Saturday 26th October 2019 – I wrote this upon arriving home after an evening out and thinking upon the effects of Alcohol in Society:
Having not been to a bar purely for a drink for some time I could feel the tension mounting as we walked through the car-park and the fact having a bout of man flu wasn’t helping my mood.
The early evening air was dark, and damp and the murmuring noise of the bar became increasingly louder until once in the place, my head felt completely consumed by what sounded like a thousand conversations taking place at once with not one making any sense.
It was our friend’s 40th birthday and we met there in the bar of a local pub before heading to an Indian restaurant for a meal to celebrate.
I acknowledged our arrival and headed to the bar to order our drinks, myself a non-alcoholic beer, becks blue, and a vodka, lime, and soda for my wife. Whilst standing there with the senseless voices in the background I found myself drifting away as if to watch what is happening around me from above.
A group of men slurring, swearing, ordering drinks at the bar, but forgetting who wanted what whilst people around waited for them to move, and me wondering, why?
With the drinks finally with me I sat with the others and the conversation flowed, my becks blue was refreshing and there was no yearning for anything else.
I’m touching distance from the standing crowds and we talk of the past and the future but then from nowhere, in front of us there is a scene of unease as grown men begin to raise their voices and argue and the atmosphere, along with the feeling inside me, turns low and inward with apprehension.
One of the men, clearly intoxicated is pushed away by an associate, also with his shirt hanging half out, and convinced to let it pass and the drama is over, at least for us as we leave the bar and head across the dreary car park towards the restaurant.
Inside the atmosphere is calm, friendly and busy at the same time, the smell of the food cooking filling our nostrils as we peruse the menu.
To the side of us, there is a large group of 50 somethings and behind us, a louder group of 30 somethings with the other tables made up of smaller intimate two’s and groups.
Settling into conversation after the appetiser of poppadom’s and pickles the attentions are turned towards the exit where the toilets are situated and a lady somewhat bizarrely pushing a young man into the gent’s toilet.
It soon transpires that somewhat worse for wear due to alcohol consumption, the guy had to be taken away from the table to the toilets where he proceeded to vomit, not in the toilet itself but in the urinal because he simply could not make it.
Not a pleasant picture to paint but to add to the drama it wasn’t the offender who resolved the situation and made amends with the mess, indeed he was in fact reunited within the group to carry on with no harm done, with the staff left to clean up…. just too much to drink but now he had room for more!
Needless to say, the conversation tiptoed around this situation until eventually after a few subtle reminders that we were in fact in a restaurant for a birthday, the conversation moved on.
For the 30 somethings the evening of drinking and eating carried on without much acknowledgment, the waiters cleaned the situation and our table along with the other unfortunates who witnessed the event continued in their own groups to strive to enjoy the remainder of the evening, in our case a birthday to celebrate.
In tribute to our friend we wished her a very happy birthday and bid farewell to an evening not to be forgotten, for good conversation, laughter and food was enjoyed.
Why is it then that the memories that linger in my mind are a thousand lost voices making no sense, forgetful drinks orders, a heated argument almost ending in a scuffle and a drunk person throwing up in a restaurant toilet.