Here we go again. Something else that we’re not supposed to be doing, and some git telling us so. Apparently, our beloved Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, has decreed that we should all be drinking far less, announcing a further reduction in the daily maximum intake of alcohol. Now, I normally try to continue reading after this point, but I hear the words blah blah in my head, because they’re so frigging boring. So don’t feel bad if you just did the same, ‘cos we’re on the same wavelength.
Units never meant anything to me as a drinker, and I never had any idea I was meant to be consuming 3-4 units a day maximum. I used a few different types of measurements where my drinking was concerned, mostly ranging from “I’ve only had a couple”, to the estimated measurement of “shitloads.”
But none of us like being preached to. Nobody likes to hear a priggish voice delivering an unwanted sermon. Most of us will run screaming in the other direction. And if that direction happens to point to a pub? Then so be it.
As if January wasn’t bad enough, what with the weather and the fitness goals and the looming tax bill, now we must contemplate the grim notion that all booze is bad. Not so. Why? Because we enjoy drinking, and because the habit of opening a few beers at the end of a working day, or uncorking a bottle of wine in the evening, is far more deeply ingrained for the majority of us than the notion of meekly obeying state sanctions as proposed by the Chief Medical Officer, party pooper that she is.
Also, there is the undeniable fact that life is inherently risky for all of us; there’s the risk of crossing a road, breaking your ankle while skating, of breaking your back playing rugby, of having a heart attack while running a marathon, of developing lung cancer by smoking tobacco. You could of course go on a mung bean and water diet, travel everywhere by foot and propose to live until you are 100, but then get run over by the number 17 bus tomorrow.
Mark Twain said he hadn’t ‘a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming petty vices’ and I agree with him on this. I also share his view that longevity for its own sake is sometimes unworthy of human aspiration. So am I giving up drinking? Christ, no. And not because I’m worried that it’s going to kill me. It’s because the ‘comfort, relaxation and enjoyment’ that Twain found in it are increasingly frowned upon by the hectoring PC-obsessed hypocrites that infest society today.
I suspect that these new guidelines will be debated, considered and for the most part ignored. Because the notion of absolute teetotalism in this society is frankly unworkable
So what now? Mine’s a pint. And have one yourself.