Ah, the New Year. I can tell it’s here because the telly is cluttered with ads for nicotine patches, work out videos, dubious home-exercise machinery and scenes depicting smiling, happy people doing smiling, happy things while sucking on a mixture of water vapour and propylene glycol.
I wish them all well, I truly do, just as I hope the recent increase of joggers and cyclist we have to dodge during our morning walk will not prove to be a spike that lasts a week or two and then fizzles out by mid-month. I suspect that will be the case, however; it’s as predictable as a celebrity divorce following a celebrity marriage.
This is why I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions in January, and certainly not on January 1st. That is a terrible time to make a resolution, the day you wake up from weeks of excessive eating, drinking and carousing, feeling bloated and stodgy, with a throat stripped raw from cigarette smoke, sandpaper coating your eyeballs, a mouth that tastes like the bottom of a sump pit, and only a vague recollection of what transpired the night before coupled with the hope that, whatever it is you think you remember, is just an alcohol-fuelled fantasy. In this state, you are certain to exclaim, “I am never going to [insert undesirable vice here] again! Especially with Vietnamese twins and a Shetland pony” only to repent your decision in a few days, or until you open the door to a pair of fetching Asian ladies who look remarkably similar and appear to be leading a very large dog wearing a bridle.
That’s why I think the new “Dry January” movement is a grand idea. Sure, give up drinking, but just for the month. No pressure, nothing life-changing, just give your body a chance to dry out and then hit the booze in February. I’m not sure who is behind this, but I suspect it’s the liquor industry. It probably keeps a fair few people from climbing on the wagon every January first, and staying there.
(NOTE: Dry January is, at this time, limited to the UK and a few European nations, but you in America should be afraid, for it is on it’s way over. Think of it as pay-back for Black Friday.)
Back when I was younger, and had reason to make resolutions, I did so in February when my head was clear and the twins were safely back in Hanoi. It was only then that I could reflect rationally on my life and decide, with cold clarity, what needed to change. As I grew older and more sedentary, I gave up resolutions altogether.
This year, however, I am making an exception. My wife and I have made a resolution to start drinking. Heavily. And this is the reason:
Now I know that some of you are looking at this and thinking, “Well, that would do for the weekend, but what about the rest of the week?” Forty years ago, I would have thought that, too, but drinking does not play the same role in my life now as it did then. This can be illustrated by the bottle of gin I bought my wife for Christmas to supplement the one I bought for her last Christmas that she has yet to open, as well as the bottle of port my wife gave me to supplement the (unopened) bottle of whiskey from last year.
And that illustrates the most unusual thing about this situation: we are doing this to ourselves. Each year we give and receive alcohol and each year we fail to drink it (though, if you look carefully at the photo, you will see I am making a heroic effort with the bottles of Ileach and Tullibardine).
Therefore, while the rest of the country hangs itself out to dry this January, we will be knocking back the booze. (And I, thanks to my brother-in-law, will be enjoying the twelve days of Guinness.) It’s not that we want to become hopeless drunks, it’s just that we can’t abide seeing anything go to waste, and there isn’t room in our diminutive flat to store all this liquor.
So have a happy and safe New Year. And rememebr: drnik respensbilly.