The perils of drinking and buying

The perils of drinking and buying


A GOOD friend of mine is currently hatching a plan to combine two of his greatest loves in life: cars and whisky. It’s a risky undertaking because of the understandable and reasonable sensitivity around drink-driving, but I trust him to be sensible and I have to say that what he’s planning sounds like a lot of fun.

I’m sworn to secrecy on the details. It’s not as though anyone is going to steal the idea, but a healthy dose of paranoia has been at play ever since he had an idea for an iPhone app and then saw something remarkably similar mysteriously appear in the App Store about four months after he shared the idea with a mate.

A former mate, I should say; while the app did quite well financially it was the betrayal of trust that was the bigger problem. His latest project has been several months in the planning and has a couple of months, at least, still to go before we see the first fruits.

The aspect of this project that attracted me most was the cars. While I love whisky, indulging in one tends to preclude indulgence in the other, and so forced to choose I invariably opt for the car.

Not only is it legally wiser to avoid getting behind the wheel of a car after enjoying a few, it’s actually a lot more fun. I am often accused of being a wowser but there are aesthetic and philosophical elements to my stance. It’s easier to live in the moment if the moment isn’t filtered through a booze-haze.

I am more than capable of cutting loose when the occasion provides and would be happy to provide a first-hand demonstration any time the drinks are on you. But driving is, I believe, one of life’s pleasures best experienced fully sober. There are others, too, but this is a family website and so I shall not list them in detail.

One of life’s lessons I am happy to share, though, is that two activities it definitely is not a good idea to combine are drinking and eBaying. I have learned this the hard way. When the doorbell rings and there’s an unexpected courier delivery then it’s a fair bet that there was a pretty good party roughly seven to 10 days earlier. The timeframe tends to vary according to whether the item in question has been delivered locally or from overseas.

Our houses are now quite generously stocked with items that seemed like must-haves at the time, but now sit around gathering dust, and without the eBay context would be presumed to indicate a severe personality disorder.

I am not alone. The Companion’s forays into online shopping have resulted similarly impulsive and eclectic purchases, of which the life-size standee of Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider is merely the least disturbing. It’s in the attic with his unfeasibly large cache of Nerf guns and ammunition, and the 1959 Hammond B3 organ supposedly played by the late Billy Preston (of course it wasn’t).

When you get to a certain age you begin to appreciate that life is both short and precious. Life’s pleasures are best unadulterated – but let me say I intend no morally judgemental pun by saying that. If you’re going to drive, drive. If you’re going to party, party. And if you’re going shopping online, never drink and buy.