Wednesday, 8 July 2009

And Again : The Scraper's Diary, Sunday Morning

Well, I did it, I got drunk.

But whenever I achieve a sudden ambition like that, I wish afterwards that I had not.
Perhaps that should be a lesson to me.

I'm sober again now, but last night - phew!

Mike and I went into the beer bar at 8.15; the party was not there, but a friendly bombardier invited us to help him drink some of the dozen or so glasses that were on the table. He had already emptied twenty. We accepted.

Here let me say that German glasses hold more than a half pint, and that the beer, which is chemical beer, is not so innocuous as it looks and tastes.

After four glasses, I lost count, and began to feel a little merry. My eyes needed reminding to focus on anyone, when I walked out, my legs needed coercing to obey me.

The waitress came up. I gave her a shilling and she brought back six more glasses, and then they stopped serving.

We drank on. I emptied about thirteen glasses, Mike about eight. By this time I was thoroughly, uproariously drunk. I could not stand straight. Every time I put my foot down the floor jumped up to meet it. Mike was unsteady on his pins too, and as he grew drunker, so an episode in the Y.M.C.A. grew funnier to him (the microphone fell off the stage), and he kept remembering it, and going into fits of laughter.

The place was nearly empty, and the attendants were urging us to leave; we emptied the last glasses, and I suddenly realized that I was going to be sick, so I lurched outside and vomited copiously. I felt much better then, and managed to walk back to the billet.

Soon after I reentered our room, I realized that I wanted to be sick again, so I opened the window and leaned out. I spewed the rest of the beer, and kept on retching long after my stomach was empty. Mike decided, ridiculously, to go for a walk, so he went. Fifteen minutes later, when he staggered back, I was still leaning out of the window, but in the meantime I had collapsed dizzily onto a bed and then gone to the window again.

With Mike's aid I staggered, almost unconscious, to the lavatory, where I stayed for fifteen minutes and emptied my stomach again and again. Then Mike helped me back again.

Don't imagine that he was sober, he was wimbling all over the place, but was in a better state than me.

Between us, we got me to bed, and I immediately fell sound asleep. My last words (so they say)
were "Never again".

When I was woken, after over eight hours deep slumber, I felt perfectly normal, with no hangover.

I have a dim recollection of reassuring Mike that a cigarette he put down was really going round and round, and also of the feeling that nothing was worth while. I wanted to die, my stomach and head were performing the most complicated rhumba, and my eyes seemed to be rolling in a complete circle.

Never again, Never, never again.


  1. As a teetoal, I understand completely how you feel. I used to drink, but not heavily and since I am Cuban, beer used to be my favourite drink. Then, fifteen years ago I thought I was going to die after a binge that got out of hand. Never touched the stuff again, except for a couple of occasions, one of which was my wedding.

    I hope you're feeling much better now.

    Greetings from London.

  2. I remember going to a beer cellar in Gottingen with some German students. At 8pm I spoke only half a dozen words of German. By 2 in the morning I was chattering like a native, or so it seemed. Sadly ich habe nun alles vergessen.

  3. Oh Friko, never again...I've uttered those last words too! Mind you, it's been some time since I got rip-roaring shite-faced!!! Glad you didn't have the brutal hangover, spewing probably helped with that one!

  4. I love that expression 'wimbling all over the place'. I have heard 'wombling' used ~ as in the 'Wombles of Wimbledon' ~ but this was obviously invented much much earlier than that. Very creative!!

  5. OK tell me – is it The Scrapper who got drunk or you? How could it be you in 1947? You would have been too young? I don’t remember the first time I was drunk (I have not been drunk many times, maybe 3 times in my life). My grandmother told me once that they had people for dinner when I lived with them in Provence – I must have been 3 at the time – when she realized that blood (she thought) was coming out of my mouth. She took me urgently to the doctor who told her that it was not blood, but that I was spitting red wine and was drunk. She was really upset because she had not realized that I had been staying in the living room alone and emptied the guests’ glasses! But I don’t remember any of it.

  6. Obtained nearly all of my knowledge with regard to the English language within an Irish Pub, being native staffed and mostly visited by natives (back in Hamburg). As you may imagen one learns much better after one pint of his best, a second one, thrid too ... never ever learned as much as at this place.
    Over here in once so drunk that I can't remember how I reached home, but strangly was able to buy some flowers for my wife.

  7. In reply to the message you left on my blog...I'm chuckling to myself here Friko. Twiglet and I have a bit of fun about our ages and I always introduce her as my much older sister. She was here working with me one day and one of my customers asked if she was my daughter!! I have braved it and allowed my hair to go au naturelle [grey] and suffer from osteoarthritis so of course she looks younger than me [actually is 6 yrs older though!!]. Neither of us have a problem with our age. Growing older is a bonus...the other option is we dont :-) We are blessed to have just the best relationship there is and I can honestly say I never remember us arguing....we don't always agree but that's fine.

  8. Have just read the comments to your blog. It seems many thing it was you who was drunk. I'm guessing not :-) great reading. Thanks

  9. Yeah, German ale can do a number on you. Better stick with an American Coors Light.

  10. oh well . . . on the drunkeness front . . .
    I'm 'proud' to admit I was almost four the first time ~ I was at my grandparents' farm at haymaking time and at mid-day all the workers had come in and had 'essen' (it was in Austria) and when they had gone back out I, apparently, went round the table and finished off the dregs out of all the glasses of (home made) cider!
    Haven't made a habit of it though! . . . honestly . . .

  11. first of all, NO, IT WASN'T ME who got drunk.

    Hi Cuban - well, I am not teetotal, but I never drink to excess. I'm very jealous of you there in London btw. Once upon a time I too was a foreigner in London and enjoyed it.

    Fennie - well the bit of German you wrote is totally correct.

    Rain - see above - rip-roaring shite-faced? very graphic,very colourful - hope the hangovers weren't too bad.

    Rosy - I love the expression too, you can just see what is meant (as in Rain's expression above)

    Vagabonde - see above. Like most continental children my parents introduced me to alcohol as a child - carefully, of course. I've never wanted to get drunk but I like a glass of wine.

    Robert - Were the flowers to make up for the sorry state you were in?
    Btw, can't stand Retsina, can you? or ouzo for that matter.

    Wipso - It's lovely to read how much you two like each other. I wish I had siblings. Or at least some family.

    Margaret - Don't think I've ever tasted Coors. I don't mind a German Pils, just the one, mind you.

    Rosy - great you've come back to "fess up" Started early, eh? What's with the Austrian Essen? Background?

  12. Good morning Friko, about the flowers - no, they were only because I'm a romatic until it hurts and can't get it away, even while being drunk like hell.
    About Retsina, agree totally! Ouzo, well without ice and water it is fine with me. Nevertheless, miss more than all a Guinness and a live band playing Irish the way you might like to click upon the 'twice' at the latest entry of mine.

  13. Hi Robert, I did! See you there.

    What, no Pils or Helles or Alt?


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