Falling off the wagon

The month of tee-totality finally ended on Friday night, with the sound of popping Kriek corks, and a hearty “Thank God that’s over”. Though there are a couple of plusses as a result, most noticeably that you lose your tolerance for alchohol real fast — one bottle on Friday night, and I just crashed out, though I was up to three on Saturday. By the end of next week, the period of sobriety will be little more than a dim, vaguely unpleasant memory.

I also managed to lose half a stone during the month, which was also a pleasant surprise, as this was without too much effort. Sure, I didn’t have any kebabs, but then, I never really WANTED one — it’s the culinary equivalent of getting tattooed, both being things that only make sense after a few pints, and eating a kebab stone-cold sober is something of less than limited appeal. Whether the weight will return or not is uncertain, but it seems likely, especially if I attack many more Haagen-Daaz Chocolate Sundaes, as I did at the weekend. Though if you are going to put on weight, there can be few more pleasant ways to do it.

It is largely as a result of this, that the editorial is late, ‘cos I couldn’t be bothered to do anything more strenuous than slump in an armchair last night, stuffed to the gunnels as I was with industrial quantities of chocolate. “Sloth” and “gluttony” were definitely the chosen sins for the weekend — though it would help if I could remember what all the other ones actually were. Lust, I know, but for the rest, it’s really a case of perm any four from: avarice, pride, envy, blasphemy, jealousy, and several other things ending in Y. [Poetry? Barnsley? Broccol…er, time to watch ‘Se7en’ again, methinks]

But I don’t think you were really supposed to use them as a checklist, even back in Biblical times. A more up-to-date version is the renowned ‘Purity Test’, which is supposed to give you an idea of how morally corrupt/life experienced you are, by asking you a large number of questions about what you have or haven’t done. This has been around for well over a decade – I remember it from my days at university – and it’s not the individual answers, but the overall percentage of Yes’s that matter. Also, being self-administered and marked gives it an obvious advantage.

It would be interesting to compare my answers, and see how much my moral fibre has fallen apart since then — I suspect the answer would be “severely” in the sex category, “a bit” for the alcohol questions, and “not in the slightest” under drugs, though we are dealing with somewhat different baselines in the three areas! Unfortunately – or perhaps not – I don’t have my answers from the heady days of student life. But the Purity Test does live on, albeit in a nifty, Excel-spreadsheet version. It’s all fairly self-explanatory; sheet 1 is the questions, sheet 2 is a chart of your depravity. It not only asks you the questions, and calculates your score, it also sends me a copy of your answers for blackmail purposes. Ho-ho-ho, only joking about the last bit, though if this were a M*cros*ft product, it would probably contact the FBI and turn you in — not for sexual or drug-related crime, you understand, but you WOULD be in deep trouble if you admitted using Netscape.

Blimey. This editorial HAS stumbled quite some way from talking about Haagen-Daaz and sobriety, hasn’t it? Still, I look forward to receiving your thoughts and scores — at the very least, you might get some good ideas for future evenings. I feel I ought to offer a prize for the highest score, but in the light of current events unfolding in America (indeed, on TV there as I type this), it would seem unnecessary. Perhaps Kenneth Starr should just have given the Purity Test to Bill, and let him get on with it..