[lit-ideas] Tee many martoonies.

  • From: "Mike Geary" <atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2006 14:31:59 -0500

I used to suspect that the etymology of "teetotaler" had something to do with 
totally abstaining from all drink but tea.  Not so according to the Word 

"There is general agreement that the first use of "teetotal" in reference to 
abstention from alcohol was in a speech to an English temperance society by a 
man named Richard Turner in 1833. Whereas some of his contemporaries drew a 
moral distinction between beer and hard liquor, Turner urged his listeners to 
abstain totally from all alcohol.
"Contrary to popular legend, there is no evidence that Turner recommended "tea" 
as an alternative to alcohol, or that his listeners were urged to mark the 
letter "T" for "Total Abstinence" on their pledge cards at the meeting. The 
"tee" tacked onto the front of "total" was just a common way, at that time, of 
giving extra emphasis to a word, a process linguists call "reduplication.".... 
The use of "teetotal" to mean "absolutely, totally" is well-documented in 
other, non-alcoholic writings of the day. For instance, one author, writing in 
1885, had occasion to write, "I hope I may be tee-totally ruinated, if I'd take 
eight hundred dollars for him."  http://www.word-detective.com/041899.html

Like saying, "Trouble with a capital T", I take it, but more efficient.

Eric wrote: "I didn't drink at all until my late twenties. Still don't like it 
much: I need all my energy and regular drinking 
wastes energy."   To which I reply, yes and no.  Alcohol usually gives me a 
great burst of energy, even if I'm dead tired, but then there's always that 
last drink that causes it to all come crashing do on me.  Soporific doesn't 
fully capture the state of being once the moment of glorious highity has passed 
 -- stupor, I think, is more like it, or perhaps: "stolid and stunned a brother 
to the ox."  

It amuses me that one of mankind's first inventions was fermentation.  I'm sure 
we've all seen clips of birds and monkeys getting drunk on fermented fruit.  
The desire to alter consciousness is older than our species.  My ex-wife would 
throw up if she had more than two drinks.  In 20 years of marriage I only saw 
her drunk once -- on Champagne, of course, it goes down with such a tickle.   
She must have seen me drunk about 7,500 times.  :  ).  I love drinking.  Love 
the feeling I get and I love the taste of certain beers and wines.  Except for 
Crown Royal and Chevas and Drambuie and Grand Marnier and a few exquisite 
ports, all of which I can never afford and rarely buy, except for those, I 
eschew the hard stuff -- even the cheap hard stuff just because it hits me too 
fast and hard.  I don't like to go down before the 10th round.  Is there a 
price to pay, other than money, other than health, other than brain damage, 
other than social ruination?  No, none.  It's all clear sailing after that.

In the South when Protestant denominations celebrate the Eucharist, they serve 
crackers and grape juice.  As if Jesus turned the water into GRAPE JUICE.  That 
tickles the hell out of me.  "Why did you wait to serve the best grape juice 
last?"  Ha!

Every Catholic grows up knowing that every priest is either a homosexual, a 
pedophile or an alcoholic.  How else is a man to live without a woman?  Imagine 
our relief to learn that he's an alcoholic.  Alcoholism is a sign of normality 
in Catholic circles.  And once a Catholic, always a Catholic.  Just ask Stephen 

Anyway, I've found that some people just constitutionally can't drink, some 
conscientiously can't drink, some just don't enjoy drinking and some are of the 
mind that "lips that touch liquor will never touch mine".  In fact, the vast 
majority of people in this world are temperate drinkers.  I have to remind 
myself of that from time to time.

Skoal, Mike Geary



----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Simon Ward 
  To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Saturday, June 10, 2006 10:39 AM
  Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: curiosity

  Lawrence: I don't like the idea of not being able to think clearly.

  [I was so tempted by this statement, but managed to hold back. I'm really 
pleased with myself.]

  I had some of my best ideas under various influences. If only I could 
remember what they were...

  I recently gave up smoking (still giving up really). Glad I did it, but it 
made me extremely stressed about how I'd cope with my work. I used to sit at 
the keyboard taking an ocassional drag but mostly getting stained fingers. It 
was part of my working process. Now I get by drinking lots of tea interspersed 
with chewing gum. It still seems like some sort of addiction, but I assume it's 
less harmful. 

  And to think Churchill used to survive on (I believe) brandy and cigars...but 
in those days, smoking wasn't bad for you was it.

  In answer to Julie's question, yes I do drink. Pints of Doom Bar, since you 
ask. It's a middling session beer - real ale of course. That's when I'm down 
the pub. At home I finish off the evening with a glass of cheap red wine; a 
claret usually, made specially for Tescos and costing £2.99 a bottle. 


Other related posts:

  • » [lit-ideas] Tee many martoonies.