A beautiful November morning which magically transformed itself into dark, rain filled afternoon reminded me of Kingsley Amis’ dazzling description of a hangover, which I reread today in a blog that has become a favourite of mine, namely The Bully Pulpit
It awakened in me a memory of a best forgotten episode in my not so distant past. It may not be grammatically possible to feel schadenfreude about events that have befallen oneself but I am.
The chutzpah of the Gods has always impressed me far more than the antics of the superheroes of Marvel comics who seemed to make a point of avoiding sex and drink, or any carnal pleasures, whilst devoting themselves endlessly to the task of dressing up quickly and saving mankind. The last bit is very ungodlike behaviour if the evidence is to be believed. Zeus was not that interested in mankind and gave all his considerable attention to womankind, or indeed to any kind of woman. He got away with some astounding high jinks in a multitude of beautifully wrought and highly imaginative disguises such as a swan, a shower of gold or more outrageously as the husband of the object of his particular desire that evening. A very short straw indeed would have to be drawn by the counsel elected to his defence.
On the evening of my downfall, or down falling, Zeus felt it was time to punish mankind for not being womankind so came to ravage me in the guise of several bottles of very mediocre red wine. So unassuming was his manifestation that I failed to recognise him. Leda had a far worse time of it, let’s be honest: all those beaks and feathers, so I can’t complain. Back to the bottles.
The God of Fate, Weather, Law and Order was making sure that I drank deep of him, and it was not long before I was in that pre hang over state which reveals itself by removing the ability to stand up for any length of time. Well aware of impending misery, my mind was begging my body to “Stay down, just stay down” but I, bewitched as I was, mistook the voice of reason for the referee’s counting and struggled gamely to my feet, time and time again. It didn’t end well…it couldn’t. Once out of the ring, known as a bar in common parlance, I headed off into that dark night. I did not go quietly and it did not go well. There was pain and absolutely no gain. Have I learnt anything? I shall open a bottle of red, sit by the fireside and think about that. I’ll let you know.