Yesterday was day 8 of my year of living sober. It was a Friday.
Fridays used to be good for drinking. Not only did I have the ‘it’s the end of the week’ excuse but I had a lifetime of pattern setting to slip into too. I can’t recall (funnily enough) the first time I got drunk on a Friday night but I know I spent many during my teenage years getting wasted. One place I regularly got sloshed at was called The Croydon, also known as Area Nightclub.
‘Area’, as my fellow Ringwood High School buddies (guys and girls) affectionately called it, was one of the first nightclubs I went to underage. And I went there a lot—for years. Was I sixteen when I first fake ID’d my way in there? Actually, I don’t know if I ever even used a fake ID? I think I just sucked it up and risked rejection—which seldom came. No, back then (1985-ish) it wasn’t that difficult to get into the local den of debauchery and once inside we wasted no time getting wasted.
At the bar I ordered beer or bourbon and coke. At some point I started drinking Cointreau on ice with lemon or lime cordial. I remember Crown Lager stubbies were seen as a yuppie beer (believe it or not) and when the ‘European’ imported beers started becoming fashionable I’d think myself very trendy when ordering an expensive Heineken (from Holland you know!) or a Steinlager all the way from New Zealand. I blew almost everything I earned doing eight hour after school shifts at McDonalds trying to impress—who? Everyone? Myself? The chicks?
By chuck-out time it was often chuck-up time. If we weren’t spilling our guts in the car-park we might have lined up for one of Tommy’s Tatters, a baked potato feast loaded with fist sized chunks of butter and caked with cheese—and maybe coleslaw if you were feeling healthy.
And while those Friday nights at Area were not the only place I headed to get pissed in those social habit forming years from puberty to young adulthood, it was the place where I met quite a few girlfriends and began associating booze with girls and sex. It would be a long time (like until I was in my thirties) when I would learn I didn’t have to be drunk to get laid. Of course, I found out it can be even better (who knew) to get sexy sober but imagine if I’d try to tell my sixteen-year-old self that?
Some things you only learn through experience.
Little Booze Joke Number 8:
Q. How many underage drinkers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. Two. One to change the lightbulb and one to try and remember when he was born.