The Good-Spirited Game

The 128th Battle of the Blues is just few hours away.

There is no big match without alcohol, and thought of noting down some “alcohol facts” for the benefit of my fellow good-spirited sportsmen.

1. Alcohol isn’t Mama. As a well known doctor expresses it, maternal milk is man’s first anesthetic. In his infancy, the drinks were on her and they were wonderful – warm, satisfying and soothing – turning his wails into coos and making him feel comfortably sleepy. But comes a time when diet broadens out in the direction of solids such as beef steak and baked potato, and milord is supposed to be on solid ground permanently except for soups and something to drink now and then. Even so, the subconscious mind carries the memories of the simple life chez Mama which appeal nostalgically when cares and complexities get a man down in the middle. He yearns for consoling warmth that will soften up his troubles and make him feel good. Alcohol will do this comforting job, but it can't solve life for him “like Mama did.” It will take the cares off his back for an hour or an evening, but it can’t carry them by the day, week or month. Certainly it will never lick them for him. And if he is so infantile, so unweaned as to imagine it will, he is a psychic sissy.

2. Alcohol isn’t business success. It can be helpful in the form of diplomatic refreshments which build up aquaintance and thaw commercial ice. But that’s all, brother.

3. Alcohol isn’t a substitute for human society. The ingrown guy who drinks solitarily because “the bottle understands him better than people do” isn’t helping his troubles any. He is only thickening his shell. Doing so, poor hermit, with something convivial which, if normally used instead of misapplied for self-pity purposes, might have eased his shyness and gained him some friends.

4. Alcohol isn’t a solver of emotional problems. If your gal has turned you down for the other fellow, or your marriage has hit the rocks, don’t expect liquor to compensate. The label on the bottle makes no such promise.

5. Alcohol isn’t a cure for boredom.

6. Alcohol isn’t a stimulant. On the contrary, it’s a sedative, a relaxer. Upper story gets the biggest and quickest share, thereby shushing the Department of Don'ts and Restraints. Overdoses can unleash a whole pack of sleeping dogs, ranging from frisky to the ornery – which is a common sight at the match. Moderate doses can set the conversational ball rolling and coax introverts to come out from behind their false whiskers.

7. Alcohol isn’t a diet. It is a food, however, of a very special kind, an ounce of 100-proof whiskey contributing to about 100 calories, which the body uses as fuel. In an emergency, this prompt acting boost of energy is invaluable. But, alcohol can’t repair body tissues; only protein does that.

8. Alcohol isn’t a career. Not even a part-time job. It’s recreation. Tension relief; tested and trusted by many Royalists and Thomians alike.

9. And the last point: Alcohol doesn't mix with gasoline. We are not sissies, and we too have driven apparently better after having a few than before. Yes, you are more relaxed, perhaps in a better mood to make those positive decisions and direct movements that sometimes avoid an accident. But some State Authorities are physiological rather than psychological in their attitude. They say if you have had a couple of drinks, you'd better not drive. And they add – at sixty miles an hour your car is doing eighty-eight feet per second. This is the wrong time – facing a crisis – to be a split second – or forty four feet or so – slow on the brake.

In other words, when you drink, don't drive, and vice versa.

As for the rest, you know quite well how stupid and annoying and downright troublesome even dangerous a drunk may seem to you when you're thoroughly sober. So when you’re in your cups, try to tuck away in your mind somewhere that you are that undelectable drunken bum, and not the charming, daring, seductive, brilliant, lovable, heroic creature you seem to yourself.

A good rule, perhaps. Be merciful with other drunks. Don’t hit them, you may hurt them and be sorry. Don’t humor them, they may stay with you and you’ll be sorry.

Better advice. Avoid them.

Best advice. Don’t be one.

Said Cicero: “Let us drink for the replenishment of our strength, not for our sorrow.”

Long live the spirit of Royal-Thomian.


Source and Inspiration: The Esquire Drink Book

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