When Gail is visiting her son in hospital, it is Stella who suggests bringing a 'bottle' over the following day. When Chesney is feeling "a bit down", Tyrone pops is head in with eight cans of lager. Now I don't mean to sound like a miserable sod, but how many of us are guzzling back seven nights a week? If you are, please get help.
I don't believe in protecting people from the opinions of others. In fact I find it faintly ridiculous that people devote so much time to worrying on the behalf of other people. Acting like addicts are a bunch of unruly 5 years olds, likely to go off on the tear after reading a well-versed piece of prose on drinking. It's not dangerous to display these views. It's eye-opening.
Gazza is unlikely to make it this time. Gazza is very near death right now. The very end of end-stage alcoholism. Soon. Very soon. Sadly. And when he does? We will still all be shocked. Because it makes us all a bit vulnerable doesn't it? When someone so strong, with such professional brilliance disintegrates right in front of us.
Nobody likes a pretty-girl drunk. That's a deal-breaker right here. A pretty-girl who is a little bit tipsy? Cute. A pretty-girl a little unsteady on her feet? A bit giggly? Charming. But a pretty-girl who is a messy, sloppy, belligerent drunk receives twice the vitriol reserved for even the most unsavoury of drunken characters. It offends us, seeing this pretty girl displaying her internal ugliness for all to see. It's like taking a shop window display and covering it in garbage. Nobody wants to see that. Keep your window displays clean and bright.
My nan is all kinds of great. She is strong. She had six kids in nine years. She worked. Raised a big family on very little. She's seen a lot of life and she never judges anyone. But there are some problems outside her realm of experiences these days. So as much as my nan remains my favourite person, she's not always the most relevant. Oldest is not always best.
Downing a full beer in one go has never lost its allure as a party trick, but it's also the length of the drinking session. Downing ten beers and four bourbons in an hour is impressive, but not as impressive as downing forty beers and twenty bourbons in twelve hours. Or being out for over thirty-six hours. I've done all three.
I don't like it when I hear people talking about "giving up" drinking. I don't like it because it doesn't really work. It's not about sacrifice. The very term "giving up" alcohol I take issue with. Nobody "gives up" drinking, the same way nobody gives up at a traffic light when it turns red. You just stop.
I don't frighten easily. I lived in a constant state of fear for so many years that it takes a lot to reignite it and take me to that dark place now. But when I see people using end-stage alcoholics to measure their own drinking against? It frightens me. When I see the media latch onto one person, the exception to the rule that has been able to subject their body to horrendous amounts of alcohol abuse and still just about function? It frightens me. Alcoholism is not a p*ssing contest. There is no glory to be had in being further up the sliding scale than these individuals.