Such was my anguished outburst that Marcia flew out of the bedroom ready to tackle any armed intruder and save her little boy, for only such could have occasioned my impassioned plea to the Almighty. As soon as she realized it was only me spilling a drink over my beloved laptop, she returned disgusted to her rudely interrupted slumber.
I had the laptop stripped down in seconds flat and mopped it out best I could. As the adrenalin leeched out of my system I started to consider the possible consequences and became, with each passing moment, more and more depressed. The information was safe, the hard drive would remain unaffected but I would probably have to lash out on another identical laptop and swap the hard drives over. That would be the best solution but would the supplier still have one in stock two years after selling me this one? I doubt it. The other alternative would be to buy a caddy drive and a new laptop. I could then put my old hard drive into the caddy drive and use it as a simple storage device but at least I would have access to all my files. That would mean, however, reinstalling all the software, assuming after two house moves, I could find it all again, and reconfiguring the new laptop. Either way, I was going to be offline for a very long time. Bugger.
‘God, Dominic, I really need a whisky now.’ And I did. I was trembling and my heart was racing.Dominic switched his iPad on and started fiddling with it while I wrestled my demon.
‘You won a silver medal skiing, didn’t you Daddy?’‘Yes’
‘You must have been very good’
‘I enjoyed it, Son, I really liked skiing. The silver was for downhill but I wanted to do langlauf. I was a runner, see? So it was a hell of a way to keep fit in winter. I was also a bloody good shot, I started competitive shooting at your age at Whittingdon Barracks near Lichfield, HQ Prince of Wales’ Division. I had a notion that I could be good enough to get onto the Army Biathlon Team and then, who knew? Maybe the British Olympic team.’‘Why didn’t you?’
‘Because some careless sod blew himself up in Northern Ireland and I was posted out there at 24 hours’ notice to replace him. When I got back I was offered the chance to go for a Commission so I took it. I was hoping to be posted back to Germany but they sent me to Belize instead for two years. Can’t get much further away from snow than that, Son!’‘You raced motorcycles as well, didn’t you Dad?’
‘Yes I did, but not very well. It was great fun though’‘Micky told me that you rode like some Italian, I forget his name. Micky said you either won or crashed’
I realized what Dominic was doing, he was trying to calm me down, take my mind off the booze.‘Giancarlo Fallapa,’ I said, ‘he rode Ducatis on the World Superbike series. The trouble with me Son is that I got the ratio wrong. Instead of three wins to one crash, which would have made me good, I had one win to three crashes, which made me crap. I met Fallapa, you know?’
‘Did you!’‘Yes, I was a Ducati dealer in Germany and won best dealership so the importer invited me down to Hockenheim to meet the team and then I was offered either Doug Polen’s helmet, he won the championship that year, or Fallapa’s. Everyone was very surprised when I chose Fallapa’s. Up on stage accepting the helmet, I had to make a little speech so I said, “I know many of you are wondering why I should prefer Giancarlo’s helmet to Doug’s but at least I know Giancarlo’s has been crash tested!” that provoked a huge roar of laughter and Giancarlo laughed loudest.’
‘Do you still have his helmet?’‘No. I highsided my Ducati at the Nurburg Ring and did what Giancarlo never managed in all his crashes’
‘What was that, Dad?’‘I broke his helmet, cracked it wide open, trashed the ‘bike and broke both ankles’
He paused his interrogation to consider that awhile and then asked, ‘Did you do anything else that was dangerous?’‘I married your mother’
‘DAD!’‘OK, I once had an affair with the Mexican Ambassadors girlfriend’
‘DID YOU!’‘AND pinched his car for a spin’
I could see he was more impressed by this than anything else I had done.‘I did loads of things. I liked the excitement.’
‘You must have been very fit’‘I was. I could run three miles in fifteen minutes when I was in Belize’
‘Wouldn’t you like to be fit again, Dad?‘Yes Son,’ I sighed, ‘I really would’
Evidently satisfied, he shoved his iPad in front of me.‘Take a look at this, Dad’
Look out for the guy in a wheelchair and the motorcycle being ridden across a swimming pool!
Suddenly, I didn’t fancy a whisky anymore.
It has been seven days now. It would have been a shame to spoil such a good start last night over a laptop which, as you can see, has been reassembled this morning and isn’t stuffed after all.
congrats on a whole week! glad your laptop was rescued!ReplyDelete
My friend spilled a vodka and grapefruit over my brand new laptop. We immediately turned it upside down and vacuumed it. No ill effects.ReplyDelete
I grew up with an alcoholic father so I can appreciate for young Dominic how important your efforts are to him.
