Article Published in PATRIOT

Drink away and all that

Navtej Sarna

When the blues get me I turn to things unusual. You will find me, if you choose to look, doing things which in my more cheerful moments I would not dream of. Laden with the worries of the world I can be seen scribbling on a small piece of paper, then chewing it and throwing it away. Or throwing stones at a beloved flowerpot and not even missing. In one such black moment I picked up a women’s magazine. You know the kind of thing which tells you which wool you are supposed to be using this season and how the princesses are dressing their babies nowadays. Normally I can take these magazines or leave them. And when I do take them I stick to the ads. But sometimes the printed word catches the eye.

The magic sentence that sprang out of the general mosaic of knitting patterns and unattainable recipes read - “Drink away seven pounds in a week”. It seemed incredible since in my mind (unused to the subtleties of feminine magazines) the word drink was anathema to the determined weight loser. Quite understandably I put aside my prejudices and began to read the article. Predictably it was all about some particularly foul food drink which contained all the vitamins and nutrients required by a normal healthy individual in a working day. By the time I had got through the second paragraph I could almost picture the wretched bottle on the dining table with a set of instructions in fine print on the back. These instructions would of course say that it could be had hot or cold in water or milk. And sugar, oh so naturally, to taste. Soon they got to the part where they begin to say how this drink, if had regularly instead of bread and eggs for a week, would shed away the extra pounds adding immensely to self-esteem and motivation. I put away the magazine with the feeling of having been handed the poopsie once again but the idea stuck…. drink away the pounds…the possibilities were enchanting.

Let us imagine then a dream day. You get up in the morning and decide after a careful appraisal in the full-length mirror that you need desperately to reduce. The trousers flare ungracefully at the pleats and its not only the wallet that is bulging. All you have to do is drink away…A couple of glasses of orange juice to begin the day with. The breakfast can be followed by a long leisurely chocolate milk shake. After that one can say that an honest effort has been made. Just before the lunch hour you make your determined way to the bar. With a foot placed resolutely on the shining brass foot rail you order a chilled beer with the look of a man who will let no obstacle come in the way of his projecting once again the slim and trim look. Your face assumes an almost holy expression as you gulp down long draughts of the stuff in the curtained shadows of the room as the summer blows hot outside. Then of course you drink nothing till lunch which consists essentially of a couple of Bloody Marys-Large, if you prefer.

Then with the distinct feeling of contentment of one who has worked hard with a purpose you could have a nap. Nothing like sleeping over a good drink and letting all that liquid do its magic stuff. Make a fresh start with many cups of tea and don’t bother about watching the sugar. It doesn’t matter as long as you are drinking and not eating.

Having revived yourself you can settle down to the main task of the evening with the sundowners. Resist the temptation to stop at two or, three. Beyond that once, you can carry on well until the moon comes up and up. This is one drink which is equally effective with soda or water. Just pour three fingers of it in a glass and add ice to taste. Leave it to rest for a few minutes and then sip gently.

After that skip dinner.

The last special effort makes all the difference. There is a generally tendency at this stage to throw in the towel but resist. That’s what makes the difference between determined drinkers or rather weight losers and the rest. So, the jaw set in determination you pour yourself at least two nightcaps…

Seven days of that and you will find yourself a new person with a sparkle in the eye and once again ready to face the world with a smile. No need to wear only bush shirts anymore and you won’t have to hold your breath every time somebody is getting your profile.

And more people will read women’s magazines.