On The Fear of Things I’ve Laughed Uproariously At Other People For In The Past Becoming Traits/Weaknesses I Display

Photo on 22-04-2013 at 21.26 #2

It’s water in that glass. Hence the face.

I’ve been drinking a lot of Port recently. This happened for three reasons.

One: I read the mostly enjoyable Desolation Angels by Jack Kerouac, in which the protagonist (as in all of his works, a barely veiled autobiographical representation) semi-constantly drinks port. And I am very, very heavily influenced by the novels I live vicariously through.

Two: A man who works for a diamond company locked himself out of a neighbouring house to my girlfriend’s, and we let him sit in our lounge for several hours until his wife came home. The day afterwards he brought round a bottle of port.

Three: I realised how cheap port is.

So I thought, “Hey, wow, port could be my drink! It’s red, so good for you, right? It’s less predictable than brandy or bourbon as an order… Kerouac drank it so it must be cool…”

But no. That is not the case.

Port is not cool.

I remembered an incident, years ago, when the lead singer of the piano pop band Keane* got himself checked into the Priory, the famous London rehabilitation clinic. It was the period when two of teen me’s favourite rock singers – Pete Doherty and the guy from the Darkness – were there too, for heroin and cocaine addiction respectively. The man from Keane – whose name I have never known – was there because he couldn’t control his port addiction.

I read this in a tabloid and told the fact, accompanied by rollicking laughter, to numerous schoolfriends the next day, whose parents all bought newspapers with news rather than tits in. For once, my working class background helped me socially. (This is the only time that happened.)

I realised, as I emptied my third bottle of port in less than a week, that my port drinking was getting out of control. And that isn’t cool. That’s something people laugh at, something I laughed at, heartily. I bullied this distant, grape-addled man, with taunts about his failing to get addicted to anything hard enough. And that’s what I’ve become. So now I’m worried all the other things I’ve mocked people for in the past will turn out to befall me unexpectedly.

These being:

– Weight gain

– Becoming a paedophile

– Enjoying unscripted television

– Becoming a racist

I already drink decaffeinated coffee sometimes, talk about my cat more than is socially acceptable and try not to consume alcohol every day…

Which of the terrifying big four is next..? (Please not enjoying unscripted television…)


*If you don’t know them, they’re basically a shit, British Ben Folds Five. Who met at boarding school and were named after a dinner lady. I think.

1 comment on “On The Fear of Things I’ve Laughed Uproariously At Other People For In The Past Becoming Traits/Weaknesses I Display

  1. I had it once after a particularly horrendous journey through snow and blocked off motorways in a car with no heating (so frozen window!) … It wasn’t snowing when I left, and the thoughtful motorway people didnt give a diversion (pre-satnav) did I mention I was alone! Anyway! A 2 and a 1/2hr journey became 6 and I was a tad frought when I got there and needed a little something for my nerves, all that was on offer was port (can’t think why that was all that was left) so for medicinal purposes obviously I gave it a go …. Bad move! only one glass left me with a hangover a bottle of red would have been proud of!


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