Saturday, 16 June 2012

Why I drink

"I was dreaming when I wrote this/Forgive me if it goes astray" - Prince, 1999

Hello, my name is Barry Grogan, and I'm NOT an alcoholic. But I do like a drink. A lot. And this is why:- Growing up in the 70s I learnt young that if you wanted to have a good time, to let your hair down and to let rip, you had to get pissed. I didn't just learn this lesson at birthdays and Christmas, I learnt it from every TV sitcom and episode of the Sweeney. So it was that I couldn't wait to get some of that life affirming brew for myself. First time I got truly bladdered was a long summer night in Preston Park, me and a couple of mates, 15 years old, with a wicked cocktail of illicitly stolen booze. Turned out, for a few hours anyway, that booze was everything it had promised to be. All turned to rat-shit later of course as I stared legless into the starry abyss, clinging to the earth so I wouldn't fall off, fighting the urge to puke. Anyway, from that point I was hooked.

But that's not why I drink.

There's a lot of crap talked about booze - I couldn't put it better than Lee Jones - truth is, the moralistic high ground on alcohol has been hijacked by those who dislike the idea of people enjoying anything, let alone getting tanked up. It's another example of the white liberal middle classes disgust at what they perceive as the baser instincts of the great unwashed. Fuck 'em, booze is a health drink, ok?

But that's not why I drink.

I'm a fraud. You wouldn't believe what I do for a living, and while I have what you might call a low moral threshold, even I baulk at some of crap I come out with. Ok - lets just say I'm a salesman, and a bloody good one at that, but every day I have to simper and crawl to a bunch of leftie bedwetters so far up their own arses they're inside out. Let's just say every second of my working day is a living bullshit-fest.

But that's not why I drink.

Recently I saw the walls were closing in. Woke up one day and saw clearly my best years were behind me. Wanted to make a difference, to say my piece. That's why I've started to write this blog. I'm a reasonable man - I care about people. I've held back too long - I've had enough of biting my tongue. Got too tense at home - wont bore you with the details but lets just say I've got more time to think now. She did me a favour, in a way.

But that's not why I drink.

This job I do - I can thank my wife for that. She's obsessed - its the modern disease, this health obsession. Anyway - she didn't like me drinking, hated it. Full of facts and figures. Got to the point where she almost had me convinced, nearly gave it up. To me, the drink became a symbol of my masculinity - a masculinity which was slowly evaporating. She told me - it's the drink or me...

And that's why I drink.


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