And I can appreciate his effort to help me.Delete
I've never mastered a motorbike, but there's still time. I had small insects living in my laptop, but like Raz's vodka, they vacuumed out!ReplyDelete
Evidently, neither did I!Delete
The mornings are good, hey?ReplyDelete
Especially when the laptop boots up!Delete
My son just spilt a glass of water over his laptop tonight. Then melted his space bar drying it out with a hair dryer. OH did I mention it was somehow all my fault because I called him for tea :-/ReplyDelete
Check out www.JibJab.com ~ you can elf yourself.
Well of course it is! Instead of buggering about with tea, you should have been drying it out for him!Delete
Elf myself? Not bloody likely!
I think you're fucking awesome.ReplyDelete
Congrats on the 7 days and fixing your laptop. Maybe you could fix laptops while not quite so mobile. They charge big money here for that.ReplyDelete
After the third blow out on rear tyres, I took the hint and stopped riding motorcycles. Luckily I never hurt myself.
The You Tube clips of people are amazing are just that. There are several of them to stare at in awe. There are also some very funny fails videos showing how stupid some people are.
I rode motorcycles for years here in Angola but finally called it a day about three years ago when I crashed a brand new Transalp. I was on my way home from the dealership having only just picked it up.Delete
As well as drinking gallons of DomTom you could also market it as a laptop reviver - a bit like WD40 but for computers. Perhaps it will have other uses too and new names could be coined for it "RubTom" massage lotion, "FleaTom" cat shampoo and "DickTom" (CENSORED BY BLOGGER CONTROL)ReplyDelete
If it could paint walls, you'd buy loads, wouldn't you?Delete
Congrats on seven days! And a laptop that restarted. Would have been a shame to spoil your record for a moment of panic that ended all right after all.ReplyDelete
Kudos to Dominic, too, for trying to keep your mind off it and to do what he could to help.
Dominic is a fine young man.Delete
Dominic certainly can talk you off the ledge. Good for you both!ReplyDelete
Love the video.
I thought the video was awesome, I liked the music too.Delete
"I married your mother" will come back to bite you when you least expect it! It'd not fitness, it's age that does it for most....ReplyDelete
You fallen off your bicycle again?Delete
Good job on laying off the embalming fluid. Keep up the good work. I was lucky in that I never really developed a taste for it and had a fairly well developed sense of self preservation. I wasn't much older than Dom when I first got really shit faced, thankfully the resulting hangovers were severe enough to dissuade me from repeating. On the other hand I did develop a taste for motorcycles early on. Observed trials was my thing. At 15, with my meager savings, I managed to buy a beat to snot ex racer 74 Bultaco Sherpa T350 that I restored to new. The job was nice enough it drew in all the other bikes in the neighborhood for repainting. I was always a scared rider on the road. One to many accidents and close calls put an end to that as well. Only today can I appreciate that long hair pinned under the locked up front tire of a Jeep CJ5, staring at the underside of the bumper while still moving can only be forgiven by the man upstairs. No one can be that lucky. Had anti-lock brakes existed, I'd be dirt today or at the very best Sven Hawkins without the brilliance. I can claim to have ridden in the country with the highest motorcycle mortality rate ever and survived. Regrettably the immortality and fearlessness of youth eventually catches up with the frailty of age and my tolerance for adrenalin was greatly reduced by the resulting road rash and broken bones. Perhaps it is also the fact that about 50% of the teenaged kids in the neighborhood died as a result of bike and auto accidents that drove it home for me as well.ReplyDelete
When Dominic was four, I bought him a Yamaha PW50 which he got the hang of in about 30 minutes. The best part was he could not ride an ordinary bicycle!Delete
BTW, my Father was Captain of the British Army Trials team in the 50's.Delete
What a smart kid you have. The lesson you will give him will be the most treasured gift he'll ever receive.ReplyDelete
I just want to give him the gift of a sober father!Delete
It's a real toss up for awesomeness here, Dominic or you. I'm just a hair in favor of Dominic, and congratulations to you.ReplyDelete
Clearly you have taste!Delete
Dominic is the best sponsor anyone could have. Oh, and a pretty decent son by the sound of it.ReplyDelete
Well done for staying on the straight and narrow.
A teenager who prefers to do things together with his father rather than play video games? I am very lucky.Delete
Eight days clear of booze now.
I bet the Mexican ambassador's girlfriend was a looker, but I pity her nevertheless. Being the girlfriend of the Mexican ambassador is like getting the bronze medal in a race for bronze medal winners. Did she give you any gossip from the diplomatic circle?ReplyDelete
I missed the sailing of HMS Active because of her. I was Army Liaison Officer to Active at the time but she made up for it by using the Ambassador's cigarette speed boat to catch up with Active so I could rejoin my ship.Delete
Perhaps we can assume that YOU were HMS Active?!Delete
I was certainly active all through the night but, sadly, not active enough in the morning to make the ship. The indescribable feeling of snapping awake realising I had missed her sailing will remain with me 'til I die. But so will the hours preceding it! All in all, it was worth it,Delete
Some times children are an adults saviour. Dominic is a clever boy.ReplyDelete
You are also teaching him that there is nothing that he cant do. I think that is something really special. Everyone thought we. were nuts when we said we would take my then 6 year old nephew on a sailing holiday, he thought a storm that really scared me was the dogs nuts. and tells all his friends that his Aunt and uncle sailed through the night from france to devon (through the shipping lanes.... that's a stupid story). With him tied to the car seat we had bolted to the cock pit. Looking at me you would think I am an over weight librarian.
