So while I was on my retro holiday – no technology, 20 year old camper-van, first holiday in 30 years without a drink. I read a book I should have read when I was 15 as the title of the book was that year – George Orwell’s 1984. What a great book and in a Penguin orange jacket too 🙂
So many eerie thoughts as I read it. How in 1984’s Oceania there was ‘nothing cheap and plentiful except synthetic gin‘. How after Winston faces O’Brien in the Ministry of Love and survives Room 101 there is a passage which reads ‘The stuff grew not less but more horrible with every mouthful he drank. But it had become the element he swam in. It was his life, his death and his resurrection. It was gin that sank him into stupor every night, and gin that revived him every morning.’
I have been thinking about Room 101 as there is a great tv programme here in the UK with the same name but I am recalling it when Paul Merton was the host. In that format each (celebrity) guest would nominate 3 things to be put into Room 101. Consignment of the nominated items, persons or concepts (theoretically banishing it from the world forever) was the decision of the host, sometimes after soliciting the opinion of the studio audience.
So what would I send to Room 101?
- Mosquitoes. If you were going to torture me in a Room 101 way then these would do it. They love me and on the first night of camping one got into the van and made a complete meal of me – over 10 bites, which I react really badly to and have to take anti-histamines for a mild anaphylactic reaction! Not only would it help me but it would rid the world of the number one killer animal and it’s disease – malaria.
- Shame. I carry a great deal of shame even now but it is slowly disappearing. Drinking allowed me to create shame in myself on a daily ongoing basis. Shame as an emotion serves no positive purpose unlike guilt which can stimulate remorse and apology. I feel that if shame wasn’t around there would be a great deal less drinking as shame was a major trigger to me drinking even before I added drinking shame to the list of reasons to drink.
Alcohol. Now I don’t mean this in some prohibition temperance movement kind of way. I think if booze didn’t exist us creative humans would find some other way or substance to create all the perceived benefits of booze. And of all the substances you can become addicted to booze is the only one that has the potential to kill you as part of the withdrawal process. Coming off heroin isn’t pleasant – but stopping it won’t kill you. Giving up a bottle a day habit of vodka just might and that is a good enough reason to me for this toxic substance to be banished from the world forever.
What would you send to Room 101?
53 days to go.
Edited to add: this arrived in my inbox today! Drink less alcohol to keep mosquitoes away!!
Turns out mosquitoes like getting a little tipsy, because after just one beer, there was a significant increase in mosquito landings. They haven’t determined what it is exactly about the drink that mosquitoes find so tantalizing, but if you’re prone to bites, imbibing at your backyard barbecue could up your chances.
May explain their like of me in the past but I promise nothing alcoholic touched my lips on Friday night when the little blighter decided to feast!