The unbearable lightness of low-alcohol beer


For the first time in quite a few years, I decided to have a few drinkies on New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately my choice of beverage was less than ideal and significantly diluted my dance moves on the first early morning of 2016.

I think it’s been about four years since I’ve had a drink on the last night of the year. For at least two years before I had my 18-month hiatus off the stuff (a blog topic coming soon), I’d had sober New Year’s Eves by choice. I guess when you get to a certain age, there aren’t that many decent parties you’re invited too and hanging out at nightclubs with all the youngsters is lame, and let’s face it, a little creepy, too.

So this year, with my party invite in hand, I decided to crack open a couple to see where the night ended up and to say good riddance to a pretty sucky 2015.

The problem with the holiday season, though, is that Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve are so bloody close together. Why can’t they be a few weeks, or better yet, a few months apart so you can get into match fitness for both?

I asked this question at a family barbecue last night and it was suggested that perhaps we could celebrate Christmas in January or February sometime instead? That idea lasted all of two seconds before everyone decided that our family being our family meant we’d probably just end up with one extra excuse for a party and be worse off than we were before.

This Christmas Day was a spectacular one with all the stuff everyone loves, including a highly memorable game of “what’s an alternative use for this crap shoe horn that one of us received in our festive bon-bon?” The winning idea, although debatable and somewhat hazy I must admit, was either Keith Richard’s cocaine scooper or an eyebrow shaper.

There were no family arguments, in fact it was a huge success until someone (who may or may not have been me) decided that it was time for some Scotch on the rocks. In hindsight, I realise now that was a mistake and that going to sleep in a hallway probably wasn’t one of my finest hours. I blame it on the 5km run I did that morning, mind you.

So it was this episode that convinced me to consume low-alcohol beer on New Year’s Eve instead. No more Scotch shenanigans. No more waking up on the air-bed wondering how I got there.

The New Year’s party started and the low-alcohol beers actually tasted pretty good but as the night wore on I became increasingly annoyed. You see, everyone else was getting into the festive spirit, and I was not. Those goddamn light beers were keeping me in a twilight zone of very mildly, not really much of a glow-on at all, state of mind. Which is their job, but I didn’t know it.

While all the other party-goers started talking and laughing louder, for me not much changed at all. I wouldn’t have minded being sober for my fifth New Year’s Eve in a row if I hadn’t paid so much for the beer and known that each one was also about 100 calories. My wallet and waist-line would’ve been much better off if I’d just stuck to water.

I was staring down a sober midnight when about an hour before, someone (who may or may not have been me) suggested that a few sneaky shots might get the party really humming. My suggestion, however, was a fait accompli as one of the guys had pre-planned for such a happening and brought along an assortment of “masculine” liquers, which would be fashioned into something sickly-sweet called a Jam Donut. ¬†They then decided that Baileys, another testosterone-laden drink I might add, was also a very good idea.

It was at this point that my soberness became my best friend because after only a few I said no more, while the group of guys went on to knock them back one after another. I hear they paid for that big time the next day.

After midnight came and went, someone (who may or may not have been me) reminded the “stayers” about the infamous interpretative dance-off we’d had at the same location at one of the host’s 40th birthday parties a few years before.

As soon as I said it, though, I knew that I wasn’t drunk enough by half to take part but, yet again, I’d backed myself into an embarrassing corner that only a few split-leaps and pirouettes could extricate me from.

So it was that after a marvellous interpretative dance by R that was worthy of a standing ovation, I found myself in a “dance battle” with the said same person to, of all tunes, Welcome to the Jungle.

But I knew within mere moments that my sick dance moves just weren’t there. In fact, the contest was over before it’d even began. The unbearable lightness of that low-alcohol beer had, alas, left me with nowhere to turn except sheepishly back to my seat mid-song with my head bowed in eternal shame.

My self-appointed crown as the interpretative dance-off queen was well and truly lost. Although, I now admit, that my dignity remained intact, which was the whole point, so perhaps not such a bad result after all.


2 thoughts on “The unbearable lightness of low-alcohol beer

  1. I think you may have meant that 2015 was a less than stellar year, but, nevertheless, this was very entertaining to read, OMV

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