There was a point, around 20 years ago, when I’d just turned 18 and I did the whole ‘rite of passage’ thing where you go out with your parents for your first ‘legal’ drink in a pub. Obviously it was a long time ago, and I’ve spent a lot of time in the 20 years since pickling my brain with all sorts of interesting beverages, but from what I can remember it was a local pub (oop narth) with my mum and my stepdad, and after a few pints and some scran we ended up back at home. At this point I’d usually disappear out of the door to meet my current lady-friend, or up to my bedroom to blast some loud sweary music, but my lovely mum – ever pleasant and encouraging, even when faced with a pretentious little pube of a son – invited me to join them downstairs for a post-pub drink and a bit of Saturday night telly.
“Nah – I’m alright thanks mum,” I’d told her. “I’m just gunna listen to some music and then get an early night…”
I imagine this to be a wonderful point in life for any parent to experience, especially in a family with any history of addiction (which, for the record, mine doesn’t have). The point where your son, having turned 18, has proven his ability to have just a few pints and then call it a night – despite further booze being freely offered. Surely at this point a mother is thinking YUSSS! No alcoholic tendencies in this stone-cold offspring of mine. Nope, my kid is gunna grow up to be smart and cool. Maybe he’ll be a solicitor? Or a doctor? He’s shown interest in engineering (true – but only coz I didn’t know what the fuck else to do) so maybe he’ll play a part in the future of technology or architecture? Maybe even decide to teach, and inspire other youths in generations to come? How exciting! A son that wants to stay clear-headed, 18 years old and with a whole world of possibilities ahead of him!
And actually you’d be surprised! I went upstairs and spent a good 2 hours reading my new book “Modern Applications of Engineering Physics.” It was all very exciting, especially when it came to the maths bits:
If a motorbike weighing [x] has a centre of gravity held at a fixed height of [y], how fast can it go around a corner of radius [z] before flipping?
I’d even started making notes based on a new hypothesis; observations I’d made whilst working as an apprentice at a local engineering firm had led me to uncover some exciting and revolutionary new ideas about how efficiencies could be improved in the engineering workplace, employing the direct integration of robotics and CNC machines with the desktop design packages used by the office bods. The result would be shorter processing times, improved quality of output, and dramatic cuts to the workforce costs of any medium to large sized engineering works. It really was a project I held dear to my heart, and I couldn’t wait to share my findings with my colleagues back in the office on Monday morning.
Oh actually, hang on. That whole last bit was just BOLLOCKS.
What I actually did was disappear to my bedroom where I had a 2 litre bottle of Strongbow and half a bottle of whisky stashed. Leftovers from a house party the night before.
I drank myself into a stupor whilst listening to Sonic Youth and Mudhoney, and then tried to watch an old VHS of Men Behaving Badly, but struggled to focus and had to keep one eye closed to combat my booze-induced double vision. The rest is hazy, but you can bet your last fiver that I polished off the fun-juice, flicked through some art pamphlets, had a fag out of the window, and then fell asleep on my floor fully clothed. That’s just the kind of shit I used to do.
But here’s the thing. If booze has always been a bit too much of a draw for me – and believe me, IT HAS – then why ever would I turn down the offer of vodka and orange with the fam? I could have easily got nice and smashed-up on the ‘rents supply, and then gone off to have my one-man party with even more booze left for me! Why would an ‘overly enthusiastic drinker’ like me ever turn down free booze?
Well, I’ll tell you why…
It’s because that vodka I was being offered was at least 70% tap water. I KNOW because I’d spent the last few months sipping it after getting in from nights out in Huddersfield. I was sailing the wave of FAKE ID until the last bus home, and then helping myself to a nightcap before topping the bottle up with tap water, snaffling slices of ham from the fridge, and then going upstairs and collapsing into bed.
There was no way that vodka was going to get anyone smashed tonight. It would just taste like watered down orange juice. Bleh.
My poor mum. Luckily she’s not a drinker by any stretch, so really wouldn’t have noticed.
So be careful parents! I don’t have kids, and I never will (because I like my leather car seats without melted chocolate on them) but let this be a warning to those of you that do have kiddies, or that plan on doing so at some point: When they turn 18 then you should offer them a glass of the vodka from your old drinks cabinet. If they turn it down then it may simply be that they are a child genius, but be warned…
…they might in fact just be a proper little thieving TWAT like me, with a bad attitude to life and an impending drink problem, in which case I’d kick the fucker out.
Please no one tell my mum about this blog post. If you do then I’m gunna get my mate TURKISH GARY and his gang of chavs to shank you.
Hugs an that.
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