Cider with Penny

March 28, 2006

Working up a thirst

I've never been drunk before work. Not even in the dark days of Underground Focus did I feel the need to make my petit dejuener (sp Gutenberg?) liquid based. Of course, I was often pissed in the afternoons at UF, as myself and Shanghai Bob put the world to right (or rather, to left) over a pint or three and some fish and chips.

But Friday 24 March was a special day for me as I went to see these chaps for the first time. I was misinformed that the venue in question didn't serve cider, so on Friday morning, as I left for work about 9.30am, I made sure that not only did I have the usual trinkets and necessities with me, but also a lovely four-pack of cider.

The strange thing was that as I rode the train into work, I was Very Tempted to crack open a tin, partly because it would have been amusing to see the reaction of my fellow workers to my drunken antics, partly because I think I would be a far more adventurous headline writer if pissed, but mainly because in a Pullman-esque way, I felt myself on the border of two worlds... sobriety, good job, nice flat, fitterhappiermoreproductive and drunkeness, unemployment, nasty home fatterhappierlessproductive.

How long would I survive, mentally, if I had four cans of cider for breakfast every day? How long would it be before I quit my job (or it quitted me) and I melancholically walked the streets of London, with nobody taking me by the hand, dreaming up scripts and novellas that would be forgotten by the next morning?

The longest I've been permanently drunk was, unsurprisingly, when I was at university. It started off with a semi-unsuccessful party on the Friday night (unsuccessful because there too few people, semi because that meant there was more drink to go round). I woke up, with Brother Mike and Drunk Bob, on the Saturday morning with a raging thirst that we decided to quench with ... cider. We were outside the pub by 10.30am and on our second pint by 11.05am.

At about 2.30pm, after a long conversation about the best type of chip, I remembered that I was supposed to be at an audition for a Simon Armitage play, so I returned to college in such a drunken manner that I later discovered grazes on my elbows from where I had bashed into the walls.

The rest of the Saturday and most of the Sunday remain a blur. I think more drinking entailed. Things only became clear again at about 8am on the Monday morning, when Mike and Bob realised they were supposed to be at work in a different city, and I was supposed to have written an essay and learned things and achieved things.

They left at about 8.15am, both with a can of cider in each pocket.

I got the part.


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