Tequila Sunrise

If you like food, you probably like a drink. If you’re a teetotaller, then my heartfelt congratulations to you. You may want to read on to see exactly what you aren’t missing.

If you do like a drink, you may occasionally find yourself overdoing things a bit, and getting a hangover. It happens. Don’t beat yourself up. If you feel really bad about it, get onto Facebook and look at some of the ‘After’ photos for Halloween parties. The survivors look as if they’re still made up, then you realise they really are green with dark circles round their eyes. And the nice people at Vegaquarium frequently mention feeling a bit off colour, and indeed advocate fishfinger sandwiches as a cure. My own view is that Resurrection Pasta is the route to go down; you’ll find it as a page above.

I’m now going to break the habits of a lifetime, and give some advice. I don’t usually give advice, but on this occasion I will, and it comes straight from the heart.

Unless you’re Mexican, do not get drunk on tequila. I’ll say that again. Do not get drunk on tequila. Drink wood alcohol instead; it tastes the same, and at least it will kill you and you won’t wake up. Because waking up after clattering tequila is all bad news. It’s worse than radiation sickness. It’s living death.

The positional vertigo and cold sweats are the very least of your worries. Your head feels as if someone filled it with red hot carpet tacks by banging them in through your eye sockets with a flint axe, and then shook it violently. Your mouth tastes as if a dead skunk is decomposing in there.Your throat feels as if you’ve been drinking battery acid. Your stomach feels as if there’s a tiny plumber vigorously using a sink plunger at both ends. The rest of you feels as if your blood has been replaced with the seething fat off a roasting chicken. Even the soles of your feet hurt; it’s as if the Stasi had a go at them with a rubber truncheon while you were asleep.

Even your hair hurts. Not your scalp, though that hurts too. Your hair hurts.

If the thought of terrorists setting off a a dirty bomb in your neighbourhood gives you sleepless nights, just pray to the god of your choice they haven’t got a bucket of tequila, access to the roof of a tall building, a stiff breeze, and a half-decent firework with enough explosive power to create a fine spray. They could take out half a city with that. If they get to the top of 1 Canada Square in Canary Wharf, they could eliminate the population of the Isle of Dogs, most of Greenwich, and a big swathe of Catford. Birds would fall from the sky as far south as Dover. Even cockroaches wouldn’t survive the fallout.

If you get on an aeroplane, don’t worry about the man with the smouldering trainers, because he’s clearly incompetent. Just keep a sharp lookout for the guy with a perfume atomiser and a bottle of duty free with a dead worm in it. He’s a pro.

Tequila is so poisonous I’m surprised they’re allowed to sell it except as shark killer. If they decide to remake Jaws, I could produce a screenplay that made it into something the same length as an average trailer. Shark turns up, eats someone, the Robert Shaw character pours a bottle of tequila over the side of the boat, and the shark can’t swim anymore and drowns. The End. The downside would be the shoals of dead fish washing up along a five mile stretch of coastline.

Tequila makes absinth look like one of your five-a-day, plutonium look like a vitamin supplement. If I’d been that guy John Sulston who headed up the Human Genome Project, I’d have had a specialist subteam working on how there are any Mexicans left alive. They must possess a tequila antitoxin gene.

If you’re a gringo you don’t possess this useful piece of DNA. You get out of bed and your legs collapse, so you drop twitching to the floor as if you’d been tasered. When you finally recover from the fall and manage the steep uphill crawl over five miles of broken glass to get to the toilet and evacute your bowels, it brings a whole new terrible meaning to the term ‘toxic waste dump.’ It’s like voiding a mixture of boiling mud and 15 amp fuse wire. It really stings. Meanwhile you’re projectile vomiting into the washbasin so hard your eyeballs haemorrhage.

Do not get drunk on tequila. I’ve advised you. Please listen to me.

On the subject of Mexicans, they’re a hardy race, aren’t they? Think about it. Their national drink is tequila. They discovered peyote. They invented chilli con carne. Any one of those things can kill or maim. Out in the sticks you have to remember to shake the scorpions out of your shoes in the morning. Meanwhile Mexico City is so polluted it makes Kuala Lumpur look like the Eden Project.

Everyday life in Mexico makes that of the Inuits look like a holiday in a beach paradise somewhere. Yes, there are polar bears to worry about, but they’re pretty small change in comparison. In the event of a nuclear war, I’d back Mexico to be the sole surviving nation. Mexicans would say ‘What’s all that noise?’ and just get on with things, albeit while fighting off invading swarms of cockroaches fleeing the radiation and trying to find a safe haven.

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