There are two kinds of drinkers. The first are the steady-eyed and rational. They drink a couple of pints while sitting down, and have a reasonable conversation around reasonable topics, before they return, reasonably, to their houses, with the same face they had on when they left – perhaps a little softer around the eyes when they see a child, or I Want To Know What Love Is by Foreigner comes on.
When these people say, “I’m going down the pub to have a couple of drinks with my mates,” that is exactly what they are going to do. To the letter. It is a contract. It is a measured, pleasant task. My husband is a drinker like this. He has a nice time for three hours, and then he cleans his teeth and goes to bed. “That was lovely,” he will say, cheerfully. “Night night.” And that is the drinking all done.
Then there is the second kind of drinker – usually, I have noticed, with some kind of Celtic DNA somewhere: in the telling, slaloming rapidity in their speech. When they say, “I’m going down the pub to have a couple of drinks with my mates,” what they mean is, “I AM BOARDING THE SKY-SAILING PIRATE SHIP TO WHISKY VALHALLA! I HAVE ON MY MAGICAL DRINKING SHOES AND GLINDA’S KISS UPON MY FOREHEAD, AND I INTEND TO DRINK AND TALK SO MUCH THAT A HURRICANE WILL DESCEND, AND DROP ME FIVE MILES AWAY, AT 4AM, IN A FIELD FULL OF COWS, WITH A MINER’S LAMP IN MY HANDBAG.”
I am this kind of drinker.