Sunday, October 17, 2004

Under pressure 

The fucking builders have been at it again. This time one of them, and again I think I know who, has stolen my drill – a wedding present from my brother. They are the most poorly-equipped builders in the world, forever borrowing my tools, both with and without permission, but this time the loan seems to have been permanent. Discovering the theft has totally buggered up my day. I find myself stomping around in a tense introspective mood. The anger and frustration are building up inside me, desperately seeking an exit, like steam in a saucepan. I’m dying to take it out on someone or something: my wife, one of the kids, the dogs, or any inanimate object that gets in my way.

(Minor digression coming up.) The same type of frustration and pressure is a permanent feature in communities all over the world. I have seen it in many inner city pubs of a Friday and Saturday night. The frustration of a life lived without full control, under financial strain and the threat or fact of unemployment, seeks an outlet. It comes in the beer, the football, and the ritual filling of accident and emergency with comatose casualties. Drinking is the catalyst, the drug that suppresses the self control and restraint that keeps our hands by our sides. That adrenaline and testosterone needs an outlet. For me the outlet used to be rugby, and I was less stressed and more amiable when I had the opportunity on a regular basis to knock the crap out of someone who was fully expecting it. The beer afterwards then brings you down instead of taking you up. I’ve always been an amiable drunk anyway, so I’m heading for the fridge. Cheers.

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