching our brand new television and being constantly dumbstruck by how little there is to watch on terrestrial channels these days, I can’t help but remark on how nicely a cheeky G&T would slip down at that moment (even though I cannot stand gin and hate tonic with all my heart and soul).

I, my good people, seem to have a bigger problem than previously assumed. The Guinness that I’ve been cultivating a taste for is now haunting me in my waking dreams. The beer that I could have taken or left (but always took) in previous months now dances about just out of reach. The whisky and brandy that was available everywhere you looked over the Christmas season is now contraband and by God, it’s just not fair.

So, it’s only 18 days until I can make myself feel dizzy and nauseous, until the rooms start spinning and my liver starts liquefying, 18 days until I’m filled once more with toxins and sugars and hops and fizz and all that remarkable wonder that alcohol brings. Only 18 days. I can do it. It’ll be fine. I’m sure it’ll be fine. It’ll all be fine.

Oh god.

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