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The death of lager as we know it

I guess my friends and I would fall into the cliched category of working week, drunk weekends... and I suppose we did. I remember hearing that a couple of my friends were experimenting with whizz (speed) in the summer of '95 and I felt slightly concerned that they were entering a 'druggy' phase of life. When questioned about what it was like, they were in agreement that it was good fun. To enable me to relate to what they were talking about, I was left with one course of action. So I took the wrap of whizz on my tongue. Sure enough, forty minutes later I was UP. In fact, I was UP all night and all next day. I suffered with clenched jaw and 120 heart beat for the whole of the following day - no wonder they're class A I thought. End of summer.

A winter of Guiness was swiftly followed by the Summer of '96 ; lager time. It started with my friends going to an all night club in London, lots of whizz and half an E. They came back with big smiles on their faces - I thought bloody hell, they really are on the slippery slope, first whizz, now E, what next, Heroine ? It's a scary thing drug imagary. But they persisted, every Friday and Saturday night became the homage to whizz and half an E. I went along with them a couple of times in May. Got pissed, chatted to some women, found a corner, thought how loud and fast the music was and watched their crazy antics. "You look a state Steve, fancy a pick me up ? ha ha".

I always said to myself that I'd try anything once, and I said the same thing to one of my mates (our drug dealer!). He responded one of the evenings at the club by offering a quarter of an E. I took it and...nothing. So I said the following week I would try a half.

Following week, in the club toilets, fishing around in my black wallet for that small half tablet, dropped a condom, oops. Ah, there it is. Innocent looking with its swan head missing. Moment of madness, you know you really shouldn't do this, it is illegal and you'll probably end up in intensive care like that Leah whatsherface. Bugger it, who runs my life ? The tabloids, the government or me...? Definitely me - Gulp.

Thirty minutes later and I felt a bit light headed. Lager had been confiscated and removed from the menu of evening options by my mate the drug dealer. "It's water for you from now on". Forty minutes later and I felt like a beach in the caribbean, waves of happiness breaking on my shores. Happiness, yes happiness and joy and rapture. With every minute that passed, the whole bloody thing was looking better and better.

"Oooh Steve's up" the drug dealer anounces to everyone, as his smile met mine. Yes, I thought, I am up. The sounds coming from the speakers were calling me to merge with them - Josh Wink "Higher State Of Conciousness", Underworld "Born Slippy", these were our anthems. Sometime later, I had to go for a walk.

On the way, I just had to smile at all the pretty faces. Some would smile back while others looked through me as if I were an idiot. So the ones that smiled I would go and chat to and make new friends. Question, if I were drunk, would I go around a club smiling at pretty faces ? Answer no. Question, have I ever been to a club before and had such a amazing time ? Answer well and truly no. Am I truly aware of what's going on ? Yes. Could I drive a car in this state ? Yes, it would probably be the best car journey of all time though !

It was about 1.30am when I felt the journey slowing down. It felt curious and a bit disappointing to be dropped off at the nearest normality station, I wanted to stay like this forever. I prepared for a crash, like the one I had had with whizz last year. It didn't come though, I just felt normal, you know, me. I slept for eight hours and woke up with a smile, what a great trade off I thought, have a good night out and don't feel ill the next day, in fact, I felt calm and inner peace, the afterglow. Magic, Ecstasy.

I take Ecstasy on a regular basis - Every Friday and sometimes Saturday night, usually one and a half for a visit to my spiritual self. I don't take anything else (and neither do my friends now after I pointed out the dangers of whizz from an article I read in MixMag) except still Tango and Pepsi Max (gotta be tried). I am about 5"9, good looking, own my own software company, work out at the gym, go windsurfing in the sea whenever it blows and look just like a drug addict. You can tell I'm a drug addict because I smile more often than I used to, that's what we look like you know.

So lager and Guiness and beer - My old dearly departed friends whose hangovers I'll never forget. Who will feed the seagulls in the field on the way home from the pub in the summer now that my spaghetti contribution is fully digested these days? How will the government deal with the loss of alcoholic tax revenue I no longer contribute towards ?

I know, I've just had a thought... it's Friday!

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