As my father will testify to, I can't hold my beer. I can drink a lot, over a long period of time, without any problems at all. But, move me out of the golden area of maybe a pint and a half an hour, and I get very drunk, very silly, and very ill. This is also something that has my father chuckling as he remembers me overdoing it once when I was about 20. I, however, remember vividly the one time he over did it.
At the time, my parents had a favourite watering hole, the Queen's Hotel in Crystal Palace. It was just up the road, and in the summer within walking distance and in the winter within driving distance (before it was politically incorrect to drink and drive). They had a lot of friends who would welcome them with open arms and a pint of Double Diamond or Harp so this was where they'd haunt of an evening. This was also the place where they decided they'd like to welcome in the New Year, presumably the new decade, but as the saying goes, "any excuse." They did both get very very drunk, in fact so much so my mother had to drive my father home (if you'd experienced my mother's driving, you'd understand) where he complained she was going too fast when in fact she was doing about 8mph. When they got home, me, BLS and Cynthia were all still up, watching the Scots make New Years Eve a festival for being Scottish and drunk. My mother, I seem to remember, went into affection overdrive, telling us how much she loved us all. This is known as the "You're my bes' mate *hic*" syndrome, and she had entered this stage in spades. My father, however, was best described as green. Almost unable to stand, he was half leaning, half holding on to the door frame, eyes-a-bulging, making the statutory *boilk* noise. Us kids were sent up to bed, and it was whilst lying there, I heard something I'd never heard before.
My father, now in the bathroom, was talking to God on the big white telephone. One loud "grrrrwwwwwwooooooffffffftttt" noise could be heard after another, as almost the entire evening's refreshment returned in big style, only to be wasted being returned to Thames Water's fine sewage system. I said to BLS at the time, "I'd never get that drunk."
How wrong I was.
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