Hangovers in London and insane Fleet Street cabbies
So I’ve been back in Australia for the past 5 months now. During this time, I’m now leaner, healthier, fitter, and can run from Bondi Beach to Tamarama Beach along the clifftops and back without the need for pre-warming up my personal pocket defibrillator.
Living in Australia does that too you though doesn’t it? It brings out the fitness freak in anyone.
My 3.5 years in London were pretty much spent traveling in a sweaty crowded tube to the pub, drinking at the pub, walking home from the pub or spending my waking hours at the office looking forward to the above 3 activities after work.
The problem is, the Brits just love a drink don’t they?
Give a Brit the option of going to his 5 year old daughter’s birthday party, or hanging out at the pub with James and Charles (notice that every male Brit is called James or Charles?), and you’d have a friend with one very disappointed daughter.
If I ever suggested to my Brit friends that perhaps we should slow down with our drinking and not drink on Monday’s anymore, they’d assume I’d had either one too many beers or had found Jesus.
But the problem is, they don’t see it as a problem….their bodies are just accustomed to it. I once went on a Monday night bender with a good mate of mine Ranga.
The events of the night in bullet points essentially went as follows:
- “See yas later” to everyone in the office
- A nice quiet pint at the Crown
- A nice lovely pub dinner at the Crown
- 3 ‘after dinner’ drinks at The People’s Republic
- 2 slow-burning ‘after dinner drinks’ beers at the Frog
- 2 stubbies of VB at Temple Walkie (yes you can actually get it there)
- 1 very “fuck this is burning my throat coz I just spewed and swallowed it” pint of snakie
- A line of white naughty stuff in the dunnies
- Topped off by 3 more beers to wash everything down
We’d then proceed to make our way home by flagging a cab and heading back to Clapham.
Are taxi drivers the smartest creatures in the world? Imagine – you’re driving Mertie (your beloved black cab of 3 years) along Fleet Street at 2 am on Tuesday morning looking for another fare.
Oh great, here’s two potential fares. Oh dear, one of them seems to have had a whoopsy on his polo shirt. Oh and the other one seems to be supporting himself with all 4 limbs. But bless the first one, he seems to be helping his friend up….nice Christian kindness. I better get these two home to their mum’s before they catch a cold.
If I were a cabbie and I saw Ranga and I that night, I’d have been out of Fleet Street faster than a pre-credit crunch investment banker with hindsight could remove his shares before the turmoil.
My point of this whole story is, that the next day, I woke up feeling like Paris Hilton’s gay pink poodle had the runs in my mouth (a typical Tuesday morning). I indifferently placed my puffed up cheeks next to the glass windows in the insanely over-crowded tube station at Clapham (more on London’s Tube over-crowding in future posts).
I staggered through the door in the office to find Ranga already there, tea-cup in hand, on the phone to a client discussing the latest monthly figures. No blood shot eyes, no accidents in the shower, no breath resembling the dark murky water that accumulates at the bottom of the crisper drawer in the fridge.
He even had perfect hair.