River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Drunkards and Vagabonds

May 2002

Our alcoholics are too anonymous

It you want my opinion, that's the trouble with the world today! There's not enough of what I would call Drunkards about; if there were I'm sure our world would be all the better for it. When I say Drunkards I'm not on about young Billy who's having his first drink and being stupid. No, I'm on about old Billy who has lost count of how many he's had over the years, and yes still acting stupid I agree. What I really mean is that I'm on about Characters; and to me they just don't seem to be around anymore.

I can remember some Character who's name I think was Mike Towler who use to come to Methwold Market every Monday. By the way, didn't these people work? Anyway Mike use to get drunk and then finish up dangling from the battlements on Methwold Church. Silly fool of course, would you do that? Of course not; you've got more sense than that.

Why though do we always have to stick to the rules? Why can't we, just for a change act, well stupid now and again? One of my favourite singers was an American, Dean Martin who use to say, 'I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they get out of bed in the morning that's the best they will feel all day!' My sentiments exactly.

How well I remember my Insurance days, sitting in people's homes with a cigarette in one hand and a large whisky in the other, both supplied by the Man or the Lady of the House, and getting paid for it. No wonder I liked my job. Looking back it wasn't that these Characters just liked a drink they would always be finding things which had just fallen off the back of Lorries. Yes, crooks maybe, but there was something about them that to me had some sort of appeal. I never did come across anyone of them that I didn't like, crook or not. As a, now regular, Chapel-goer these days it comes as no surprise to me that so few people go on a Sunday. There is this gulf between Chapel and Pub. You will see a Vicar or Minister go into a Church or Chapel, but never a Pub, and those who go into a Pub will never be seen going into a Church or Chapel, well apart from Weddings and Funerals.

God can be found in both places so why all of this segregation? I see no harm in walking out of the Church or Chapel straight into the Pub and God will be right there with me. What a pity the Vicar and Minister isn't as well? Who knows, if I could over come my meanness I might buy them a drink. Not all of us are extroverts and if the odd drink helps to remove some of our inhibitions, well that has to be for the good. Well that's something I am more than willing to raise my glass to, Cheers.

Les Lawrence

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