Darn it, I'm in bad times right now. I need a stiff drink.
The problem, however, is that I just happen to be one of those irritating teetotallers of contemporary times. That means that I hardly touch the alcoholic stuff: I am perfectly willing to chew on a slice of rum cake, or have the occasional sliver of champagne at weddings... but I'm not a regular drinker in any form, shape or function.
What makes things worse (because misfortune always comes in pairs) is that I'm going through some liver problems right now. Liver problems, for a man who doesn't touch alcohol. Hah. What that means is that I get deprived of what little alcohol I consume (which I don't miss), and what significant amounts of carbonated drinks that I do consume (which I'd kill for, at this very moment).
I don't know why I don't drink. I do have a few guesses, though, which those few other non-drinkers out there may instantly recognize:
I'm anti-peer pressure. That is to say, I was a misfit antisocial high school kid. If the other guys decided to go out and party, I stayed home to read a good book. If the other guys took up smoking in the empty lot behind the parking grounds, I settled in the library to study. If the other guys got together to drink and binge in some seedy bar, I slept early and learned how to snore. It was as though I was being rebellious against the other teenage rebels, and it had a nice ring of irony to it.
I hate the taste. This still puzzles me -- why on earth would people want to drink something that tastes terrible, and is usually more expensive than your normal beverage besides that? I have yet to run across an alcoholic drink that actually tastes good, in my humble opinion. Maybe it's my taste buds. Maybe it's my high standards. Maybe everyone else out there just happens to have cast-iron stomachs.
I fear drunkenness. I like to think of myself as a rational, logical person. I'd rather not think of the possibility of seeing myself as an irrational, illogical person, much less with a face as red as a hot chili pepper.
I've got a support group. This is not to say that I specifically hang around non-drinkers; In fact, some of the people I know are perfectly willing to drink like parched fishes. I do have the benefit of knowing a lot of people who are willing to accept me as I am, and I thank them for it. They don't make a big deal about my preferences, despite the fact that my constant prattle tends to get on their nerves sometimes.
I get enough headaches. Alcohol always seems to give me these, and it's not just relegated to those splitting hangovers that people get in the morning. For me, I usually get a slight buzzing or tingling feeling a few hours after the drink, followed by the dawning realization that the pounding has started on the inside of my temples. I suspect that I probably have an adverse reaction to the stuff, only I'm not entirely sure why.
It's reasons like the above that usually get me setting aside the beer and wine in favor of a nice bottle of Mountain Dew. Of course, I can't even get that now... I'm forced to subsist on such abominations as Pepsi Max and Coke Light. Sometimes, at those most desperate hours, I'm forced to drown my sorrows in mineral water -- and there's nothing more desperate than the mere action of trying to get oneself drunk with mineral water.
Darn it, now I'm depressed. Where's that stiff drink I asked for, anyway?