So it’s January, and everyone is full to bursting with unrealistically good intentions. Or at least they are once they’ve expelled the vast quantities of Christmas grub and made room. Either way, ’tis the season of nicotine patches, soup diets and expensive gym memberships.
And also, for a lot of people, teetotalism. I have never understood why. Yes, yes, I know. December is fattening, expensive and transforms our livers from industrious little treatment plants into crusty bags of rancid pâté. Clearly, sacrifices must be made. But why take away all the booze? It makes no sense. It’s as though as soon as the last box of Christmas tat is shoved into the loft a great guilty spectre bears down on the world and confiscates everyone’s right to Fun.
Now, I’m the first to admit I probably drink too much (certainly if you go by government guidelines, which are just unreasonable), and I don’t want to say I need to drink to enjoy myself on a night out, but in fact I do. And anyone who disagrees is lying. Oh, for awhile it’s fun to watch your friends’ depressingly swift descent into giddy twattery and take incriminating photographs you can blackmail them with later, but eventually there comes a point where it gets boring. Because drunk people are boring. Not only boring, in fact, but irrational, incoherent, unpredictable and violent. Also quite sickly, sometimes, and being the only sober person at a party will inevitably end with you playing Mother fucking Teresa and sluicing down the idiot who didn’t know when to stop. So instead you leave early and end up in bed reading a book by 10:45pm while everyone else has a good time, which is kind of shit.
Giving up alcohol for any month inevitably means you’re going to miss out on some good times. I’ve seen so many people essentially cockblock (shotblock?) themselves from having a great night out because they’ve suddenly decided they can’t drink for a random month. There is no special health benefit to be had from not drinking for X number of consecutive days, so if it’s a big night or someone’s birthday, don’t be that person who watches the mayhem unfold from the sidelines of sobriety. It makes everyone feel uncomfortable, anyway, knowing a Sober Sheldon is watching and will remember everything perfectly in the morning.
So here’s an idea: instead of giving up something that makes you fun and sociable, why don’t you give up something that makes you a boring arsehole? Why not give up television? I don’t believe a glass of wine does more damage that sitting on your arse for hours watching brainrot on the box. We don’t have a licence so normal telly is never on in our flat, but ‘#CBB’ has still been spamming my Twitter feed with its legions of loyal
twats followers. I don’t want to get preachy here, but “Celebrity” Big Brother really is the most outstanding example of bollocks I’ve ever seen. And it’s not like it’s a weekly guilty pleasure either, it’s on for THREE HOURS A DAY. Three hours! For three weeks! You could lose half a stone or learn conversational French or make a patchwork quilt in that time.
If you want to lose weight, give up eating out and instead start eating in, where you can make healthier meals. Get your mates over, cook something magnificent and eat it in your living room with candles and fancy pants tunes like, I don’t know, fucking Beethoven. Have some wine. Crack out the board games from Christmas. Fuck it, buy a pinata if you have to. Whatever it takes to have as much fun inside as you would out.
If you’re joining a gym, don’t just join the gym. Smash the gym in the face! They like it when you pay for a membership and then never go, it just means lower cleaning and maintenance costs for them. So fuck those guys, go as often as you can. Use all their towels, sweat disgustingly all over their floors. If there’s not a slimy puddle of DNA under that Powerplate when you’re done, then you’re not done. Demand guest passes and force your mates to go to Zumba. Even if you can’t dance. Especially if you can’t dance.
Even if you’re broke, instead of not going out, why don’t you go out more? It’s easy if you live in a big city, but even if you’re in the sticks there’s shit to do everywhere, lots of it free or cheap. I used to live in the back of beyond, so I know all about this. There’s petting zoos and shit. In fact, once I went to a buffalo farm because there was nothing else to do. We had ice cream and a buffalo cheese they called ‘Strong-n-Evil’, and a fucking lovely little time was had by all.
Go on dates! Match.com is always blathering on about how 1st January is their busiest day for sign-ups, so join the masses of hopeful singletons out for a good time. You might even get the New Year off with a bang (!)
And even if you’re the sort of person who likes to spend every Saturday morning scrubbing vomit splashback from the underside of the loo seat, you don’t have to give up the good stuff entirely. Just don’t drink to excess. Go out for a beer or two if you fancy it; just try to avoid the all-night benders that culminate in you throwing up on a pavement or noshing off a stranger in a cab. That shit ain’t classy, after all.
In short, January is bad enough with the shit weather and distant pay day. Let’s not make it even worse by doing it sober.
What do you think? Are you going dry this January or are you giving up something else?
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