Dan Vs Alcohol

Posted: December 22, 2010 in Back To The Edge, Gigs, One More For Love

Alcohol is rank. People used to tell me I’ve just got to get past that, as if that’s supposed to make any sense. They’d point out that boxers like getting hit, and footballs like getting kicked; so I decided maybe it was worth a go. At the shallow end.

Maybe then it’d shut people up.

I was watching The Lightning Strikes when I first tried VK. I was in a good mood, and it was blue, so why not? And it wasn’t that bad! Not great, but alright. I decided to make VK my alcoholic drink of choice. I mean if I have to pick something. Thing is, not everywhere serves VK, and I’m doing this to shut up people in pubs, so I’ll need a backup. WKD became my #2. The Chelsea to my Man Utd. I also tried what’s called a Smirnoff Ice? Sometimes you need a third kit in football, so maybe I should have a third choice drink. A drink that’ll only ever get into the UEFA Cup. Smirnoff Ice can be my Aston Villa.

It’s the day of Phil’s wedding. I have woken up in an unclean Travelodge room with Big Boots. I say with; it was a double bed, but for some reason Big Boots had generously offered me the whole bed to myself. He said he was happy to have the sofa. The sofa’s quite short. I guess he felt it fit him better. We get dressed. I’ve got some Hugo Boss and I’m thinking of using it.

We arrive at the church and meet old friends Abi and Helen. We eat sandwiches and take photos. My ex arrives with her fiancé. It’s a little awkward, so I go and play my guitar. Huzzah! I’m playing the entertainment during the signing of the register, which I know is what people are looking forward to the most.

Phil’s looking sharp as any son of his mom would on his day of days, and His Bride is looking so nice I’m afraid of talking to her. They go into a back room for the signing of the register, and I am unleashed.

Big Boots is sitting on the floweriest drumbox you’ve ever seen. We finish the song, and there’s no sign of the happy couple, so to our surprise, we kick-off a second song.

The second song finishes and I am still centre of attention! I’m shocked it’s come to this…. And so, so pleased! It is time for the backup plan! Something to take this wedding into overdrive.

I switch to the electric. My brother’s seen this before, and it went pretty badly.

I step forward to the front of the stage, close my eyes, and begin to feel.

I pull out a sweet solo! My brother looks relieved. So do Abi and Helen. My ex-girlfriend is smiling. Wait. She’s laughing! In fact, all of them are laughing.


I’m making those faces. Again. This is an emotional day! And I’m emotional! It’s my joint best friend’s wedding, and I’m soloing! Soloing sweetly! Which means my face is contorting. Hilariously.

Hours later we are at the reception. I’ve had a caricature done of me trying to swat a bee and lost at giant connect 4. Now the speeches are almost over, and the father of The Bride has announced that it’s a free bar.

There’s not a dry mouth in the house.

I’m thinking about Villa getting into the Champions League when I suddenly remember that I don’t really like alcohol. I’m doing this for other people… Aren’t I?

“Free bar Dan! What can I get you?”

“Do they do VK?”

I’m sipping my WKD when Phil and His Bride take to the floor for their first dance together. It’s wonderful, and classic them. Then the music stops, and there’s that awkward moment when nobody wants to be the first to go up and start a dancefloor; but this is Phil’s wedding! I charge onto the dancefloor with my WKD and hold it aloft á la The IT Crowd. My friends have all seen this before. Phil wants to carry on dancing but His Bride is off hugging guests.

The pleasure is all mine.

We dance together with hilariously magnificent gaiety and manage to kick-start a swinging dance floor. The Bride looks at me jealously. I’m too afraid to say anything and soon my WKD is once again aloft. Now the mother of The Bride is jealous, and takes my arms to dance. I instantly lose all confidence. I am a 14 year old boy in a tutu dancing with his mommy at a school disco live on national television being watched by Robert de Niro. Embarrassed, I see out the dance and scramble back to my seat. My brother’s wife is sitting enjoying a bottle of wine, which she’s had to drink on her own as all our friends have made excuses. She is blatantly affected. I can’t tell.

