[Sometime in 2009] Everyone is going out tonight. Whilst the fear of missing out, like any student, makes my attendance non-negotiable, alarm bells in my head are already ringing, and I’m planning the damage limitation.
It goes without saying that I won’t be drinking the toxin load that the rest of my halls will be consuming – a mixture of beer, vinegar-cheap-wine and questionable spirits mixed with sugar laden mixture (and often a combination of all of these at the same time).
But at this particular stage of my journey I haven’t decided that alcohol is off the cards yet. Strategizing around it is a strangely exciting challenge. It is a necessary evil, and I haven’t yet completely ruined my student experience by eliminating it totally and becoming that weird guy who never goes out.
Although I am still weird.
Why? Well tonight, as per many other nights, my choice of consumption is a little different. For starters, my dinner is timed at least two hours before any drinking will begin. Assuming people emerge from their rooms around 8pm, my dinner is consumed by 6pm to ensure full digestion of all the key nutrients I need to pre-tox myself with, not to mention ensure that the energy needed for digestion is expelled sooner, so my body is not overwhelmed later on by last minute food comas or indigestion. Thus I can focus it on a good dance or two.
Secondly the other key strategy I will employ to ensure maximum damage limitation (third being an early morning gym session tomorrow) is my choice of mixer.
Whilst I reluctantly check I still have some vodka in my cupboard (the cleanest and least questionable of all the spirits, as well as pour-able in my own quantities), I swear to myself that nothing which has a shelf life of more than a week will be mixed with this (let alone the 2-year shelf life carbonates and colas most of my friends are stocking).
Thus my juicer comes out and I start preparing the base. My choice for tonight? Carrot and apple juice. Not too high in natural sugar and cheap enough to consume in large quantities. Hopefully with enough vitamins, minerals and living enzymes in here, my body is in the best possible shape to withstand any harmful damage caused by alcohol to my liver (at this stage I’m unaware increased fructose consumption is actually toxic to the liver).
It takes a god 45 minutes of prep, at least 2 kilos of carrots and apples to make the required evening’s cocktail base, (last minute I add a touch of fresh ginger and some lemon juice for giggles). The party trick which delighted the girls last time was frozen berries, blended into the mix at the last minute to make a pretty pink smoothie, somewhat giving my healthy cocktail a bit of glam (implying I’m completely gay as well as healthy too).
I’m sure the novelty will have worn off this time but the anti-oxidants here are still necessary.
Needless to say, the drinking games don’t start until more like 9pm by which time, I’ve consumed half of this magic formula, leaving me with less options to rely on for the rest of the evening (going to the bar requires a whole different strategy in itself). This causes a small wave of panic to set in as I’m seeing off my third vodka smoothie which as much masculinity as I can manage.
At this stage of my life I have worked out that it’s something to do with the fruit and alcohol combination which always turns me a horrendous shade of bright red with blotchy patches across my face. But I’m not sure what to do about it yet.