An interesting discovery
Rewind exactly one month. On the 30th March 2008 I was recovering from a mammoth eating and drinking session with some old friends in London the night before. We'd eaten until we couldn't eat any more and we'd got to the stage where we were having to burp and physically squash our stomachs (in a vein attempt to aid digestion) to free up space, space which was then filled with beer and tequila. The first thing I did when I woke up was to trek to a pub and consume a gorgeous Sunday lunch with Deanne, we also had beer. The afternoon ticked by slowly and the sunshine was of course conducive to more beer - this was London living at its finest! Despite my enjoyment of the afternoon, my body felt as though it was about to burst at the seams and I only just about held it together. As the evening, and the bus back to Wales, approached, I met with Léonie on the banks of the Thames. Léonie and I share a similar trait in that no matter how run down, over-worked or out-partied we are, we'll always be happy to consume alcohol. We were both shattered but our luck was in, we found a pub getting rid of their Hoegaarden stock - and at £2.70 a pint it was a bargain. Finally I hopped aboard the bus home and slept for the entire journey, London had taken its toll on me and it'd been the final straw in deciding that I had to take a break.
For a whole four weeks after that I went about my everyday life without drinking any alcohol (Although I did lick an ice-cube with vodka on it, that doesn't count does it?). I hadn't gone for that period without boozing since 2004, when I only managed 3 weeks. I vividly remember the barman in my local, Ed, handing me two free pints on the final day with a giant grin on his face - he was glad to see me back. Out of the four weeks I have identified 16 days on which I was offered alcohol, 13 of those I was heavily encouraged to drink and 7 of those were sure-fire mammoth drinking sessions.
The first week was perhaps the hardest, I still sat in the pub with my friends on the weekend and was subject to a ridiculous amount of peer pressure. Initially I was joining in with the conversations and laughing along to all the jokes, but with sambuca glasses rapidly filling up the table I began to lose track of what was going on and I sat reasonably quietly, laughing only occasionally at people staggering about and talking shit.
The second week I still wanted to join in and I found it increasingly difficult to resist just having one refreshing, cold pint. I was permanently tired, the reason for which I'm yet to discover. It could have been the sudden change in diet - I was eating out less as I had the energy to spend more evenings cooking at home.
The third week I started to avoid the pub and friends houses altogether, I felt a little left out but at the same time I was sick of the only discussions I was involved in being me defending my decision to drink soft drinks while everyone around caused chaos. One low point was at a party I went to in order to stay awake for the Calzaghe fight at 3am, I was asked by a friend "So, what have you been up to recently?" I replied with a simple, "Nothing mate, absolutely nothing". It's not that nothing had been achieved but I had nothing to talk about that my friend could relate to.
In the fourth week, something strange happened. I was feeling down after the realisation that I was communicating with my friends less and less as the month progressed - My body had completely shut down and the weekend was spent sleeping rather than bouncing around and socialising. This was to be the strangest of observations over the course of my experiment; I had talked to almost zero girls and my sex drive had evaporated. It seemed to be the opposite of a post I've written before. I came home one evening and slumped down in a seat next to my housemate and her boyfriend... "How's it going?" I was asked. I paused for a little before replying "I think I'm gay". There was lots of laughing.
My argument was that I had absolutely no interest in any girls, other than making friends. The counter argument from my housemate's boyfriend was compelling - "Do you fancy men?" he asked ... "No, of course not". This continued to trouble me for a few days as I turned things over in my head. I realised that my new found gay-ness was getting a rise out of people so I milked it and started camping it up a little and making overly-gay innuendos. A couple of friends were less concerned for me, they saw it as a business opportunity : I would make friends with girls and act as an undercover agent to report back to the straight guys so they could make the appropriate moves to get laid.
Last night at a Scroobius Pip gig I had my first beer in a month, initially it was refreshing but my body didn't agree with it and couldn't have any more than the one pint. This morning I felt different.. I walked to work behind a couple of student girls - one of which had a mesmerising arse perched on top of a couple of killer legs, it made me smile. Shortly before arriving in work I crossed the road at the same time as a ravishing blonde about my height crossed in the opposite direction and I'll be damned if I didn't feel a little like ravaging her there and then in front of all the queuing cars. Apart from surprising myself with a sudden urge for starring in roadside porn, I was mightily relieved that my attraction towards girls had returned.... "it must have been the beer" I mused.
The moral of the story: Order a beer or be queer. It's scientific fact that avoiding alcohol turns you gay.