Pangs of Alcoholic Remorse

*Douglas Mwas*


A carefree Friday is always welcome after a stressful week. Fridays are a time to let go off some steam; time to drive to the nearest watering hole. I know; don’t drink and drive, but then again why do bars have parking lots?

Sometimes bosses can be a thorn in the flesh and a small reprieve would do just fine. Escape. Small escapes. Short escapes. Scenic escapes.

And a gentle descent to whatever reality daunts and haunts. Alcohol anonymously unites us as we strive to escape a world going by too fast, even if it’s just for a while.

It’s a time to throw caution to the wind, time to let loose. Boom! Boom! It’s a time to grind your hips and show off your best moves to the flow of the music. When weary Fridays open up to nights full of promise and certainly to nights full of ecstasy and fun, alcohol-induced fun, of course, what’s there to complain about? Just as much as alcohol sanitizes our hands, and so it does sanitize our minds and burn off excess cholesterol, or so I heard.

Fridays are a time to be larger than life: perhaps a time to spend your last pay cheque on that expensive single malt? After all didn’t Christ himself turn water into wine? Didn’t certain Galileans at a wedding in Cana enjoy the best wine courtesy of Jesus?

Or on women, maybe? Especially the women. It’s time to catch and release, time to throw them the crumbs, for once. A time to give your best shot too, to impress beyond limits. The sky would be the limit, right? A few heads would sway and shoot up a few curious looks at the new spender in town and all the right signals from the ladies would certainly be in order. But that would be great; some respect and admiration would do. Friday is a time for sin and iniquities. A time to live and to let live.

Its all fun and games until Saturday morning shows up; a nasty hangover jolts you back into reality and empty pockets are all you have to your name. You’ll get back on your feet, of course, and repeat, repeat, repeat.

Of course, this vicious cycle had to broken up by the covid-19 pandemic.

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t it ironic how the usual alcoholics are not the ones getting caught being late for curfews, or for not observing social distancing. By usual alcoholics I mean toothless drunks with frayed collars who know all their bartenders by their first names and have a few dents from a well aimed club and some scars from a few bar fights. They are surprisingly good timekeepers when it calls for it. Instead, it’s the refined Mheshimiwas who are supposedly of good repute and of upright moral standing getting caught with their pants down late at night. A Mheshimiwa whom, according to Chapter 6 of the Constitution, is expected to bring honor to the nation and dignity to the office.

I am starting to think the free Hennessy bottle wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Think about it; perhaps if a certain prominent athlete had some he wouldn’t have been caught hiding away with MCAs in his own bar way past hours, perhaps a few MCAs from Nyeri county wouldn’t be in forced quarantine right now just because they had to visit their favorite water hole and sure as hell those boys and girls maybe wouldn’t have been caught in a party ambulance, in times likes this no less.

Party Ambulance

Every time I see an ambulance bolt past me; every time I hear the sirens wailing to their utmost limits, I always say a prayer for the unlucky fellow. To the oblivious eye, it’s not much of anything, but I can see the flurry of activities inside; paramedics scurrying about trying to set up IV tubes and to take the vital signs at the same time while filling preliminary admission forms—all these under extreme pressure in a high-speed vehicle. It must be spooky too, what with all the blood all over the place and a patient who is hardly breathing.

It’s a quagmire. Total confusion. I have no idea how they do it. It’s time to appreciate these folks.

I never once thought I would be saying this prayer for a bottle of booze and a gang of drunk teenagers. I have never seen a bottle full of liquor with perilously low blood pressure to warrant an ambulance nor have I seen one with IV tubes jutting out of its skin. Sure as hell I have never seen CPR performed on liquor.


Walienda kuwaka huko Nairobi West,

Ambulance ikapitia South C,

Wakalewa wakaitiwa ambulance,

Sijui kama waliamka na mabablas

But najua hangii ikiisha hawata repeat, repeat

Cut them some slack, they just wanted a break. Who wouldn’t want a house party and the party to continue in an ambulance afterwards? It’s just that the timing was a bitch.

Sure it was instagramable, but it came at a pretty heavy cost. Is it worth it?

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