The wrath of grapes

Ernest Hemingway reckoned that an intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools. And indeed who amongst us who takes a drink has never chosen to tune out the drones around us by indulging in just one more or has never had a sip of Dutch courage before an important event? We talk of drowning our sorrows, of wetting a baby’s head, of toasting a new deal – and, for the most part, our social drinking is relatively harmless.

hangover 2Until, of course, you wake up wondering what on earth happened the night before. Did you actually do what you think you did? Did you actually say what you think you said? Will anyone remember? And, if you’re a public figure, this scrutiny is rarely restricted to the confines of you and your bathroom mirror. Word gets out and the things you do while under the influence make the news.

István Lovas, a Hungarian correspondent in Brussels, might well be living to regret polishing off that bottle of wine and the two kupica of pálinka that led him to write a steaming letter to the foreign correspondents in Budapest accusing them of false reporting and of painting an unfair and false picture of Hungary. His excuse … he was drunk. And yet he seemed to be fully aware of what he was doing: I have never ever been as rude in my life as I am being now in any article, or in any “official” letter addressed to anyone. A little embarrassing, I’d say.

hangoverLast week in parliament, István Pálffy, a relative newcomer, was said to have been under the influence while in attendance. And a few months ago, József Balogh, another parliamentarian, made the news when he allegedly beat up his partner after getting drunk at a wedding, apparently fracturing her skull in the process. In the throes of what must have been a massive hangover, he’s reported to have said that she’d been tripped by the family’s blind dog. Mortifying, I’d say.

Is the well worn excuse of being drunk still viable? In fact, was it ever? It’s not rocket science: the best way to avoid the morning-after guilt is to know your limit and drink responsibly. Everything in moderation… now why is that such a difficult lesson to learn?

First published in the Budapest Times on 22 November 2013

Share :

Share on twitter
Share on telegram
Share on whatsapp

Subscribe to get notified when I publish something new.

  • Explore

    • Book reviews (36)
    • Catriona Loughrey (1)
    • Cemeteries (35)
    • Hungary (116)
    • Ireland (86)
    • Markets (23)
    • Uncategorised (38)
    • Village life (88)
  • Talk to me...

    %d bloggers like this:

    By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information on cookies and GDPR

    Cookies and GDPR Compliance

    The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

    General Data Protection Regulation

    If you have voluntarily submitted your email address so that you can receive notifications of new posts, please be assured that I don't use your address for anything other than to do just that - and that's done automatically. I might use your address, if I knew how to, but I don't.

    This blog does not make money, it does not carry sponsored content, it has no ads for which I receive any form of payment. If I review a place or a restaurant or a book, I don't receive any compensation from anyone. I wish I did, but that would require marketing myself and life is too short. If something changes, I will be sure to let you know.

    You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe or manage subscription links at the bottom of every email you receive. When you comment on a blog post, Google Analytics tracks where you're posting from. This is stored and I can check my stats to see how many clicks I had today, where people clicked from, and what they clicked on. That's it. Nothing more.

    I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, particularly to other commenters. If you want to have one of your comments deleted, the please get in touch with me at: mary@irjjol.com. I'm all for the right to be forgotten so will happily oblige.

    So, in a nutshell, if you give me your email address voluntarily to subscribe to new posts or if you opt to subscribe to new comments, then you email is just used for this. Nothing else. Promise.

    Close