MODERATE drinking allows you to dodge hangovers and stops you making a twat of yourself. But at what cost?
Time slows to a crawl
The most joyful time of year is rammed with shit activities you hate doing. Time usually skips by in a haze of red wine and Baileys, but when largely sober it slows down, leaving you tense and alert like a guard dog. That hour at the Christmas market will feel like nine or ten. Saying goodbye to your hosts when you’re desperate to leave a dull social gathering will feel like a year. You’ll have effectively added numerous days to your life for no benefit.
You’ll engage with every moment of shit conversations
When drunk you can rudely ignore tedious conversations like a friend-of-a-friend’s daughter’s A-level results by abruptly turning to someone else in the pub. But after two Budvars you’ll still be a civilised human being and will listen intently. Your politeness won’t be rewarded. Sensing docile prey, they’ll give you both barrels about their new Toyota Yaris.
Frequent, extreme embarrassment
Sober, you’ll resist wearing your designated paper crown, Santa hat or foam antlers at the office Christmas meal. You will then be considered a joyless misanthrope who ‘hates Christmas’, even though you objectively do look like a knob. Singing Christmas carols or attending church will be equally agonising. What are those horrible sounds coming from your mouth? It sounds like Dave Gedge from the Wedding Present has been shot in the throat.
No drunken snogs
Attending numerous Christmas parties where people are shitfaced and less discerning significantly increases your chances of a snog. But when compos mentis you’ll feel inhibited, and possibly won’t have the patience to listen to an incredibly pissed person talk about their cat’s eye infection for half an hour before they suddenly stick their tongue down your throat.
No drunken sex
The worst thing you can do to ruin your sex life is think about whether you’re genuinely attracted to the other person, or whether a drunken shag is going to have bad consequences. Okay, you’ll avoid awkward one-night stand moments or a colleague being unfriendly in January because you came in their mouth, but a shag’s a shag and you’ll be regretting not getting your leg over for the rest of Christmas.
Being emotionally aware
Normally you can bludgeon your way through awkward social gatherings and family visits with inanities like ‘Looks like it’s Christmas again!’ and shit jokes. Now you pick up on subtle conversational hints that your 95-year-old grandad is shitting himself about dying, or your auntie Emma has actually had a very sad life. And where does your own finite existence fit into this cosmic jigsaw of human despair? Best not to think about it and get out the Trivial Pursuit.
Loss of your teleportation powers
When blackout drunk you teleport instantly from the pub to your home, with just a brief interlude of semi-lucidity to fry some cheese or whatever stupid meal you make when you get in. Now you’ll notice every miserable, slippery step and every icy raindrop trickling down your neck. You finally realise how Superman must have felt when he gave up his powers to be with Lois Lane, but you don’t even get to shag Margot Kidder.