When someone says they want something to eat, without intimate knowledge of their tastebuds, metabolism and ethics, it would be impossible to guess the type of dish they are after.
It could be that they desire a meaty curry or maybe they hunger for a pasta salad. Perhaps it’s a ploughman’s lunch they’re after, in which case they’ll need to catch a ploughman with his back turned. Alternatively they might want a biscuit. The possibilities are endless.
However, when someone says they’re dying for a drink it can mean only one thing - they require alcohol.
Such is the prominence of booze in our culture that alcohol has muscled its way in on the very act of quenching thirst. “Are you going for a drink?” is a question that only the most naive could take to mean a fruit juice, milkshake or fizzy water.
I can’t speak for any other country than my own, but on these shores at least, drink, both as a verb and an adjective, is taken as read to mean alcohol.
When someone tells you they’ve stopped drinking, rather than fear for their hydration, it would be fair to assume their abstinence from drink solely applies to intoxicating liquor. The next step would be to speculate it’s a decision for the better in respect of their health or temperament.
Gossip of people having a ‘drink problem’ is commonplace. Interestingly you rarely hear someone described as having a ‘food problem’. Rather there’s a world of other insults to fit the bill.
For the vast majority of people, drinking is pretty much an all or nothing pursuit - you’re either dry as the Sahara or full as the early flight from Rio to London.
It used to be that consuming alcohol was frowned upon by the masses and enjoyed by the minority. Now the majority are drinking the bit out while the purveyors of sobriety are in the low numbers.
You only need to look at the tills in Tesco to prove this. Alcohol can be purchased at around 80% of the tills and as an extra incentive people using the tills where booze can be bought get a green tick while the non-alcohol-purchasers get a red X.
Before I had children I used to get out to the pub much more often. While my ability to leave the house on a quest for alcohol has diminished in my post-kids years, I still manage the odd trip to the offies so I can enjoy a sup in the house. The best thing about drinking in the house is you don’t have to queue for a pint and as the night wears on no one is suddenly going to order that you have to start using a plastic glass. Best of all there’s no last orders and you very rarely get kicked out for being too rowdy.
With two childerfolk in the house it could be argued that I’d go insane without a drink. Especially now Lucy is potty training. I came home the other day and asked, “Where’s the brown rug from the living room?”
“Lucy turned it a different shade of brown and it’s now hanging on the washing line,” was the reply.
In fairness to the little lady she’s doing great at potty training and the rug mishap was a very rare mistake.
One day last week after drinking two full beakers of juice and paying six consecutive visits to the potty for a pee pee, Lucy declared, “I think I have had enough to drink.”
Talk about shocked, it was the first time I’d ever heard those words uttered in our household.