Saturday, January 11, 2014

Dryathlon 2014: Day Eleven

Nick Butcher, yesterday

Nick Butcher - a future billionaire playboy philanthropist whose death in the year 2057 will be mourned by billions and the remains of whose corpse will be encased in solid gold - recently said he'd donate 3 pounds for every 'non-trivial' blog I wrote about Dryathlon. Asked what 'non-trivial' meant, he said: "Anything personal, meaningful, hilarious, inspiring, touching, and - most importantly - that I feel like springing 3 quid for."

Cancer research needs that three pounds. So:


Why do I drink? Social drinking makes me hilarious and silly, but my main worry when I started Dryathlon was how much I drank in my flat. Lugging two bags of empties to the bottle bank every fortnight was a prelude to literally minutes of regret and self-flagellation. 

Near the start of the dryathlon I asked myself: Why do I drink at home? Most of the possibilities seemed pretty dark: addiction; an excuse to fail; trying to filter out the noise of the universe; self-destruction; habit.

Proooooobably better to cut it out, then.


I racked my brains to think of the most meaningful thing I know. Settled on this:

Meaning. Tick. Next.


I kept getting emails from Cancer Research UK written by their spokesperson Will Power. Living outside the UK, I don't get to know all the new B and C list celebrities. I thought he might be a medal winner from the Olympics or someone with a fitness show. It took five emails for the lightbulb to go off.

Bonus lol: I showed the first draft of this post to Jen. She said, "It's okay, but who is Will Power?"


Quitting drinking hasn't turned me into Stakhanov overnight, but I have been a lot more productive so far this month. I've written every day and every night and hit my exercise targets. It's simple, really: there are more useful hours in my day. 

If I open a bottle of wine at 9pm that's me done for the night - I can maybe edit but not create, and exercise is a non-starter. After drinking, I don't sleep well, am tired the next day, and try to unwind with a beer the next night. Repeat endlessly.

So yeah. Quit drinking. Get more done.


Nick probably meant for me to write something about how cancer is a grim spectre that haunts my family, killing us off one by one like a sniper with a gun and a grudge.

I tried to remember all the people I know who have died, and turned the data into a pie chart:

But that got way too depressing, so instead of thinking about that, I'll list things I like to touch and how I like to do it:

- My bellybutton (slap with thumb)
- My belly (with palm of hand, esp. after exercise)
- The cold shell of my new Macbook air (erotically, as in a porno)
- Jen's lips (pressing my finger onto them to shush her up)

Worth 3 Quid

Calculating the time it took to write and rewrite this post versus my hourly income from teaching and it's 'worth' about 120 pounds. Of course, no-one pays me to write. So this post is either worth 120 pounds or zero pounds. The banker in Deal or no Deal would definitely stump up 3 pounds given the same situation.

My logic is inescapable, Butcher. The donate button is this way->


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