On stage 1 March and I said to the audience;
"I've just finished that thing where you don't drink for a month. What's it called again?"
Person 1: "Lent"
Person 2: "Being a boring prick."
Person 3: "Losing the ability to talk to girls."
Person 4: "Probation."
Person 4 wins. I don't know what they win, but if they're on probation, I wasn't going to be the one who told them that they couldn't have it.
With FebFast now over, I fell off the wagon in spectacular style. I did make it, and I managed to resist alcohol even after midnight on Thursday, 28 February. Then on Friday, 1 March my first beer was opened just after midday, and my last one at around 5am. With so many opened in between. More on this in my next post.
Many times during February I was faced with compelling reasons to drink, and in those circumstances I would've previously had one. By denying myself that drink, I learnt that I didn't need one. That all the reasons to drink were just excuses for one big reason, that I wanted one.
Since the start of March I've learnt that it's much easier to say yes than it is to say no.
Before looking forward to my catapulting off the wagon, where I lay on the road and it proceeded to run me down again and again, here is a brief list of the many times during February that I felt a fierce compulsion to down a drink, but still managed to go without.
So in no particular order, some of the reasons I very nearly had a drink in February:
Waiting alone at a bar for friends.
Friends texting to say they couldn't make it.
Catching up with friends after they eventually arrived.
Girls. Talking to them. Watching them (in a non-creepy way). Wanting to talk to them after watching them. Talking to them and not knowing what to say that isn't extremely polite, because you feel bad after spending so long watching them.
A guy getting the shit kicked out of him in Rundle Mall. Going for the police only to find them already on the way. Watching them drive past, and then after the police eventually arrive, watching as the profusely bleeding guy refused all help and stumbled away.
Before a stand up gig when you need a dose of enthusiasm.
Before a stand up gig when you need to settle down.
During a gig when you're starting to tire.
After a stand up gig goes really well.
After a stand up gig goes really poorly.
After a stand up gig goes just okay, and you can't quite work out why.
After a stand up gig goes just okay, and you know it's your fault.
Seeing a street artist on Rundle Mall have his drawings torn up by a group of drunk aboriginal kids. The kids were then joined by their drunk parents and a brawl broke out. I wish there was some way to describe this differently.
To celebrate after meeting new friends.
Leaving a place full of new friends.
After an argument.
When it's free.
When it's a spirit or cocktail or beer or wine you haven't tried before.
Because in a bar, it's what you do.
To have the energy to stay up late.
To quieten down your racing mind when it's time for sleep.
Poor ticket sales. Great ticket sales. After you calculate the paltry amount left from your box office takings, after everyone else has taken their cut.
Seeing a whole lot of your flyers on the ground. In the bin. In the urinal.
Any awkward experience.
Being told how funny you are. Being told how funny you're not.
The disabled guy on the bus, who you want to help, but you can't see or work out how. The guilt you feel for being so able bodied, and still whingeing so much.
Because you know if you have a drink, you'll stop thinking about all this and be able to relax and feel good about yourself.
Being asked while flyering, "Tell us a joke."
Being told while flyering, "That's not funny at all."
Something to do because you don't smoke, and standing around at the bar waiting to perform in a penguin suit without something in your hand, you know you look stupid. That's probably more to do with the penguin suit.
Oh yes, the penguin suit. Anytime you're wearing a penguin suit is a good time to have a drink.
The main reason to have a drink? Whatever the circumstance, you know it'll make you feel more comfortable.
At the end of February I didn't discover any magical answer, or even anything that made me feel as comfortable as alcohol. However I did learn how to deal with my discomfort without a drink. So that's a thing, right?
Although February is over you can still sponsor me here:
Come see me at the Melb Comedy Fest, March 27 until April 9: http://bit.ly/15qOhND
Follow Xavier Toby on Twitter: www.twitter.com/xaviertoby