The first sign of getting older was/is my body’s inability to cope with booze. In my twenties I would suffer for a morning and then bounce effortlessly back into the swing of things by two o’clock in the afternoon.
Now, it takes two days and there is no bouncing back. Just a gradual heaving of my pain-racked body through 48 hours of hell.
Before small boy when my responsibilities were no larger than making a decision about whether to have a double or triple espresso, my very best friend, Katarina Von Tassel, and I would get fairly hammered on a regular basis. We were single and being single circa Brigit Jones was surprisingly stressful. I had so much bloody Chardonnay shoved down my throat that I developed a pathological hatred for it. And being forced to ‘have it all’. It’s exhausting. I just want a few things. Not everything.
Sadly, Tassel now lives near Bath and her visits have become more precious and less booze-fuelled. We actually thought we were growing up before she moved. Trying to find activities that didn’t include alcohol (completely futile process) but it made us feel smug and unusually adult.
But back to the weekend in the annals of slightly semi-fiction and changed names when we were still behaved badly. Out to dinner on Sunday night with Lou & Tassel, sipping wine, smoking fags (and eating to line our stomachs) it all seemed rather splendid until a lively debate about daylight saving turned into the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Crispy Haddock, a mutual friend with a surprising talent of impersonating grey- back gorillas, joined us for a birthday drink and talk turned to old memories. Specifically, the year I had indulged him in a ‘body shot’ on his birthday.
Tassel decided to be unusually generous and ordered rounds of Tequilas. One thing led to another and ‘body shots’ were being had by all and sundry.
This would of all been fine had Lou not just started a new job. After she left still pondering Daylight Saving Tassel and I made the unwise decision to accompany Crispy to his flat where we attempted to play that sophisticated word game, ‘Boggle’.
I was incapable of anything beyond two letters, Tassel was incapable of seeing any letters and so astonishingly, Crispy out did us completely. Scribbling five and even six letters words onto his pad. Slightly irritating for a naturally competitive woman.
This is when the sabotage started. Tassel lost the first four games and was ‘forced’ to down shots of bourbon. Feeling slightly the worse for wear Tassel actually didn’t swallow the final shot of Jack. Instead, in a deeply misguided attempt to be generous Tassel launched herself at Crispys’ mouth (in a move which must have seemed undoubtedly sexy in her head) and proceeded to give him the equivalent of a bourbon blowback.
Unfortunately, Crispy, thinking his luck was in, inhaled instead of swallowing. As he staggered to the bathroom, making terrifying death-is-imminent noises, Tassel and I were reduced to hysteria. When after ten minutes he was still gasping and hacking we were reduced to tears.
Eventually, Crispy staggered back into the living room, barely able to breathe and gesticulated wildly. Under the mistaken impression that he wanted to play charades, Tassel and I started to mime Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
It then became apparent that he was in serious trouble and Tassel’s Kiss of Death was responsible.
‘My God! I’ve broken him’, Tassel shouted rather too proudly.
After about ten minutes of cold towels and ‘breathing techniques’ we limped back to my flat.
All I can say is that we both paid for our murderous ways. Tassel had to tackle the M1 with seven rabid dwarves rampaging around her head with pickaxes.
And I had to do a full day’s work with several of their relatives in mine.
Body Shot a la Vole
Place shot of tequila between bewbies
Lick neck and rub salt into area
Plant citrus wedge of choice in mouth
Imbiber retrieves glass from cleavage with no hands
Licks salt off neck
Slurps citrus wedge from mouth