top of page

The Life Lessons I have learned from being drunk

“You can learn a lot about a woman by getting smashed with her.”

Tom Waits

I like to drink. I never drink when I gig, but when it's my night off and I am amongst friends, or in the company of a good book, I think there is nothing more splendid than a nice bottle of Reisling or an Old Fashioned. Novels haven't helped my romantization of the liquid poison. In novels alcohol is often painted as the ethereal second lover, who appears at dusk and turns your life into a debauched, orange-hued seductive glaze of bizarre conversations and unique dreamlike encounters. I like the sense of rebellion it still brings when I drink with friends late into night, running the risk of missing the last tube home. I have made many of my closest friends whilst drunk, and have won many a dance off when influenced by it's warmth.

However, I don't think drink and I actually get on. Alcohol is often that friend who tells you 'You look great', invites you to the prom and then pours pigs blood over your head in front of your friends. The friend who encourages you that entering into a pole dancing competition in Malta IS a good idea. Alcohol is the friend who spurs you on to write a play throughout the night and then email it unedited directly to the Royal Court, before letting you re-read it the following afternoon to realize it is all about Ninjas in Space. Alcohol in the friend who lets you book yourself return first class train tickets to Hull - for reasons you have never truly worked out.

How I feel the morning after

Alcohol has also encouraged me to buy many things online. In no particular order, here are some of the things I've purchased in my fits of drunken consumerist revelery:

  1. Forty pounds of Kale (because Tescoes wouldn't home deliver unless it was over Forty pounds)

  2. A glow in the dark vibrator from Etsy. Because I think it is important to support independent retailers, and I am afraid of the dark. So, two stones one bird.

  3. A Parrot costume. No explanation needed.

  4. A Lobster costume. See above.

  5. A Minatour costume. Because I really want to wear it in a maze.

  6. Three Shark costumes. (It's a fetish thing).

  7. A Moonpig card to myself which said "Love Yourself More" which I then sent to an ex which was their incentive to call and say "We should see eachother less".

  8. A life size David Gandy Cardboard cutout for a gentleman I was dating. However I accidentally ordered five of them - but rather than life size - I ordered five miniature David Gandy cardboard cutouts. Which, after we broke up, preceeded to keep on arriving at his house. I believe he now still has them in his kitchen.

  9. That time I accidentally ordered a Fun Factory share silicone double dildo 6 inch because it looked similar to some fancy hand weights I’d seen in TK Maxx.

  10. That time I accidentally ordered some fancy handweights because they looked like a really cool Fun Factory share silicone double dildo 6 inch that I had seen in TK Maxx.

  11. I can’t remember ordering this but it turned up on a Friday when my dad was over at my flat visiting

  12. That time last year I entered into a half marathon. In Paris. For the following week. And I had a broken foot.

  13. That time, when I got drunk and chatted to the local barman and he mentioned he hadn’t read Albert Camus and I was like "Albert Camus is amazing" and then because he'd given me free whisky I ordered him all of Albert Camus’s books and then I walked into the bar the next day and he said “OH GOD ARE THOSE FOR ME!” but in a jokey way and then I said "Yeah" and then his face fell and then there was silence. I don’t go back there any more.

  14. Latin lessons for 9am the next morning via skype.

  15. Tinder Plus.

  16. PVC Crotchless and Braless Catsuit but in a size small. Which I cannot return.

  17. Eight Toblerones.

  18. Flights to Paris after being certain I’d fallen in love with the man whose house I’d rented on Air BnB.

  19. A PVC cat mask with Ears.

  20. A light that I still don’t know how to assemble and which really resembles a genital wart.

On top of that, I have also learnt that when I get drunk I like to make friends with everyone. That, and I am an awful flirt. 'Awful' in both my love of it as an activity, and my lack of ability to do it in a way that is cool and subtle.

Par example - the conversation I had with my friend Jim the morning after we had gone to the gay bar Her Upstairs in Camden and drunk two bottles of red wine together… Me:“Was I bad….” [beat] Jim: “Not baaaad” Me:“What did i say?” Jim: “You were very friendly Me: “What did I say?! Jim: “Well… when she asked you ‘What do you do for a living’, you looked at her, you did that hand gesture where you mime throwing money everywhere, which you like to do, before shouting across the bar "I like to MAKE IT RAIN". And then you moon walked backwards into a wall."


Me: "Right."

Jim: "Then you gave her your email address."


Me: "Was it a good moon walk?"

JIm: "You took your shoes off before you did it."

Me: "Oh God."

