Allan Mayer’s Weblog

The Great Equivocator

Posted on: August 22, 2008

Alcohol- the cause and solution of all our problems, as Homer Simpson once said. There is a strange relationship between alcohol and writing, a stereotype which goes something like this: the tortured author, poet, or hack, sitting in his garret over his typewriter (wordprocessor doesn’t quite fit this ‘romantic’ image) churning out volumes of original thoughts, his creativity enhanced by the juice of the barley or grape or whatever comes to hand.

The epitome of this is perhaps the poet, Dylan Thomas. Apparently when asked what he liked about being drunk he said something like ‘because it’s different everytime,’ (Thomas fans please correct me- it usually happens when I mention a writer I know little about!) Funny that- I like a drink but to me the aftereffect is sort of samey most of the time.

Stephen King in ‘On Writing’ does a lot to explode the myth about alcohol and creativity, in a passage which is well worth the read to see how a truly successful author recognised and conquered the demon.

Truth is, if you write something whilst under the influence you will probably feel that you have just written the most original and creative piece in the history of writing. Until the next morning.

Although I have never had an ‘alcohol problem’ I would be lying to say that I don’t enjoy a drink. Recently I went for my ‘middle-aged fat boy test’ (or Glucose tolerance test as they call it) and was found to be prediabetic. This means that I have had to make some lifestyle changes.

Which leads me to some dietary advice for those of you wishing to cut down on your alcohol intake:

Buy Morrisons or Tesco Value Lager- doesn’t matter which. The advantages are:

. It only costs about 92p, so helps you save money in the credit crunch

. It is only about 2% proof

. Each can has only about 0.9% alcohol

. It tastes like shite, so one can will last you all night.

YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST!              

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