At 17, I got drunk for the first time. It happened at a friend’s birthday party in a pub. I drank a pint, and then another. I couldn’t see what the big deal was.
Then suddenly, after the third pint, everything changed. My god, what a transformation. I was euphoric.
I walked to the toilets and then suddenly threw up on the floor. I pointed at the puddle of sick with amusement and pride. Then I continued my march to the toilets to release more fluids, but from a different orifice.
When I came out the loo, the manager was waiting for me. He pointed to the puddle of sick and asked me, “Was that you?”
I shook my head.
“Then why were you pointing at it earlier?” he demanded.
I simply shrugged, even though he had probably asked rhetorical question.
“I’m going to have to ask you to leave,” he said.
He walked me outside the pub and left me there. I stood there for a while, looking out at Birmingham in the dark. The buzz of the alcohol was fresh in my head. I became excited by the idea that I could go anywhere I wanted. A casino. A club. A brothel. But the place I really wanted to go was back inside. My friends were in there.
But there was a problem: the bouncer. I asked him if I could go back inside.
“But you threw up on the floor,” he said, amused.
“No, it wasn’t me. It was someone else,” I lied.
He didn’t believe me but he let me back in anyway. It just goes to show – not all bouncers are wankers. Some are actually good guys, albeit a very small minority.
The rest of the party was great. I hugged people. I danced. I became extroverted. A schoolfriend said, “Petey, (for that was my nickname back then) is that you? I’ve never seen you like this”.
I was happy. Oh, so happy. Thank you, alcohol.