Friday, 2 December 2016

Talking to God on the big white telephone

The boy went out last night (shocking as it meant giving up valuable Playstation time) saying he was meeting his friend at the pub for a drink and would be home around 11pm as he still had to be up for work in the morning.
The wife and I retired to the welcome comfort of bed just before 11 and thought nothing of it.
After reading a couple of chapters I went to sleep, but woke up a short time later with her fidgeting and sighing beside me - fretting that he still wasn't home.
He's normally pretty good about sticking to the times he says, so a bit of worry was creeping in and I texted him to check he was still alive and to prompt his return.
He finally rolled in at 1:30am and stumbled into his room before rushing back to the bathroom in the first of several extended and rather noisy visits - the price one pays for overindulgence.

With all that going on, any chance of sleep evaporated, so the wife made tea and we lay there reading and pondering what's to become of the boy and his worrying relationship with alcohol.
By the time things quietened down, time had moved on significantly, and as a result I only got about two hours sleep last night and am definitely not feeling my usual morning self - mostly because my brain still thinks it's about 2am.
It's easy now to be disapproving of such antics, but I can't be too hard on him because I remember doing the same things myself at that age.

When I was about 15 or 16 my parents went on holiday by themselves, leaving me with the house to myself for a week.
A mate came round and we spent the evening sampling our way through the drinks cupboard before moving on to mum's selection of homemade wines while watching a Tom & Jerry video which by that point had taken on a whole new dimension of hilarity.
Then it happened. The inadvisable cocktail of questionable homebrew, Bacardi and who knows what else had decided to head for the nearest exit, so I stood up, fell over, and commenced crawling towards the smallest room.
I didn't make it. Halfway up the stairs I could restrain it no more, and the hasty application of a hand over the mouth did nothing but change the stream into a spray.
I did my best to clean up but I must have been fighting a losing battle. My parents never said anything, but a new stair carpet was installed shortly after their return.

At 18 the pub was no longer out of bounds and of course became a frequent destination - especially as it was literally about 200 yards from the house.
One fateful evening I went there with my brother-in-law and his neighbour and indulged in a few pints of snakebite & black.
I vaguely remember getting home and going up to bed, but the next thing I knew was being naked in the bath, throwing up down the plug hole, wondering what all the red stuff was and why it wouldn't run away.

At a friend's birthday party everything was going well - I was enjoying the company of an older woman while discovering the interesting taste and effects of a bottle of Pernod.
It was all fine until I sat down on the sofa and promptly passed out.
I awoke suddenly with the now familiar feeling of impending doom, and rushed to the living room door, aiming for the downstairs privvy.
It was shut. "Strange", observed my Pernod-addled brain. I tried to open it and found it locked, so I turned the key and flung open the door and looked out in confusion at the back garden.
At this point I felt my mate's hand on my shoulder as he asked "What are you looking for?"
"Err... bog..", I said.
Suddenly I was flying, as my mate picked me up and ran with me to the toilet, getting there just in time for a technicolour yawn of epic proportions.
When I finally emerged I was given the choice of going back to the party or bed. There was no way I could show my face after such an exhibition, the older woman probably would have gone off the idea, and in that state there was sod all I'd be able to do about it even if she hadn't, so bed it was.
I was ill for two days and I've never touched Pernod since.

So with three almighty alcohol-fuelled fuck-ups under my belt, I finally learned where to draw the line by the time I was in my early twenties.
I only hope it doesn't take the boy long to figure it out either.