“Dan, I dare you to down your drink!” I love my sister-in-law, and she has to live with my brother, so if I can help her smile once in a while I think it’s healthy. In any case, it’s a free bar, so I can just go and get another one. There can be no negative consequences to this whatsoever. I glug.

I am dancing in circles having a great time.

I spin out of the circle. I am confused, and decide to carry on.

Oh no! I very nearly fall over. This is weird. I ask my brother.

“D’you think I could be a bit drunk?”

“Probably, yeah. You should probably eat some food.” Something about his advice appeals.

A few minutes later I am eating a monstrous man-burger (fit for a man, not made from a man), when I see a cute girl. She is talking to Colin. Wingman time! I slide in and engage my tongue. In conversation.

Some time later I am back to regular Dan-cing. I see Cute Girl. She’s dancing. She’s dancing with a guy. She’s… kissing a guy… She’s… full on making out with a guy. I could be that guy! I am Jon Bon Jovi singing Always, but the music’s loud and I don’t think she can hear me. I am gutted and decide to have a little sit down. I suddenly notice that the dancefloor’s not well lit. It was probably definitely a different girl.

I am being chatted up unsuccessfully and thinking about Cute Girl when the DJ announces the last song. I decide to get WKD #3.

Cute Girl is by the bar.


“Would you like to dance?”

What? I may or may not have just asked her to dance.


Huh? She may or may not have just agreed to dance. To slow dance! The last dance!

This is… great! Good effort WKD! You’re making me do the things I want to do!

Still, something’s not right. I’m a bit wary of letting WKD get too involved. After all, I’ve always hated Chelsea. Except Mark Hughes. I am thinking of taking another swig when Cute Girl takes my hand and leads me across the barn to the dancefloor. I like this girl, but I can’t help wondering…“Are you sure there’s nobody else you should be dancing with?” She thinks. “You?” She’s smiling at me. She’s cute. It must have been someone else I saw eating faces.

We step onto the dancefloor and hold each other close. Even closer, and for the briefest of moments I allow myself to feel like this is real. “You smell good.” “Thanks.” “Hugo Boss?” I smile. She looks up into my eyes. Her eyes are wonderful. Glistening. Her lips look lovely. They are moving slowly towards mine. They shine. The animal inside awakens. I close my eyes…


Not drunk enough it would seem.

“You can’t kiss her, Dan. You’d be taking advantage of her. You’re drunk; she’s drunk. You’ll definitely regret this.” My brain is my Gordon Ramsay chaperone, so I reluctantly pull away and settle for smelling her hair. It smells good. I am clawing at the walls inside. Big Boots will never believe this.

Hang on. Big Boots? Where is he? He’s with Hayley. And all… my other friends… Wait! Where are they?! They’re… right behind me! Taking photos!

I lock up the animal then and there and decide there’s no way I’m gonna kiss this girl in front of Laura, my brother’s wife and their cameras. The song finishes, and I lead her outside. I can hear the paparazzi bustling with excitement behind me. We find ourselves under a warm moonlight on a paved strip full of couples getting away from the cameras. It’s poetic, and private.

She leans in for the kiss.

My brain is using F words and waving garlic crushers as John Terry whispers in my ear and steals the keys to the cage from my pocket.

I look into her eyes, her shining eyes; and engage my tongue.

I promise her a friend request and walk away into the night.

Big Boots is driving us back to the Travelodge. He is quick to again offer me the double bed. The sofa must have been ridiculously comfortable. He can be quite selfish sometimes, but a good friend is a forgiving friend.

I see an unusual sign and tell Big Boots. “You’re drunk, Dan.” He sees a sign. ‘Secret Nuclear Bunker’.


WKD led me down a dark alley. With pretty moonlight; and a pretty girl. But WKD almost made me take advantage of a pretty girl. A pretty girl that… come to think of it… was totally making out with that guy.


Weeks later I am with Colin, talking about Cute Girl. “You don’t wanna know what Laura said about her.” I immediately want to know what Laura said about her. Somehow it’s suddenly the most important thing in the world.

“She called her ‘Sloppy Seconds’.”

Dan Mohr 1

Alcohol 0.


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