A Hard Drinker

Firmly grasping his packs of ale
and bottle of rum the old man
leaving the liquor store glares at
the policeman checking car warrants
and registrations in the car park.

“You’re waiting to see if I fall over
drunk !” roars the old war veteran.
“Are you drunk ?” asks the policeman.
“You cops just want to stop real men
having a drink !” growls the veteran.

He had drunk hard in his days at war
on the ocean, with his mates at the pub,
and on his back verandah. At hotel
bottle stores he regularly filled up
his car boot with amber liquid supplies.

Just now he remembers courts suspend
licences of drinking drivers, no more
transport to pub or veterans’ club.

Warnings go on records
of obstreperous drivers.

At 88 he would not regain
his licence if he lost it.

He swallows his temper, replies
“No I’m not !” then removes
himself and his liquid supplies.


A Hard Drinker

12 thoughts on “A Hard Drinker

  1. I enjoy a drink of alcohol on occasion. Yet, it too easily becomes a habit and on to addiction. If someone is not careful. What does it do anyways? Does it help some see the world more clearly? Can you see God? Does it help to navigate through life’s trouble? I suspect that the gent was in the latter stage of dependency? It’s an expensive habit.
    Cheers Jamie.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hehe .. true enough. As an aside, my belief is we can kick those habits at any age. What is required is will. It is said that Winston Churchill drank alcohol all the time? I wonder how many decisions about war, not just by him, have been made while besotted? I happen to believe that alcohol is a most harmful substance. Many would disagree. I have no bee in my bonnet over it. Just saying. Some people become belligerent. Others quite sweet and quiet. Too many women have been hurt by men when drunk. No, I have little enthusiasm for the substance. Cheers Jamie.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. This old man and his mates were salving the pains of life endured during the six years of WW II. They also had a strong culture of “real men” drinking to prove themselves – and not wine either, as the young people did.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My understanding as well. Many times when I was a child I saw the effect too much alcohol (and the impact of serving in the wars) had on families and relationships – my own in particular.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sadly, an ability to ‘hold your drink’ is an inherent part of rite of passage in Australia, especially among the generation you speak of. Drinking alcohol to the point of being drunk also appears to be a badge of honour among younger generations.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Moderate alcohol can be good for health. The problem here is that young never learn to enjoy alcohol. They often drink to get drunk. I think it has strong Anglo connections. The French drink, the Italians drink but it is much rarer to see them drunk as well it has a strong stigma attached to being drunk. In the English speaking world it is more likely to get accepted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This old man and his mates drank because it was the sign of being a real man – except for wine which they despised. They also drank to drown their memories of six years’fighting in WW II. They were all of British ancestry and I am sure it was part of their “cultural heritage.” Their children were scorned for not heavily drinking beers and spirits.


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