Getting drunk for the first time

images-10Humorous Speaking Competition

‘A ghastly adult ritual: Getting drunk for the first time.’

Getting drunk is a ritual that has to be performed. It’s an initiation into adulthood. Something that just has to be done. I expect 99% of you have been through this initiation process. With granted, a few exceptions.

But let’s make no mistake. This isn’t a pleasant experience. It’s not a picnic in the park. In fact it’s a truly horrible experience. More horrible than giving birth, more horrible than having your ears syringed, more horrible than having your toenails removed by a Chinese sadist. Some people even plan the experience, but don’t worry if you are preparing to go through this first experience you can get help on how to best cope. There are 4 pages of advice of websites and blogs offering tips on how to cope. My advice is simple: don’t do it. Twice was enough for me. Never again.

Each one of you recall your own sordid experience of getting drunk for the very first time. It’s an occasion more momentous in our little lives than man’s first steps on the moon, but actually pretty insignificant in the overall scheme of things.

I can recall the time that I got drunk for the very first time. I wasn’t 21, or 18, or even 15. I was 8 years old and this was the mid 1970s when there wasn’t must entertainment. We lived in the country and my sister and I would go out foraging. Blackberries, stinging nettles (occasionally I would push her in the nettles or into an electric fence for added entertainment) and juniper berries. (I didn’t know back then that I could have made gin; the mother’s ruin. We made nettle wine in my bedroom, hiding the bottles in wardrobe wrapped in old copies of the Jackie Magazines so that our mum didn’t discover them. Most of the time we drunk it a few weeks after making it, having no knowledge of the fermentation process. We discovered a bottle that had been hidden for a year.

I was sick in the school assembly all over the girl I hated – Moira Couples. She was the most popular girl in the school. She loved The Bay City Rollers but I hated them. Not so popular though after I threw up all over her. She got her own back though when we went on a school trip to Calais a few weeks later. The crossing was rough and someone was sick and I tripped up and rolled around in it. I had to put up with vomit drenched clothes for the entire day.

The story I tend to regale to friends and men on first dates when I’m trying to shock them, impress them or get rid of them is the time that I drained 10 pints of beer at my friend’s birthday party. I was 17. I didn’t wake up that morning thinking I know I’ll drink beer tonight. I imagined I’d be drinking my usual – a Babycham with a cherry on a stick in a dainty glass. In fact I don’t like beer and according to a rumour. I’ve heard most men don’t even like the taste of beer but it contains a feel good chemical, dopamine that makes them want more.

At the party we played a game of cards in a circle on the floor. If we got the wrong card and bear in mind this game was rigged so that the women got the cards each time, we could either drink a pint of beer or take an item of clothing off. Even at 17 I had fat donkey legs so taking an item of clothing off just wasn’t an option. I found that the quickest way to get rid of the beer was to drink it through a straw. In my innocence I didn’t think it would make me drunk. But all through the night I was violently sick and woke up with the room spinning at 100 miles per hour.

I bet you didn’t know that there are 243 ways to say you’re drunk ranging from expressions like getting ratted to getting wasted. That just goes to show how significant a human act it is or just well discussed!

Thank you for reading my tales from the past. I have written two books you might like with a third on its way. Here are the links: