A Few Near Misses: GoSober For October Update
Nothing spells temptation like “free alcohol” and being 40,000ft above the ground on an International flight. This is one situation where the diminished inhibitions that accompany alcohol consumption can be a real bonus. Acting as a social lubricant it stimulates some chat between fellow travelers: people who usually share a love of traveling; can share stories or advice on different destinations; and who may even be going in the same direction – making them ideal candidates to audition as travel companions. The only other situation with the same level of persuasive intensity I can think of, from the top of my head, is “It’s your birthday, Baz!”. In the space of three days, I experienced both a couple of weeks ago. However, my resolve to complete October sober remains rock steady!
For those who missed the result on Mini Conundrum #001 – It was decided (by readers of WSBD) that I should “Do Sober October, BUT have at least one drink on my birthday”. Staying true to the unrivaled authority that this site commands I have kept this pledge. Now, entering the home stretch, I have less than a week to serve of the 31 day alcohol ban to help raise donations for MacMillan Cancer Foudation. On two occasions so far I have “almost” broken the contract!…
If you would like to donate to the cause, give me some more incentive to complete the challenge, and help provide care for cancer sufferers, please go to www.gosober.com/team/whatshouldbazdo -> Donate – Join – &/or Send Some Supportive Cheer From The Sidelines!! 😀
The First Near Miss: I Almost Messed Up The Birthday Drink!
The halfway point has well and truly passed by now and, as I prepare to post this update, it seems that raising donations doesn’t necessarily come from completing the challenge of abstinence itself. Rather, the opposite has happened for me, as my donations have come exclusively from Golden Tickets: People buying a pass that pretty much orders me to drink alcohol on a certain day of October. This includes my own £15 donation so that I could fulfill the obligation of having “at least one drink” for my birthday. So I thank you all for voting that I should donate to the cause in this way as well as completing the “abstinence” challenge.
I live on top of a pub; was offered a free birthday drink from the owner; my neighbor gave me a bottle of wine for my birthday; AND a Sainsbury’s directly across the road stocks an assortment of alcoholic goodies… yet my birthday drink almost didn’t happen. The night ended up being a frantic race against the clock to preserve my honor: Because Flaking (or faking) on this promise to have “at least one drink on my birthday” was not an option! In the end I needed to channel an old childhood favorite TV legend, “McGyver”, to complete this task just in the nick of time before midnight – It was quite the cliffhanger. The culprit for delivering such a nail-biting, frantic, and desperate dash to get the job done was, like so many times before, HESITATION!
Never hesitate! If something NEEDS to be done, don’t put it off – Just Do It!
This year my sister happened to schedule an overseas trip so that she could be in London and visit me for a few days over my birthday. Having family visit you on the opposite side of the planet is a pretty neat thing on your birthday: Having presents bought for you; hearing a few bits and pieces about what’s going on back home; having someone honest to bounce ideas off of; and, of course, being able to vent frustrations, complain, and carry on about stuff that anyone else but family wouldn’t stick around to listen to! 😀
But they can also distract you from super duper important tasks like the promise you made earlier in the month that you would “have at least one drink” on your birthday. After a day of ranting debating, and having the best birthday present bought for me that I can remember – this is precisely the promise i remembered at 11pm at night. The sequence of events for the next hour, until midnight, went a little something like this:
11:00 – 😮 – Remember the promise to have at least one drink on your birthday!
11:02 – 😐 – Finishing searching the unit for booze (to no avail)
11:05 – 🙁 – Finish a second more thorough, but equally as fruitless, search of the unit
11:10 – 😀 – Remember that the pub downstairs has a free drink waiting for you!…
11:15 – 🙁 – Get dressed; walk downstairs, only to see the closed sign has just been flipped and somebody is mopping the floor
11:16 – 🙂 – Remember there is a Sainsbury’s across the street, “they sell booze!!!”
11:18 – 🙁 – Saisbury’s man tells you they are closed… no exceptions for your birthday
11:25 – 😐 – Slouch back into the unit, racking your brain for what to do
11:30 – 😛 – “The girl next door” just happens to drop by to give you your birthday present – A BOTTLE OF WINE! Whatttt?!
11:31 – 🙁 – Nobody has a corkscrew
11:35 – 😐 – “Surely YouTube will have the answers?!”…. Nope, ridiculous ideas ensue
If any of you are unfamiliar with McGyver I suggest that you get on YouTube and treat yourself to some of the best TV viewing to ever come out of America! All you need to know for now is that Angus Macgyver is a secret agent with a difference. He is quiet, mild mannered, deeply principled and refuses to carry a gun on his missions. Fortunately, the last detail is unimportant when compared to his astounding mind. Drawing on a vast practical knowledge of science, Macgyver is able to make use of any mundane materials around him to create unorthodox solutions to any problem he faces. With a toothpick; two tin cans; and a fire extinguisher, McGyver is literally UNSTOPPABLE!
So, I scanned the room for useful bits and bobs to make a McGyver moment a reality…
- A building screw jutted out from the wall where somebody had once hung a painting
- A butter knife resting on the table top catches my attention as it glints a reflection of the ceiling light in my eyes
- And a shoelace stretches out from beneath a shirt by the dirty clothes basket
I closed my eyes and visualise McGyver’s stylish mullet blowing in the wind. Like magic, within minutes, a plan has hatched and the wheels set in motion:
- The butter knife serves as a screwdriver to dislodge the screw from the wall,
- And then to re-lodge the screw directly into the wine bottle’s cork
- Trying to pull the screw by hand is a futile effort – but a shoelace with a clove hitch looped around the screw serves as a handle to generate some force
- 30 seconds of gently pulling on the shoelace-screw-cork jig later and the “pop” of a cork sounds triuphantly
- Some swirling and sniffing ensues before taking a first sip of the obligatory birthday celebratory drink.
- Trimming the cork and using the bottom of the shoe as a hammer sees the wine bottle re-corked for use at a later date.
The Second Near Miss
On my flight to India this week I let the words “vodka, orange juice” slip past my lips as I instinctively copied the order of a pretty girl sitting next to me – Following them up with “Oh, actually, I’m not allowed” as I remembered the Sober October pledge managed to raise an eyebrow, giving me the perfect opportunity to spread the word about the Sober October cause (and to illustrate to the girls what a wonderful, selfless, and caring man I am!)… Alas, I am yet to see any extra donations collect in the tin from my fellow travel acquaintances, nor have I received any romantic date requests. A disastrous result all round 🙁
Only 3 days to go and I feel like I wouldn’t mind the option to have a quiet drink with the rest of the Impact Teachers here in India at the end of the week! Please go ahead and throw in a few bucks donation to bolster my motivation, eh? 🙂