Those of us who drink alcohol to excess during the festive season or any other time of the year for that matter, then say things like “alcohol made me” [sad face], please stop blaming alcohol, it is not to blame. Admittedly alcohol lowers inhibitions, it gives one courage, the proverbial Dutch courage, it makes people feel invincible – as far as most of us are concerned this is fine and it’s ok to let one’s hair down now and then. The main concern is that most of us ‘use’ this opportunity to blurt out information that was never intended for the masses, then when confronted they tend to say things like “I didn’t mean it, or I was too drunk, or someone made me”. Awareness is key and the brain will not function optimally or make good decisions when fuelled by Johnnie Walker or Captain Morgan and his crew.
Things I’ve heard over the years is that among humans there exists sub-humans who take advantage of alcohol fuelled situations. These people gather information and season it to their liking, then spread it like wildfire. Many marriages, friendships, relationships have broken to irreparable proportions due to this behaviour.
The most common are the malicious beings who pretend to drink with everyone, but are secretly taking copious amounts of water when they ‘go’ to the loo, to stay sober. These are information gatherers. These devious moles will interrogate you Scotland Yard style. When you are well-watered, they will initiate a conversation peppered with lots of care and concern in their voice, words and mannerism. Their main goal is to get you talking about things you’ve always wanted to say but was not courageous enough or you didn’t think mattered. Now that you are well under the influence, they seize the moment. They will become that person you’ve always wanted to tell these things that now matter (alcohol-sense), more than anything else. They will cry with you. They will lend you a shoulder to cry on. They will encourage you to “let it all out”. They will say things like “it’s therapeutic to talk about these things”. Their sympathy for you knows no bounds. Since they are masquerading as friends, and your brain is compromised, you will unreservedly bare all. Your guardian angel will beg you not to do all the talking, they will sense this and therefore will add sketchy snippets here and there to gain your trust. They will make it feel and look like a two-way conversation when in fact you are doing all the talking and depending on your blood-alcohol level you might not need much persuasion anyway. Few weeks down the year, you’ll be hearing all sorts of crap that you allegedly told. If you don’t get a black eye or lose a finger, you most definitely will lose a friend or two.
The other kind is the ‘friend’ who stalks you by watching your alcohol intake. This one will go out of their way to making sure your glass is forever full. They will talk like friends would do. They will laugh at your unfunny jokes. This person has a hidden agenda. They will be listening intently on what you say. They are out to get you for various reasons that I will not go into details here. They have never been your friend. They are in this gathering by some explainable default. This person will wait a couple of days after the night out. This person will call one of your dear friends; she will start the conversation will words like “I don’t know if I should be telling you this, but…..” This person will engage in an epic monologue about stuff you supposedly said about your dear friend. Your dear friend will be reasonably shocked and angry, but given your relationship will take the information with a pinch of salt. Later that day, they will call you to confront you. When confronted, you will be unable to deny or confirm whatever was said because admittedly you were too drunk to remember anything. You will be embarrassed. When you ‘talked’ with or near the snitch, you had automatically assumed the conversation was bound by the unwritten confidentiality rules among friends. The worst part is, for the love of all things sacred, you can’t remember any or most of the conversations. Your head is having a hard time imagining anyone can salt n pepper a conversation so many degrees away from the truth for the sake of lying. So, heavy heartedly you will accept you said those things you are accused of saying. You will spend several days racking your brain; but you will never come up with a reasonable explanation as to why you may have said those things. You see, the things you are accused of saying are total fabrications based on facts. For example, you might say “Saffron wants to join the gym”, the snitch will hear “Saffron is a fat bitch”. The snitch is a demented being whose imagination runs wild with bits and pieces of facts, a devious mind whose orgasmic experiences comes from seeing battle lines being drawn.
But thank God for small mercies in the form of friends who look out for you. The ones that force feed you water and tell you when to shut up. The ones who will stay sober for your sake and make sure you get home safely. The ones you hold your hair as you retch and spill your guts out. The ones that make you pepper soup and make sure you eat several bowls before bed. The ones that tack you in bed and leave a bucket on the side in case you hurl. And most importantly the ones that know you so well they can differentiate fact from fiction, and will defend you honour to death.
As you celebrate the end of 2016, no doubt most of your gatherings will be alcohol fuelled, beware who you confide in, beware how much you drink, have intelligent conversations about politics, religion, history and not people (because it is said ‘less intelligent people discuss people’ – don’t be one of them). There is a Swahili proverb ‘kikulacho ki nguoni mwako’ – I was not the brightest tool during Swahili lessons but roughly translated this means, ‘that which eats at you is within you’. I will say to you what I say to my daughter, her majesty, “make good choices, from what you eat to who you tell what”.
Have a fun filled all-aware celebrations to welcome 2017. Happy and prosperous new year.