So I'm not drinking for February. Since the start of February I've been offered alcohol 237 times, but who's counting? Not me, I made that up.
It actually feels like far more than that. If I were counting the amount of times I've thought about alcohol, well I'd need thousands of fingers and toes to work that out. As I write this, that number is constantly climbing.
When you really want a drink, you become acutely aware of how many times you're offered a drink. How many opportunities there are to have a drink. Every single day.
For example, take last Friday...
8am flight from Perth to Adelaide. Get chatting to fly in fly out miners who offer me a beer.
Arrive Adelaide airport. Half an hour wait to be picked up. Three comedians I'm with all have a beer.
Arrive at hotel. Offered free cocktail.
Go to hotel bar to wait for room to be ready. It's a bar, and it's open.
Visit my Adelaide Fringe venue to help with setup. Offered wine.
Perform a short spot at a children's show. Offered a pint.
Go through a quick dress rehearsal. Sound tech has a small esky, and offers me a beer.
Perform at early afternoon showcase gig. Offered a jug.
Meet a journalist for an interview. Offered anything from the menu.
Perform at the Fringe Showcase Stage on Rundle Mall. Offered cask wine by homeless person. Then a brown paper bag, by a man in business suit. Then sherry by a middle aged lady. This is all in a very busy public mall.
Late afternoon showcase gig. Offered another jug. I doubt normal people are offered this much alcohol. I must look like an alcoholic, or really thirsty, or maybe everyone just remembers me from last year's Adelaide Fringe, and the amount I drank.
Host a gallery tour. Prior to the tour, offered a hit from a hip flask by an artist. Afterwards, a group of friends from the tour offer me a cider.
Venue manager supplies me two drink tokens. I attempt to purchase a soft drink, but am immediately told that's an immense waste. Guiltily, I hand over the drink tickets to a fellow performer and buy a soft drink.
Another gallery tour. No drink offers this time. However everyone on the tour is holding a drink.
I continue flyering for my late night show. In a penguin suit. It is nearly 40 degrees. More people offer to buy me a drink, than a ticket to my show.
The show is a sellout, due to solid presales. A group of four women come in late, each holding a half-full bottle of wine. At different points throughout the show, each offers to fill my cup of water with wine. And to sleep with me, and also suggests that they might be my mother. It was weird.
Several people tell me that they've enjoyed the show. Half of them offer me a drink.
Backstage at a late night showcase is an esky full of beer, cider and mixers.
A final late night show in a bar. Offered six drinks. I accept the final offer, and opt for a fire engine. That's lemonade and red cordial. Simple, but still my favourite mocktail. The guy buys the drink, hands it to me and says, 'I thought you'd be shit, but you weren't shit. I won't see your show. But you weren't shit.'
Back at the hotel, I'm offered another complementary cocktail.
Sponsor me here: https://febfast2013.everydayhero.com/au/xavier-toby
Come see me at the Adelaide Fringe, until March 1: http://bit.ly/Xpas28
Or the Melb Comedy Fest, March 27 until April 9: http://bit.ly/15qOhND
Follow Xavier Toby on Twitter: www.twitter.com/xaviertoby