Thus. In my time as a boozer, and due to my love of making questionable life choices, I thought I would offer some key life lessons on what I have learnt whilst drunk. As I think I have both the experience and knowledge to pass this on.


  • There is never a bad time to moon walk.

  • The ‘cool’ and ‘fun’ places are always where you and your friends are, don’t make your night stressful by co-ercing everyone to leave the nice pub you’ve found yourself in to trek 40 minutes on the bus to an ‘underground dance rave’ which is twenty quid to get in and looks like a venereal disease but in vinyl flooring.

  • Yes, I am sure that gay gentleman you've just met is very nice, but now is not the time to offer to be the surrogate for him and his partner's future child.

  • If the toilet is spinning, call a cab and go home.

  • If you can do the mime of being trapped in a box, do it. It's the perfect way to break the ice and you can make it work to the rhythm of most Ed Sheeran songs - which is now 99% of all music played in the UK.

  • If you couldn’t speak French before you ordered the gin, you definitely can’t speak it now. Even though barman Jean-Baptiste thought it was nice you saying ‘Merci’ and ’S’il vous plait' at the beginning of the night, trying to tell him about your time at clown school in broken french is not going to entertain him after he has spent 8 hours working behind a bar.

  • Despite what your grandmother says - there is a bad time to take your bra off. My top ones being: Wakes, After work drinks and mid conversation with the bar tender on why he can’t serve you now as it is after hours, even if it is hot in the bar. It will be misconstrued.

  • Do not trust that guy in the tye-dye t-shirt in the queue for the toilets when he says that he "knows where the cool party is". He doesn't. You will spend 20 minutes in an uber, followed by him on his skateboard, and will end up in the outer suburbs of Berlin next to an abandoned building before being guided to the top floor to find sixty men in gimp suits alongside a naked woman being duct-taped to a wall with a gas mask on. There will be a room with loads of pictures of George Osbourne and a huge pinata of a penis. The bar won't be cheap, there will be no music and you will have to pay 5 euros entry. So it's not a party. It's a cult. If you don't believe me, ask the comedian and promoter, Sam Dodgin, about this and he will verify.

  • Don't sleep where you drink. Especially if it is a very cheap and nice bar. Several of my friends and I have made this mistake before. Because you will never be able to go back there, and you won't be able to get those Albert Camus books back.If you are going to do this, date the barman in a place that you would only go to once, and somewhere further out, like in Hull, where you went once on a day trip.

  • No matter how clever you are - talking about existentialism makes you sound like a wanker. Especially if you are trying to talk about it in French, to Jean-Baptiste, who, being Parisian, has probably had enough of existentialism by now.

  • When someone you fancy asks you “What have you been up to this week?” don’t be honest and tell them that you’ve actually been learning a lot about soil, because you find gardening really fascinating. Because it won’t be, not to them, at 2am.

(for your information, Loamy is the best type of soil you can get)

  • Ignore Jim, “Making it rain” is a classic. Stick to it. People** love it.

  • Don’t tell people you can do tantric massage. Because you can’t. You don’t know what tantric massage is. You have gotten it mixed up with reflexology*, again, and you are too tipsy to remember the difference. Thus telling someone you’ve just met that you can do tantric massage and will happily help them with their tension does not sound friendly, it sounds overtly threatening. Especially if you are taking your bra off and moon walking at the same time.

  • Seriously, you don't need alcohol to make you fun. Alcohol doesn't make you are fun. You are fun. With alcohol and without. It's just a placebo - alcohol just gives you the confidence to believe you are fun. So remember that, you are in charge. You don't really need to drink. Have one, but don't go overboard.

  • Don’t start talking about Brexit.

  • No, you can’t climb that.

  • No, you don't look fat.

  • Yes, you are a prize.

  • No, you don’t need to text your ex to tell them that you are a prize.

  • Yes, I’m sure he will understand. But you don’t need to do it.

  • No, seriously. don’t text him.

  • Give me the phone.

  • Give your friend the phone.

  • When you are having a fantastic time and you don't think your night could get any better, you are right. Now is the time to go to bed.

  • Eat a banana before bed and drink a huge pint of water. It will help.

  • Don't call your mum at 2am to tell her you love her. She will panic.

I hope this has informed you and opened your minds. And perhaps encouraged you to learn to moon walk.

Thanks for reading. Please share if you enjoyed. I promise this was not written under the influence of alcohol. It was actually written under the influence of morphine, as I have just been discharged from hospital. Thank you to Jim Campbell for proof reading.

Lots of love,

Elf xxx

* (because you did a day course on it once) ** If you can’t love yourself how the hell you gonna love anyone else.

1,143 views0 comments
bottom of page