I don’t know…maybe it just doesn’t take much to crack some of us. It’s natural for the young of each generation to push boundaries further and further, but I hope more would show the same courage as Brent Lindeque when faced with a similar challenge. Then again, you could argue it’s easy for someone like me to say this…
I’m teetotal, and (apart from the rare experimental sip) I have been for almost two decades. This arouses a lot of curiosity, and the disbelief is practically universal. As if rejection of alcohol is completely unthinkable, most people immediately assume I’m the designated driver. But once the revelation that I can’t drive is out of the way, getting armchaired is next on the agenda, because really…this non-consumption has got to be a freak of psychological nature, right?
Am I worried about losing control? Was I an addict? Could it be due to fear that lowered inhibitions would release the Hyde persona in me?
To my knowledge, I have never ‘hulked out’, and am no less ‘liberal’ when not under the influence. See the loony below?
Yeap, that’s me six years ago…stone cold sober. Never needed alcohol to enjoy myself, and although health does play a part, it doesn’t top my list. I don’t abstain on moral grounds either. So why don’t I indulge? The real reason might be a little hard to swallow.
1. I hate the taste of alcohol.
There, I’ve said it. I realise I may be alone in this, but the experience is repulsive enough to make me feel like I’m drinking detergent…no, liquid radiation. Some cocktails and alcopops would fare better on my palate, with Reef probably the least offensive. But it can’t beat real fruit juices or milkshakes. Oh, and I’m not overly fond of fizzy drinks either.
Even boozy-flavoured chocolates or desserts will bring on a performance that’ll give professional gurners stiff competition. But strangely, certain foods such as Steak and Ale Pie, or Diane Sauce etc. don’t put me off. Perhaps the cooking process does something to alter the composition of alcohol.
During my college years, I used to think it might be an acquired taste. Sadly (mostly for everyone else, except whoever’s paying), the yuck factor never went away.
2. I am allergic to alcohol.
A few drinks here and there won’t be enough to kill me. However, the effects are virtually instant. A few sips of wine will lead to burning ears, puffy eyes, and a swollen face (in that order). If I choose to ignore the warning signs and down that glass of wine, breathing gradually turns into wheezing, and then the vomit will definitely hit the fan…It’s not a pretty sight.
Despite being 100% game for spending my youth well and truly rat-arsed along with the rest of the student population, it never actually got that far…Not even close.
It doesn’t take me long to get from being slightly woozy one minute to a heaving mess the next, with (contrary to what I’d been led to believe) nothing pleasant in between. The effects are worse if I drink too much too quickly…and by that, I mean half a Bacardi Breezer in the space of an hour. My hangover generally won’t wait for the next day to begin.
Quite early on I decided making myself sick night after night wasn’t worth the trouble. At the same time, gaining rep as the campus misery guts wasn’t exactly an appealing notion, so I’ll confess that for a couple of years I became an expert at faking it. Turns out pretending to be tipsy is not all that difficult when the world around you is falling flat on its face anyway. And oh yes, I remember everything.
These days, I even have my camera on standby…because you know, pics or you didn’t see it!
Seriously though, I doubt any kid is immune to peer pressure, but I’d like to think my younger self would have had the sense to recognise the dangers of NekNominations if they’d been popular back then. To date, they have caused the deaths of five people in the UK and Ireland alone, and the trend has purportedly spread to primary schools.
Knowing my propensity to be squeamish, I’d most likely have balked straightaway at some of the more ‘exotic’ ingredients – spiders, deer’s blood, urine and fecal deposits, just to name a few. It’s like some people, no longer content with the vicarious thrills of I’m a Celebrity, are determined to prove Darwin’s theory right.
Taking part in NekNominations doesn’t prove that you’re tough. It only proves that you are stupid…or too inebriated to know otherwise. This false bravery is completely pointless. Either use it to do something worthwhile, or stick to traffic cones and trolley races. They’re less suicidal.
Calling All Teetotals!!!
I’m certain there are more out there even though we’re quite a rare breed. I only know one other teetotal, and he’s a recovering alcoholic. It would be interesting to find out if there are others like me who would be happier to watch the wagon pass them by, and if any of the above also applies to them.