Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Drugs and Yours Untruly

I heard something on the radio this morning about mandatory drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. Now, I'm opposed to any impingement on civil liberties, especially when they're imposed by bosses to protect the profit margin, but when I heard about this one I thought, Hmmm, finally, a way of finding out whose life outside of work is real and who makes theirs up.

Because drinking and getting stoned are the only life now. It's everybody's measure of whether you've had a good or a bad weekend. If somebody had spent Saturday and Sunday writing a symphony, they'd probably still go into work on Monday morning and tell people they were massively hungover from a two-day drinking binge with a lot of unnamed (and probably made up) friends.

Mind you, I'm sometimes guilty of ridiculous (and essentially immature) image-making myself. I wrote an email to an old girlfriend some time ago in which I gently castigated her for trying to give up cocaine. "I hang onto all my vices jealously," I wrote (or words to that effect).

What vices? Tosser. I have smoked a little weed from time to time, and I like to drink. But I've never touched anything stronger. Not out of some moral objection, but just because drugs, and the people you got them from, seemed too dangerous (this woman's druggy friends were like desperate animals in my snobbish estimation: not a trace of civility or sophistication about them)(and they laughed and made fun of the helpless crumbling old drunk in the corner of the Racehorse). Oh, and I didn't want to have to spend the large amount of money you had to spend to get the drugs. Do the purer among you have any idea how much even a little marijuana sets you back?

So whatever vices I was inferring I might have to my old girlfriend--who took offence at the email and didn't talk to me again--I actually have never had.

Why did I pretend I did? I don't even know the answer to that.I have spent so long living on the borderline between fact and fantasy--as a compulsive storyteller in poetry and prose and in conversation--I probably almost believed what I was writing as I wrote it. There's an element of alienation, and mistrust of other people, in there too. But it's ridiculous anyway. My major vices are snobbery on the one hand, and self-pity on the other. Though I'm trying to deal with both through Buddhist practice.

I have a significant and lifelong addiction to peanut butter, if that helps me look any cooler to my readers.


Anonymous said...

Hey Bruce:

Your peanut butter secret is out, and I thought you'd never tell the world about it. You must have been the only young teenager in the world who could consume half a loaf of bread and the best part of a jar of peanut butter "for a snack". Peanut butter was always the top item on the weekly shopping list, thanks to you - although I was, and still am, rather partial to it yourself. Bruce's Dad (in rainswept Scotland).

Anonymous said...

Hey again

In my previous comment I meant to say I was partial to peanut butter myself (not yourself as published). I just don't understand all this compuer technostuff. Bruce's Dad

Holly said...

yay Bruce's Dad :) Pleasure to hear from you :D

If you want some top of the range Peanut Butter, I must say Peter Pan's Peanut Butter found in North America is really to *die* for. I have never tasted Peanut Butter like it!

I wonder if they can do tests for Compulsive Gambling/Compulsive Internet Use/Square Eyes and the like which would have the same effects on productivity as Speed, Ice, Booze and weed.

Bruce Hodder said...

I still do consume half a jar of peanut butter for a snack, Bruce's dad. Only nowadays I have to buy it myself (life's unfair, eh?) And because I have a poor memory I then go and buy another jar when I'm hungry, only to discover I haven't finished the first one. I now have about fifteen half-empty peanut butter jars (or is that bottles?) in my cupboard, along with some tomato sauce (Uncle Stephen's favourite, I recall), lots of tea and coffee, a bag of crisps and some powdered mash I will use when the floods come. I may actually have been healtheir if I'd indulged in really good drugs.

(By the way, world, Bruce's dad is a phenomenally good prose writer. Produces the clearest, most straightforward, yet articulate sentences in the language. Trust me, I learnded everyfink I no frum hym.)

Bruce Hodder said...

Peter Pan? I have never tried that. I will experiment. (See, it's true what they say: one drug leads on to stronger stuff.)

A test on compulsive internet users would not be a good thing. But did I mention anywhere that many employers these days are tracking your internet habits these days? Scarey. It's routine, apparently, for Facebook and MySpace sites to be vetted before an interview. And MY Facebook site has my boss' secretary on it as a friend. Of course, they just got rid of my boss, so that may not be so problematic...