Saturday, May 22, 2010

Why I'm Not A Social Drinker

During my early twenties, my 'student years', I spent an impressive amount of time getting stoned, drinking, and arguing about Marx. All pretty normal.

One hot weekend afternoon, a bunch of us were recovering from a bout of exercise by piling into a cell and sharing a gallon of hooch. As lock-up time approached, we cleared ourselves up and staggered towards our respective cells. What the screws didn't see, they didn't have to worry about. Or bother us over.

Our chilled meanderings were lanced by a deep and aggressive shout. "Come on then!!" John stood weaving in the middle of the landing, a large knife in his hand. Swiftly retreating from this vision of certain death was Roger, backing his way down the corridor and trying not to break eye contact with the knife.

We all piled in, moving towards John, some faster than others. Getting this mess sorted before the screws arrived was crucial. Our resident martial arts expert, Ree, took the knife away from John and locked him in his cell, making sure he had a drink to hand.

A brief discussion brought illumination to our sozzled bemusement. As the party broke up, Roger had taken the drink from John's hand and ushered him out. We groaned and laughed, remembering that Roger didn't know John's background.

A landlord had thrown John out of the pub at closing, taking his drink from him. Not a man to take being separated from his booze lightly, John made a crate of Molotov Cocktails and promptly burned the pub to the ground. Which is how he came to be available for our party - 8 years, arson with intent to endanger life.

A man and his booze should only cautiously be separated. If at all.

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