Saturday, December 02, 2006

Budem zdorovy!

Russian alcohol producers have called for the introduction of state-subsidised "social vodka" to reduce the death toll (currently about 40,000 a year) from drinking illegal booze.

"He took down from the shelf a bottle of colourless liquid with a plain white label marked VICTORY GIN. It gave off a sickly, oily smell, as of Chinese rice spirit. Winston poured out nearly a teacupful, nerved himself for a shock, and gulped it down like a dose of medicine.

Instantly his face turned scarlet and the water ran out of his eyes. The stuff was like nitric acid, and moreover, in swallowing it one had the sensation of being hit on the back of the head with a rubber club. The next moment, however, the burning in his belly died down and the world began to look more cheerful."

18 comments:

Valerie said...

Cripes. Sounds like the modern version of 'canned heat' is alive and well.

Valerie said...

Cripes. Sounds like the modern version of 'canned heat' is alive and well.

Molly Bloom said...

Ooh, what is the worst drink you've ever tried Tim? It's not good to drink home-made stuff is it?

We had some home-made ginger wine once and it was pretty vile.

But, Anthony will probably tell everyone about the time when I mixed whiskey with, I think it was wine and it was just really bad. The last words I heard were: 'You'll be sick.' The next thing I knew....

The white porcelain world...

Sigh.

I won't say what I was saying as I was going up the stairs. It was pure filth. Actually, I say, 'going up the stairs,' but actually I think Anthony had to push me up there.

Have you ever tried Absinthe?

Melon vodka is really nice too.

Molly Bloom said...

Do you think they'll give it out free with coupons, like Green Shield stamps. My mum used to wait until she had a carrier bag full and make me sit on a Saturday afternoon, sticking them all in. I'm sure that glue was enough to kill you. My mouth was stuck together by the time I'd finished.

Sorry...gone off the point...again.

orange anubis said...

Ooh, surely the dodgy home fermented stuff is where all the real fun's to be had. That's the first shelf I'd head for if I ever made it to Russia...

Tim Footman said...

Valerie: Canned heat was the inspiration for jello shots, wasn't it?

Molly: Yes, I have tried absinthe. I couldn't feel my wrists.

And I used to do not only the Green Shield stamps, but the Pink Paraffin and Co-op stamps as well. Would have been nicer if they'd had appa=ropriate favours added (lime, strawberry.... blue something) but, no, that's capitalism for you. Or socialism in the Co-op's case.

Anubis: That way lies madness and blindness. You'd find yourself speaking Russian, even if you can't.

Anonymous said...

Once you've tried poteen you never go back, mainly because your neurological system goes into meltdown.

Molly Bloom said...

Oooh, neurological system in meltdown. That's something everyone should aspire to.

Billy said...

Isn't Victory Gin from 1984? That should have been a warning.

Jagermeister was pretty bad stuff, but after drinking 4 pints of rough cider I did have an out of body experience.

Spinsterella said...

That's just reminded me - I got a freebie miniature of 'gin liqueur' at work a while ago but could never face it.

*scuttles off to kitchen*

It's giving off a sickly sweet smell, like sugary meths.

*sips tentatively*

The world is not looking any more cheerful. Orwell, what did he know anyhow?

corin said...

Last night I went to get some vodka at Garlic and Shots, but the barman instead gave me something else because it was cheaper. I've drunk many things in my time, but I haven't a clue what it was we were downing last night.

For literary drinking, Russian style check out

http://absurdist.obook.org/kharms/display.php?p=52

By the way, my director's Russian and starts with lager in the morning before moving onto the stronger stuff early afternoon. Every day. He's my idol.

Tim Footman said...

Doc, Molly: My neurological system packed up the first time I caught sight of a Thai soap opera.

Billy: Yes, it's from 1984. I thought the quote from 1984 ought to give you a hint, especially the reference to 'Winston', and the pic of Peter Cushing.

Actually, Orwell places London in Oceania, which is slyly prescient of your upside-down friends and their tendency to come over and nick all the pub jobs.

Oh good, Gilchrist's out.

Corin: Since my all-time political hero is Boris Yeltsin (I had a letter published in The Guardian comparing him favourably to any contemporary British statesman), I like your director already. Does he throw glasses when you flub your lines, or indulge in celebratory Cossack dancing when you manage not to walk into the scenery?

corin said...

No cossack dancing that I've ever seen. He's more your stereo-typical big hairy shouting man. During my second or third ever rehearsal with him I was treated to the choice phrasing of "Corin! What you f***ing doing? Is f***ing crap! Tou must be much more f***ing grotesque!" or some such criticism. There's a pic of him at www.actprovocateur.net if you like - or there's a link to the site off my blog.

Billy said...

*blushes with shame* I realised after I posted the comment. Oh why can't you edit comments? I'm thinking of writing to the Telegraph about it.

Tim Footman said...

Corin, that page also has images of ladies having their bosoms fondled. I hope you're not hanging about in bad company. Or if you are, that you get a turn.

And do write to the Torygraph, Billy. They need evidence that there are people reading whose IQs exceed their ages. In fact, I can see a regular feature:

"BILLY: THE VOICE OF YOUTH! Sparky cub reporter Billy, just back from his tour of the colonies, gives Telegraph readers the low-down in the sordid world of youth clubs, coffee bars and skiffle bands, where ladies sometimes go unchaperoned after teatime. This week: Does the playing of raucous gramophone recordings on the Light Programme present a threat to the moral fabric of our nation?"

Spinsterella said...

DOn't worry Billy, I have completely forgotten all of 1984 since I last read it a decade or two ago.

I only recognised it becasue there aren't that many Winstons in fiction.

Kieran said...

Hmmm.
The man who invented the kalashnikov, Mr Mikhail Kalashnikov aptly enough, has been feeling so guilty about his legacy that he's now put his name to a brand of vodka. He hopes his association with war and small-arms profliferation will be eclipsed by his association with hen parties and liver failure. I'm not sure what Mr Molotov thinks about this move into the competitive drinks/arms market, but there you go.

denny said...

stereotypes and vague drinking stories. its like high school all over again, except with keyboards instead of mouths. when will people learn that alcohol is a much more dangerous drug than natures herb and that alcoholism is far from a cool thing. nice excerpt though, 1984 was a killer book.