Monday, 20 October 2008


When I made my military service at the German Air Force we were lodged in rooms of four in kind of barracks. One night at about 12 pm or so, my room mate came back from a drinking expedition.

I heard him singing/talking/laughing to himself, on the other side of the closed door and I tried to stop him from entering. I shoved a broom under the door handle and told him to go to hell or sleep in the sink.

He did not insist and went away but some minutes later the chap entered through the window. While crawling into the room he vomited copiously on my little radio standing on the table right under the window.

That radio was precious to me, it was the very first thing I bought with my own money earned by working during school holidays. He vomited so much on it that the little thing nearly disappeared under it.

From that day on I am regretfully unable to show any tolerance for active drunkards. I mean I shall not help someone drunk who cannot walk upright and is falling down. Must be the vomit,I fear.

On the other hand, I love drinking songs. Please lend your ear to Ivan Rebroff, one of the deepest basso voices I know and nevertheless able to go into high pitch (near the end of this song). It's about someone sitting in a wine cellar and telling how he feels. "Im tiefen Keller", composed in 1802.

Lots of my friends and acquaintances drink too much. They are never drunk - at least I've never witnessed this - and when it is obvious they have had too much at a party, there is always their obliging wife who takes to the steering wheel.

Strange world. If you drink too much and let other see it you become a social outcast in no time. But if you are a tea-totaler - total abstinence from alcohol - then very easily you achieve the same goal.

As to me, I like to drink a glass of red wine in the evening. Just one glass. And I have been drunk once in Paris in a restaurant where we went with friends. My wife was clasping me and I needed it to prevent zigzag-walking towards home.

Now have a look here. This is out of Carmina Burana "In taberna quando sumus" (when we are in the tavern drinking)

Composed in Latin about 800 years ago, music from Carl Orff. To those of you who have enough fortitude, try to follow the music in Latin (right in YouTube). It's great - no need to know Latin, just for fun - especially the second part where he gives the list of all those who drink. Quite exhaustive. One more point: when you play this, make it loud, very, very loud. This is not for the faint hearted.