Tuesday, 12 August 2014
Days of Wine and Roses
As if life is not difficult enough, what with strife, pestilence, sin and the Tories: we get a load of liver fluke come flying at us.
It's a full blown crisis. In the Accident and Emergency, in the Care Homes for the Elderly, in the supermarket aisles and in the pubs, restaurants and in our own homes.
We're all going to hell in a beer/wine/whiskey/port/sherry/vodka/brandy barrel. That (extremely) regular tipple is yours and mine liquid death certificate. The merest sniff of alcohol may well induce carcinomas in almost every known, and many yet to be discovered, organs of the body. Heart attacks, diabetics, blindness, depression and Alzheimer; not to mention road deaths, horrible mutilation, murder, domestic violence and uncontrollable urinating in the most inappropriate places.
Boy, do I need a drink.
Foolishly I listened to "You and Yours" on Radio 4 this lunchtime. The whole programme was given over to the perils of booze. We had doctors telling us of the untold damage that devil Al K Hol was inflicting on our poor bodies. Reformed alcoholics rang in wringing out our livers with their tales of endless binges and the arduous climb up to the top of Mount Sobriety. Drinkers phoned in with tales of nightly bottles of St Emilion and Petrus to accompany their evening meal and how it was ruining their lives.
After an hour of that and the suicide inducing tones of Winifred Robinson...I needed a drink.
On top of which I learnt that Robin Williams has gone and topped himself. Just to emphasis the menace of substance abuse, including alcohol.
I never went a bundle on Mork and Mindy - the title was enough to put me off; but I saw him doing his stand up routine and it was sensational. He was fabulous as the voice of the Genie in the cartoon "Aladdin"- in those innocent days when Persian Nights had nothing to do with beheadings and genocide, Blair, Bush and all those poor bastards who got in their way.
Of course, the great irony is that laughter is so good at blunting all our deepest fears and terrors, turning them into mockeries and absurdities. Yet so often those who are the instruments of laughter are unable to tame their fears and forebodings and slip silently over the edge into suicide's deep, cold waters.
Last night was laughter night at the National. "Great Britain" a joyous, fun poking, vaudeville of a play which took aim at every institution especially the press. The plot was phone hacking and it detoured along police corruption alley, fornicating politicians cul de sac and press baron boulevard.
We sat in the OAP Circle: we were completely surrounded by brown suits, baggy designer jeans and Coco Chanel. It's bad enough doing the Mexican Wave in the 2s and 9p when the latecomers need to get to their seats in the middle of the row. It's an absolute riot when it's performed by a row of arthritic 70 pluses. That and a laugh a minute was well worth the price of the ticket.
In a couple of weeks' time we're off to see "Medea" by that well known Athenian stand up comedian Euripedes.
I'm not sure whether I'll need a drink before or after that.