My first mistake was picking up the NHS leaflet titled ‘Know your limits’. I was bored and waiting for the surgery and had forgotten to bring my book “Limits are for Pussys, Pass Me Another Cigar” by, erm… Hemmingway.
So it turns out I drink too much. Waaaay to much. I leapfrog all the first three zones of drinking behaviour in the leaflet – “Safe drinking”, “Excessive drinking” “Dangerous drinking”. I am in the category “Hey dude, leave some for everyone else”.
So I’m much more likely to get lots of cancer if the heart attacks don’t get me first, but let me ask you how many people die each year of boredom?
Well none, but the leaflet assures me I will die soon because it assumes that my drinking is a life-long behaviour, rather than just to get me through the years of small children and all the delightful challenges that brings.
One of the reasons I don’t want to stop drinking is because feel I’ve given up so much already. Fags, biscuits, drugs, unprotected sex, glue sniffing, tattooing in insanitary conditions. Admittedly I only really ever did the fags and the biscuits* but still, let me have a vice. Why can’t old people be naughty?
Whenever there’s a news story about middle-class binge drinkers getting trollied in their own homes every night, I can’t help thinking ‘So?’ These people aren’t drunk driving, smashing up town centres or having unprotected sex. They’re steadily seeing their way through a bottle of Shiraz while watching Newsnight. There may be a bit of shouting at the telly before they stagger off to bed, but that’s really the worst of it. Leave them to it I say.
May be this leaflet was a bit too close to the bone for me. It’s left me feeling guilty and depressed. Next time I’m at the doctors, I’ll read about something I can’t possibly get, like testicular cancer, that’ll cheer me up.
*I cannot really vouch for the cleanliness of Lil’s tattoo parlour in Leeds. Ok there was vomit on the floor, but as I recall it was my vomit, so it would be unfair to judge.