I can think of a few tubby sailors! Besides, they make good ballast sitting on the up wind rail if you are looking to squeeze that extra knot out of the boat!Delete
We were both in Germany at the same time and Whittington is just a few miles from me now........small world eh?. Dominic has a dad he loves and doesn't want to lose....I am very glad you are taking each day as it comes and staying off the falling down water....ReplyDelete
A small world indeed! Are the barracks still there or have they been sold off?Delete
Dominic goes back to his Mum today so I will lose my crutch but at least he got me off to a good start!
Just caught up with your news. Keep up the good work. Seven days cold turkey is a marvellous achievement. Any withdrawal symptoms? If not, you're a bloody genius and should market the DomTom for AA.ReplyDelete
Eight days now!Delete
No withdrawal symptoms to speak of. Occasionally I start to feel anxious so I just pour myself another slug of DomTom, it works for me. If you know anyone in AA still, by all means pass on the link to my post about DomTom. If it helps just one more person escape their misery then it will have been worthwhile.
My mistake, nine days today! (but who's counting!)Delete
What an extraordinary son :-) Best wishes as the days march by. There will always be triggers to drink, but it is how you handle them that counts. You will get better at talking yourself down off the wall, I am sure.ReplyDelete
he's a lovely boy. I will crack this, you'll see!Delete
"No symptoms to speak of" you say in response to ADDY.ReplyDelete
Sorry, Tom, you have just blown your cover. Either you are a a specimen of the master race or inhuman. Or, of course, you have blatantly lied about your consumption. Come on, Tom: Be honest. Someone with the input you have claimed to be on can not go cold turkey without medical supervision. "No symptoms to speak of". Dear dog in heaven, don't make me weep on your behalf.
I wish you well. But don't expect me to trust you. Ever.
It is the negative, disbelieving, doomed to failure attitude like yours that leads many people in my position not to even try giving up.Delete
I am not 'negative', Tom.Delete
I sometimes think about those guys leaving shore off Nantucket Island - fully stocked - to find themselves adrift mid ocean with no further supplies. And then what happens to the cold turkey?
Like so many you make light of drink - when you are drinking and when you don't. Sure, there is many a testament to what the human body can withstand. My hats (I don't wear any) off.
That you haven't had so much as a tremor is just bull. At least you admitted to sweating. You know what you are doing, Tom, and it's no good to either of your sons: You play the hard guy who can withstand all vicissitudes. You may be a hard guy. Sure. But you can NOT withstand all vicissitudes. And to pretend otherwise might make you Mr BIG but will not do any favours to your offspring.
Talking about sons (and yes, I do know, you are fond of your father): Do you really thinks it's right to boast about Dominic trying to get you off the booze? Keep shit to yourself as a parent. Don't burden your offspring..
Yes, Tom tough titty. Am sure you can cope. After all, what's my comment in comparison to you ditching all that whiskey.
Who is the naysayer, Ursula? I have known a few people personally that have quit various things 'cold turkey" The human mind is an amazing thing. You can talk yourself into or out of many things. You can and you are doing this now.ReplyDelete
Don't pay any attention to Ursula. B, she is a mad, opinionated Teutonic bitch but we love teasing each other.Delete
Go on you good thing!ReplyDelete
I am not a naysayer, bbarna. Neither do I wish to piss on anyone's parade. However ...ReplyDelete
There are cold hard physiological facts. You say that "the human mind is an amazing thing. You can talk yourself into or out of many things." Sure. And I do not doubt Tom's willpower for one second. But you - and so many - make a fundamental mistake (on two grounds): Where, for example, coming off heroine is shite its withdrawal does not pose a potential risk to your physical health. To withdraw from sustained high level alcohol intake is in a different league. The body and its control centre (the brain) don't like it. Ask a neurologist. If Tom's consumption was as high as he claims then - going cold turkey without medical supervision - he will have diced with his life, or at least with his faculties.. Sometimes the body stalls as late as three, four, five days after going cold turkey. Let me repeat myself: It is highly dangerous to come off alcohol without medical supervision. It's a gamble. Now Tom might be as strong as an oxen, he might be lucky. After all, there are exceptions to the rule. However, it's a gamble he took. And that's just a fact. A fact that has nothing to do with willpower. I wish people wouldn't perpetuate the myth that alcohol addiction is just mind over matter. It isn't.
Yes I know, if I were your husband, you would poison me but, Ursula, if you were my wife, I would drink it.Delete